International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association, Madison, Wis.
Michael Eardley was named president and CEO, succeeding Carol Christison who passed away in March, after leading the association for 31 years. Eardley comes from HEB Grocery Co., where he has worked for the past 13 years, most recently as director of deli, cheese and prepared foods. He also spent 29 years working for D&W Food Centers, where he was director of foodservice. He later became vice president of fresh foods, heading up the meat, produce, deli, bakery, seafood, floral and chef departments as well as leadership responsibilities for the central kitchen, meat plant, floral design and distribution facility and food safety departments.
Juice Tyme, Inc., Chicago
Mark Schacht was appointed vice president of business development, responsible for leading field sales and new business initiatives. Schacht brings more than 25 years of experience in the beverage industry, including 19 with PepsiCo. After five years of sales and marketing assignments in the United States, he progressed through multiple senior-level positions in the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, Asia and South America. In addition, his experience as a restaurant franchisee owner gives him valuable insight into the needs of Juice Tyme customers.
Dean Foods Co., Dallas, Texas
Tony Brooks, senior vice president of logistics, announced his resignation, effective Aug. 1, to assume a similar position at another publicly traded company. As a result, Craig McCutcheon was promoted to the senior vice president of logistics position. McCutcheon joined Flav-o-Rich Dairy, which was later acquired by Dean Foods, as a route driver in 1980. Most recently, he was vice president, continuous improvement and network optimization.
OSI Group, Aurora, Ill.
In the wake of the meat processor’s ongoing food safety scandal in its Husi Shanghai, China, operations, the company announced several personnel changes, effective immediately. Brent Afman, senior vice president and a direct corporate employee with the company for 20 years, is managing director of Asia Pacific with responsibility for China. Previously, Afman was responsible for operations in Australia, Taiwan and two U.S. facilities. Michael Boccio, vice president of further processed operations, is a 22-year OSI veteran and previously general nanager of China operations from 1992-1998. He has also been responsible for operations in Indonesia, the Philippines and has held various responsibilities in the United States. Boccio will be responsible for the further processing activities, including the operations of Beijing, Henan, produce, human relations and sales. Dr. B.K. Girdhar, vice president of quality assurance – China, has 25 years of OSI experience and will be responsible for quality systems in the further processing and produce businesses in China. The responsibilities of Sharon Birkett, currently vice president of North America quality, will be elevated to additionally include global quality compliance and auditing. Birkett will also be responsible for enhanced surveillance of quality compliance in China. Eric Wu, global financial internal audit, will be responsible for enhanced surveillance, as will Alice Wang, corporate compliance.
Mondelez International, Deerfield, Ill.
Mark Clouse was appointed chief growth officer, responsible for all of the key areas of the company's growth strategy. He will also oversee the teams responsible for corporate strategy, global categories, global marketing, global sales and research, development and quality. Meanwhile, Mary Beth West, executive vice president and chief category and marketing officer, will be leaving the company after a transition to pursue other interests.
Target Corp., Minneapolis
Seasoned retail and consumer products veteran Brian Cornell was named chairman of the board of directors and CEO, effective Aug. 12. Cornell joins Target with more than 30 years of experience at leading retail and consumer product companies. His top priorities will be accelerating the company’s performance and advancing Target’s omni-channel evolution.Cornell most recently served as chief executive officer of PepsiCo Americas Foods, where he oversaw the company’s global food business, including Frito-Lay North America, Quaker Foods and all of PepsiCo’s Latin America food and snack businesses. Before joining PepsiCo in 2012, Cornell served as president and CEO of Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Cornell also held the position of CEO at Michaels Stores, Inc., and prior to that, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Safeway.
M&M Meat Shops Ltd., Canada
In the midst of being acquired by private equity firm Searchlight Capital Partners, L.P., Andy O’Brien was appointed chief executive officer and Sam Florio as chief financial officer. O’Brien has more than 25 years of experience in the food industry. Most recently, he was chief executive officer of The WORKS Gourmet Burger Bistro, where he led the expansion of the company from six to 27 stores. Previously, O’Brien was president of Kelsey’s Bar & Grill and Montana’s Cookhouse, where he managed a franchise network of 200 stores across Canada. Florio was formerly the vice president of finance and business planning at Cara Operations Ltd., and has held a number of finance and business development roles at Mars, Inc.
Sino Agro Food, Inc., China
Alan Wong was appointed chief internal auditor, effective Aug. 1. Wong has more than 20 years of accounting and auditing experience, most recently practicing in Hong Kong as Alan Wong & Co., with experience in corporate accounting, auditing, restructuring, tax planning, corporate governance, controls and reporting systems. Wong is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants in the United Kingdom, the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries.
Darden Restaurants, Inc., Orlando, Fla.
