Cold food industry experiences flurry of management changes
MHI, Charlotte, N.C.
Sal Fateen, chief executive officer of Seizmic, Inc., was elected to MHI’s Roundtable Advisory Committee, where he will provide counsel to the Board of Governors on membership, the direction of the industry and MHI’s affiliated trade groups as well as attend and participate in industry events.
American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), Alexandria, Va.
Mark McAndrews, port director of the Port of Pascagoula, was formally installed as the 2016-17 chairman of the board, succeeding Jim Quinn, president and CEO of Port Saint John. McAndrews also chairs the association’s U.S. delegation, and has devoted most of his professional life to the public port industry.
Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB), Madison, Wis.
Shelley McDaniel joined as West Coast regional marketing manager, responsible for managing retail and foodservice promotional activity across the West Coast. Most recently, McDaniel was Pacific Northwest foodservice sales manager for Emmi Roth USA. Prior to that, she worked for Classic Foods and the In Good Taste Cooking School and founded Cooking Accomplished!
Alliance for Food and Farming (AFF), Watsonville, Calif.
George Radanovich, president of California Fresh Fruit Association, joined the organization’s management board. Radanovich served in Congress from 1995-2011, representing California's 19th District. While in the House of Representatives, he served as co-chair of both the Water Caucus and the Wine Caucus, and was considered an agricultural expert in areas related to water supply and immigration reform. Radanovich is also a farmer who began growing premium wine grapes in Mariposa County in 1982. Radanovich became president of the CFFA in August. Rick Tomlinson, president, California Strawberry Commission (CSC), was named new secretary/treasurer. Tomlinson has served on the AFF management board since 2013. He became president of the CSC that same year, where he had previously served as the organization’s vice president of public policy. During his tenure at the CSC, Tomlinson was part of the leadership team that spearheaded groundbreaking efforts to protect the ozone through pesticide-reduction practices. Most recently, Tomlinson helped execute an agreement with Cal Poly SLO to establish the Strawberry Sustainability and Research Center.
Refrigerated Foods Association (RFA), Marietta, Ga.
Katy (Fisher) Billings re-joined RFA in charge of communications and marketing, taking over for Charlotte Mason. Billings was communications director for RFA from 2010-2013.
N.C. Pork Council, Raleigh, N.C.
Andy Curliss was appointed new chief executive officer, effective Nov. 14, taking over for Deborah Johnson, who announced she was leaving after 11 years. Curliss, a former journalist, brings extensive experience in public policy and communications. He most recently led the public affairs and strategic communications division of Gelia, advising clients on public policy, issues management and coalition building. Before joining Gelia, Curliss was a fixture at The News & Observer of Raleigh for nearly two decades as an editor and reporter covering state government and reporting on rural North Carolina. He left the paper in 2015.
Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG), Kansas City, Kan.
Upon it unification with Affiliated Foods Midwest (AFM), the new region will be led by new senior executive Martin Arter, the former president and CEO of AFM.
United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI), Providence, R.I.
President and CEO Steven Spinner was appointed chairman of the board of directors, effective in December, succeeding Michael Funk, the co-founder, former CEO and current chairman of UNFI. Spinner has served as UNFI’s president and CEO since September 2008.
Naturipe Farms LLC, Salinas, Calif.
Robert Verloop resigned from his executive vice president of marketing post, effective immediately. Verloop joined the grower-owned company in February 2008, where he was a member of the executive management team, responsible for global brand management, all marketing functions, corporate communications, new product development and innovation and a leader on the strategic planning team. More recently, he served as the chief operating officer of Naturipe Brands LLC, a Naturipe Farms subsidiary, where he was responsible for the development of new strategic business units, leveraging the Naturipe brand and infrastructure. Prior to joining Naturipe Farms, Verhoop was the former vice president of global marketing and licensing for Sunkist Growers, Inc. He started his marketing and management career as the vice president for the California Avocado Commission, and served on the board of directors for the Produce Marketing Association, Canadian Produce Marketing Association and Produce for Better Health, and is a frequent speaker and moderator at produce industry events.
