Cold foods industry experiences management changes
Organto Foods Inc., Canada
Andrés Barresi will be joining the produce provider as chief operating officer, effective March 21, replacing Arturo Bickford, who will be stepping down, effective immediately. Barresi maintains extensive experience in the agricultural and foods industry in the public and private sectors. He started his career in the family business, a large producer of organic fruits in Patagonia, Argentina. He worked as a consultant for McKinsey & Co. in the energy and food sectors, and later joined Hermes Management Consulting, where he became a partner and held responsibilities in a number of countries in the Americas. He has spent the last few years working in M&A and private equity for Invixx Investimentos.
Target Corp., Minneapolis
Arthur Valdez was named executive vice president, chief supply chain and logistics officer, responsible for leading the company’s supply chain transformation, including planning, distribution and transportation. Valdez is a seasoned supply chain leader with extensive experience in both direct-to-consumer and direct-to-store operations. He comes from Amazon, where he spent the last 16 years holding down leadership positions across the company’s global and domestic supply chain, including transportation, fulfilment and logistics. Most recently, he was Amazon’s vice president of operations focused on the company’s international supply chain expansion. In addition, during his 20-plus year retail career, he also has held positions with Walmart and Kmart.
Muffin Town, a division of J.S.B. Industries, Chelsea, Mass.
The provider of fresh frozen bakery products hired James Dundon as plant engineer, responsible for managing all mechanics, construction, utility functions and staff operations. Dundon started out as a maintenance technician with Klosterman Baking Co., and worked his way up to become the plant engineer.
George Weston Ltd., Canada
Galen Weston was named a director and non-executive deputy chairman. Weston is executive chairman and president of Loblaw Cos. Ltd. and non-executive chairman of Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust. He will continue to lead Loblaw with no change in responsibilities. W. Galen Weston will remain as executive chairman. Meanwhile, Alannah Weston and Christi Strauss were named directors, taking over for John Lacey and Anthony Graham, both of whom will retire, effective May 10. Weston is deputy chair of Selfridges Group, and Strauss served as president of General Mills Canada and subsequently as president and CEO of Cereal Partners Worldwide, a joint venture between General Mills and Nestlé. And, president Paviter Binning also assumed the CEO role.
Clearwater Seafoods Inc., Canada
Teresa Fortney will be appointed vice president finance and CFO, effective March 24, taking over for Bob Wight, who announced plans to retire later this year after 28 years with the company. Fortney is a chartered professional accountant with over 29 years of senior financial leadership experience in the consumer foods industry, working with companies such as Maple Leaf Foods, Schneider Foods and McCormick. Most recently, she was the chief financial officer of Wescast, where she further honed her investor relations, public markets, international and M&A expertise in a company that was publicly traded until its sale to Chinese interests in early 2013.Wight will assume project leadership responsibilities for the integration of Macduff Shellfish, the UK-based shellfish harvester acquired by Clearwater in October 2015.
Dean Foods Co., Dallas, Texas
Director Hector Nevares will not to stand for re-election to the board of directors. Nevares joined the board of directors in 1994, and served as a vice chairman of the board from 1996-2001. He is currently a member of, and until his retirement, will continue to serve on, the board's Audit Committee and Nominating/Corporate Governance Committee.
Unilever US, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, N.J.
Dr. Marijn Dekkers was appointed chairman of Unilever N.V. and Unilever PLC, succeeding Michael Treschow, who will retire effective in April. Dekkers is currently chief executive officer of Bayer AG, and will step down from this role at the end of April. Treschow will retire after having served nine years as chairman. He joined the Unilever boards in 2007, and was the first independent, non-executive chairman of Unilever. In addition, Hixonia Nyasulu will be retiring from the Unilever boards as non-executive chairman after having served for nine years.
D’Artagnan, Union, N.J.
