Convenience Distribution Association (CDA), Scottsdale, Ariz.
Susie Douglas Munson, chief operating officer of Douglas Cos., was elected as new chair for 2017. Munson, the first woman to hold the position in the association's history, follows in the footsteps of her father, the late Bob Douglas, who led the association, then known as the American Wholesale Marketers Association, in 2001. Munson has served in the convenience industry for over 26 years, dating back to May 1990.
National Restaurant Association, Washington, D.C.
Deb Billow joins as executive vice president of marketing and member engagement, responsible for overseeing the strategy and execution of the association's key marketing, membership events and industry sponsorship initiatives. Billow was most recently president of GKIC, and served as chief customer officer for the American Marketing Association, where she engaged and grew member connectivity, increased profitability and provided targeted services, products and benefits for its 30,000 members. Billow began her marketing career in Fortune 500 firms, including Kraft Heinz, Kellogg and ConAgra Foods, followed by a transition to the small business community with leadership roles in privately owned, non-profit and private equity owned businesses. Steve Danon joins as senior vice president of communications, tasked with overseeing the association's media and digital communications efforts. Over his 2-decade career, Danon was partner and managing director of the Hudson Park Group and vice president of strategic communications at DDC. He was also chief of staff to Congressman Brian Bilbray (CA-50), vice president of Porter Novelli International, chief of staff to a San Diego County Supervisor and campaign manager for a Mayor of the seventh largest city in the United States.
Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, Inc. (SUDIA), Atlanta
Doug Ackerman was elected general manager, effective Jan. 1, 2017, succeeding Cheryl Hayn, who will retire after more than 28 years of service with SUDIA. Hayn is a registered dietitian who began her career promoting dairy products at SUDIA in 1988. Hayn has held a number of positions while at SUDIA, working with the nutrition affairs, school health and communications departments, which led to her appointment as general manager in 2005. Ackerman maintains experience in retail, marketing, consumer packaged goods and state government, and boasts over 22 years of leadership and service through the National Guard, including two deployments in the Global War on Terror. His career has been heavily involved in the agriculture and food production industries, working for Pizza Inn and as the executive director for the Florida Department of Citrus.
Progressive Produce LLC, Los Angeles
Chris Polito was hired as director of food safety and regulatory compliance, effective Aug. 29. Polito was the owner/founder of Food Safety Innovative Solutions, preceded by positions with Taco Bell, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Qdoba Mexican Grill and Boston Market. He maintains certifications in FSMA, preventive controls and HAACP, and is certified as SQF Practitioner.
Category Partners, LLC, Aurora, Colo.
Tom Barnes was named chief executive officer, taking over for Mac Johnson, the founding president and CEO, who is stepping back and refocusing his efforts on driving value and growth in the retail grocery channel. Prior to joining Category Partners three years ago, Barnes held a senior position at Wada Farms Marketing Group, leading a major retailer account group for more than six of his 13 years with the company.
Gordon Food Service, Wyoming, Mich.
Rich Wolowski, president and COO, will succeed Jim Gordon as chief executive officer, effective Nov. 1. Gordon was appointed vice chairman of the company’s board of directors. Wolowski has been with Gordon Food Service since 2004, and has served as president and COO since 2013. Prior to serving in his present role, he held several key positions in the company, including director of program sales, general manager of the central states division and senior manager of U.S. national accounts and North American e-business. He also serves on the boards of International Foodservice Distributors Association, Markon and Parental Care Ministries.
JBS S.A., Brazil
José Batista Júnior was appointed interim president and CEO, taking over for former CEO Wesley Batista, who has been previously suspended from his management position by a court order in part of a probe of alleged fraud at some of Brazil’s biggest pension funds. José Batista Júnior has been president of the company for more than 20 years. Meanwhile, JBS founder José Batista Sobrinho was elected chairman of the board, taking over for Joesley Batista, who was also temporarily suspended from the company. As of press time, José Batista Júnior and Joesley Batista were able to resume their positions of CEO and chairman, respectively, after J&F Investimentos set up a deal with Brazil's Federal Public Prosecutors' Office.
George Weston Ltd., Canada
Galen Weston was named chairman, taking over for his father, W. Galen Weston, who stepped down as executive chairman, becoming chairman emeritus. Galen will retain his responsibilities as executive chairman and president of Loblaw Cos. Ltd. W. Galen assumed executive control of George Weston in 1974, when he succeeded his father. Over four decades as chairman, he established an extraordinary record of achievement—taking a sprawling portfolio and focusing on re-making Loblaw into what is said to be Canada’s top retailer, and building Weston into one of North America's largest food processing companies. During his tenure, W. Galen oversaw the introduction of some of Canada's most innovative brands and retail concepts, including President's Choice, Joe Fresh, No Frills and Real Canadian Superstore. Galen becomes the fourth generation of family leadership. He has been executive chairman of Loblaw since 2006 and deputy chairman of George Weston since March.
Pilgrim's Pride Corp., Greeley, Colo.
Mark Chranowski was tapped to the newly created role of general manager, responsible for overseeing the company's eight commercial operations, including poultry processing complexes in Nacogdoches, Texas; Russellville, Ala.; Mt. Pleasant, Texas; Broadway, Va.; Marshville, N.C.; Sanford, N.C.; Sumter, S.C.; and Douglas, Ga. Chranowski is a seasoned operations executive with 37 years of industry experience. He previously served as vice president of processing operations for Mountaire Farms, and has enjoyed management responsibilities such as live and plant operations, sales, quality assurance, human resources, purchasing, distribution, rendering and engineering for companies like Tyson Foods, ConAgra Foods, Rocco Farm Foods and Cargill Poultry.
Eco Farms, Temecula, Calif.
Mike Nunez joined as key accounts manager, while Jeff Davis was named national accounts manager.
Wendy's Co., Dublin, Ohio
E.J. Wunsch was appointed general counsel and secretary, effective Oct. 3, 2016. Wunsch comes from The Procter & Gamble Co., where he spent the last 17 years in legal roles of increasing responsibility, including his most recent assignment as vice president and general counsel of the North America business, as well as leading the company's global antitrust and mergers and acquisitions practices. Prior to that, Wunsch was based in Singapore, serving as associate general counsel for Procter & Gamble's Asia innovation, commerce and brand equity matters, where he maintains overall legal responsibility for the company's patent, trademark and advertising issues throughout Asia. He also held various roles at Procter & Gamble, including as assistant secretary to the board of directors and associate general counsel for securities, corporate governance and employee benefits law. He also spent time in the mergers and acquisitions and licensing practice. Prior to joining Procter & Gamble, in 1999, Wunsch served as an associate in the law firm Taft, Stettinius & Hollister and as a law clerk to the Honorable Richard Suhrheinrich on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
ERIKS North America, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Benjamin Mondics was appointed president and CEO, effective June 1. Previously, Mondics served as president of the friction controls group at SKF subsidiary Kaydon Corp. from 2013-2016, where he oversaw seven business units and 14 manufacturing facilities in six countries. He also served as president and COO at Applied Industrial Technologies from 2008-2013, and held other executive and management positions within the company since 1994.
Tna, Dallas, Texas
Henrique Vicente joined as regional sales manager for the Latin American sales team based in São Paulo, Brazil, responsible for supportingthe company’s Brazilian customers with food processing and packaging solutions. With more than 25 years of experience in the packaging industry, Vicente has worked for some of the largest packaging equipment manufacturers in the country in a variety of industries, including the food, pharmaceutical, electrical and chemical sectors.