Clarence Otis stepped down as chairman and CEO. As a result, the board of directors appointed the company's current independent lead director, Charles Ledsinger, Jr., as independent non-executive chairman of the board, effective immediately. Otis will remain a director of the company, but will not stand for re-election at the 2014 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Otis joined Darden in 1995, and was appointed chief executive officer in November 2004 and chairman of the board in November 2005. During his tenure, Darden has grown to become a large full-service restaurant company with a strong multi-brand portfolio and an industry-leading, cost-effective operating support platform. Ledsinger has been a member of the board of directors since 2005, and was appointed independent lead director in 2012. He brings significant real estate and franchising expertise, and a proven record of leading strong, profitable companies in the hospitality, restaurant and service industries. Ledsinger is the former vice chairman, president and CEO of Choice Hotels International.
Ray Spurgeon assumed the role of product manager-metal detection, responsible for overseeing and handling metal detection inquiries, OEM and major account growth, orders, product development and improvements, marketing, training and sales forecasts, among other functions. Since joining Eriez in 1995, Spurgeon has served in various capacities within the company. In his most recent role as accounts manager-inspection systems, he assisted with the release of Eriez’ Xtreme Metal Detector and was responsible for the development of new OEMs and major accounts for this line. Also, John Klinge was named market manager-sanitary, responsible for leading the sanitary team and developing and implementing selling strategies to expand the sales of all Eriez products into the pharmaceutical, chemical, plastics, food and packaging markets. Prior to joining Eriez, Klinge served as a captain in the U.S. Army.
Kansas City Southern, Kansas City, Mo.
Mike Naatz was promoted to senior vice president operations support and chief information officer. Naatz has 20 years of transportation experience. He joined KCSR in 2012 from USF Holland (a division of YRCW), where he served as president. Prior to that, he was chief customer officer and chief information and service officer for YRCW, as well as a variety of other IT and operations leadership positions for YRCW and USF. Meanwhile, Jeff Songer was promoted to senior vice president engineering and chief transportation officer. Songer joined the company in 2005, and was promoted to vice president and chief engineer in 2012. Prior to joining the company, he spent 12 years in the construction and finance industries. Lastly, Steve Truitt was promoted to vice president transportation and safety. Truitt has 31 years of railroad experience. He joined KCSR in 2011, and has also held operations positions with CSX and Union Pacific.
JLS Automation, York, Pa.
Packaging industry veteran John Kertesz was appointed Eastern region sales manager, responsible for the eastern United States and Canada as well as select major accounts. Kertesz brings with more than eight years of vision-guided robotics packaging experience.
Spartan Motors, Inc., Charlotte, Mich.
Thomas Schultz was appointed vice president of human resources, effective immediately. Schultz brings a wealth of experience and skills that include operations, human resources and talent development, as well as a background in managing large manufacturing facilities. He was previously employed by United Technologies, Energy Conversion Devices, United Solar Ovonics and American Axle and Manufacturing.
Watco Cos., Inc., Pittsburg, Kan.
Joe Via was named director of operations for the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad (WSOR), responsible for overseeing the rail’s operations and managing and directing the team in the areas of safety, finances, customer relations and team development. Via joined the company in 2012 as director of switching for the West region. He worked for a year with the Union Pacific Railroad and 13 years for Utah Railway, a Genesee & Wyoming railroad. Larry McCloud was appointed general manager for the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad (WSOR), responsible for the daily operations, specifically focusing on improving safety, productivity and efficiency. McCloud has 39 years of experience in the rail industry. Most recently, he served as general manager for the Grand Elk Railroad. Lastly, Chris Norman was named general manager for the Grand Elk Railroad (GDLK), responsible for the rail’s operations in conjuction with the Customer First Foundation Principles. He will manage, direct and provide insight and follow up, maintain safety culture, set expectations and lead and develop all team members. Norman started working for the Grand Elk in February as senior trainmaster.
Applied Robotics, Inc., Glenville, N.Y.
John Serfilippi was named president and interim CEO upon the retirement of Michael Quinn, effective Aug. 1. Quinn joined the company after 45 years of senior management and technical experience at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory supporting the U.S. Naval Nuclear Program. Serfilippi has more than 30 years of corporate experience, seven years with the company, and until recently, was the director of operations. He brings broad-based experience to the position, including engineering, manufacturing and sourcing management.
A M King, Charlotte, N.C.
Zach Brown joined as business development manager. Brown is a veteran of the design and construction industry, and will focus on the continual growth of the food processing and food distribution sectors.
IN MEMORIUM: CHRISTIAN KUNZLER, JR., KUNZLER & CO., INC.
Christian Kunzler, Jr., chairman of Kunzler & Co. Inc. passed away July 20 after a lengthy illness. Chris served as president of Kunzler, leading the Lancaster, Pa.-based deli meat and frank processor for 40 years. He has been chairman of the company’s board since 1999.
As sales outgrew Kunzler’s Lancaster plant, he purchased the Juniata Packing Co., Tyrone, Pa., in 1984. In 1992, he bought the Meadows Scrapple Co., Duncansville, Pa. Today, Kunzler’s products are sold worldwide.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Chris to the National Kidney Foundation, New York.