U.S. Apple Association, Vienna, Va.
James “Jim” Bair
will join the non-profit organization as president and CEO. Bair comes from the North American Millers’ Association (NAMA), where he worked for almost 25 years, first as director of government relations and then most of those years as vice president.



Potandon Produce, LLC, Idaho Falls, Idaho
The owner of the Green Giant brand promoted Ralph Schwartz to vice president of sales, marketing and innovation. Schwartz, a 12-year employee of Potandon Produce, maintains a background in retail, wholesale, marketing, procurement and sales. Meanwhile, Barbara Keckler, a 15-year employee, was promoted to marketing manager, responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the marketing department. She will also oversee all trade promotional and advertising activity, including new program development, electronic marketing, media relations and branded marketing programs.

Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods, Elmwood Park, N.J.
Larry Praeger was named chief executive officer, succeeding his late father Dr. Peter Praeger, founder, CEO and president who passed away September 2012, and Adam Somberg was named president.

AdvancePierre Foods, Cincinnati
Charles Aardema was appointed senior vice president of human resources. Aardema comes to the company with significant experience in talent and performance management, executive development, employee relations and cultural and business integration during growth or acquisition. He was the vice president, human resources for totes>>Isotoner and NewPage Corp.

Safeway Inc., Pleasanton, Calif.
Brian Baer became president of the Eastern division. Baer joined Safeway in 2001 as vice president of finance for the company's Phoenix division. In 2004, he became group vice president of finance planning and analysis. In 2009, he joined the Dominick's division as CFO, and was promoted to president of that division in 2011. Prior to joining Safeway, Baer spent more than 12 years with the Marriott Corp. serving in various financial management positions in operations, corporate finance and real estate development.

Oregon Cherry Growers, Salem, Ore.
Company veteran Danny Weeden was promoted to executive vice president, GM and CFO, responsible for managing operations, finance, IT and supply chain functions. Weeden has more than 30 years of experience in the food industry, managing multiple department functions, including finance, sales and marketing and operations. Throughout his career he has held senior positions with Olympic Foods, Seneca Foods and Chef Reddy Foods. This new position was created following vice president of operations Steve Travis’ announcement that he will retire after 25 years with the company.



Bunting Magnetics Co., Newton, Kan.
Rod Henricks was named director of sales, responsible for directing the Bunting U.S., Canada and Latin America direct sales force and the Bunting representative and distributor network. As a result, Robert Bunting, Jr. will succeed Henricks as product manager-metal detection.

JBT Corp., Chicago
Megan Rattigan was named controller, effective Dec. 1, responsible for leading and managing JBT's financial accounting policies, controls and reporting requirements. Rattigan brings more than 20 years of accounting, financial control and management experience. She originally joined FMC Technologies, Inc. in 2002 as a consultant. Since then, she has served in a variety of accounting, financial reporting, control and management roles.

The Raymond Corp., Greene, N.Y.
Lou Callea was promoted to vice president and general counsel, responsible for managing all strategic and day-to-day operations within the legal department. Callea previously was general counsel for the legal department. Erric Heitmann was promoted to vice president, engineering, responsible for product development, manufacturing engineering, systems and advanced engineering, test engineering and product engineering. Heitmann previously was director of product development engineering. Dan Klassen was appointed vice president, quality and program management, responsible for the quality organization and the program management office. And, Dave Norton was appointed vice president, customer solutions, responsible for custom engineering, sales engineering, field service, training and the customer care managers. Norton also will oversee the product management group on an interim basis.

BNSF Railway, Fort Worth, Texas
President and COO Carl Ice will become president and CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2014. Ice has been with BNSF for 34 years, most recently serving as president since November 2010. In 1995, he led a team that orchestrated the merger and subsequent integration of Burlington Northern Railroad and Santa Fe Railway. Meanwhile, Matthew Rose, chairman and CEO, will assume the role of executive chairman, responsible for working with the leadership team to support strategic positioning for growth and investment, including long-term organizational planning, market positioning and public policy.


Seb Gertmenian, chairman emeritus of Ready Pac Produce, Irwindale, Calif., and father of Ready Pac founder Dennis Gertmenian, passed away Dec. 8 at the age of 101. Seb was well known in the produce industry, from his humble beginnings with a produce stand in Monrovia, Calif., up to his retirement from Pasadena Produce at age 82. Seb owned Pasadena Produce, which served a wide variety of foodservice customers in the San Gabriel valley for over 50 years. Ready Pac was founded in the back of the Pasadena Produce warehouse.