California Giant Berry Farms, Watsonville, Calif.
Kristin Kleiber was promoted to a newly established position of marketing and sales analyst, responsible for assisting with supporting the expansion of California Giant’s products and brand, developing and publishing retail newsletters and consumer blog content, analyzing product movement and sales trends and continuing to conduct analyses of market, customer and competitor data. Previously, she was a sales coordinator and has been blogging for the company, participating in recipe development, managing all in-house photography and assisting with seasonal promotional programs.  

TrustHouse Services Group, Charlotte, N.C.
Brian Poplin was named president and CEO. Dr. Poplin comes from Medical Staffing Network Healthcare, LLC, where he has served as president and CEO since April 2013. He was also with Aramark Healthcare Technologies for 19 years. Michael Bailey, co-founder, will remain chairman.

The Kroger Co., Cincinnati
Marlene Stewart was promoted to president of the company's Dillons division, replacing Joe Grieshaber, who was recently named president of Kroger's Columbus, Ohio, division. Stewart served as vice president of merchandising at QFC, but began her career with Kroger in 1977 as a bagger. She went on to serve in many leadership roles, including store and district management, training and merchandising. In 2005, Stewart was named director of operations for Kroger's Mid-Atlantic division before being named vice president of operations in 2007. She was named to her current role in 2011.

Dole Food Co., Inc., Westlake Village, Calif.
Johan Linden was named president and COO, taking over for C. Michael Carter, who announced his retirement. Linden brings a breadth of global and day-to-day operational experience that help the company focus more on creative initiatives and strategic decision-making.

Maple Leaf Foods, Canada
Dr. Jeffrey Gandz and Diane McGarry announced plans to retire from the company's board of directors. Gandz has served as a director of Maple Leaf Foods since 1999, and is a member of the Corporate Governance Committee and the Environment, Health and Safety Committee. McGarry has been a director at Maple Leaf since 2005, and chairs the Audit Committee and serves on the Environment, Health and Safety Committee. Meanwhile, Ron Close was nominated to join the board as an independent director. Close has had a distinguished career in Canadian broadcasting and media. He served as president and CEO of Pelmorex Media (The Weather Network); president of Bell New Ventures, which included overseeing Sympatico-MSN and was also involved in a start-up as the co-founder and CEO of Netcom Canada. He has been a director on several boards, including Pelmorex, The Globe and Mail, Canada Media Fund, CTVglobemedia and MaRS Innovation.

Allen Harim, LLC, Seaford, Del.
Quality control expert Todd Beal was named director of quality and food safety, responsible for ensuring that a consistent quality product meets or exceeds customer expectations and all regulatory standards. Beal joins the company with an accomplished track record within the food safety industry. He has served in a variety of capacities over the past 25 years, having started his career at Perdue Farms. Most recently, he served as director of food safety and quality assurance for Hain Pure Protein.

Clear Springs Foods, Buhl, Idaho
Nick Bahr and Jeff Faflik joined the sales force as regional sales managers for the Western and Midwest regions, respectively.Bahr will partner with sales and marketing to build foodservice business in the western portion of the United States. He was previously employed by Rich Products as a key account manager and by Red Bull Distribution Co. as an account sales manager. Faflik will manage the company’s foodservice business in the Midwest. He previously employed by Costanzo’s Bakery as a regional sales manager and by Sysco as a marketing associate.


The Greenbrier Cos., Lake Oswego, Ore.
Kelly Williams was elected to the company's board of directors. Her credentials include over 15 years' experience in the private equity industry. Currently, Williams is president of GCM Grosvenor Private Markets, and a member of its investment committee and management committee. Previously, Williams was a managing director and the group head of the customized fund investment group of Credit Suisse's private equity group, and was an executive director of Prudential's private equity group, where she co-founded the Customized Fund Investment Group in 1999. 

Smartcool Systems Inc., Canada
Paul Gregory, chief executive officer of SmartACR, an HVAC and refrigeration equipment distributor, joined Smartcool as vice president of sales. This move happens after Smartcool acquired SmartACR. Gregory brings 20 years of experience building and selling to logistics, telecommunications and software and energy technology providers. He will also transform the company’s HVAC refrigeration systems into the age of the Internet of Things to reduce costs, pollution and risk for retailers nationwide. Additionally, George Huston accepted the role of director of sales in California, responsible for all direct sales. Huston intends to build a team of 7-10 sales representatives by 2016. Previously, he was an entrepreneur and CEO of two manufacturing companies.

Bunting Magnetics Co., Newton, Kans.
Bob Castaneda was named Midwest territory manager for the food industry, with sales responsibilities for Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. His experience includes addressing safety issues when handling and processing food and grain.