Michael Santillo was named director of category of management, responsible for a 7-person team that will drive sales from a marketing perspective. Santillo served D’Artagnan as both a sales manager and a territory manager in his previous positions. Padraic Doherty will be taking on the role of senior vice president of sales, overseeing the entire foodservice sales team. In his 11 years at D’Artagnan, Doherty built teams in New England, Westchester, Connecticut, Texas and Chicago. Lastly, Joelle Moles will be taking on the role of vice president of operations, assuming primary responsibility for all three of D’Artagnan’s warehouses. Moles joined D’Artagnan five years ago as a sales representative. During her tenure, she also held positions as Midwest sales manager, operations manager and Chicago general manager, where she helped grow D’Artagnan’s business in the Midwest. All three executive changes will be effective May 1.
Rave Restaurant Group, Inc., Dallas, Texas
Restaurant industry veteran Bob Bafundo was named new president of Pizza Inn, an international pizza chain and flagship brand, responsible for all Pizza Inn operations, marketing and training functions across the company. Bafundo has over 30 years of restaurant experience. He most recently served as president of Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill, a fast-casual restaurant, and worked through the ranks of single and multi-unit operations with restaurants such as KFC, Tin Star Southwest Grill, Back Yard Burgers and Rax Restaurants. Bafundo built the franchise program for Garbanzo and also led company operations, including implementing many of the systems that were critical for the emerging brand. He also served as a franchisee for Tin Star Southwest Grill and an area developer for Sport Clips.
Captain D's LLC, Nashville, Tenn.
The fast casual seafood restaurant named Steve Bielewicz as senior director of franchise development and Jennifer Benjamin as director of franchise development, both responsible for driving the company's franchise expansion nationwide. A franchising industry veteran, Bielewicz previously worked for franchising and development groups of several major companies, including Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Denny's, Quiznos and most recently, Massage Envy, as well as supported corporate development with Eckerd Drug stores. Prior to joining Captain D's, Benjamin most recently served as director of franchise development for Huddle House, Inc., where she handled the restaurant's single- and multi-unit franchising efforts across the Southeast territory and helped drive growth by more than 350%. Meanwhile, Jeff White will serve as the new director of real estate, assisting franchisees with real estate site selection, and developing and implementing market planning for the company's national expansion. With more than 20 years of experience in the real estate industry, previously served as the director of franchise real estate for Little Caesars, and most recently, as the real estate manager of the Krystal Co., where he helped expand its presence throughout the Southeast.
NewAge Industries, Southampton, Pa.
Stephen McDevitt was promoted to inside sales manager, filling the role vacated by Annabelle Black, who retired in December 2015 after 29 years with the company. McDevitt will supervise a team of inside sales representatives covering both NewAge and AdvantaPure product lines, and will continue to service some of the company’s most critical accounts. A 13-year team member, McDevitt was hired in 2002 as a technical sales representative and later promoted to a similar position specializing in products from NewAge’s biopharma and single-use division. Last year, McDevitt was named assistant inside sales manager.
Seegrid, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Tim Spang joined as the vice president of operations, responsible for overseeing supply chain operations and all aspects of the production, assembly and fulfillment process. A senior executive with extensive experience in international business, product development and operations, Spang will play an integral role in expanding Seegrid’s manufacturing capacity and guiding company strategy. And, Sean Stetson was named director of product development, bringing more than 40 years of collective experience in technology innovation and business operations. Stetson is an expert in vision systems and mobile technology, and will play a major role in leading Seegrid’s product management and strategy, with a focus on vehicle and vision system hardware and software. Previously, Stetson was the director of mobile imaging in Google’s advanced technology and projects (ATAP) division.
Bunting Magnetics Co., Newton, Kan.
Robert Bunting was promoted to general manager, magnet materials division. Throughout high school, Bunting worked at the company’s headquarters in both manufacturing and engineering. Soon after graduation, he became a member of the inside sales team, then an outside sales representative for the standard product group, where he was recognized as one of the company’s top sales producers. He was most recently product manager for the metal detection product group, where he assumed all responsibility for sales and profitability for metal detection equipment.
Global ID Group, Inc., Fairfield, Iowa
Mario Battaglia joined the company as managing director, international, tasked with overseeing the company’s global certification business as well as its international offices in Brazil, Germany and the United Kingdom. Battaglia spent over 13 years within the testing, inspection and certification industry, most recently with SAI Global as director of global business development. Previously, he held various national and international management positions within Philips.