Pinnacle Foods names new CEO, among other industry personnel changes
Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA), Canada
Tia Loftsgard was appointed executive director, effective March 21. Loftsgard is an established non-profit manager with leadership experience in the fair trade and cooperative movements in both Canada and the United States. She’s co-founder of Camino (La Siembra Co-operative), and was the company’s director of sales until 2009. Previous to Camino, she was the business development and licensing director for Fairtrade Canada, where she led strategy, built the not-for-profit’s membership base and encouraged sustainable and ethical sourcing standards in North America. In 2013, she moved over to Fairtrade America as its chief operating officer, where she developed advocacy initiatives and grew U.S. market opportunities for small farmers via the Fairtrade model. Loftsgard replaces Matthew Holmes, COTA’s founding executive director, who left the role in January after nine years with the association.
Wisconsin Bakers Association, West Allis, Wis.
New directors for the board include Jennifer Bukouricz, pastry chef and owner of Monzu Bakery; Bob Chaffee, owner of Augusta Bakery; Dawn Ebert, owner of Simple Simon Bakery; Tara Nowak, owner of Sweet Lola’s; and Ralf Tschenscher, ingredients sales specialist for Lesaffre Yeast Corp.
International Association for Food Protection (IAFP), Des Moines, Iowa
Dr. Kali Kniel was elected secretary of the executive board, serving as president beginning in July 2019. Kniel has been a professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at the University of Delaware, Newark, Del., since 2004, where she leads an active research lab exploring aspects of microbial food safety. Kniel has been an IAFP member since 1999, and has organized and convened a myriad of IAFP symposia, delivered several invited talks at IAFP annual meetings and served a 3-year term on the Program Committee.
FirstFruits Marketing of Washington, Yakima, Wash.
Company veteran Chuck Zeutenhorst takes over as general manager, responsible for making FirstFruits Marketing the most customer-centric apple company in the industry, while promoting the Opal apple. He began his career in produce sales in 1980 at Price Cold Storage. He began working with Broetje Orchards and FirstFruits in 2001 as export sales manager and domestic sales specialist.
SUPERVALU INC., Minneapolis
Former Family Dollar and Giant Eagle executive Mary Winston was appointed to the board of directors, effective April 27. Winston most recently served as the executive vice president and CFO for Family Dollar Stores, Inc. prior to its acquisition by Dollar Tree in July 2015. From 2008-2012, Winston served as senior vice president and CFO for Giant Eagle, Inc., and maintains more than 10 years of experience serving on public company boards and audit committees, where she brings extensive financial management and leadership experience. Winston currently serves on the boards of directors for Dover Corp. and Domtar Corp., and was a director for Plexus Corp.
Sysco Corp., Houston, Texas
Greg Bertrand was named senior vice president, U.S. foodservice operations, responsible for all of Sysco’s U.S. broadline operating companies. Bertrand brings more than 25 years of Sysco experience to his new role, including a succession of senior foodservice operations positions such as president, Sysco Eastern Wisconsin; president, Sysco Chicago; market vice president, Midwest; and most recently, senior vice president, foodservice operations-West. Scott Sonnemaker was named senior vice president, international foodservice operations-Americas, responsible for Sysco Canada, Bahamas Foodservices, International Food Group and Sysco’s joint ventures with Mayca Distributors in Costa Rica and Pacific Star Foodservice in Mexico. Sonnemaker brings more than 20 years of service in a variety of sales, marketing and foodservice operations roles, having served as president and CEO of Sysco Portland; senior vice president, foodservice operations-West region, and most recently, senior vice president, sales and chief customer officer. And, Bill Goetz was named senior vice president, sales and marketing with responsibility for Sysco’s sales and marketing organizations. Goetz joined Sysco in 2012 as senior vice president and chief marketing officer, and is a highly experienced business-to-business marketer and sales leader. He previously served as vice president, corporate marketing and vice president, international marketing, at ECOLAB Corp., and vice president and chief marketing officer and president and chief operations officer, global accounts and strategic markets at Cintas Corp. All new roles are effective July 3.
Pinnacle Foods Inc., Parsippany, N.J.
Mark Clouse was named chief executive officer, effective May 23, replacing Robert Gamgort, who in March, announced plans to leave the company. Craig Steeneck, chief financial officer, will assume the additional role of interim-CEO upon Gamgort's departure and through May 22. Clouse is currently chief commercial officer at Mondelez International, Inc., where he has held a broad range of leadership positions involving brands such as Oreo, Nabisco, Cadbury and Trident during his 20-year tenure at Kraft Foods Inc. and the subsequent spin-off of Mondelez. In his current role, Clouse will oversee the company's commercial execution for all of its five geographic regions, as well as the global sales function. Prior to this, Clouse was chief growth officer for Mondelez, where he was responsible for the company's growth strategy and oversaw corporate strategy, global marketing, global sales and research, development and quality. Clouse also led smaller, entrepreneurial businesses in emerging markets, such as China and Brazil, and has held leadership roles involving the integration of acquisitions.
Land O’Frost, Inc., Munster, Ind.
Thirty-year food industry veteran Doug Skeoch joined as vice president of sales, responsible for establishing and executing the company’s national sales strategy. He will also be actively involved in effective and efficient trade management strategies and the execution of new product launches. Throughout his career, he has gained extensive knowledge of the consumer packaged goods industry across numerous food categories, including meat, dairy, deli and frozen products. Prior to joining Land O’Frost, Skeoch oversaw national distribution and broker management for Kraft Churny, the company’s specialty cheese division. He also served as national sales operations manager, supporting the growth of Kraft’s pizza division to a $2 billion business. He began his career with Oscar Mayer.
