National Pork Board, Des Moines, Iowa
Chief executive officer Chris Novak will step down after six years of service to the pork industry and the Pork Checkoff, to assume leadership of the National Corn Growers Association. During his tenure with the National Pork Board, Novak advanced the strategic goals of the Pork Checkoff, including the creation of the new Pork. Be inspired campaign. Novak also implemented innovative new programs in animal welfare, disease research, food chain communication and environmental sustainability.


Butterball, LLC, Garner, N.C.
Dr. Alice Johnson was promoted to senior vice president of food safety, animal care and government relations, responsible for managing the company’s food safety and quality programs and animal care and well-being programs as well as serve as the Butterball liaison on Capitol Hill. Johnson leverages more than 20 years of experience in the poultry industry, and is the driving force behind Butterball’s success in becoming the first turkey processor in the nation to become fully certified by the American Humane Association (AHA). Johnson also founded and leads Butterball’s independent Animal Care and Well-Being Advisory Council. Johnson joined Butterball in 2006 as vice president of food safety, government regulatory and public relations, where she worked alongside federal and state regulatory agencies to implement and manage compliance with government regulations.

Tyson Foods, Inc., Springdale, Ark.
Upon completion of Tyson Foods’ merger with The Hillshire Brands Co., Sean Connolly, former president and CEO of Hillshire Brands, announced his resignation to pursue other interests. In addition, a new leadership team was put in place that includes a mix of existing senior leaders from both companies. For example, Andy Callahan, former president of Hillshire’s retail business, will manage all retail consumer brands, including Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm, Sara Lee, Tyson frozen, value-added poultry and Wright brand bacon along with Hillshire’s Gourmet Food Group.

Sally Grimes, former chief innovation officer and president of Hillshire’s Gourmet Food Group, will lead Tyson’s innovation (including research and development), sales and global brand strategy teams to support all products sold through retail channels and maximize global growth. Donnie King, former president of prepared foods, customer and consumer solutions for Tyson Foods, will oversee Tyson’s poultry, fresh meats and non-branded prepared foods businesses as well as the combined Tyson Foods and Hillshire foodservice businesses. Those reporting to him include Steve Stouffer who will lead fresh meats; Noel White who will lead poultry; Wes Morris who will lead prepared foods operations; and Tom Hayes, currently chief supply chain officer for Hillshire Brands, who will lead the combined Tyson and Hillshire foodservice businesses. Ken Kimbro, who has led Tyson Foods’ human resources functions since 2001, will be transitioning into retirement. He will be replaced by Mary Oleksiuk, former chief human resources officer for Hillshire Brands. Malik Sadiq, senior vice president-Asia Pacific, will oversee Tyson International on an interim basis. He takes the place of James Young, who will be transitioning to the Cobb-Vantress breeding stock subsidiary in the coming months. 

Maple Leaf Foods, Canada
Dr. Stephanie Cottee
was named leader, animal wellness, responsible for leading the establishment of an integrated and comprehensive animal wellness program that crosses the company's pork and poultry operations and interface with its suppliers and stakeholders. This will encompass all areas that affect the health and welfare of animals, including nutrition, medication, housing, transportation and processing. Cottee brings significant academic and applied experience in animal behavior, research and welfare. Most recently, she was provincial programs advisor for Ontario Pork, where she managed the Canadian Quality Assurance and Animal Care Assessment program. In this capacity, she acted as the primary liaison between key pork industry stakeholders to develop, implement and improve swine production programs and animal welfare practices in Ontario. She was also instrumental in implementing a nationwide swine traceability program. Prior to her role with Ontario Pork, Cottee worked for the Chicken Farmers of Ontario, where she supported a range of projects, including on-farm biosecurity, health and safety and traceability. She has also worked as a research writer to support the development of two Codes of Practice for the National Farm Animal Care Council.

Groupe Danone, Paris, France
Chairman and CEO Franck Riboud will shift his chief executive officer duties to newly appointed Emmanuel Faber, with Riboud remaining as chairman. As a result, Bernard Hours, co-COO was terminated. This change in governance, which will take effect Oct. 1, reflects Riboud’s desire to concentrate on the key strategic issues facing Danone in the medium and long term and to lay the groundwork for a smooth succession. Since 1997, Faber has worked on the company’s executive committee, playing a critical role in making and deploying all major decisions concerning Danone.

Chobani, LLC, Norwich, N.Y.
Dr. Robert Post was named senior director for nutrition and regulatory affairs, helping drive the company’s mission of providing better food for more people. A leader in nutrition and food policy with more than 30 years of experience, Post served as a key nutrition advisor to First Lady Michelle Obama and collaborator on the White House Let’s Move! initiative, as well as the acting executive director for  USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, where he directed the evolution of the food pyramid to the MyPlate initiative. Most recently, he served as chief science officer for FoodMinds, where he advised major food companies on changes in the nutritional affairs environment.

Emmi Roth USA, Monroe, Wis.
Tim Omer joined as president and managing director, effective Sept. 15. Omer brings more than 25 years of specialty cheese industry experience to his new role, having previously served as the CEO and president of DCI Cheese Co., which was sold to Saputo in 2011.  

