Tyson Foods, Inc., Springdale, Ark.
Tom Hayes, president, will succeed Donnie Smith as chief executive officer, effective Dec. 31. Smith has been CEO of Tyson Foods since November 2009, helping to build a platform to support the company’s hybrid strategy of branded prepared products and fresh chicken, beef, pork and specialty meats. Hayes, who was promoted to president earlier this year, will continue to serve as president. Hayes is a 29-year veteran of the consumer products industry. Prior to his role as president, he was chief commercial officer, overseeing all North American sales, in addition to the foodservice prepared foods business. He also previously served as president of foodservice. Previously, Hayes served as chief supply chain officer for The Hillshire Brands Co., responsible for operations, including procurement, manufacturing, food safety and quality, engineering, and logistics. Before that, Hayes was senior vice president and chief supply chain officer for Sara Lee North America, responsible for supply chain activities for the company’s North American retail and foodservice businesses. Prior to this role, Hayes was president of Sara Lee Foodservice. Before joining Sara Lee in 2006, Hayes served as group vice president of US Foodservice, Inc., where he oversaw the turnaround needs of broadline distribution facilities in the Northeast. Hayes has also held general management and sales and marketing roles at ConAgra Foods, The Fort James Corp., Stella Foods and Kraft Foods.

United Potato Growers of America (UPGA), Salt Lake City, Utah
Mark Klompien was selected president and CEO, taking over for Jerry Wright, who is retiring. Before joining UPGA, Klompien served for 4.5 as president of the Idaho Grower Shippers Association (IGSA). Prior to his time with the IGSA, he was the vice president of supply chain management at Idahoan Foods, and also spent six years at Lamb Weston and 18 years at Basic American Foods, where he held a number of positions in engineering, operations, raw material, supply chain, procurement and government relations.

Quality Custom Distribution (QCD,) Irvine, Calif.
Kristy Taddonio Mullins
, president of Mile Hi Specialty Foods, will become a partner and board member of QCD Rocky Mountain, a new company formed by the acquisition of Mile Hi Specialty Foods. Meanwhile, Cody Mullins, vice president of Mile Hi Specialty Foods, will lead the operations and serve as managing director. 

Buy Low Foods, Canada
Sam Corea
was appointed vice president, retail, assuming responsibility for all matters relating to corporate store operations, merchandising and banner positioning. With this, Dereck Hein was promoted to director, retail operations, and Troy Dewinetz was promoted to director, merchandising and corporate marketing. Albert Lum was promoted to vice president, supply chain and procurement, responsible for managing inventory needs for all aspects of the business, while optimizing and evolving the corporate infrastructure from a facilities and transportation management point of view. With this, Aaron Bregg was promoted to director, produce operations, supporting the needs of the company’s wholesale customers. Larry Chmielewski was promoted to vice president, wholesale, assuming overall executive management responsibility for all aspects of the Associated Grocers wholesale business, including sales, wholesale marketing and customer relationship management. To support this direction, Brody Powell was promoted to general manager, independent wholesale marketing, and Rick Geirnaert was promoted to general manager, independent business development. Ian Dickson was promoted to the newly created position of vice president, strategic growth initiatives, tasked with managing strategic business development and corporate governance initiatives and developing strategies and synergies between retail and wholesale to maximize sales opportunities for all channels. Leonard Jang, vice president and general manager of Van-Whole Produce, will continue to hold executive management responsibility for all aspects of the Van-Whole operation. Atanu Dalal was promoted to vice president, finance and corporate services, responsible for finance, risk management, office services, real estate matters and legal affairs. Clark Wong was promoted to managing director, information technology. And, Sandra Stelting was promoted to director, human resources.

Rouses Markets, Thibodaux, La.
Donny Rouse
assumed the role of chief executive officer, making him the third generation to lead the family business. Before that, he was managing partner. Steve Black was named president and COO, effective Dec. 1, taking over for Scott Miller, who has been the company’s COO for the past nine years. Miller helped the company grow from 15 stores in Louisiana to 54 stores in three states. Black brings 40 years of retail experience to the role, having previously served as president of Lucky’s Market. Before joining Lucky’s Market, Black was vice president of operations, CIO and CMO of Sprouts Farmers Markets, and served as vice president of operations, IT and marketing for Sunflower Farmers Market. He was also the transitional executive during the Sprouts/Sunflower merger, and spent a majority of his career with Bruno’s Supermarkets and United Supermarkets.


Del Frisco's Restaurant Group, Inc., Southlake, Texas
The owner and operator of the Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House, Sullivan's Steakhouse and Del Frisco's Grille restaurant concepts named Norman Abdallah as chief executive officer, taking over for Mark Mednansky, who announced plans to retire. Most recently, Abdallah was an operating partner for CIC Partners, where he acted in an operating and investing role in their restaurant portfolio companies.  Prior to joining CIC, Abdallah served as interim CEO of Dinosaur BBQ while establishing a restaurant investment platform for a family office, leading the acquisition of Jim ‘N Nick's BBQ. Previously, Abdallah led the turnaround at Romano's Macaroni Grill that resulted in a sale to Ignite Restaurant Group. Before joining Macaroni Grill (a concept owned by Golden Gate Capital) as president and CEO in July 2010, Norman held the same position at Sun Capital-owned Restaurants Unlimited. Earlier, Abdallah was the co-founder and CEO of Fired Up, Inc.


Eriez, Erie, Pa.

Andrew Goldner was promoted to director-export sales. Goldner re-joined Eriez in 2012 as export market development manager, and most recently served as senior manager-exports.


Patrick Riordan, co-founder of California Berry Farms, Watsonville, Calif., passed away Nov. 18 after a brief and unexpected illness. 

Riordan began his career in the produce industry at a young age, working in sales for the Watsonville Berry Co-op and Coastal Berry. He ultimately joined his cousin Bill Moncovich at what began as New West Fruit, a small strawberry sales company in Watsonville. Riordan and Moncovich maintain over 40 years working side-by-side, with Riordan focused on sales and Moncovich working with farming operations. Together, they built the company on personal long-term relationships in the industry, resulting in California Giant Berry Farms, an international grower/shipper packer of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.  

Riordan is survived by his two children Alexa and Michael, and his sister Marilee Alaga.

Graveside Services will be held Nov. 28 at Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park in Westlake Village, Calif., at 10 a.m. A mass will be held Dec. 2 at 10 a.m. at St Patrick’s Church in Westlake Village, Calif., followed by a celebration of life at the Seascape Resort, Aptos, Calif. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society or the Gregory James Moresco Scholarship Fund at St. Francis Central Coast High School.



Jeffrey Porter, a facility manager at the Congebec Boucherville, Canada, location, passed away Oct. 27. Porter is survived by his wife Sylvie Lechasseur and his children Kimberly and Scott.

For over 30 years, he worked for Canada-based Congebec, earning numerous promotions within the company.

“Jeffrey is a big part of Congebec’s story. He was hired on Aug. 16, 1982 by Salaison Nord Cold Storage, which was acquired by Congebec in 1997. Jeff accumulated over 34 years of service in the Boucherville and Montreal facilities,” says Gabriel Pedneault, director of human resources. “He leaves behind a precious heritage to all who have had the opportunity to know him. His generosity, his sense of goodness, attentiveness and smile will forever be imprinted in our hearts. I would like to finish by ensuring Sylvie, who is also one of our colleagues, that all our thoughts are with her and her family.”