Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG), Kansas City, Mo.

Bob Pickerill, senior vice president and division manager, announced his plans for retirement. Pickerill joined AWG in 1997, and over the course of his career, has served in a variety of progressive positions. Effective Jan. 1, 2017, David Gates will assume the role of senior vice president and division manager. Gates joined AWG in April 1990. Throughout the course of his career, he worked in several areas within the company, most recently serving as vice president of sales and merchandising for the Southaven division.

National Restaurant Association, Washington, D.C.
Terry Erdle was appointed to the newly created role of chief revenue officer, tasked with overseeing the association's revenue-generating activities, including the NRA Show, ServSafe, National Registry, sponsorships and strategic alliances. With more than 25 years of leadership experience in cyber security, online learning and trade association leadership, Erdle most recently served as executive vice president of business development for Knowledge Factor, where he substantially grew revenues by building innovative go-to-market strategies.  Previously, Erdle led the certification and learning division of CompTIA, and acted as chairman of the Cybersecurity Credentialing Collaborative, where he led cross-industry initiatives to raise awareness of and advocate for vendor-neutral credentials in information security, privacy and related IT disciplines. Erdle has also held senior executive positions at Sun Microsystems, IHS Group and Mattel Toys, where he established a track record for advancing service and training solutions, while developing and growing sustainable revenue streams in short timeframes by utilizing advanced technology products, training and innovative market approaches.

International Food Information Council, Washington, D.C.
Tamika Sims was named director of food technology communications. Previously, she served as director of human health policy for CropLife America, where she helped analyze the impact of regulatory initiatives on consumer health and the crop protection industry. She also served as director of science and research for the International Bottled Water Association, where she was chief staff liaison for the association’s relationships and activities with various scientific, industry, government and academic organizations and trade associations.
American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI), McLean, Va.
Brandon Partridge was named senior vice president of industry development. Partridge most recently served as founder and CEO of Skyland Foods. Previous to launching Skyland Foods in 2011, Partridge held positions in government relations with Governor Bob Taft (R-Ohio), Nestlé USA and the Tipton Group. He also served as executive director of the Cheese Importers Association of America, where he increased the association’s engagement in Washington, D.C., to achieve multiple public policy goals.

Grain Foods Foundation, Washington, D.C.
Dr. Dyan Hes, owner and medical director of Gramercy Pediatrics, joined the scientific advisory board. Board certified in pediatrics and obesity medicine, Hes serves as a general pediatrician and specializes in childhood obesity, offering medical advice and counseling to change eating behaviors to combat obesity. Additionally, Hes serves as a director of the American Board of Obesity Medicine, is an assistant attending pediatrician at New York Presbyterian Hospital and is a clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College.

American Butter Institute (ABI), Arlington, Va.
John Ellenberger, senior vice president of U.S. dairy foods for Land O’ Lakes, Inc., was elected president, taking over for outgoing president, Irv Holmes, chief executive officer of Challenge Dairy Products. Tom Balmer will continue his role as ABI’s executive director.

National Chicken Council, Washington, D.C.
Mike Popowycz, vice chairman and chief financial officer of Case Foods, was installed as 2016-2017 chairman. Popowycz was elected to the Case Foods board of directors in 2005 and to the National Chicken Council board of directors in June 2012. Previously, he spent two years with Bell Atlantic Corp.n and seven years with Perdue Farms Inc., serving in various accounting and tax positions. Serving as vice chairman for 2016-2017 is Ben Harrison, president and CEO of Amick Farms, LLC. Harrison has been with Amick Farms since 1991, working in various capacities throughout the company until he became president in 2004. Mark Kaminsky, chief operating officer at Koch Foods, takes over as secretary-treasurer. Kaminsky has been with Koch Foods in 1990, starting out on the financial side, then later moving to the operational side. For instance, he assisted in Koch's growth from a 1-plant operation to it today being a leading poultry company with acquisitions, Greenfield site developments and internal expansion. Mike Brown was also elected to a fifth term as president.


