Refrigerated Foods Association (RFA), Marietta, Ga.
Charlotte Mason
was named new communications director, tasked with to helping promote and publicize RFA via social media channels, the RFA website and in print. Mason is a recent graduate of Georgia Southern University, where she majored in public relations.  

North American Meat Institute (NAMI), Washington, D.C.
Betsy Booren, vice president of scientific affairs, left the organization to become a senior policy advisor at Olsson Frank and Weeda. Over the past seven years, Booren brought a science-based perspective to issues facing the meat industry, including food safety, human nutrition, animal health, biotechnology, food quality and processing, new technologies and public health initiatives. She was appointed in January 2015 as president of the Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education, where she provided leadership in developing industry research priorities in food safety and human nutrition.

Port of Long Beach, Long Beach, Calif.
CEO Jon Slangerup announced his resignation, effective Oct. 28, to become chairman and CEO of a leading aviation technology company. Slangerup joined the port in June of 2014, where he was instrumental in addressing the historic congestion challenge that affected the San Pedro Bay port complex and the national goods movement network. He worked with all stakeholders – local, regional and federal – to restore operations in less than half the time expected. Months later, in July 2015, the port set the strongest cargo record in more than a century of operations and the strongest performance since the Great Recession. Slangerup has also overseen ongoing progress on the port’s $4 billion, 10-year capital improvement plan, including the replacement of the Gerald Desmond Bridge and the development of the innovative Middle Harbor terminal.

Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program (PDPP), Philadelphia, Pa.
Jeff Raney, vice chairman, Mideast area for Dairy Farmers of America and farmer of 32 years, was elected chairman, taking over for Harold Shaulis, who resigned from the board following 27 years of service. Raney has been a member of the PDPP board of directors for six years and previously served as first vice chairman. His main goal is to ensure that the promotion programs PDPP funds and administers support accordingly. And, Bruce Bartley, a fifth-generation farmer, was named first vice chairman. Bartley has been a member of the PDPP board for more than 10 years. He previously served as a delegate to the United Dairy Industry Association’s annual meeting. The PDPP board also appointed the following to serve as representatives on the United Dairy Industry Association—Bartley; Vernon Horst, Horst Robotic Dairy; and Jerrel Heatwole, Dairy Farmers of America.


Monterey Mushrooms, Watsonville, Calif.
Erica Manfre
assumed the role of sales manager, responsible for maintaining relationships with customers and seeking new opportunities. Lindsey Roberts also joined as marketing specialist, responsible for managing marketing and branding objectives, strategies and product expansions. She will collaborate with sales, product development and procurement to execute new concepts and position Monterey Mushrooms as an innovator in the mushroom industry.

Valley Fruit & Produce, Los Angeles
Bill Slattery joined the sales team in the fresh produce division, bringing decades of experience in sales working with high-quality growers and packers such as Kingsburg Orchards, Red Blossom Farms, Madera Persimmon Growers and Valley Fresh Produce of Watsonville. Slattery is a 30-year fresh produce industry veteran.

Hormel Foods Corp., Austin, Minn.
James Snee was elected next chief executive officer, taking over for Jeffrey Ettinger, who will retire as chief executive officer, effective Oct. 30. Snee currently serves as president and COO. Ettinger served as chairman of the board, president and CEO from November 2006 to October 2015, when Snee was appointed president and Ettinger became chairman of the board and CEO. Ettinger joined Hormel Foods in 1989, and has served in a variety of roles, including senior attorney, product manager for Hormel chili products and treasurer. In 1999, he was named president of Jennie-O Turkey Store, and appointed president of Hormel Foods in 2004. He became chief executive officer Jan. 1, 2006. He currently serves on the boards of The Toro Co., Ecolab, Inc., North American Meat Institute, Grocery Manufacturers Association, The Hormel Foundation, The Hormel Institute and the Minnesota Business Partnership. Snee has been serving as president and COO since October 2015, where he led all of the company’s business segments and global operations, including grocery products, refrigerated foods, specialty foods, Jennie-O Turkey Store and international and other. Snee joined Hormel Foods in 1989 in the foodservice division and served in various positions within the group before being named manager of inventory and distribution for the refrigerated foods segment in 1995. He was promoted to foodservice area manager and foodservice regional sales manager in 1996 and 1998, respectively. Snee was named director of purchasing in 2006, and vice president of affiliated business units in 2008. He was named vice president of Hormel Foods and senior vice president of Hormel Foods International Corp. at the end of fiscal year 2011.Snee advanced to group vice president of Hormel Foods and president of Hormel Foods International Corp. in October 2012. 

