Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Madison, Wis.
Chad Vincent was named new chief executive officer, effective Dec. 1. Vincent is a seasoned executive with experience taking startups, turnarounds, family owned brands and Fortune 50 divisions to record levels of sales and profitability. He brings an extensive dairy marketing and branding experience, having served as chief marketing officer and senior vice president of strategic development at Sartori Cheese for the past seven years. Prior to Sartori, Vincent held executive positions with H.J. Heinz, Miller Brewing Co., Fiskars Brands and other consumer products and beverage companies.
U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Washington, D.C.
Mahesh Ramanujam transitioned into his new role as president and CEO, effective Nov. 4, taking the reins from Rick Fedrizzi, founding chair, who announced plans to leave the organization toward the end of 2016. Ramanujam will also serve as president and CEO of USGBC’s sister organization, Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI). Ramanujam joined USGBC in 2009 as senior vice president of technology, and was named to his current position of chief operating officer in September 2011. In December 2012, he was named president of GBCI. Prior to joining USGBC, Ramanujam was chief operating officer for Emergys, and was a consultant to IBM, serving as part of the team that led various business transformation initiatives, including the sale of IBM PC systems to Lenovo and its printer divisions to Ricoh.
Conagra Brands, Inc., Chicago
Craig Omtvedt joined the board of directors, following the separation of its Lamb Weston business and name change from ConAgra Foods. Omtvedt is an accomplished executive with significant experience driving shareholder value. He served as senior vice president and CFO of Fortune Brands, Inc. from 2000 until his retirement in October 2011, and as a consultant to Beam Inc., the successor to Fortune Brands, during 2012. He joined Fortune Brands in 1989. Prior to Fortune Brands, Omtvedt served in financial positions of increasing responsibility at both The Pillsbury Co. and Sears, Roebuck & Co. He also served as director of Oshkosh Corp. since 2008 and General Cable Co. since 2004. He previously served as a director of The Hillshire Brands Co. from 2012-2014. He currently serves as a trustee of Lake Forest College and a national trustee of Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
Mann Packing, Salinas, Calif.
Tom Langell joined as director of IT, responsible for the overall planning, organizing and execution of all IT functions, including supporting and maintaining existing applications and development of new technical solutions. Langell comes from Monterey Mushrooms. Jennifer Lind was named sales operations manager, acting as the primary catalyst for estimates on volume and raw product needs, annual sales and revenue planning, as well as critical support for internal sales reporting. Lind comes to the company after a 12-year career with Earthbound Farm, where she worked as a senior manager focusing on forecasting, planning and budgeting for nine of the 12 years. And, Dylan Eads was hired as sales analyst, responsible for the collection, analysis and reporting of sales-related data. Eads will develop and track key performance indicators and standardize reporting and analysis.
Rainier Fruit Co., Selah, Wash.
Cristy Warnock was named brand manager, working with the business development team to monitor key marketing trends and advance go-to-market strategies for the full suite of Rainier Fruit brands and products. No stranger to the apple industry, Warnock has worked in operations for both Pink Lady America and Proprietary Variety Management (PVM), where she was part of the commercialization process that included licensing strategies, brand and logo development, coordination of industry stakeholders, brand protection and early promotion. She also worked as a paralegal for 11 years, specializing in plant patents, trademarks and global licensing strategies.
Maple Leaf Foods, Canada
Gregory Boland resigned as a director, a position he has held since 2011. He also served on the Audit Committee and the Human Resources and Compensation Committee.
RPE Inc., Bancroft, Wis.
Tim Huffcutt was appointed marketing director, effective Oct. 24, tasked with overseeing all marketing strategies for consumer, trade, local community and internal communication. Huffcutt has worked in corporate public relations, communications and marketing roles for most of his career. Most recently, he worked in the healthcare industry, with functional responsibilities from market research, planning and digital strategy to customer relationship management and new business/acquisition activities.
Darden Restaurants, Inc., Orlando, Fla.
