American Meat Institute (AMI), Washington, D.C.
Betsy Booren, Ph.D., became vice president of scientific affairs, responsible for directing AMI’s scientific activities, staffing AMI’s Scientific Affairs Committee, responding to the technical and scientific needs of AMI members and coordinating research activities for the AMI Foundation (AMIF). Meanwhile, Susan Backus was promoted to vice president, responsible for managing AMIF’s research program and staffing the AMI Health and Wellness Advisory Committee. Backus has been a member of the AMI team since June 1997 and is responsible for the administrative management of food safety research projects initiated by the foundation. Backus also serves as the director of administration for the Shelf-Stable Food Processors Association, which is managed by AMI.

Organic Trade Association, Washington, D.C.
Laura Batcha was appointed new chief executive officer and executive director. Batcha most recently served as OTA’s executive vice president and interim co-executive director and currently serves as the chair of OTA’s Political Action Committee. Prior to this appointment, Batcha served the OTA in multiple capacities over the past six years. She was first hired as marketing and public relations director, became chief of policy and external relations, and lastly, served as executive vice president. In addition to her work at OTA, Batcha brings 20 years of direct experience as a certified organic producer and handler, and more than 10 years of hands-on experience in the private sector of the organic industry.



AdvancePierre Foods, Cincinnati, Ohio
George Chappelle was named senior vice president, supply chain, leading the manufacturing, procurement, demand management and customer service functions company-wide. Chappelle comes to AdvancePierre with 30 years of global experience in supply chain, operations and information management with major food and non-food companies. He was most recently the chief operating officer for Vi-jon Inc., and previously held leadership positions with Solo Cup, Sara Lee, H.J. Heinz and Gillette, among others.

Suisan Co. Ltd., Hilo, Hawaii
Glenn Hashimoto replaced Rex Matsuno as president, effective Jan. 1. Hashimoto is a past president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawaii and of the Kanoelehua Industrial Area Association. He is also a member of the Board of Governors Hawaii Employers Council.

Sargento Foods, Inc., Plymouth, Wis.
Mike McEvoy was named executive vice president-operations, effective immediately, responsible for managing manufacturing, engineering, quality systems, procurement, logistics and distribution services. McEvoy joined the company in 1998, and has held a variety of increasingly responsible positions at Sargento, including trade promotion manager, marketing manager, general manager, vice president of sales, and most recently, president, food ingredients division. Prior to joining the company, McEvoy worked in the transportation industry.

Earthbound Farm, Denver, Colo.
Kevin Yost was named president, taking over for Charlie Sweat, the former CEO who will move into an advisory role. This appointment comes after WhiteWave Food Foods announced plans to purchase the organic food producer. Yost most recently worked with Saputo, Inc., and has had prior experience working with Dean Foods, ConAgra Foods and Swift and Co.

The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co., Inc., Montvale, N.J.
Sam Martin
departed as chief executive officer.



Yum! Brands, Inc., Louisville, Ky.
David Gibbs was named president of the U.S. Pizza Hut business. Gibbs joined the company in 1989 as vice president of development of KFC and at YUM. In 2006, he was promoted to chief financial officer of the U.S. Pizza Hut, then to CFO at Yum! Restaurants International (YRI) and most recently served as president and CFO of YRI. During that time, Gibbs improved the business model at Pizza Hut and led the development of a new vibrant restaurant asset base and significant supply chain savings. Meanwhile, Jason Marker was appointed general manager of the U.S. KFC business. Marker came from Unilever 10-plus years ago, where he was a marketer in the South Pacific region. He was then promoted to chief marketing officer and was a key force in developing product and marketing ideas that were first successful in Australia and then exported across KFC’s global system. Marker was relocated to YRI as the vice president of global branding and marketing. He most recently served as chief marketing officer of the U.S. KFC business.



JBT Corp., Chicago
Dave Burdakin joined as vice president and division manager of JBT AeroTech. Burdakin maintains more than 25 years of experience in industrial manufacturing and leadership. Most recently, he served as non-executive chairman of Mayline Corp. From 2007-2012, he was president and CEO of Paladin Brands, and was recruited by Dover Corp., following their acquisition of Paladin in 2006, to integrate eight independent businesses and significantly improve results while strengthening the leadership team. Prior to joining Dover, Burdakin spent 14 years at HNI Corp., including seven years as president of The HON Co., HNI's largest operating company. He also has previous experience with ITW and Bendix. Furthermore, Brian Deck was appointed vice president, CFO, effective Feb. 3, replacing Ron Mambu, who announced his intent to retire. Previously, Deck was chief financial officer of National Material L.P., where he was responsible for all financial functions, M&A and information technology-related activities. He successfully developed an M&A core competency, including execution of two acquisitions, refinanced the company's debt and implemented a company-wide financial reporting platform. Prior to National Material, Deck was vice president of finance and treasurer at Ryerson Inc., and has held increasing responsibilities with GE Capital, Bank One (now JPMorgan Chase & Co.) and Cole Taylor Bank.

Choptank Transport, Preston, Md.
Pam Hutchinson was promoted to director of human resources, responsible for all human resource functions, including human resource management, recruiting and corporate training. Hutchinson has played a key role in Choptank’s aggressive hiring plan over the last several years; an initiative that will continue into 2014.

