First Milk, UK
Mike Gallacher was appointed new chief executive, replacing Kate Allum. Gallacher has spent most of his career with Mars Inc., where he held a series of senior leadership positions, most recently as UK managing director for Mars Petcare. He led significant business turnarounds in Asia for Mars as well as working in regional leadership positions in both Asia Pacific and Europe. Prior to Mars, he was an Army Officer for eight years.

The Kroger Co., Cincinnati
Former Dillons president, Joe Grieshaber, was named president of Kroger's Columbus division, replacing Bruce Macaulay, who is retiring after 42 years with Kroger. Grieshaber began his career with Kroger in 1983 as a store management trainee, and has since served in a variety of leadership roles, including meat merchandiser, district manager and vice president of merchandising for the Columbus division. In 2003, he was named group vice president of perishables merchandising and procurement, and served in his current role as president of Dillons, a division of Kroger, since 2010.

Tyson Foods, Inc., Springdale, Ark.
Kathleen Bader resigned from her position as a member of the board of directors, effectively immediately.

TreeHouse Foods, Inc., Oak Brook, Ill.
Christopher Sliva, executive vice president and president of Bay Valley Foods, was promoted to executive vice president and COO. Sliva will continue to oversee all of the operating companies within Bay Valley Foods, in addition to directing the joint go-to-market sales activities of both the Bay Valley Foods and Flagstone Foods organizations. Sliva will also focus on building an organizational structure that enables TreeHouse to leverage the two distinct sales organizations of Bay Valley Foods and Flagstone Foods. Paul Lapadat, president and CEO of Flagstone Foods, is leaving the company. Lapadat has led Flagstone since its formation in 2010. Dennis Riordan will assume the role of interim president of Flagstone Foods, having led the integration efforts since the purchase of the company in July 2014.

ProYo Frozen Yogurt, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Luke Gernandt joined March 2 as vice president of sales. Gernandt came from Think Products, where he served as director of sales, special markets. Mike Fransz was named vice president of marketing, after consulting with the company since its launch in 2013. Also, Shari Mock joined as vice president of operations. Previously, she was chief operating officer of Promax Nutrition.


Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc., Greenwood Village, Colo.
Denny Marie Post
as promoted to the newly created position of executive vice president and chief concept officer, responsible for overseeing the company's franchise operations, marketing, menu innovation and implementation and brand transformation teams. Post joined Red Robin and August 2011, and serves as president of RRGB Restaurants Canada, Inc. Meanwhile, Lee Dolan was appointed senior vice president and chief marketing officer, responsible for driving all aspects of the company's guest engagement and optimizing the Red Robin brand in the casual dining industry. He will lead menu innovation and implementation, customer relationship management, social media, brand positioning, pricing, promotions and field marketing, as well as directing media strategy. Dolan brings more than 25 years of marketing and sales experience in the consumer packaged goods and retail industries. Before joining Red Robin, Dolan served as vice president of brand marketing for Cabela's, where he expanded the retailer's customer base with the "It's In Your Nature" marketing campaign, while also building and strengthening the brand marketing organization. He previously held sales, marketing and distributor vice president roles for 17 years at MillerCoors and Coors Brewing Co.

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc., Atlanta
John Merkin
was named chief operating officer, US, bringing nearly 30 years of expertise in restaurants and retail franchising to the Popeyes brand. Merkin will be responsible for company and franchise operations, new unit development and restaurant support services, effective March 30. Most recently, Merkin served as senior vice president of operations at IHOP, owned by DineEquity, Inc., where he was responsible for franchise services and operations support for more than 1,600 U.S. and international restaurants, with more than 350 franchisees. During his tenure, IHOP consistently delivered same-store sales increases while increasing franchisee engagement and guest service ratings. Prior to his years with IHOP, Merkin spent more than 20 years with InterContinental Hotels Group, PLC, and has held various positions, including senior vice president, brand management for Holiday Inn Brands.

