American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, Washington, D.C.
The board of directors approved the extension of the contract of president Rich Timmons through Dec. 31, 2014. Although Timmons previously announced his intention to retire, the board requested that he extend his tenure.
Produce Marketing Association, Newark, Del.
Dr. Jim Gorny was appointed technical committee chair for the Center for Produce Safety (CPS), replacing Dr. Bob Whitaker, chief science and technology officer, who has chaired the committee since 2008 and will retain his position on the board. Gorny will work extensively with the CPS executive director and the committee to identify, fund, translate and provide industry with high priority, impactful produce safety research solutions that enhance produce safety for the industry and consumers alike. Meanwhile, Olivia Wenger joined as West Coast business development manager, responsible for member relations, sponsorship sales, event attendance and specific annual partner relationship management in the western United States and Canada.
The International Dairy Foods Association, Washington, D.C.
Beth Hughes was named director of international affairs, responsible for supporting IDFA's efforts on international trade and import and export issues. She'll also oversee the association's sweetener and trade committees. Hughes comes to IDFA from the USA Rice Federation, where she spent five years developing and implementing international trade policy and promotion activities to support the U.S. rice industry and to help small- and medium-sized U.S. enterprises in overseas export markets.
Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), Chicago
Richard Lenny was named chairman of the board of directors, succeeding Lawrence Benjamin, who will remain a member of the board and a senior advisor. Lenny previously served as chairman, president and CEO of The Hershey Co., where he developed a value-enhancing strategy that delivered superior marketplace and financial performance.
American Dairy Science Association, Champaign, Ill.
Scott Rankin, professor and chair of the food science department at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, assumed the role of president. Rankin served as vice president of the organization for the past year. At UW-Madison, Rankin serves as department chair, an extension specialist and dairy foods researcher. He chairs or co-chairs over a dozen extension programs covering various dairy-related topics from production to manufacturing.
European Food Safety Authority, Parma, Italy
Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle, executive director, announced her resignation to take up a new post as director general for agricultural, agrifood and territorial policies in the French Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, effective Sept. 1. In the meantime, the European Commission will initiate the process for recruitment of a new permanent executive director.
Dianne’s Fine Desserts, Inc., Newburyport, Mass.
Mike Pennella was named advisor to the board of directors. Pennella recently retired from his position as senior vice president and general manager of foodservice national accounts at Schwan's Foodservice. He has also served in leadership positions at Pilgrim's Pride, ConAgra Foods and Sara Lee, and has consulted with Domino's Pizza.
Artisanal Brands, Inc., New York
Joern Tittel was appointed director of retail sales. Tittel has more than 20 years of senior level executive and sales experience in wine and specialty food distribution. He was past president of the MetroWine Distribution Co. Joe Sherman, former chief executive officer of Viking Culinary Group, was retained as a sales and business development consultant. Sherman has more than 25 years of executive experience building retail businesses by establishing and managing relationships with key partners.
SUPERVALU Inc., Eden Prairie, Minn.
Bruce Besanko was appointed executive vice president and CFO, effective Aug. 7. Besanko joins SUPERVALU after serving as executive vice president of finance, chief financial officer and chief administrative officer for OfficeMax, where he helped strengthen the company’s balance sheet and transform business-to-business and retail segments.
El Pollo Loco, Costa Mesa, Calif.
Restaurant industry veteran Larry Roberts joined as chief financial officer, responsible for playing a central role in financial strategy formulation, partnering with the rest of the senior leadership team to drive growth and increase profits for El Pollo Loco, which now boasts nearly 400 company and franchise-owned restaurants in five states and managing investor relations, information technology and risk management, among other duties. Roberts maintains nearly 30 years of leadership experience across a variety of top-tier companies.
GRILLiT, Inc., Miami
Ghazi Hajj was appointed chief executive officer and elected as the chairman of the board of directors. Hajj has more than 24 years of collective experience in leading well-known chain restaurants to high growth and profitability. Previously, he served as executive vice president of operations with Cerney Investment/Quiznos Corp.
Johnny Rockets, Aliso Viejo, Calif.
Gary Campanaro was named chief financial officer. Prior to working as CFO at El Pollo Loco and Claim Jumper, Campanaro worked with The Keith Cos, CB Richard Ellis and CKE Restaurants.
Henningsen Cold Storage Co., Hillsboro, Ore.
Jason Neddaf was named general manager, responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Twin Falls, Idaho, warehouse operations, comprising more than 12 million total cubic feet and over 55,000 pallet positions. Neddaf joins Henningsen after serving 14 years in various positions with Schreiber Foods, where he was, most recently, the supply chain business manager.
Seegrid Corp., Pittsburgh, Pa.
John Snyder was appointed OEM sales director, responsible for designing and implementing the Seegrid launch plan for The Raymond Corp., a Guided by Seegrid OEM partner. Snyder will provide product sales and service training to The Raymond Corp.’s dealer service and sales networks. Snyder was most recently at the Welch Equipment Co., an authorized Toyota and Raymond dealership. Meanwhile, Amanda Merrell was promoted to marketing director, responsible for overseeing marketing and public relations initiatives and continuing to bring a fresh and unique spin on marketing material handling equipment. Merrell is also responsible for interface and coordination of efforts with editors, journalists, conferences, tradeshows and the firm’s external public relations firm.
Canadian Pacific, Calgary, Canada
Tony Marquis joined the railroad as its new vice president of operations, Eastern region with accountability for the Eastern Canada and the Northeast U.S. operations. After spending 25 years with Canadian National Railway Co. in various operating positions, Marquis became owner and president of Strategic Training Simulators Inc., designing, building and installing locomotive simulators.
MOCON, Inc., Minneapolis
Rich Barrett was appointed regional manager, responsible for spearheading sales activities for the company’s MOCON and Dansensor-branded package testing solutions in North and South America. Barrett brings significant business-to-business experience to the position, with a background in sales, marketing, project management and product development. This hire comes on the heels of MOCON reorganizing its company into four global business units to help address growing customer requirements for food and healthcare applications.
The Raymond Corp., Greene, N.Y.
Timothy Combs was named executive vice president of sales and marketing. Bringing more than 30 years of experience to this role, Combs served as vice president of sales for Raymond sales activities and national accounts.