IDFA names new president; Cargill, Dean Foods, General Mills, Pinnacle Foods announce new execs
International Dairy Foods Association, Washington, D.C.
Michael Dykes was tapped to replace Connie Tipton as president and CEO, effective January 2017. For the past 19 years, Dykes has served as vice president of government affairs for Monsanto, where he was responsible for developing and implementing a portfolio of U.S. government relations strategies and programs that included agricultural biotechnology policy. He also served as the company’s primary point of contact for elected officials, regulatory authorities, U.S. farm organizations, key industry participants, trade associations, international organizations and embassies. He directed the company’s efforts in state and local government affairs, in addition to government affairs in Mexico and Canada.
Pace International, Wapato, Wash.
Rodrigo Cifuentes joined as vice president of marketing and business development, assuming responsibility for the company’s strategic marketing and business development activities, including expanding product portfolio and geographic presence and identifying partnering and acquisition opportunities. Cifuentes maintains over 20 years of experience in leadership roles in domestic and multinational companies in agriculture, specialty agricultural chemicals and food retail industries.
Allen Harim, Seaford, Del.
Kevin Gordon was named plant manager of the newly expanded Harbeson, Del., chicken processing facility. He comes with more than 34 years of production management experience, having most recently worked for Pilgrim’s Pride, where he oversaw operations in Athens, Ga., with responsibility for more than 1,700 employees. He has also served as plant manager for Mountaire Farms and at Cargill. Rory DeWeese was named senior director of live operations, responsible for overseeing all contract growers, hatcheries, breeders and feed mills. DeWeese most recently worked at Hubbard, and boasts a 26-year career in a variety of live production roles at various poultry companies, including Pilgrim’s Pride, Sanderson Farms and Con Agra Foods. Tim Thomas was named the new director of transportation and strategic sourcing, responsible for overseeing all activities in the procurement department, including planning, coordinating and directing all of the purchasing activities as well as overseeing all areas of the corporation’s transportation group. He maintains over 24 years of experience in procurement in the food production industry, having spent most of his career with Pilgrim’s Pride, where he most recently served as head of procurement for JBS, the parent company of Pilgrim’s Pride. There, he oversaw $2 billion in spending and helped implement programs around the world to improve plant efficiency. Tanya Grant was hired as corporate safety and training manager. Her background includes extensive experience improving the performance, productivity and safety of organizations with 2,000-plus employees at both the plant and corporate level in both human resources and operations management roles. Her previous employers include Sherwin-Williams, Labinol Power Systems and Baltimore Aircoil Co.
General Mills, Minneapolis
Jon Nudi was named senior vice president and president, U.S. retail, taking over for Jeff Harmening, who was promoted to president and COO in June. Nudi was most recently located in Europe running General Mills’ Europe-Australasia business, where he delivered profit growth and top-line sales growth. Nudi joined General Mills in 1993, and has held a number of roles within the company, including president of the U.S. snacks division. Replacing Nudi in Europe is Bethany Quam, who was promoted to senior vice president and president, Europe and Australasia region. Quam was most recently head of the convenience and foodservice operating segment, responsible for U.S. away-from-home sales and marketing, where she re-shaped the operating unit around the "Focus 6" platforms and led the segment to record sales and profit growth the last two years. Quam is a 23-year veteran of General Mills who has held roles in finance, sales, strategic planning and marketing.
Pinnacle Foods Inc., Parsippany, N.J.
Food industry veteran Michael Allen was appointed executive vice president and president of Boulder Brands, effective Sept. 19, replacing Phil Anson, interim Boulder Brands general manager and founder of EVOL frozen foods. Allen maintains 20 years of experience in the food industry, including focus in the natural, organic and health-forward channels on brands such as Kashi and Morningstar Farms. He joins Pinnacle from the Kellogg Co., where he was most recently president, Morning Foods division. Prior to that role, he served as president, frozen foods division from 2009-2013. Allen joined Kellogg in 1997 and progressed through various leadership roles in marketing, innovation and general management. Before joining Kellogg, Allen worked in marketing and advertising.
SpartanNash, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Dave Staples was named president, charged with leading the company’s overall strategy implementation and execution and directing all operating aspects of the retail, wholesale and military distribution business segments. This move will enable Mr. Eidson to continue to focus on long-term strategic growth opportunities.Stapleshas been serving as chief operating officer since March 1, 2015, a role he will continue. He also served as executive vice president and CFO since 2000, and became chief financial officer until Chris Meyers joined the company in April.
Target Corp., Minneapolis
Jeff Jones, executive vice president, chief marketing officer, will be departing the company, effective Sept. 9, to pursue a new opportunity. Since joining Target in 2012, Jones has modernized Target’s marketing and helped drive Target’s strategy.
Vanguard International, Issaquah, Wash.
Effective immediately, Tim Clarke will take over the vice president, global sales position, overseeing all sales out of the United States, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Meanwhile, Dan Lillybridge was appointed director of procurement, responsible for all procurement activities and increasing Vanguard’s supply base out of North America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc., Coral Gables, Fla.
