U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Washington, D.C.
Karla Thieman
was appointed chief of staff, a position that was recently vacated by Brian Baenig. Thieman joined USDA in April 2014, serving as a senior policy advisor to Secretary Tom Vilsack, and most recently, as chief of staff to Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden. Prior to joining USDA, Thieman worked for the Senate Agriculture Committee for more than five years, serving under three Chairs of the Committees. As senior professional staff on the Agriculture Committee, she handled a portfolio that included livestock, food safety, dairy, energy and climate change.


Sargento Foods, Inc., Plymouth, Wis
Cindy Mattingly
joined as a customer shopper marketing manager, collaborating with marketing, sales, insights and category management partners to develop insight-based shopper marketing plans. Previously, Mattingly developed activation plans for brands such as Coffee-mate, Coffee-mate Natural Bliss and Lean Cuisine. Before that, she held brand and activation management positions at Geometry Global, Ryan Partnership, Clean Control Corp. and Procter & Gamble.

Westby Cooperative Creamery, Westby, Wis.
Travis Anderson was hired as lab supervisor, tasked with performing daily lab analysis and quality assurance protocols in compliance with state and federal food safety and food manufacturing regulations. The lab also provides new product research and development services for retail, foodservice and dairy ingredient customers. Previously, Anderson was assistant plant manager at Premier Meats (now Driftless Meats), and for nearly 10 years, owned and operated 7 Rivers Sausage, a meat processing company. 

Litehouse Foods, Sandpoint, Idaho
Brent Carr was named senior vice president of sales and marketing, responsible for leading the company’s fast-paced growth in the refrigerated dressings, dips, cheese and herbs categories. Carr is a 30-year industry veteran who spent the first 15 years of his career at Colgate-Palmolive. He then expanded his skill set with deep experience in the produce industry, working at Fresh Express for 10 years leading their national account teams. Carr joined Litehouse in 2009 to help build the value-added channel and was promoted to vice president of sales in 2012.

Target Corp., Minneapolis
Anu Gupta was appointed senior vice president, operational excellence, responsible for leading a team in simplifying and optimizing processes across the business. She previously served as vice president for process and profit improvement at Michaels Stores, Inc., where she led the improvement of a variety of core business processes, including inventory productivity, product delivery lead times and store operations. Prior to Michaels, Gupta held an operational leadership role at Safeway, Inc., responsible for creating strategic retail services initiatives. She joins Target from Hellman & Friedman, where she was senior operating executive with oversight for improving business processes and productivity across its portfolio companies.

The Kroger Co., Cincinnati
Scot Hendricks was promoted to president of Kroger's Delta division, which operates stores in Western Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Arkansas and Missouri. Hendricks replaces Tim Brown, who was recently named president of Kroger's Cincinnati/Dayton division. Hendricks began his career with Kroger in 1981 in the Nashville, Tenn., division management training program. He was named grocery buyer in 1983, and served in several leadership roles in the Atlanta division from 1986-2000. In 2000, he was promoted to Kroger's general office, where he served in several roles, including vice president of grocery merchandising and procurement. In 2011, he was promoted to vice president of merchandising in the company's Cincinnati/Dayton division, where he served until he was appointed to his current role as vice president of operations in 2014.


Romacorp, Inc., Orlando, Fla.
The parent company of Tony Roma’s and TR Fire Grill named Stephen Judge as new president and CEO. Judge joins Romacorp with more than 25 years of experience in the restaurant and hospitality industries. Before coming to Romacorp, Judge was president of Bonefish Grill. Previous to that, Judge was president of Seasons 52, vice president of food and beverage at MGM Grand and vice president of operations at Rosewood Hotels and Resorts.

McDonald’s Corp., Oak Brook, Ill.
Effective Oct. 1, David Fairhurst will assume the newly expanded role of corporate executive vice president, chief people officer, tasked with overseeing global human resources and global training. Fairhurst replaces Rich Floersch, who will retire effective Dec. 31. Fairhurst joined McDonald's UK in 2005 as vice president of people, and was promoted to chief people officer of northern Europe in 2007. In 2011, he was appointed chief people officer of Europe. Earlier this year, he was named corporate senior vice president, international human resources and strategy, with responsibility for global design and systems. Additionally, Chris Kempczinski was appointed corporate executive vice president of strategy, business development and innovation, effective Oct. 26. In his role, he will oversee all aspects of strategy development, planning, innovation and new concepts to drive growth for the company. Kempczinski was previously executive vice president of growth initiatives and president of international at Kraft Foods Group, where he was responsible for Kraft's international business. Kempczinski also oversaw Kraft's overall corporate growth agenda with responsibility for the company's strategy, mergers and acquisitions, innovation, insights and breakthrough R&D functions. He joined Kraft Foods in 2008 as senior vice president for U.S. grocery, and in 2012 was promoted to president of Kraft Canada. Prior to joining Kraft, Kempczinski spent eight years at PepsiCo, worked for The Boston Consulting Group advising Fortune 100 companies and was a brand manager at Procter & Gamble. Lastly, Jano Cabrera will join the company as corporate senior vice president of U.S. communications, global media and public relations, effective Oct. 15. Cabrera served as worldwide vice president at Burson-Marsteller, where he advised Fortune 500 companies, governments and non-profit organizations, often focusing on brand protection and reputation campaigns. Prior to that, Cabrera held several senior communication positions on presidential campaigns, the White House and in the U.S. Congress. 



