Food Marketing Institute (FMI), Arlington, Va.
Susan Borra was named chief health and wellness officer and executive director of the FMI Foundation. Formerly the head of FMI’s communications department, Borra’s background as an expert in food, nutrition and health will provide content and strategic oversight of FMI’s and the foundation’s health and wellness initiatives. Borra came to FMI in 2010 from Edelman, where she served for two years as executive vice president of nutrition, food and wellness. Prior to Edelman, she was executive vice president at the International Food Information Council (IFIC), responsible for communications and public affairs strategies, management of nutrition and food safety issues and the development of consumer education initiatives and programs. In the last two years of her 16 years at IFIC, Borra also served as president of the IFIC Foundation. A registered dietitian, Borra is a former president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and former chairman of the Academy Foundation. In a significant advancement to develop and strengthen relationship with members, FMI also named Lucas Darnell as director of the Eastern half of the United States, and Cynthia Brazzel as director of the Western region. Darnell has been a director of member services for four years, coming to FMI from the American Frozen Foods Institute (AFFI), where he dedicated efforts across multiple functions in the organization, including industry and legislative affairs and member relations. In conjunction with AFFI, Darnell was also the interim executive director of the National Frozen Pizza Institute. Brazzel is a skilled public affairs and marketing communications professional who has worked with and for Fortune 500 corporations. Beginning her career with the Kellogg Co. in consumer affairs and eventually directing government relations at the state and federal levels, Brazzel went on to become a communication and public affairs consultant, representing clients in the food, beverage and consumer products sector. Brazzel has served the last several years as a board member for Health Talents International, coordinating volunteers and translating medical services, healthcare and education to an underserved population in rural Guatemala. FMI also made the following promotions: Stephanie Barnes as chief regulatory officer and general counsel; Ashley Eisenbeiser as director, food and product safety programs; Andrew Harig as senior director, sustainability, tax and trade; Rob Rosado as senior director, food and health policy; and Hannah Walker as senior director, technology and nutrition policy.
Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT), Jacksonville, Fla.
Paul Soares was appointed new senior director, facilities development, tasked with directing the port’s marine and landside infrastructure development and coordinating engineering and construction operations, including all new construction and capital improvements. In addition, he will coordinate with federal, state and local agencies involved in the management and completion of JAXPORT’s major growth projects.Soares is a licensed professional engineer, specializing in construction and facilities management as well as contracting and conservation. Most recently, Soares served as the assistant superintendent of operations for Duval County Public Schools, where he oversaw a number of departments for the district, including transportation, maintenance, facilities construction, purchasing, risk management and logistics.
Flexible Packaging Association (FPA), Annapolis, Md.
Dani Diehlmann waspromoted to director of communications, responsible for key FPA communications tools such as the website, the weekly Industry News Bulletin and press releases and overseeing the annual FPA Achievement Awards Competition. Diehlmann joined FPA in 2001 as an administrative assistant, and was most recently director of membership services, events and digital communications.
International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C.
Heather Soubra was promoted to director, industry relations and special projects, tasked with creating and running a speakers bureau for IDFA subject matter experts, developing new marketing approaches, establishing a new direction for the NextGEN Dairy Network and the Legacy Club and facilitating collaboration with members, key stakeholders and others on initiatives that advance the mission of IDFA. Soubra joined IDFA in 2008 as executive assistant to Connie Tipton, president and CEO. Her most recent position was director of executive office and special projects.
AIB International, Manhattan, Kan.
John Riesch, president and CEO of Lesaffre Yeast Corp. and Red Star Yeast Co., was elected chairman of the board of trustees, providing leadership for the board and guidance for the direction of AIB International as a whole. Riesch has served on the AIB International Board of Directors and Executive Committee for the past seven years. Riesch maintains more than 30 years of experience in the food and baking industry, with the majority of his career in yeast and corn refining. He previously held executive positions at Minn-Dakota Yeast Co., Anheuser Busch’s industrial products division and Edwards Baking Co. Outgoing president Don Thriffiley, Jr. will serve as vice chairman. Thriffiley is a principal for KAT Management Group, LLC, and he recently retired as senior vice president of human resources for Flowers Foods, Inc.
SUPERVALU INC., Minneapolis
Veteran wholesale executive James Weidenheimer was named to the newly-created position of executive vice president, corporate development and chief innovation officer, effective April 25. In this position, Weidenheimer will work closely with SUPERVALU’s wholesale and retail teams to develop and execute on market opportunities, including new business development, cross-channel merchandising and promotions and integration of logistical/delivery solutions for key customers. Weidenheimer’s background includes serving as senior vice president of corporate development for C&S Wholesale Grocers from 2008 to January 2016. Prior to C&S, he served as vice president and CFO for the wholesale division of Richfood Holdings. Meanwhile, Bruce Besanko, the executive vice president and COO, added the responsibilities of chief financial officer, a position he held from August 2013 to October 2015. In this new role, Besanko will continue to oversee SUPERVALU’s five regional retail banners, its merchandising, marketing, pharmacy and finance functions and add oversight of SUPERVALU’s human resources function. Additionally, Susan Grafton will serve as senior vice president, finance and chief accounting officer, responsible for overseeing accounting and certain finance functions.