The Original Cakerie, St. Paul, Minn.
Paul Lapadat was named chief executive officer of the new holding company, Desserts Holdings, succeeding Dave Hood, who has been CEO for more than 20 years. Lapadat served as the chief executive officer of Flagstone Foods, Inc. from December 2010 to March 2015, where he was responsible for doubling the size of the business in three years. Prior to that, he was president and COO of ConAgra Foods’ snack foods group from 2004-2010, overseeing Slim Jim, Orville Redenbacher's, ACT II, DAVID and Crunch 'n Munch. He joined ConAgra Foods in 2001, when it acquired International Home Foods. After that transfer, he served as general manager, store brands from 2001-2003. Lapadat began his career in finance with General Mills and then progressed through with Kraft and Pillsbury. He is also an independent director of Inventure Foods, Inc. Also part of the transition, Chris Rogers was named chief financial officer for the holding company. Rogers maintains over 24 years of finance experience, most recently as a partner with MGMT3D, where he was engaged by Gryphon Investors to serve in a chief financial officer capacity for several portfolio companies.  From 2012-2015, he was the chief financial officer for Sheplers, and from 2011-2012, was the interim CFO and advisor for Flagstone Foods, where he helped to establish the holding company operating structure and led the transition of Ann’s House of Nuts and Amport Foods into Flagstone Foods. Prior to that, Rogers worked with ConAgra Foods in various financial and planning capacities. Meanwhile, Doris Bitz will become president of The Original Cakerie. Bitzs has been a key member of the leadership team of The Original Cakerie for the past seven years. Most recently, she served as the senior vice president, retail sales and marketing. Prior to that, she was vice president, marketing, Pepsi-QTG Canada from 2002-2008. She began her career at General Mills Canada, progressing through brand marketing ranks in positions of increasing responsibility, culminating in vice president, marketing.  

Marine Harvest, Norway
Per-Roar Gjerde was appointed new chief operating officer for Farming Norway and Chile, effective Jan. 1, 2017, taking over for Marit Solberg, will continue to lead the farming activities in Scotland, Canada, Ireland and Faroe Island. Gjerde maintains extensive experience within salmon farming and sales. He started his career as a salesperson with Domstein Salmon. In 2002, Gjerde became controller for farming at Fjord Seafood Norway, which became part of Marine Harvest in 2006. In 2007, Gjerde was appointed regional director for Region West, one of the four business units of Marine Harvest Norway. In January, he was appointed managing director for Marine Harvest Chile and subsequently moved to Chile, where he led the business restructuring process. Gjerde will continue in his current position until his replacement is in place.

Sargento Foods Inc., Plymouth, Wis.
Jeremy Behler was promoted to executive vice president and CFO, taking over for George Hoff, who announced plans to retire at the end of the year. Hoff joined Sargento as controller in 1983, after serving as audit manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Since then, he has served in various financial roles at Sargento, most recently as chief financial officer and as president of the consumer products division from 1997-2000. During his tenure, Hoff developed Sargento finance, accounting and information technology capabilities. Behler will lead the finance, accounting and IT departments, responsible for instituting process improvements that will enhance visibility to cost factors, oversee financial analysis, develop strategies and implement enhanced reporting procedures and tools. He will also transition IT from a service provider to a strategic enabler for the organization’s evolving technology needs. Outside of his day-to-day responsibilities, Behler led two United Way campaigns at Sargento in 2015 and 2016. Prior to joining Sargento in 2014, he handled global business development for mergers and acquisitions at Proctor & Gamble, where he led all areas of mergers and acquisitions for external business opportunities, including acquisitions, divestitures and joint ventures. During his 15-year tenure at P&G, he built an extensive resume of multi-functional experience in strategy, financial planning and analysis, operations, supply chain, sales and marketing and IT.