Sanderson Farms, Inc., Laurel, Mass.
Mike Tamimi was promoted to corporate production manager, where he will provide leadership and management for the company’s various production divisions, as well as programs aimed to achieve those divisions’ established operational objectives. Tamimi joined Sanderson Farms in 2008 as a production manager at the company’s Adel, Ga., production facility, where he was later named division manager in 2009. Prior to joining Sanderson Farms, he served as a complex manager for Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. Meanwhile, Heath Parker was appointed division manager of the company’s Adel production division, taking over for Tamimi, where he will be responsible for evaluating the effectiveness of broiler production operations by assessing the short and long-term results of production strategies and practices. Parker began his career with the company in March 2007 as a flock supervisor and has since served in several different capacities, including advanced trainee, broiler manager, production manager and his most recent position, advanced trainee III.

Lastly, Tommy Robertson was promoted to division manager at the company’s Kinston, N.C., production facility, responsible for evaluating the effectiveness of broiler production operations in his division, in addition to supervising and directing the activities of individual production departments. Robertson began his career with Sanderson Farms in 2009 as a production manager.

Ready Pac Foods, Inc., Irwindale, Calif.
Jay Ellis
was named chief sales officer,responsible for utilizing best practices to establish and meet sales targets and ensure the best possible service and effective communications with Ready Pac customers. Along with building and developing the Ready Pac sales team, Ellis will manage and direct the execution of sales plans and initiatives across all sales channels. Ellis comes from Nestlé USA, where he was responsible for the frozen business at Walmart. He also served as director of account development for the Gillette Co., where he was responsible for their entire club channel, value discount channel and all new accounts.


NACCO Materials Handling Group (NMHG), Greenville, N.C.
Brett Schemerhorn was appointed president, Big Trucks Americas, which was developed as part of a reorganization to enhance the company’s focus on meeting the specialized materials handling needs and challenges of end-users. Schemerhorn has nearly 20 years of experience in the materials handling industry. He joined NMHG as an inventory analyst in 1995, and worked his way through a series of increasingly significant positions, including vice president of national accounts and vice president of sales for Hyster Co. Most recently, he served as the vice president of marketing for NMHG, where he was responsible for the overall marketing of the Hyster, Yale and UTILEV brands.

Applied Robotics, Inc., Glenville, N.Y.
John Serfilippi was appointed president and interim CEO upon the retirement of Michael Quinn, effective Aug. 1. Quinn joined Applied Robotics after 45 years of senior management and technical experience at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory supporting the U.S. Naval Nuclear Program. Serfilippi maintains more than 30 years of corporate experience, including engineering, manufacturing and sourcing management, and until recently, was the director of operations.

Union Pacific, Omaha, Neb.
Kenneth Hunt was named vice president of transportation, succeeding Randy Blackburn, who will retire in 2015 after 40 years of service. Hunt will be responsible for leading transportation field operations across the company’s 32,000-mile system. He brings more than 30 years of railroad operating experience to his new role. Shane Keller was named vice president of network operations and Harriman Dispatching Center, succeeding Hunt. Keller will apply extensive safety and operations experience to his new role, leading UP’s centralized train dispatching organization and coordinating operations across the railroad. Richard Castagna was named regional vice president of transportation for the Western region, succeeding Keller, responsible for overseeing safety and operations for the western third of the company’s rail system, encompassing 8,900 employees and 10,500 miles of track. Rodney Doerr was named assistant vice president of safety, succeeding Castagna, responsible for leading the railroad's safety and operating practices.

Doerr joined Union Pacific's supply department in 1992, and moved to the operating department in 2004, holding various positions, including his current role as general superintendent of transportation services for the Los Angeles service unit. Roger Lambeth was named general superintendent of transportation services for the Los Angeles service unit, succeeding Doerr. Lambeth will be responsible for leading safety and transportation operations over 1,200-track miles in southern California. Jamal Chappell was named superintendent of transportation services for the Livonia service unit, succeeding Lambeth.

He will be responsible for safe operations of 800-track miles in Louisiana and Texas. Phillip Danner was named assistant vice president of engineering-track programs and will be responsible for track programs across Union Pacific's system. Neal Hathaway was named assistant vice president of engineering-signal, succeeding Danner. He will manage the strategy and direction of a safe, efficient signal/train control system to facilitate train movements. Lastly, Grant Janke was named assistant vice president of network and capital planning, responsible for leading the business planning process, managing capacity and overseeing the railroad's critical resources to ensure reliable transportation service and network fluidity.

Culinary Software Services, Boulder, Colo.
Wendy Bloechle was hired as vice president of marketing and business development. With over 20 years of experience in marketing management, product management and sales, Bloechle will lead strategic growth initiatives as well as the creation and execution of a revenue marketing strategy. She will also oversee all day-to-day marketing activities, including the development, implementation and management of advertising, collateral, direct marketing and e-marketing programs. Bloechle most recently served as senior vice president of marketing and sales for E Source, where she was responsible for delivering on the company's sales and marketing business plans. Prior to this position, she held leadership roles in product management and new product development.

American Crane & Equipment Corp., Douglassville, Pa.
Karen Norheim was promoted to executive vice president, responsible for overseeing all company operations with emphasis on continued expansion, growth and long-term strategy. Norheim joined the company in 2002 and has served as vice president of marketing and information technology, where she coordinated marketing activities and established network and computer systems. Prior to joining American Crane, Norheim worked in web development, web analysis and marketing management.