Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA), Portsmouth, N.H.
Chris Keller was named director of Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) market development for the Americas, tasked with overseeing the market development team in North America and growing adoption of the BAP third-party certification program amongst retail and foodservice companies. This promotion comes 14 months after Keller joined GAA as BAP market development manager-retail for North America. Keller came to BAP with more than 20 years of retail experience, most notably, 15 years with Walmart, where he held numerous positions, eventually acting as senior buyer. Meanwhile, Melanie Siggs was appointed in the newly created position of director of strategic engagements, tasked with exploring the creation of products and services that meet GAA’s goal of adding value to the organization’s proposition while advocating, educating and demonstrating best practices. She will look at the development of non-core activities, identify opportunities to work with new partners and help lead teams to develop proof-of-concept work, prototypes and pilots. Siggs has acted as an ad hoc advisor to the organization for a number of years, particularly during the development of a new governance structure that led to GAA’s Standards Oversight Committee in 2008, as well as during the formation of an education platform. She has been a board member of the Responsible Aquaculture Foundation, GAA’s educational arm, since 2013. Siggs will also continue in her role as associate director at Sancroft International.
Specialty Food Association, New York
Phillip Kafarakis was named president, responsible for the strategic direction and day-to-day operations of the non-profit organization. Kafarakis brings more than 30 years of food industry experience, with a background in innovative brand management, membership development and strategic planning. Since May 2013, Kafarakis has served as chief innovation and member advancement officer for the National Restaurant Association. Prior to that, he spent 10 years with McCormick & Co., and has held executive leadership positions at Cargill, Jones Dairy Farm and Kraft.
G. Willi-Food International Ltd., Israel
lan Admon was appointed chairman of the board in lieu of his current position as deputy chairman , replacing Gregory Gurtovoy. Meanwhile, Iram Graiver was appointed president in lieu of his current position as CEO.
J&J Family of Farms, Loxahatchee, Fla.
Farm leader Clayton Amestoy was named senior farm manager, responsible for developing and managing all aspects of the company’s farming and harvesting operations. Clayton is a fourth-generation farmer. His professional agricultural career includes district farm manager at Pero Family Farms and farm manager of R&A Farms Inc.
PMA Australia-New Zealand, a stand-alone affiliate of the global Produce Market Association, Newark, Del.
Darren Keating was appointed chief executive officer, replacing Michael Worthington, who announced his retirement.
The Vision Cos., Rogers, Minn.
Lance Nichols was promoted to director of sales and operations, Phoenix branch, while John Caldwell was promoted to vice president, general manager, Arizona.
Lawler Foods, Humble, Texas
Wes Stasny was promoted to president, as part of the transition under Gryphon Investors.
Kroger Co., Cincinnati
Marlene Stewart was tapped as Houston division president, taking over for Bill Breetz, who announced plans to retire Aug. 26 after 44 years of service. Breetz began his Kroger career in 1972 as a bagger. In 1977, he joined the management training program and was named a co-manager in Cincinnati. He served in several leadership positions throughout the years, including store and district manager and vice president of merchandising for the company's Cincinnati/Dayton, Ohio, division. In 2000, Breetz was promoted to executive vice president of Kroger's Southwest division, responsible for Dallas operations. In 2001, he assumed responsibility for operations in Houston as well. He was named president of the Southwest division in 2002, and president of the Houston division in 2015. Stewart, who currently serves as president of the company's Dillons division, started her Kroger career in 1977 as a bagger in the company's Cincinnati division. She went on to serve in many leadership roles in Cincinnati, including store and district manager, 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 vice president of merchandising in the company's QFC division in 2011. She was named to her current role in 2015. Colleen Juergensen will succeed Stewart as president of Dillons, effective Aug. 28. Juergensen currently serves as vice president of merchandising of the Smith's division. Juergensen began her Kroger career with the Dillons division in 1981. She served in various leadership roles of increasing responsibility, including store manager, zone manager and director of advertising. In 2008, Juergensen was promoted to vice president of operations for Dillons. She was named vice president of operations of Smith's in 2012, and to her current role in 2015. Also, Pam Matthews was promoted to serve as president of the company's QFC division, succeeding Dennis Gibson, who was recently named president of the King Soopers/City Market division. Matthews currently serves as vice president of operations for Kroger's Delta division. Matthews began her career with the company's Fred Meyer division in 1980. Throughout her 25-year career with Fred Meyer, she held a variety of leadership roles in store management, corporate brand development and merchandising. Matthews also served as director of deli/bakery merchandising and director of floral merchandising and procurement at Kroger's general offices before being promoted to vice president of merchandising for the Central division in 2006. She was named vice president of merchandising for the Delta Division in 2014 and to her current role in 2015.