Twinlode Corp., South Bend, Ind.
Lawrence “Skip” Eastman was promoted to president and CEO. Eastman was previously just president, responsible for management, product development and domestic and international sales. Dennis Hartman, who previously held the title of chief executive officer, will continue to have an active role at the company as chairman of the board. With more than 40 years in the material handling industry, Eastman boasts vast experience managing projects that encompass rack, AS/RS, push back and flow-through storage systems. Prior to Twinlode, he was vice president at Steel King Industries.

DENSO Products and Services Americas, Inc., a subsidiary of DENSO Corp., Long Beach, Calif.
Daniel Muramoto was named marketing manager of the company’s aftermarket automotive products and services, as well as its MovinCool, Robotics and ADC divisions, responsible for directing DENSO’s team of marketing professionals handling advertising campaigns, product websites, social media, tradeshows, product catalogs, technical publications, external affairs and corporate communications. Muramoto maintains more than 20 years of marketing experience in the automotive and heavy equipment industries. His expertise includes developing and managing national, regional and dealer cooperative advertising campaigns, collateral and in-dealership marketing programs, digital advertising and online search initiatives, and customer relationship management (CRM). Previously, Muramoto spent 10 years with Kubota Tractor Corp., where he served as regional dealer group advertising and CRM manager. Before joining Kubota, Muramoto managed marketing communications and direct marketing for Nissan North America, where he directed the collateral marketing, dealer merchandising and direct marketing programs. Muramoto replaces Larry Fidance, who is retiring in December.

TroverCo, St. Louis, Mo.
David Leavitt was appointed new President and COO. Leavitt maintains a long history of sales and marketing leadership in the food industry, most recently as head of marketing at Hostess Brands.

Coherix, Inc., Ann Arbor, Mich.
Dr. Xihan Qian was appointed new general manager of Coherix China, responsible for overseeing the operation in China and formulating business plans and strategies. Prior to joining Coherix, Qian launched a subsidiary for a German machine vision company in Shanghai China, where he served as general manager for about four years. Within the first year, Qian achieved rapid market penetration. Previously, he was the premier representative of the German Mechanical Engineering Federation in Shanghai, and a researcher at Fraunhofer in Germany, focusing on the application of data mining in intelligent maintenance.

UniCarriers Americas Corp. (UCA), Chicago
Aaron Boemmel joined as regional sales manager for the northeast, responsible for strengthening UCA’s dealer network and increasing its dealer market share. Prior to joining UCA, Boemmel worked as an account manager of equipment sales for Eastern Lift Truck Co. Michael Paul was named southeast regional sales manager, responsible for managing all facets of dealer sales support for the southeast. With more than 20 years of industry experience, Paul previously worked as a territory manager, regional sales manager and in national accounts sales for Linde Material Handling. Terre Robert Haff is the newest regional sales manager for the southwest. Haff will assist in dealer sales support for Southern California, Southern Nevada, New Mexico and Hawaii. Prior to joining UCA, Haff worked more than 18 years in the material handling industry, including as a territory manager at Johnson Lift Hyster. And, Paul West was appointed regional sales manager for the northwest, responsible for increasing UCA market share and working with dealers in Northern California, Northern Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Alaska. Prior to joining UCA, West worked as a regional sales manager for the KION Group, warehouse solutions manager for NMHG and territory manager for Pape Material Handling.

Kane Is Able, Inc., Scranton, Pa.
Mark Johnson was named senior vice president of transportation and solutions, responsible for transportation, pricing, engineering and continuous improvement. Johnson is a 30-plus-year veteran of the supply chain industry, with a strong background in accelerating transformational growth at global Fortune 100 companies. His experience includes operations, solutions design, continuous improvement, business formation and start-up, strategic business development and planning, product development, business process improvement and change management at such companies as Deutsche Post DHL, Intermarine, International SOS and Velocity.