Whole Foods Market, Austin, Texas
Sonya Gafsi Oblisk was named global vice president of marketing, responsible for leading the company’s marketing, advertising and brand development efforts, including digital, brand marketing and customer relationship strategies. Oblisk brings more than 15 years of experience in retail, consumer products and affinity marketing, including an 8-year tenure at Wal-Mart, where she most recently served as vice president of marketing for Sam’s Club. Martin Tracey was appointed global vice president of team member services, with strategic responsibilities for the end-to-end team member experience, including recruitment, compensation and benefits, talent analytics, learning and development and payroll operations for more than 87,000 team members. Tracey was most recently chief talent officer and vice president of people development for Starbucks, where he was responsible for leadership development, talent analytics and organizational development. And, Brooke Buchanan was tapped global vice president of communications, leading Whole Foods Market’s public relations, internal communications and government affairs efforts. Buchanan has previously served as vice president of communications for Theranos; vice president of public relations for Williams-Sonoma; and held multiple senior positions at Wal-Mart. Prior to her corporate experience, she spent over eight years in political and government communications.

Cargill, Wichita, Kan.
Veteran consumer packaged goods and meat industry marketer Chuck Gitkin was appointed to the newly created role of chief marketing officer of the company’s North America protein business, effective Sept. 19. Previously, Gitkin was senior vice president of brands and marketing for Smithfield Foods, and maintained 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. 

Ben E. Keith Foods, Fort Worth, Texas
Scott Davison, assistant general manager of the Houston, Texas, division, was named general manager of the distribution division, amid the purchase of Kelley Foods of Alabama. Eddie Kelley, president and CEO of Kelley Foods of Alabama, and Jerry Kelley, vice president of distribution, will serve as advisors to Ben E. Keith Foods during the transition and integration process. Current vice president of manufacturing, Scott Kelley, will continue to manage the manufacturing division.

Golbon, Boise, Idaho
Neal Patmore joined as the Golbon Protein Advantage (GPA) sales associate. Patmore maintains over 19 years of center-of-the-plate experience, bringing with extensive knowledge in both sales and procurement within the foodservice industry.

Oppy, Canada
Craig Winford was promoted to greenhouse category manager and business development representative, responsible for identifying and executing new opportunities for all SunSelect Produce items, including tomatoes-on-the-vine and the signature Outrageously Fresh snacking tomato jar bag line. Winford will also oversee special projects, like new product and packaging development, as well as program business opportunities and collaborating closely with Oppy’s business development team to create retail promotions and increase distribution. Winford brings 13 years of greenhouse expertise, including more than a decade at Oppy. His most recent position was greenhouse specialist, managing Oppy’s BC and California pepper crops and working closely with marketing partner SunSelect Produce.



First Solar, Inc., Tempe, Ariz.
James Hughes officially stepped down from his role on the board, effective Sept. 1. As previously announced, Mark Widmar was appointed chief executive officer, effective July 1. 

Silgan Closures, Downers Grove, Ill.
Anant Deshpande joined as manager, continuous improvement, responsible for implementing the company’s continuous improvement initiative, including the development of Lean training materials, and developing and monitoring the strategic continuous improvement plan, while implementing defined OPEX initiatives across the organization. Deshpande is a Lean Six Sigma professional with progressive experience in the plastics, automotive, beverage, transit, chemical and printing industries. He has developed, implemented and administered Lean Six Sigma programs and total quality management systems with key suppliers. Previously, Deshpande was manager, quality and Lean Six Sigma at Jabil Packaging Solutions. Prior to that, he worked as manager, quality and continuous improvement for Berry Plastics; director, quality assurance for Specialty Print Communications; continuous improvement specialist/Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt for Kraft Foods and Harley-Davidson Motor Co.; Six Sigma Black Belt for Praxair Distribution; director, quality for Vapor Bus International; and quality assurance manager for IMI Cornelius Remcor, Owens-Brockway Plastic Products and Van Norman Molding Co.

Choptank Transport, Preston, Md.
Kimberly Pippin was appointed director of information technology. Pippin maintains over 20 years of IT experience, and most recently worked in IT for the Johns Hopkins University Central IT, a division of Hopkins that services both the university and the hospital.  

Navistar International Corp., Lisle, Ill.
James Keyes and Michael Hammes will be retiring from the company's board of directors. Keyes has served as non-executive chairman since April 2013, and has been a member of the board since December 2002. Hammes has served on the board since February 1996, and served as lead director of the company from December 2007 to April 2013.