FirstFruits Marketing of Washington, Yakima, Wash.
Cory Zeigler and Craig Barnes joined the company’s in-house sales team, responsible for handling both domestic and export sales. Zeigler previously worked for a wholesale packaging and food service distributor for over six years, and spent the last three years in outside sales within the fruit and hop industries. She spent an additional two years in the fresh produce industry prior to her current position working in sales support for L&M Cos. Barnes brings over six years of experience in the fresh produce industry. He previously worked for Sage Fruit Co. as an account manager, where he was responsible for sales in the apples, pears and cherries divisions, as well as establishing and maintaining relationships with customers.
Talley Farms, Arroyo Grande, Calif.
Anthony Totta was appointed director of marketing and business development, tasked with leading the company’s new Midwest office from the Kansas City area, and developing new bell pepper offerings. Totta is an industry veteran with more than 35 years of experience, who has worked with retailers, wholesalers and grower-shippers throughout the produce industry for more than three decades. He was most recently chief executive officer and owner of Grow My Profits, and is a founding partner of FreshXperts LLC and Market Fresh Produce LLC. Totta has also held positions with Basic American Foods, Blaine Larsen Processing Inc., Affiliated Foods, Gallo Produce Co., White Oak United Super, Pisciotta Fruit and Vegetable Co., Ingles Markets, A & P subsidiary Family Mart and Toppers Food Mart.
Orca Bay Seafoods, Inc., Renton, Wash.
Dave McGee was appointed chief financial officer. McGee joined the company in March 2015 as controller. He has over 15 years in the seafood industry. Twenty-year Orca Bay veteran Scott Russell was promoted to vice president of operations. Russell has been operations manager for the past six years. Quality assurance manager Justine Reynolds was promoted to director of quality assurance. Reynolds previously worked for Costco and Sysco with combined experience of 15 years in quality assurance within the food industry. After 15 years of procurement experience, Larry Colling will now serve as senior purchasing manager, responsible for managing domestic purchases of Alaska seafood product. The reorganization in procurement also resulted in the promotion of Mike Holzberger to manage imports.
Target Corp., Minneapolis
Ben Cook was named senior vice president, global logistics, inventory allocation and replenishment, responsible for leading the optimization of Target’s inbound and outbound supply chain processes, including carrier transportation and last-mile delivery. He’ll also oversee inventory allocation and replenishment, merchandise planning operations and global logistics. Cook brings experience in leading a range of supply chain functions, from international transportation and distribution to inventory control and direct-to-customer delivery. Most recently, he served as director, logistics and supply chain strategy for Apple, leading the transformation of logistics to support an omni-channel distribution model. He’s also held operational roles at Kimberly-Clark and The Home Depot.
Land O'Lakes, Inc., Arden Hills, Minn.
Matt Carstens was named senior vice president of the company’s new sustainability business division, SUSTAIN. Previously, Carstens was vice president of United Suppliers, Inc., where he was responsible for developing the sustainability business. His experience also includes retail, wholesale and manufacturing functions in the crop inputs business.
Greenyard Foods, Belgium
Carl Peeters was appointed chief financial officer, effective Oct. 1. Peeters is a seasoned senior executive with extensive international experience in different management roles, including finance. After an initial start at Agfa Gevaert, he currently works at Barco, where he started in 1987 in business development and general management. He took up his first senior finance role when he became the chief financial officer of BarcoNet in 2000. After Peeters’ division became a separate company in 2002, he re-joined Barco to become senior vice president. He was appointed Group CFO of Barco NV in 2010.
Potatoes USA, Denver, Colo.