Albertsons Cos., Boise, Idaho
Christine Wilcox, current vice president of corporate communications, was promoted to vice president, communications and public affairs, taking over for Brian Dowling, who retired earlier this year. Wilcox is an 18-year veteran of Albertsons, and for the last 10 years has served in both internal communications and public relations roles. As part of Wilcox's new role, she will lead a newly integrated internal and external communications team and drive the company's communications strategy around its growth, trajectory, innovative practices and community involvement. She joined Albertsons in 1998 as an editor, and held positions of increasing responsibility, including executive liaison to the board of directors, training director and training and communications director for two former subsidiaries of Albertson's, Inc. Wilcox was also Southwest division communications and public affairs director with Albertson's in 2006. She was named to her current position in 2013 following the acquisition from SUPERVALU.
ConAgra Foods, Inc., Chicago
JeanMarie Brownson was named culinary director, responsible for leading culinary development for Frontera branded products and for all of the company’s growth business programs. Brownson came from the recent Frontera Foods. acquisition, where she was part owner and culinary director, in charge of new product development, quality control and consumer educational materials. Brownson has also served as test kitchen director and assistant food editor for the Chicago Tribune.
Hain Celestial Group, Inc., Lake Success, N.Y.
Beena Goldenberg was appointed chief executive officer of the company’s new Cultivate Ventures platform, adding to her current role of chief executive officer of Hain Celestial Canada. With this role, she will oversee Cultivate's mission to grow strategic investments and act as an incubator of small acquisitions.
Whole Foods Market, Austin, Texas
Co-founder John Mackey transitioned from co-CEO role to be a sole chief executive officer, effective Dec. 31, taking over for Walter Robb, who will remain on the board of directors and continue to serve as chairman for both Whole Kids Foundation and Whole Cities Foundation. Robb has served the company for 25 years, most recently as co-CEO for the previous six years. Likewise, executive vice president and CFO Glenda Flanagan, the longest-serving female chief financial officer in the Fortune 500, will retire from the role after 29 years. Also, Mary Ellen Coe, vice president of sales and product operations for Google, joined the board of directors.
Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc., Coral Gables, Fla.
Youssef Zakharia was appointed president and COO to succeed Hani El-Naffy, effective Nov. 3, upon the completion of the previously announced transition of El-Naffy to a consultant until Feb. 28, 2017. Zakharia has held positions in the company’s management for over 16 years, most recently as executive vice president and vice president, Europe and Africa. Previously, Zakharia served as vice president for the Middle East and North Africa region; vice president, human resources for the Europe, Africa and Middle East region; and director of operations for the Europe, Africa and Middle East region. Before joining the company, Zakharia served as the director of sales, Europe, Africa and Middle East for A.W. Chesterton and director of operations for Nevada Power Co.
TreeHouse Foods, Inc., Oak Brook, Ill.
Christopher Sliva tendered his resignation as president to pursue another career opportunity. Executive vice president and CFO Dennis Riordan, whose upcoming retirement was announced in August, has committed to remain with the company and serve as interim president. Riordan will have oversight of both of the operating companies—Bay Valley Foods and TreeHouse Private Brands. Additionally, Matthew Foulston was named executive vice president and CFO, effective Dec. 2. Foulston was most recently chief financial officer of Compass Minerals International, Inc., where he was responsible for accounting, financial planning and reporting, tax, internal audit, capital investment management and investor relations. Prior to joining Compass Minerals in December 2014, Foulston was senior vice president of operations and corporate finance at Navistar International and vice president and CFO at Navistar Truck. He also previously held senior leadership positions at Mazda North America and Ford Motor Co. in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. These changes come on the heels of TreeHouse announcing plans to shutter one of its two Canada production facilities and downsize its Battle Creek, Mich., plant.
Yum China Holdings, Inc., Shanghai, China
Ruby Lu was appointed to the board of the directors for the licensee of Yum! Brands, effective immediately. Lu is an independent venture capitalist investing in technology start-ups in the United States and China. Previously, she was the co-founder of DCM China, where she spent 12 years investing in and serving as a board member of many leading technology companies such as BitAuto Holdings Ltd., E-Commerce China Dangdang Inc. and Pactera Technology International Ltd. She also served as an independent director and chairman of the special committee for iDreamSky Technologies Ltd. before it was taken private. She is currently an independent director and chairman of the special committee for iKang Healthcare Group, Inc. Prior to joining DCM in 2003, Lu was a vice president in the technology, media and telecommunications investment banking group of Goldman Sachs & Co.