Mobitor, Walnut Creek, Calif.
Lifestyle Solutions CEO Sean Pathiratne was appointed to the board of directors, allowing the company to evolve its solutions to serve the broader retail industry. Pathiratne is focused on serving retail companies across the global supply chain by instituting enterprise platforms and e-commerce marketplaces to enable exchange of products and services.

Object Solutions Software AG, Switzerland
Mike Chapter was appointed business consultant for the company’s new Chicago office, responsible for U.S. business and customer support. He is a seasoned culinary and business professional with more than 15 years of experience in the food industry, including consumer packaged goods, project management, hospitality management and culinary training. Previously, he worked with large food and ingredient manufacturers. 

Dematic, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Fernando Meneses joined the Mexico City Regional Office as a senior operations planner and consultant, responsible for consulting services and operations planning within Mexico. He brings 15 years of experience in the material handling industry, including a consulting role at Miebach as well as integrated system design and sales experience with SSI Schaeffer and Intelligrated.

Florida Freezer L.P., Fort Myers, Fla.
Mackelvie “Mack” Jno-Chares will take on the general manager role, bringing over 25 years of experience in international shipping, warehouse operations and supply chain management from companies such as Nippon Express, Home Depot, Starbucks and Chick-Fil-A. Jno-Chares will be responsible for business development, client satisfaction, facility management and personnel enhancement. Meanwhile, Aaron Danowit assumed the operations manager role, responsible for the day-to-day operations of the warehouse, delivery routes and client service. He has over 12 years’ experience in transportation and warehousing, most recently with Blue Bell Creameries.

WAGNER Fire Safety Inc., UK
Rainer Fano
was named the business unit manager America, concentrating on market development in core markets like storage and intralogistics. Fano spent 17 years as a CEO for several companies in the medical engineering industrial sector. He then changed into the fire protection sector. For the past 10 years, he worked for Siemens, responsible for fire safety and security products in the Asia Pacific region. He then became chief executive officer of Siemens Buildings Technologies in Saudi-Arabia and South Africa, and began working for WAGNER end of last year.

SubZero Constructors, Inc., Los Angeles
Chris Bye was named manager of the company’s new Portland office

CDF Corp., Plymouth, Mass.
Jay Waltz joined as vice president of sales, responsible forcreating and implementing overall sales operations strategies. One of Waltz’s primary initiatives will be to identify and deliver revenue opportunities for the company’s new products. Additionally, he will be responsible for sales methodology and process, sales forecasting and optimizing the customer and partner sales experience. Waltz comes to CDF with more than 30 years of experience in sales and leadership. Previously, he served as vice president of sales at Fulflex, Inc., where he helped global account teams achieve significant growth in revenue and market share. Waltz also co-developed and implemented the custom mixing division at Fulflex. Prior to Fulflex, he was the VAR channel sales director at Global Knowledge, where he was responsible for developing the market for the OnDemand Software product line.


Scott Bittner, owner of Bittner’s Meat Co., Eureka, Ill., was killed April 6 when a small plane carrying seven passengers went down in Central Illinois while returning from the NCAA basketball championship game in Indianapolis, Ind., according to a Chicago Tribune article.

Bittner’s Meat sells muscle meat products, including beef, pork, lamb, elk, venison and buffalo steaks and roasts, and sources from local organic pastures.

Bittner is survived by his wife and two children.


James McVey, former chairman and CEO of Kraft Foods’ Oscar Mayer brand, passed away March 23 from Parkinson's disease at his Rancho Mirage, Calif., residence.

McVey's entire 35-year career was devoted to Oscar Mayer. He was named Oscar Mayer's chief executive in 1985 and chairman in 1991 before retiring in January 1992. Besides a range of civic leadership, McVey was chairman of the American Meat Institute in 1991. He also coordinated events celebrating the re-commissioned battleship USS Wisconsin, recommended that Oscar Mayer buy the Louis Rich Co. to add turkey to its product line and oversaw the development of the Lunchables brand.

Under McVey's leadership, Oscar Mayer grew to annual sales of more than $2.3 billion, 20 plants and more than 12,000 employees.

Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Eleanor Lauder "Weezie" McVey; daughters Margaret Lynne McVey Sanders and husband Stephen of Dallas, Catherine Anne "Cathy" McVey and Jane McVey Bosch and husband Wayne; son, Mark Lauder McVey and wife Samantha; brother, Robert Donald McVey and wife Jo; grandchildren William McVey Sanders, Elizabeth Wright Sanders, Haley Louise Bosch and Jack Henry Bosch, Emerson Grace McVey and Avery Lauder McVey. He was the son of the late Richard Wright McVey and Margaret Foster McVey and brother of the late Richard Foster McVey.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to Donation Processing, The Michael J. Fox Foundation, P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5041; by phone at 800-708-7644; or online at