Rachael Lynch joined as a global marketing manager for institutional foodservice markets, responsible for managing the company’s school foodservice and salad bar programs, as well as developing a global marketing strategy for institutional foodservice. Lynch has spent the last five years revitalizing hospital cafeterias across the country, transforming them to meet national health guidelines with innovating concepts focused on wellness and standardization. Lynch is a registered dietitian and a ServeSafe certified food and safety manager.
RAVE Restaurant Group, Inc., Dallas, Texas
Clinton Coleman was appointed interim chief executive officer, succeeding Randy Gier. Coleman has served on the company's board of directors for nine years. He is a managing director of Newcastle Capital Management, and previously served as chief executive officer of Bell Industries, Inc.
Point Five Packaging, LLC, Schiller Park, Ill.
Dwight McKabney was named director of sales, in charge of managing the day-to-day activities of the sales team and identifying new market opportunities. An 18-year industry veteran, McKabney boasts significant experience in working with multiple product industries for both Fortune 500 companies and small business units. Previously, he was director of sales for DS Smith North America’s StePac business unit, which was subsequently purchased by Johnson Matthey, due in part to McKabney’s efforts in North America. Prior to StePac, he held multiple territory sales, sales leadership, product management and pricing positions within Pactiv LLC. He is also well versed in thermoformed plastics, injection molded plastics and foam products along with their applications within the food processing and foodservice industries.
Tom Tobin was hired as senior sales manager, Midwest regional sales and operations, tasked with leading business development efforts and managing the Midwest regional sales team. Tobin leverages more than 30 years of professional experience in his new role, with an equipment-focused background in robotics and industrial automation. He provides strategic counsel to sales engineers and collaborates with engineering teams to develop best-fit solutions to solve distribution, fulfillment and end-of-line manufacturing challenges. Previously, he held executive-level positions for various companies providing robotics and material handling systems. And, he is involved in the Robotic Industries Association, with past experience serving on the board of directors.
Selerant, New York
Suzana Tripologos joins the company as regulatory and scientific affairs specialist, North America, responsible for data management and business development for the Selerant Compliance Cloud. Previously, she spent the last 11 years working on the scientific and regulatory affairs team for Wrigley, a subsidiary of Mars Inc. She maintains a strong background in project and data management with direct experience using DevEX, Selerant's Product Life Cycle Management software.
Modality Solutions, LLC, Dallas, Texas
Andrew Larrigan was hired as a consulting engineer, working at the Advantage Transportation Simulation Laboratory to conduct transportation simulation testing; design and/or implement thermal packaging applications; update standard operating procedures and forms; and write protocols and reports for testing. Previously, Larrigan worked in operations and dispatch for Camelot Trucking, where he used his organizational and communication skills to coordinate jobs with drivers and logistic providers.
Seegrid, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Pete Chryplewicz joined the strategic account sales team, charged with heading up the Detroit, Mich., robotics leadership initiative. Chryplewicz brings over 15 years in automotive and manufacturing sales. His past employment experience includes Irvin Automotive, Plastech Engineering, Inc., Air Center, Inc. and CCK Construction Services (part of Colasanti Cos.). He was also drafted in 1997 by the Detroit Lions and played several years before retiring from football and starting his career in manufacturing sales.
Hasak Cold Storage, Lyons, Ill.
Ireneo Reyes was promoted to operations manager. Reyes started working at Hasak in October 1994 as a day laborer. He then received his certification for a forklift operator, and later served as a shift supervisor. Previously, he was acting plant manager.
3PL Central, Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Rich Moline will become executive vice president, enterprise and strategic accounts. Previously, Moline was president of Traker Systems, which 3PL Central recently acquired.
Bettcher Industries, Inc., Birmingham, Ohio
Gregory Nolff joined as area sales manager in the company’s foodservice equipment group, responsible for the sale of all Bettcher foodservice equipment to operators and authorized channel partners in the western part of the United States and Canada. Nolff is also responsible for identifying, recommending, directing and managing all aspects of Bettcher’s distributor channel partner relationships in the Western Region territory. Nolff maintains 30-plus years of experience in the foodservice equipment industry. He has held positions of progressive responsibility, including more than 12 years at Henny Penny Corp., first as a regional sales manager and subsequently as a strategic accounts manager, where he was responsible for large chain foodservice accounts such as KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Burger King, Popeye’s and more. Nolff also served as a foodservice equipment manager for a major distributor of bakery equipment.