Luis Cantarell, Nestlé executive vice president Europe, Middle East and North Africa, will chair the board of directors of Froneri, a new joint venture formed by Nestlé S.A. and R&R Ice Cream. The board of directors, which will be composed of three senior Nestlé executives and three senior executives appointed by private equity firm PAI Partners, R&R’s owner, based in France. Ibrahim Najafi, R&R CEO, will become chief executive officer of Froneri.
MOD Pizza, Seattle, Wash.
The pioneer of fast-casual pizza appointed Bob Barton as chief financial officer, responsible for driving the evolution of the company's financial operations, while bringing extensive experience building infrastructure to support rapid growth. Barton maintains over 20 years of financial and operational experience. Previously, he spent nine years as CFO and vice president of operations for drugstore.com, where he played an instrumental role building the company from start-up through initial public offering and ultimately to revenues in excess of $400 million. As president, COO and CFO of OnlineShoes.com, he led the company through a successful sale. Prior to that, Barton served as chief financial officer of Cranium, managing the sale of the business to Hasbro.
Lee Industries, Inc., Philipsburg, Pa.
Joshua Montler was named president, CFO and COO, effective May 1. Montler has served as vice president of finance and operations for the company since 2008, and will succeed his father, Robert Montler, as president. Robert will remain as chairman of the board and chief executive officer. Montler brings almost 20 years of manufacturing experience to his new role. Prior to joining Lee Industries, he was a senior cost accountant for First Quality Corp., a cost accountant with Gates Corp., and served as an accountant for Young, Oaks, Brown & Co. In his new role, Montler will continue to implement a business growth strategy based on five measurable values—safety, quality, delivery, cost and morale— and will oversee the company’s 43,000-square-foot expansion adjacent to its existing Clearfield County, Pa., operation.
AIT Worldwide Logistics, Itasca, Ill.
Jim Owens joined as director of sales, East region, responsible for overseeing business development, driving revenue growth from Boston, Mass., to San Juan, Puerto Rico and recruiting and developing the region’s sales co-workers. Over the course of two decades in the supply chain management industry, he has developed an in-depth knowledge of global logistics operations across all modes of transport. He previously served as vice president, global sales for UTi Worldwide.
TruTag Technologies, Inc., Emeryville, Calif.
Barry McDonogh joined as vice president of business development, focusing on key strategic initiatives, as the company expands its solutions into new market segments.McDonogh is a seasoned senior executive with international experience growing businesses across a variety of industries, including brand protection, healthcare and renewable energy. McDonogh served as a senior business developmer for Systech and UDG Healthcare, where he built new product lines and strategic partnerships to expedite growth in new markets. McDonogh also has extensive corporate development experience with key M&A advisory and strategy roles at EY and Deloitte.
Flash Global, Mountain Lakes, N.J.
Matt Zimmer was promoted to chief operating officer, tasked with leading the global operations team, which includes all operational execution and account management efforts. Zimmer, who joined Flash Global just over a year ago, was most recently the senior vice president, customer solutions. And,John Miller was promoted to chief sales officer, responsible for leading the sales and marketing teams and developing bundled service offerings designed to simplify the company’s end-to-end value chain. Miller advances from being executive vice president of business development and marketing, and has been with the company since 2008.
Hydrotex, Seattle, Wash.
Chuck Bailey joined as division partner serving the pupil transportation, food processing and manufacturing plants market segments in and around western Washington, including Seattle/Tacoma, Bellingham and Olympia. As a division partner, Bailey will counsel customers on cost-efficient machinery and equipment maintenance using environmentally sustainable solutions. Bailey’s manufacturing background includes brand names such as Boeing Aerospace and Bridgeport Milling Machines/Textron as well as regional entities such as Precision Sheet Metal Co., where he’s managed sales, CNC machinery programming, prototyping and tooling.
Manhattan Associates, Inc., Atlanta
Executive vice president, CFO and treasurer, Dennis Story, notified the company he will be leaving to pursue personal and other business interests, effective April 25. If Story’s successor is not in place by his departure date, Linda Pinne, senior vice president, global corporate controller and CAO, will serve as interim CFO. Pinne has served Manhattan since July 2005.
First Solar, Inc., Tempe, Ariz.
Current chief financial officer Mark Widmar was appointed chief executive officer, effective July 1, succeeding James Hughes, who plans to step down as CEO, effective June 30. Widmar has served as chief financial officer since 2011 and as chief accounting officer from February 2012-June 2015, overseeing the company’s industry best balance sheet and strong financial performance. Widmar also serves as CFO and a director on the board of 8point3 Energy Partners LP, the joint yieldco formed by First Solar and SunPower Corp. in 2015. Prior to joining First Solar, Widmar served as chief financial officer of GrafTech International Ltd. from May 2006-March 2011 and as president, engineered solutions from January 2011-March 2011. Prior to GrafTech, he served as corporate controller of NCR Inc. from 2005-2006 and as business unit CFO from November 2002 to his appointment as controller. He also served as a division controller at Dell, Inc., and has held various financial and managerial positions with Lucent Technologies Inc., Allied Signal, Inc., and Bristol Myers/Squibb, Inc. Also, Alexander Bradley, the company’s vice president, treasury and project finance, was appointed interim CFO, effective July 1.
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R), New York
Vindi Banga, partner of the private investment firm and former member of the Unilever executive board, will assume the role of chairman of Kalle GmbH at the close of the transaction. CD&R announced plans to acquire Kalle GmbH, effective mid-year.
IN MEMORIUM: KELLY OWEN, CLARION CONSTRUCTION
Kelly Owen, founder of Clarion Construction, Lombard, Ill., passed away April 20.