AFFI appoints new government affairs exec, Papa Murphy’s appoints interim CEO, and more
North American Meat Institute (NAMI), Washington, D.C.
Tiffany Lee and KatieRose McCullough joined as directors of regulatory and scientific affairs, effective Jan. 3. Lee comes from Kansas State University’s (KSU) College of Veterinary Medicine, where she is completing her Ph.D. in diagnostic medicine and pathobiology. At KSU, she was actively engaged in interdisciplinary research in physiology, epidemiology, sociology, statistics and animal welfare. Lee’s research examined beef cattle health and welfare, as well as other contemporary issues facing the meat industry, such as antibiotic use in cattle. Before beginning in her Ph.D. program, Lee was an associate veterinarian at Eastern Colorado Veterinary Services. McCullough come from Colorado State University (CSU), where she recently earned a Ph.D. in animal sciences and focused her research concerning Campylobacter and Salmonella on pork subprimals and the efficacy of pathogenic E. coli and Salmonella in beef production systems. As a graduate student, McCullough taught animal science courses at CSU, and was actively involved in writing manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals, compiling industry reports and drafting grant proposals to solicit funding.
American Association of Meat Processors (AAMP), Elizabethtown, Pa.
Erica Hering joined the advisory board of Oklahoma State University's Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center (FAPC) to help oversee the center’s mission and vision. Hering is a third-generation leader in Ralph’s Packing Co., and has also served on the board of directors of state and national meat processing associations.
Cattlemen’s Beef Board, Centennial, Colo.
New to the Promotion and Research Board are 39 appointees who will serve 3-year terms. Aubrey Blackmon, Houston, Ark.; Jo Stanko, Steamboat Springs, Colo.; Dwain Johnson, Archer, Fla.; Lynn Keetch, Montpelier, Idaho; Sara Prescott, Sherman, Ill.; Norman Voyles, Jr., Martinsville, Ind.; Brian Sampson, Nevada, Iowa; Jenni Peters, Bellevue, Iowa; Byron Lehman, Newton, Kan.; Beth Patterson, Yates Center, Kan.; Shane Wiseman, Winchester, Ky.; Steve Matthees, Goodhue, Minn.; Tammy Bartholomew, Archie, Mo.; Bill McLaren, Pacific, Mo.; Lynda Joyce Grande, Columbus, Mont.; Torri Ortiz Lienemann, Princeton, Neb.; Herbert Rhodes, Omaha, Neb.; Rich Brown, Port Byron, N.Y.; James Schmidt, Menoken, N.D.; Kathryn Sautter, Tiro, Ohio; Chuck Coffey, Springer, Okla.; Jean Lam, Pauls Valley, Okla.; Katharine Jackson, Myrtle Creek; Ore.; Jana Malot, Harrisonville, Pa.; Cory Eich, Canova, S.D.; Paul Moss, Cottage Grove, Tenn.; Roger Clift, Gruver, Texas; Steven Mafrige, Tilden, Texas; Brian Malaer, Harwood, Texas; Tim Pennell, Westhoff, Texas; Janna DeMott Stubbs, Alpine, Texas; Bobby Combs, Chilhowie, Va.; Lloyd DeRuyter, Cedar Grove, Wis.; William McLean, Coulee City, Wash.; Betts Berry, Chickamauga, Ga.; Stephanie Butcher, Senoia, Ga.; Joaquin Contente, Hanford, Calif.; and Michael Smith, Visalia, Calif. Newly appointed member representing importers is Dana Ehrlich, Newton, Mass.
U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY), Tucker, Ga.
Stephen Herring was appointed controller, replacing Seals Burdell, who is retiring in spring 2017. Herring was tasked with managing the association’s financial operations, including investments, budget control, audits and purchasing. He will also be responsible for the development, continuing assessment, refinement and integrity of financial, informational technology and business practices and procedures. Herring is a certified public accountant with more than 30 years of financial and accounting experience in various industries, including the poultry industry. Burdell has been USPOULTRY’s controller since 2010, and previously worked in a variety of accounting/controller roles for Gold Kist and then later for Pilgrim’s after the Gold Kist acquisition.
American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI), McLean, Va.
Chelsee Woodey was hired as vice president of government affairs, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience in educating members of Congress on policies important to the food and beverage industry. Woodey most recently served as director of legislative affairs for the International Dairy Foods Association, which allowed her to develop strategies for nutrition and labeling, the Farm Bill, trade, transportation, food safety and immigration. Prior to that, she served as a legislative aide to Senator Jim Bunning (R – KY).
Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA), Portsmouth, N.H.
Chris Trosin joined as vice president of business development for GAA’s Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) division, effective Jan. 3. Trosin will lead BAP’s market development team, which is responsible for the growth of BAP-certified facilities in the marketplace and for supporting retail and foodservice companies that endorse BAP. Trosin maintains 30 years of food industry experience, with 10 of those years being in the seafood industry. Previously, Trosin worked as vice president of sales and vice president of sales and marketing for High Liner Foods (USA) Inc. Prior to High Liner, he served as vice president of national sales for Harry & David Wholesale, and has also worked for Lindt & Sprungli (USA) Inc., Spectrum Brands Inc. and Alberto Culver.