Albertsons Cos., Boise, Idaho
Current Denver division president Susan Morris was promoted to executive vice president of retail operations for the East region, taking over for Kelly Griffith, who announced earlier this month that he would be leaving the company. Morris has led the company's Denver division since March 2015, overseeing over 130 stores in five states. She joined Albertsons when she was 16 as a customer service clerk. Her career includes roles such as store director to corporate grocery sales director, vice president of bakery and operations, and upon the sale of Albertson's assets to SUPERVALU, vice president of customer satisfaction.
William Jackson Food Group (WJFG), UK
Ian Hunt, who has led two WJFG businesses as managing director and maintains a pedigree working with consumer brands within the grocery retail channel, was appointed as managing director of The Food Doctor, which WJFG recently acquired. Meanwhile, Michael da Costa, who formerly owned the business, will remain with The Food Doctor as innovation director.
Sobeys Inc., Canada
Beth Newlands Campbell was named president of the company's Atlantic/Ontario business unit. An experienced grocery industry leader, Newlands Campbell has spent 30 years in senior operations marketing, merchandising and strategic planning roles with Delhaize's U.S. operations, including the Hannaford Supermarkets and Food Lion banners. Most recently, she was president of Food Lion.
Lancaster Colony Corp., Columbus, Ohio
David Ciesinski was appointed as president and COO, taking over for Bruce Rosa, president of T. Marzetti Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary, who announced plans to retire, effective April 18, after 41 years of service, including 13 years as president of T. Marzetti. Ciesinski most recently served as president of the Kraft’s meals solutions division. His prior experience includes 15 years in the packaged foods industry, including group vice president and CMO, U.S. consumer products with H.J. Heinz Co.
Renaissance Food Group (RFG), Rancho Cordova, Calif.
Debbie Vest joined as vice president of procurement, serving as RFG’s primary strategic leader for further developing the company’s vertically integrated supply chain and raw material sourcing programs. Previously, Vest spent 24 years with Safeway, most recently as group director, overseeing procurement for the entire company.
The Wendy's Co., Dublin, Ohio
Gunther Plosch will join as chief financial officer, effective May 2. Plosch comes from the Kellogg Co/, where he has spent the last 16 years in finance roles of increasing responsibility, including his most recent assignment as vice president of global business services, and previous to that, vice president and CFO. Plosch began his career with The Procter & Gamble Co. in Austria, where he spent nine years in various divisions, ultimately serving as associate director of finance for the Central and European division. He joined Kellogg’s UK division in 2000, and was subsequently promoted to the U.S. business in 2005, where he led finance teams in corporate planning and morning foods. Meanwhile, current chief executive officer Emil Brolick announced his intention to retire, effective May 26, and will be succeeded by current president and CFO Todd Penegor.
Veggie Grill, Santa Monica, Calif.
The fast-casual restaurant concept announced that Steve Heeley, chief operating officer, will be promoted to president and CEO, effective May 2, taking over for chief energizing officer Greg Dollarhyde, who will be retiring. Prior to Veggie Grill, Heeley was president and CEO of Earl of Sandwich, LLC and chief operating officer of Au Bon Pain café bakery.
Illinois Material Handling, Elk Grove Village, Ill.
The Wolter Group LLC member appointed Pat Ryan as vice president – general manager of its Bolingbrook, Ill., facility. Ryan’s career includes 32 years in the customer service/account management field and 24 years of material handling experience. Ryan worked for Wisconsin Lift Truck, also a member of Wolter Group, from 1984-1994, where he started as a parts counterperson, was promoted to product support sales representative and ended up as branch manager for the Kenosha, Wis., branch. From 1994-2002, Ryan worked as a business development manager at a firm outside of the Wolter Group, and returned to Wisconsin Lift Truck in 2002 as a capital equipment sales representative. In 2004, he was promoted to sales manager of the Southern region, responsible for major corporate accounts. In 2010, Ryan was again promoted to vice president of fleet services, responsible for major fleet accounts throughout Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and Northern Illinois.
Supply Chain Services, Oakdale, Minn.
Jenna Paulus joined as marketing director, focusing on marketing strategy and execution and working closely with the sales and technical teams. Paulus spent time at a PR agency, where she worked with manufacturing and HVAC clients, as well as in a marketing communications role at Honeywell.
Weber Packaging Solutions, Inc., Arlington Heights, Ill.
Doug Weber was named president and CEO, assuming the new role after being with Weber for more than 25 years, including the last 15 years as vice president of international.