Intelligrated, Cincinnati
Dave Schmit was appointed senior vice president, corporate intellectual property, responsible for associated legal policies, strategies and processes to protect the company’s innovations and to grow its legal footprint. Schmit brings more than 30 years of intellectual property law experience. He has served as a close legal advisor to senior management since Intelligrated’s inception, guiding initial intellectual property legal strategy, defending trade secrets and representing the company in other commercial and technical transactions. Before joining Intelligrated, Schmit served as a senior partner at Frost Brown Todd, LLC. His career includes arguing nearly 100 intellectual property cases, including a major patent case before the United States Supreme Court.

TECSYS Inc., Canada
Mark Hawksley was named vice president global services and strategic initiatives for the company’s new European headquarters. Hawksley brings more than 30 years' experience in the supply chain management industry. He has been with TECSYS for more than 10 years, most recently as vice president professional services. 

Ball Corp., Broomfield, Colo.
Michael Feldser, senior vice president and chief operating officer, metal food and household products packaging, announced plans to retire at the end of 2015 after nearly a decade with the company. James Peterson was named the successor. Peterson came to Ball in 2006 as part of operations acquired from U.S. Can Corp. Since joining Ball, Peterson led North American packaging innovation and marketing efforts. In his most recent role as vice president of marketing and corporate affairs, he led the transformation of Ball's sustainability and community programs and aligned Ball's communications across the globe.

Norfolk Southern Corp. (NS), Norfolk, Va.
President and CEO James Squires was named chairman of the board of directors, effective Oct. 1, taking over for Charles “Wick” Moorman, who is stepping down as executive chairman of the board of directors. Moorman will serve as senior advisor to the CEO through Dec. 31. Squires joined NS in 1992, and has served in numerous law, finance and administration positions before being named president in 2013 and CEO in March 2015. Mark Manion, executive vice president and chief operating officer, announced his intent to retire, effective Feb. 1, 2016. As COO, Manion promoted improvements in the railroad’s ability to capture, synthesize and report metrics that reflect the network’s timeliness and reliability. He has supported research and implementation of groundbreaking initiatives such as the Unified Train Control System and Movement Planner to reduce traffic congestion, LEADER technology to boost fuel efficiency and locomotive rebuilds to reduce operating costs. He led the implementation of a behavior-based management approach that develops leadership in employees at every level, and championed new approaches to workplace and operational safety. Manion joined NS in 1975 as a management trainee. He has served in a range of operations positions, including trainmaster, superintendent, general manager, vice president mechanical and senior vice president transportation operations before in 2004, being named executive vice president operations with responsibility for transportation, mechanical, engineering, safety and environmental. As a result, Michael Wheeler, executive vice president, was named chief operating officer, following Manion’s retirement. Before assuming COO duties, Wheeler will serve as senior vice president operations through Jan. 31, 2016. Wheeler, who has served as vice president engineering since 2012, joined NS in 1985 as a research engineer. Additionally, Cindy Earhart will become executive vice president administration and chief information officer, assuming the IT responsibility following Deborah Butler’s retirement. Earhart joined NS in 1985 as supervisor subsidiary accounting. She has served in key accounting and information technology positions before being named vice president human resources in 2007 and executive vice president administration in 2013. Lastly, Philip Merilli was named vice president engineering, responsible for the construction, maintenance and inspection of the rail network’s tracks, bridges and signal systems. Merilli, who has served as assistant vice president maintenance of way and structures since 2013, joined NS in 1981 as an assistant roadmaster.

Johnson Controls, Milwaukee, Wis.
Simon Davis was appointed vice president, chief human resources officer, succeeding Susan Davis, who will continue as executive vice president, driving efforts to build corporate leadership in the company's Shanghai headquarters. Since joining Johnson Controls in 1997, Davis has held a broad range of human resources leadership roles across multiple business units, spending nearly 10 years in automotive experience in the United Kingdom and Michigan offices, and five years as the human resources leader for power solutions. In 2011, he was appointed vice president talent strategy and organizational excellence, responsible for the establishment of global centers of excellence and shared services. Davis has most recently served as assistant human resources officer since May 2014.

Mekitec, Irving, Texas
Sergio Sotres
joined the x-ray inspection manufacturer, in charge of the company’s new Mexico site. Sotres maintains over 20 years’ experience of supplying food safety x-ray systems in the Latin Americas. He comes from Eagle Product Inspection, and before that, he was with Smiths Detection.



Dr. Joost Brasz, engineering manager, aero thermos for Danfoss Tubocor Compressors, Tallahassee, Fla., passed away Sept. 2. Brasz was recognized by the HVAC industry as a leader and expert aerodynamic engineer in turbomachinery and centrifugal compressor technology. He was a frequent author and speaker at conferences, including the Purdue International Compressor Engineering Conference. He received numerous patents in the field, including for the newest Danfoss Turbocor compressor technology, the innovative VTT Series of compressors with IntraFlow technology.