Hani El-Naffy, the company’s president and COO, will start to transition his role as an officer of the company, with the transition beginning immediately and lasting through Feb. 28, 2017.
Clear Springs Foods, Inc., Buhl, Idaho
Brent Fraser was promoted to vice president of sales, effectively immediately. Fraser joined Clear Springs Foods in Dec. 3, 2012. Previous to then, he served as vice president of sales and marketing for Girards/GFF, Inc. for 15 years.
Cargill, Wichita, Kan.
Chuck Gitkin, a veteran consumer packaged goods and meat industry marketer, was hired to the newly created role of chief marketing officer, effective Sept. 19, 2016, tasked with leading the North America protein business marketing efforts. Previously, Gitkin was senior vice president of brands and marketing for Smithfield Foods. His experience also includes positions with McCain Foods, Unilever, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Saks Fifth Avenue and Philip Morris. He will leverage more than 25 years of experience, knowledge and capabilities in business-to-business and consumer marketing, market research and consumer insight, innovation and retailing.
Dean Foods Co., Dallas, Texas
Ralph Scozzafava, executive vice president and COO, will succeed Gregg Tanner as chief executive officer, effective Jan. 1, 2017. Scozzafava joined Dean Foods in October 2014 as executive vice president and chief commercial officer before being promoted to chief operating officer in October 2015. He maintains more than 30 years of experience in the consumer goods and grocery categories, including at Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. and Campbell Soup Co.
Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc., Dallas, Texas
The parent company of the Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana fast casual restaurants announced that Tim Taft, president and CEO, announced plans to retire at the end of the 2016 fiscal year. Taft was instrumental in guiding the company through its transition as an independent public company, and improved operations at both brands, refined marketing strategies and set the stage for ongoing growth.
McDonald’s Corp., Oak Brook, Ill.
Chris Kempczinski, executive vice president of strategy, business development and innovation, was appointed to lead the U.S. business upon current U.S. president Mike Andres’ retirement, effective Jan. 1, 2017. Prior to joining McDonald’s last year, Kempczinski served in various strategy and operational positions with some of the world’s leading consumer companies, most recently as executive vice president, growth initiatives and president of international at Kraft Foods Group. In addition to his current role as president of the international lead markets, Doug Goare will take on the role of chief restaurant officer, overseeing a number of business functions managed by chief administrative officer Pete Bensen, who is retiring in September. In this expanded role, he will oversee supply chain, information technology, global restaurant operations, development and digital business functions. Also, Lucy Brady was named senior vice president of corporate strategy and business development, taking on the role vacated by Kempczinski. Brady will oversee strategy development, planning and innovation to drive growth for the company. Previously, she was a senior partner and managing director at The Boston Consulting Group, where she led several turnaround and strategic growth initiatives.
KHS GmbH, Germany
Joachim Brzoska was tapped to head the company’s new consumables department. Brzoska previously managed the sale of consumables for KHS partner KISS, and maintains over 30 years’ experience in glues and adhesives. Meanwhile, Christian Schlichtenbrede will supervise the expansion as head of service products. Schlichtenbrede also maintains 30 years’ experiences in electrical engineering, having worked for many years at the KHS factory in Kleve, Germany.
Krone Trailers, UK
Graham Macmillan was appointed new area sales manager, responsible for maintaining existing accounts and generating new business in the North West, South West, North and South Wales, parts of Scotland and the greater Birmingham area. He brings a wealth of industry experience gained from a number of senior sales and service roles in both the tractor and trailer supply sectors. Macmillan began his career in the CV industry as a mechanic, and progressed through the ranks to become a director of MAN dealers. Later he set up and developed the commercial operations for a major trailer manufacturer and vehicle rental operator.
915 Labs, Centennial, Colo.
Senior food R&D executive and innovator Anthony Knoerzer joined as vice president of customer success, tasked with supporting customers on their path to launching successful products using 915 Labs' microwave sterilization and pasteurization systems. During his nearly 20-year career at PepsiCo, Knoerzer helped revolutionize packaging for the company's Doritos, Cheetos, Fritos and Lays snack brands. He also led a multi-year program to transition from clear to metallized packaging, which resulted in higher revenues and more than $6 million in annual savings. Knoerzer was also the lead inventor on more than 40 patents for packaging innovations, including every new package released to the market by Frito Lay from 1994-2004. Furthermore, he led the company's conversion from oil-based packaging to plant-based packaging, developing what is said to be the first 100% compostable snack package for SunChips in 2009. Most recently, Knoerzer worked as a consultant, helping companies with product development, new technology applications and material and equipment selection.
Danfoss, Bethpage, N.Y.
Jeffrey Flannery was named business development manager of the company’s North American heating business, responsible for focusing specifically on the growth of the Danfoss AB-QM pressure independent control valve in hydronic heating applications, and advancing solutions for efficient, resilient district energy systems in the United States and Canada. Flannery has more than 20 years of engineering, product management and business development experience in the global HVACR industry, having worked with customers, products and applications in Europe, the Americas and China.