Nana Mensah joined the company's board of directors, effective immediately. Mensah serves as chairman and CEO of 'XPORTS, Inc., and previously served as the chief operating officer of Church's Chicken, a division of AFC Enterprises, Inc., and as president and COO of Long John Silver's Restaurants, Inc. Prior to that, Mensah served as senior vice president, operations and concept development for PepsiCo Restaurants International, overseeing the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands internationally, then was a regional vice president and general manager for the KFC brand for PepsiCo. Additionally, Mensah serves on the board of directors of Reynolds American, Inc. and the board of trustees of the Children's Miracle Network.
Beckhoff Automation LLC, Savage, Minn.
Doug Schuchart was promoted to Northeast region manager, responsible for managing the Northeast Region direct sales team in the United States, which supports machine builders, manufacturers and other high-tech companies. Schuchart also oversees strategies to increase acceptance and implementation of PC- and EtherCAT-based control technology. A 9-year veteran at Beckhoff, Schuchart was a senior sales manager, serving customers throughout the Northeast region and managing sales and support activities in the company’s Mechanicsburg, Pa., field office. In this capacity, Schuchart helped drive significant sales increases at new and existing accounts while building the local Beckhoff support network. Schuchart maintains over 26 years of industrial automation experience with companies such as DuPont and the Hershey Foods Co. Schuchart has also held high level sales and management positions at a variety of machine builder OEMs and systems integration companies. Additionally, he was the general manager of Device Bus Integration, Inc., president of the controls division of Delta Systems, Inc., and the national account manager for Tyson Foods, also at Delta Systems.
SunPower Corp., San Jose, Calif.
Howard Wenger, president of business units, will be leaving the company during the next six months. Wenger, a known leader in solar for more than 30 years, has been an executive officer at the company for almost 10 years. He was on the executive team and board of directors of PowerLight Corp., which was acquired by SunPower in 2007. Wenger helped SunPower establish a residential business, pioneer a large scale solar business and expand the company's global reach.
Fristam Pumps USA, Middleton, Wis.
Priscilla Pruitt joined as a customer service representative, responsible for aiding customers with technical support and customer service. Pruitt comes with 10-plus years of years of customer service and sales experience.
NEHDS Logistics, Bethel, Conn.
Charles Johnson was named president and COO, tasked with overseeing daily operations and further developing the growing portfolio of regional and national accounts. Johnson comes with a wealth of industry experience, having spent the previous 13 years with Diakon Logistics, where he oversaw all aspects of day-to-day operations. His background includes more than 31 years of diverse business experience in operations, finance, accounting and administration. Prior to Diakon Logistics, Johnson spent more than eight years in investment banking advising companies on mergers, acquisitions and capital sourcing. Previous to his career in investment banking, he served as chief operating officer and chief financial officer of a telecommunications company and national foodservice distributor. He started his career with the Assurance Practice of Coopers & Lybrand.
Danfoss, Bethpage, N.Y.
Lars Rasmussen was named vice president of the heat exchangers business, focused on growing and developing the company’s heat exchanger product portfolio, research and development efforts. Prior to joining Danfoss, Rasmussen was general manager of the industrial solutions sector of Moog.
IN MEMORIUM: JACK BROWN, STATER BROS.
Jack Brown, executive chairman of Stater Bros. Markets, San Bernardino, Calif., passed away Nov. 13.
Brown began his supermarket career as a box boy at Berk’s Market Spot at 13 years old, sparking a 65-year career in the grocery industry. Brown joined Stater Bros. in 1981, serving as president and CEO for over 35 years and as chairman for over 30 years. He became the executive chairman after appointing Pete Van Helden to the position of President and CEO earlier this year.
“Grief is not a strong enough word to describe what the Stater Bros. ‘family’ feels,” says Van Helden. “Jack touched every one of us in a very personal way, and it is that legacy that we must carry forward. He loved the business, his company and each one of us.”
Brown was also a proud Navy Veteran who served on active duty with the Pacific Fleet of the United States Navy during the Vietnam era. He’s also received countless awards for his contributions to the supermarket industry.
Brown is survived by his wife Debbie, three beloved daughters; J. Kathleen Smith (Michael Smith), Cara Hoffman (Scott Hoffman) and Melissa Koss (Pete Koss). He had seven grandchildren, Kaitlyn, Colleen, Caden, Dylan, Julianna, Jack Ryan and Emma.
His burial will be private for family only with a memorial to follow at a later date.