Arby's Restaurant Group, Inc., Atlanta
John Bowie was promoted to chief operating officer, taking over for George Condos, who announced his retirement as president and COO. Condos, a restaurant veteran with more than 35 years of experience, was responsible for improving operating standards and the financial performance of company and franchise restaurants. Bowie, who will assume responsibilities as COO on March 30, joined Arby's in 2013. Previously, he was president of U.S. operations for Church's Chicken, and has held senior operations and marketing roles with Friendly's Ice Cream Corp. and Wendy's International, Inc. 



Primus Builders, Woodstock, Ga.
Matthew Hirschwas promoted to president. Hirsch continuously expands his knowledge of the cold storage industry by remaining active in trade associations such as the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA), International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses (IARW), International Association for Cold Storage Construction (IACSC), World Food Logistics Organization (WFLO), International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) and the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA). He also earned a spot on ENR Southeast’s list of the Top 20 Under 40. He maintains expertise in complete management of turn-key projects with attention to budget and critical deadlines.

Redline Detection LLC, Orange, Calif.
Blake Nadolny was named director of operations, responsible for overseeing manufacturing and plant operations using lean manufacturing principles and continuous improvement processes.Nadonly brings more than seven years of management experience, most recently serving as director of operations for Luxfer Gas Cylinders. Prior to this role, he was a lean manufacturing expert at Transtar Industries and a corporate cost reduction manager at Econolite Group, Inc.

Swisslog North America, Newport News, Va.
Daniel Bader
was named new chief financial officer and member of the Group Executive Committee, taking over for Christian Mäder, who announced plans to leave the company to become chief financial officer of the Artemis Group. Bader has been with Swisslog since September 2007. Previously, he worked as an auditor for PricewaterhouseCoopers. Meanwhile, Christian Baur will take over as chief operating officer, and transfer to Swisslog from the major shareholder KUKA AG, which acquired Swisslog late last year. Among other things, he will be responsible for operational excellence, M&A, purchasing, IT and designing collaboration with KUKA. Baur has been head of corporate development and M&A at KUKA since 2013. Michael Mohr is moving to Swisslog from Siemens AG, where he managed the global courier, express and parcel segment in the logistics and airport solutions division. Previously, he held other managerial functions in international companies operating in the logistics, material flow and engineering industry. Mohr will take over leadership from CEO Peter Hettich, who acted as interim president after the departure of Joe Doering.

Aramark, Philadelphia
Stephen Bramlage, Jr. was named executive vice president and CFO, succeeding Fred Sutherland, who will retire after nearly 35 years with the company, including 17 years as CFO. Bramlage assumes responsibility for leading the company's financial management and other related functions, including financial planning and reporting, accounting and tax, audit, treasury, mergers and acquisitions, investor relations, information technology, shared services and risk and safety. He joins Aramark from Owens-Illinois, Inc. (O-I), where he spent nine years serving as the company’s chief financial officer. He also served in other key management positions, including president of O-I Asia-Pacific and general manager of O-I New Zealand, as well as finance-related leadership jobs at PPG Industries, Inc., Eli Lilly and Ernst & Young, LLP.

Key Technology, Walla Walla, Wash.
H.J.K. (Eric) Geling
was appointed senior director of sales for the EMEIA region (Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa), tasked with sales and channel development and managing the sales team responsible for all regional sales activities. Prior to joining Key, Geling was general manager of North, Central and Eastern Europe operations for Heat and Control for eight years. Previously, he was division manager of the Florigo division at BMA Nederland and prior to that, was division manager at H&H Engineering. Geling brings 24 years of experience in the food processing industry.

Frequentz, Inc., Palo Alto, Calif.
Byron Lee was added as chief technical officer, tasked with helping the company provide cutting-edge technology and elevate insights for optimal supply chain performance. Previously, Lee was vice president of engineering at Abaca Technology, vice president of engineering at M-Factor Inc. and has held executive positions at LogLogic. Lee's experience ranges from applied research at the IBM Almaden Research Center, to start-ups at all stages in biotechnology, pharmaceutical, mobile, security and analytics. He has led diverse technical teams in hardware, software, firmware, data analysis, machine learning, infrastructure, middleware, UI/UX, manufacturing, quality assurance, TechOps, SysAdmin, DBAs, corporate IT, customer support and DevOps, and specializes in analytic products and technology, including data integration and ETL, relational and no-SQL databases, distributed systems, OLAP, data science and machine learning and visualization.