Bunting Magnetics Co., Newton, Kan.
Gregory Massey was named territory manager for standard products, responsible for sales in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Tennessee. Massey brings extensive sales and service experience in the dry bulk and powder industry and in the construction trade. Meanwhile, Alex Schlosser was named territory manager for standard products, with responsibility for sales in Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico and Clark County, Nev. Schlosser held a similar position with Bunting in the early 2000s, and is familiar with Bunting products and customers.

Integrated Systems Design, Wixom, Mich.
Thomas Pawlowicz was promoted to senior account executive. Prior to joining ISD, Pawlowicz was vice president project management at Jervis B. Webb Co., where he was responsible for overseeing the development of materials handling systems for the automotive, tier one and industrial markets, as well as systems for automated guided vehicles and automated storage and retrieval applications. Before joining Jervis B. Webb, Pawlowicz worked for Siemens, and held the positions of project engineer, project manager, program manager, project group manager supervising projects for automotive and heavy industrial applications, management representative for ISO-QSTE and operations manager where he supervised the project management, engineering and estimating departments.

Toray Plastics (America) Inc., North Kingstown, R.I.
Chris Voght was promoted to senior director of sales of the Torayfan division. Voght previously served as the director of the Strategic Alliance Group, when he oversaw a team that handles key accounts. He joined Toray in 1999. Also within the Torayfan division, Toray promoted Franco Chicarella to national sales manager. Chicarella previously worked as a business manager. He joined Toray in 2000 as an engineering intern and signed on full-time in 2001 as a process engineer in the Lumirror division.

Americold, Atlanta
Company chief information officer Thomas Musgrave was promoted to executive vice president. Musgrave is the key architect and executive sponsor of Americold’s proprietary, world-class technology platform. Prior to joining Americold in October 2011, he was vice president of IT for Syncreon, where he was responsible for enabling logistics solutions through the use of technology.

Epec Engineered Technologies, New Bedford, Mass.
Jim Long was named user interface engineering manager. Long brings extensive knowledge and experience within the electronics industry. In the beginning of his career, he was the avionics repair station manager for Thales Communications, where he provided worldwide, 24/7 AOG support for all Gulfstream Aircraft Corporate clients. Additionally, he assisted in the startup of Tactical Radio Customer Service Department that was in direct support of all Marine and Secret Service depot level repairs. He’s also worked as the lead test engineer with Honeywell Aerospace Systems and launched his own engineering consulting firm, Solstice Engineering in 2004, where he led the design, integration and customer flight testing for Blackwater’s Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft.

Union Pacific, Omaha, Neb.
D. Lynn Kelley, currently vice president of continuous improvement, will take on the added responsibility of the company's supply organization, responsible for purchasing, strategic sourcing and the company's industrial engineering activities. Kelley joined Union Pacific in 2011 from Textron, where she was vice president of operational excellence. Prior to joining Textron, Kelley was a professor at the Madonna University School of Business and served as chief operating officer of Doctor's Hospital. Additionally, Joseph O'Connor was named vice president of labor relations, succeeding William (Rick) Turner, who is retiring in March. O’Connor is responsible for negotiating labor agreements and managing the day-to-day relationship with the company's represented employees. He joined Union Pacific in 1987 as a capital planning analyst in the company's finance organization. During his career, he held several positions in finance and network design and integration before being named vice president of purchasing in 2003.

Henningsen, Hillsboro, Ore.
Kevin Cummings
was named general manager of the company’s newest facility in Salem, Ore. In his new role, Cummings will direct the day-to-day operations, comprising over 8 million total cubic feet and over 32,000 pallet positions. Cummings joins Henningsen after serving 12 years in various positions with Schreiber Foods, where he was most recently the Carthage, Mo., distribution center team leader.


Richard A. "Dick" Ehrhart passed away Dec. 27, 2013. He was the fourth-generation owner and president of Kohl Wholesale, a family-owned independent distributor based in Quincy, Ill., for more than 77 years. In 1948, Ehrhart married Betty Middendorf, a union that lasted 55 years until her passing in 2003. Dick and Betty’s leadership provided the guidance and vision to their children to make Kohl Wholesale what it is today—a company of more than 335 employees. Ehrhart is survived by his second wife, Agnes Brennan, along with Dick and Betty’s sons Richard Ehrhart (and his wife Laura and their children Clara, Gates and Trey); Mark Ehrhart (and his wife Gail and their children Marcus and Nicole); Matthew Ehrhart (and his wife Kandi and their daughter Jamie); and a daughter, Janice. Condolences may be expressed online at

Mark Rhyan, chief operating officer and executive vice president, passed away Dec. 25, 2013 from pancreatic cancer. He is survived by his wife, Karen, and his children, Corwin and Nicola. Rhyan started out as a CPA for Price Waterhouse, after managing a La Boulangerie, Inc. and Rhyan’s Restaurant with his brother, Dale Rhyan. From there, he returned to Price Waterhouse as tax manager, and then moved over as Sargento’s director of tax in 1992. A memorial service was held Jan. 1 at 4 p.m. in Plymouth High School’s auditorium.