Sesotec Inc., a Bartlett, Ill.-based subsidiary of Sesotec GmbH
Alex Schlosser joined the sales team. He boasts extensive direct industry knowledge in inspection equipment and their applications, specifically in the Western Region of the United States. Schlosser maintains a track record of achieving growth working for other inspection equipment manufacturers and suppliers serving the food and plastic industries.

Intelex Technologies, Canada
Derek Smyth was named new chief customer officer, effective Sept. 6. A venture capital and technology industry veteran, Smyth steps into this strategic new role to help drive global go-to-market strategies that accelerate growth, expand markets and deliver world-class customer experience in the global environmental, health, safety and quality (EHSQ) marketplace. Smyth brings more than 20 years of experience helping companies fast-track their growth strategy as both a venture capital and technology executive. Most recently, he was chief operating officer at Vision Critical, where he consistently delivered 25%-plus revenue growth. Previous to this, he served as managing director at OMERS Ventures, where he led numerous investments for technology companies such as Hootsuite, Hopper, BuildDirect, Desire2Learn, Fusebill, Vidyard and more. Smyth also served as a partner at EdgeStone Capital, where he managed investments for numerous companies, including Varicent Software (purchased by IBM) and Rypple (purchased by Before entering the world of venture capital, he was chief executive officer of Bridgewater Systems (purchased by Amdocs), where he was instrumental in the company's turnaround, and as chief operating officer of Ironside Technologies (purchased by SSA), where he was responsible for global sales, marketing, product and professional services.

SpecPage, Bradenton, Fla.
Milan Vacval was appointed project manager to lead technology projects for U.S.-based clients. In his new role, Vacval will be assisting SpecPage’s clients with the implementation of SpecPDM, a comprehensive application suite for recipe and specification management. Vacval maintains long-standing industry experience and specializes in master data management and data quality. Prior to joining SpecPage, he worked at 1WorldSync, and was a core member of the GS1 standard development groups, developing standards for item attributes, images and data synchronization, as well as data quality and implementation guidelines. He also held senior roles at AFS Technologies, Gladson and JDA Software.

Lauren Manufacturing, New Philadelphia, Ohio
Chris Kerr was named plant manager, tasked with overseeing day-to-day operations of the manufacturing facility, and helping the company achieve its goals for growth while maintaining a high level of workplace safety. Kerr brings 28 years of rubber extrusion and molding experience as well as a strong record of leading improvements within manufacturing operations. In addition to achieving 1.5 million hours without a lost time accident, Kerr has implemented successful employee-performance, waste-reduction and cost-savings programs.   

Greenbrier Cos., Inc., Lake Oswego, Ore.
The rail provider and its subsidiary, Greenbrier Management Services LLC, expanded its railcar asset management business with the launch of a new regulatory services group led by James Rader as vice president of regulatory services. Rader's four decades of railroad industry experience includes service at two Class I railroads, the Federal Railroad Administration and the Association of American Railroads. Rader most recently worked for Watco Cos., and was a 50/50 partner with Greenbrier in the GBW Railcar Services railcar repair joint venture. Currently, Rader serves on the board of the Mechanical Association Railcar Technical Services and recently represented shortline railroads on the AAR Tank Car Committee, where he chaired major subcommittees.  He is also a regular contributor at the FRA Railroad Safety Advisory Committee.

Cloverleaf Cold Storage, Monmouth, Ill.
Curtis Mastbergen was named vice president of operations. Mastbergen has been vice president of finance and administration since joining the company in 2002, and was instrumental in the selection and deployment of Cloverleaf’s warehouse management system and overall process improvement. Previously, he was president of a regional Midwestern bank. And, Vernon Rose was appointed vice president of sales, providing leadership for all corporate sales activities. Rose was previously executive vice president of business development for Americold, and before that, a logistics manager for Smithfield Foods.



Charles Seabrook II, one of the founders of Seabrook Brothers & Sons, Seabrook, N.J., passed away in his home Aug. 25.

He is survived by wife Jane Seabrook and their four children, Ivin (Charles F. III) (Kelly), Lucy (Brian Deas), Sarah (Eric DeJong) and Peter (Allison), as well as six grandchildren, Maggie, Beatrice, Charles F. IV and Sophia Seabrook and Riley and Holden DeJong. He is also survived by brothers James M., Sr. and B. Lawrence and their families. Besides his parents, he was predeceased by sister, Margaret Sanchez de Seabrook and wife, Evelyn Bowen Seabrook.

Charlies started out as a purchasing executive for the family business Seabrook Farms, and in 1978, he and his brother Jim started the frozen foods company Seabrook Brothers and Sons, where he worked until retirement as vice chairman.

Charlie received an associate's degree in automotive engineering from General Motors Institute, and served in the Army during the Korean conflict.