Invata Intralogistics, Inc., Conshohocken, Pa.
Ayman Labib was hired to lead the operations research group, tasked with working with clients to fully understand their operations and develop visualization and reporting tools that can be used in benchmarking the performance of those operations. Ayman joins Invata with 14 years of experience in industrial engineering and project management. During his tenure in the consulting industry, he managed, led and participated in over 90 operational improvement studies, 30-plus Greenfield facility designs and operational start-ups for more than 50 clients in the manufacturing, services and distribution arena. His expertise includes distribution analysis, layout planning, cost justification, software gap analysis, implementation coordination, lean manufacturing and simulation.

Novelis, Atlanta
Gary Yogan was appointed vice president, global can sales, effective April 1. Yogan will be responsible for innovation, sustainability and continued market growth of the company's high-recycled content evercan product. Yogan joined Novelis in 1984 as vice president and general manager, light gauge and specialties, North America, and has held a succession of senior sales and operational roles such as metallurgist and process engineer. Yogan assumes the role from Andy King, who is now vice president and general manager, can, Asia, bringing focused leadership to Novelis' participation in this large and increasingly complex marketplace. Meanwhile, Ganesh Panneer was named vice president and general manager, light gauge and specialties, North America, succeeding Yogan, effective Sept. 1. Panneer joined Novelis in 2011 and has held management roles in strategy and automotive sales before relocating to Europe in 2013. Succeeding Panneer in Europe is Markus Gartner, who was named vice president and general manager, specialties, Europe, effective Sept. 1. Gartner joined Novelis in 2012, and over the past three years, has held strategy and commercial roles in Europe, most recently as sales director, specialties.




Chet Giermak, who served as president and CEO of Eriez, Erie, Pa., from 1971-2003, passed away March 15.

Along with the respect he accorded every employee, Giermak also treated everyone with an uncommon degree of trust. For example, he ordered time clocks be removed “as a way of saying to our people that we trust them to arrive and leave at designated times.” He then removed all bells and buzzers that signaled start and quit times and coffee breaks “in Pavlovian fashion,” and eliminated the mandatory vacation during summer shutdown, opting to trust each individual to determine his or her own vacation schedule.

Giermak also introduced a variety of improvement programs—from first-aid instruction and blueprint reading classes to financial planning sessions and pre-retirement seminars. A free counseling program was put in place to help employees and their family members deal with estate and personal problems.  He initiated a 10-year program to first limit and then eliminate smoking. In 1986, the company began a policy of hiring only non-smokers, and later announced there would be a completely smoke-free environment at the company by July 1, 1992.

Giermak’s contributions extended far past company culture. During his time with Eriez, the company developed a formidable arsenal of problem-solving products for more than 80 industries. When Giermak joined Eriez in 1960, sales were $.8 million, and rose to $80 million in 2003, under his leadership. 

Giermak was also active in both industry organizations and community affairs. A past president of the Processing Equipment Manufacturers Association (PEMA), he also served as a director of the National Association of Manufacturers, was active in ACES (Americans for the Competitive Enterprise System) and the Sales and Marketing Executives Club of Erie. He was a board member and past president of both the Erie Conference on Community Development and the Manufacturers Association of Northwest Pennsylvania. He also served on the board of directors of Erie Press Systems and Parker White.

“Chet was a great man who has left an indelible mark on Eriez’ business, people and culture,” says Tim Shuttleworth, president and CEO. “His legacy lives on at Eriez every day.”

“Chet’s active, hands-on managerial style led him to walk through the offices and plant on a daily basis talking with as many employees as possible,” says Charlie Ingram, vice president of sales and marketing. “Able to address every employee by name, he maintained an ‘open door’ policy that encouraged any company employee to come in and discuss any issue with him at any time.”