RCI Hospitality Holdings, Inc., Houston, Texas
The subsidiary Bombshells Restaurant & Bar chain named Shannon Glaser as vice president of franchise and concept development. With more than 15 years of experience in all aspects of retail franchising, Glaser was most recently senior director of franchise and development of the 78-unit Twin Peaks sports bar restaurant chain, where she sold more than 120 franchise commitments, generating millions of dollars in upfront fees. Glaser started her career in 2000 with Images 4 Kids, expanding the family-owned children's daycare photography concept to 100 franchisees. She joined Twin Peaks In 2010, establishing its franchise department and was accountable for the entire development cycle, including strategy, sales, awareness and relationship management.
The Branded Group, Orange, Calif.
Jon Thomas, an operations and business process leader in the facilities maintenance industry, joined as president. Thomas was formerly a senior director at a nationwide retail facilities maintenance company, where he managed operations and business processes. He also worked with functional leaders in defining and optimizing business processes to meet aggressive financial metrics. Thomas began his career as a facilities coordinator at Nextel Communications, and then was promoted to project manager at post-merger Sprint Nextel. He also worked with PS Business Parks as a commercial property manager for 1.1 million square feet of newly acquired office space.
Eaglestone Equipment, St. Charles, Ill.
Jim Proce was named sales engineer. Proce has owned Procon Systems for over 30 years, specializing in supplying conveyors and conveying systems for the food industry. Contemplating retirement, he sold the company to Eaglestone and then joined the organization.
TricorBraun Design & Engineering Group, Oak Brook, Ill.
Matthew Ramsdell was promoted to vice president, design and engineering, responsible for managing design, engineering and continued development of quality resources as they relate to the execution of custom packaging solutions. He is also charged with leading the team in the efficient transformation of concepts into manufacturable packaging components and systems with a focus on process optimization. Additionally, he will be prioritizing work, identifying design and engineering resource and training needs, analyzing results to effectively capture key metrics such as speed-to-market and engaging with outside development partners. Formerly director of project management, Ramsdell has been with TricorBraun since 2014, having been involved with Pharmaceuticals SmartMouth, PL Developments and more. He has also worked in package development for various consumer packaged goods and packaging supply companies such as Bayer Environmental Science in packaging innovation and Chesapeake (now MPS) in secondary packaging and Cadbury Schweppes (now Dr. Pepper Snapple Group) in food and beverage for more than 20 years.
KION Group, Summerville, S.C.
The new Dematic operating unit, which KION Group recently acquired, will be led by John Baysore, previously CEO of Dematic North America, who will become president and CEO. Jeff Moss will take on the newly created role of executive vice president international, heading up Dematic's international business outside North America. The new management team will also include Frank Herzog, previously the KION Group's head of corporate finance, as executive vice president of finance and CFO. Business in North America will be the responsibility of Scott Watts, who was appointed executive vice president North America. Ulf Henriksson, chief executive officer of Dematic, resigned.
MOCON, Inc., Minneapolis
Alan Traylor was promoted to the newly-created position of director of product management, responsible for overseeing the product management teams for permeation, testing lab and consultancy, package testing and integrity, microbial detection and industrial analyzers. Traylor joined MOCON in 2011 as the company’s new business manager of food safety products, where he was responsible for the GreenLight screening system. He also has been an executive in other product and technology-oriented instrument companies with global footprints.
Source Refrigeration & HVAC, Anaheim, Calif.
Adam Coffey was appointed new president and CEO. Founder Brad Howard will remain as chairman, working with Coffey to further develop the company’s strategic vision, organic and acquisition growth initiatives and customer relationships. Previously, Coffey was president and CEO of WASH Multifamily Laundry for 13 years, where he modernized the business, acquired and integrated 18 companies and more than doubled revenues and profits. Prior to his work at WASH, Coffee was president and CEO of Masterplan, Inc., and held leadership positions with a number of business units inside GE Medical Systems. He began his career serving the US Army, where he oversaw a group of highly trained, specialized soldiers in maintaining and repairing multi-million dollar “Top Secret” air defense radar systems.