National Grocers Association (NGA), Arlington, Va.
Elizabeth Crocker was appointed vice president and executive director for the NGA Research and Education Foundation (NGA Foundation), responsible for developing the strategy and managing the day-to-day operations. Previously, Crocker served as senior director of development and outreach for SHAPE America, where she led all corporate sponsorship, outreach, fundraising, partnerships and business development. Prior to that role, Crocker spent eight years as the executive director of the Foundation for Rural Service, a national non-profit that serves as the philanthropic arm of NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association. She also has held staff positions in the U.S. Senate and federal agencies.
Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC), Canada
Jennifer Hayes was appointed commissioner for a 3-year term, effective Jan. 3. Hayes is a dairy and beef farmer at PineCrest Farms, which she co-owns with her father and uncle. She is also actively engaged in rural development initiatives in her region, with a particular interest in policies that strengthen the symbiotic relationship between rural communities and sustainable agriculture. Since 2012, she has acted as a revitalization agent at the MRC of Bonaventure, where she accompanied rural municipalities in formalizing social and economic development plans and elaborating essential community development projects. She is a skilled partnership broker incorporating partners from the private sector and multiple government agencies at the federal, provincial, regional and local levels.
Texas International Produce Association, Mission, Texas
The new 2017 Advisory Board members include Mat Reeves, business development manager, H-E-B; Brian Boutin, business development manager, H-E-B; Joseph Bunting, produce business director, United Supermarkets; Keith Durham, certified category manager - fresh foods, Brookshire Grocery Co.; Greg Campisi, senior director, quality control, fresh grocery division, Walmart; Tony Fisher, director sourcing, Walmart; Joseph Soe, manager of produce sourcing, Sobeys, Inc.; Frank Pagliaro, vice president national produce/floral procurement, Loblaw Cos.; Jessica Johnson, executive purchasing coordinator produce and floral Southwest region, Whole Foods Market; Wes Holcomb, director of produce and dairy, Ben E. Keith; Greg Rowe, chief operating officer, Hardies Fresh Foods; and Mark Sanders, senior manager strategic purchasing, FreshPoint.
Barfresh Food Group, Inc., Beverly Hills, Calif.
Isabelle Ortiz-Cochet joined the company’s board of directors following Unibel’s strategic investment Nov. 23, 2016, a seat previously occupied by her Unibel colleague, Bruno Schoch. Ortiz-Cochet is chief investment officer for Unibel, parent company of Bel Group, where she leads the construction of Unibel’s investment portfolio and drives its diversification strategy. Previously, she was vice president of strategic development at Bel Group, implementing the company’s strategic initiatives. She has also held other leadership positions in marketing and global strategy at the company, including senior vice president of business development and marketing for their Americas and Asia-Pacific businesses, where she led the development of long-term strategies in those regions. Ortiz-Cochet began her career with Kimberly Clark.
Potandon Produce, Idaho Falls, Idaho
Dina Boyce joined as business development manager, bringing 20 years of consumer packaged goods industry experience. She previously held positions with Kraft Food and Nielsen, and was most recently at IFCO, working with East Coast retailers. She also spent 10 years at Frieda's Inc. selling specialty produce to major U.S. and Canadian retailers.
Liguria Foods, Humboldt, Iowa
Philip Latona was hired to cover the Southeast United States. Latona spent more than 18 years in retail and another dozen in foodservice. His experience includes more than 10 years with Performance Food Group (PFG) as an area sales representative, and more recently, as vice president of sales, managing 28 foodservice territories in the Southeast. He left PFG in 2012 to serve as the vice president of sales at Clover Mountain Foods, where he had started his career in 1985. He stayed on at Clover Mountain after the food distributor was acquired by Lipari Foods in 2015.
Kelly Marion was named senior vice president of customer experience, responsible for customized support, insights, technology, tools and prescriptive analytics for SPINS clients. Marion provides extensive experience in business development, marketing and sales through a long history of delivering actionable insights and solutions from data, including working with brands and retailers to launch unique products ahead of their peers across a variety of channels and segments of the market. He previously worked at TABS Analytics, Playtex Inc. and CPG Sales Network.
Allen Harim, Seaford, Del.
Veteran communications expert Catherine Bassett was appointed director of public relations to help share positive news about the company and oversee community relations. Bassett began her career as a newspaper reporter for The Daily Times in 1989. She later served as communications director for Congressman Wayne Gilchrest (R-Maryland-1st). She started her own public relations company in 2009, and has worked with a range of clients, including Delmarva Power, the Ocean City Air Show, Maryland Capital Enterprises and the Delmarva Zoological Society.
Hispanica International Delights of America, Inc., New York
Randy Berholtz joined the board of directors, bringing with over 25 years of experience in corporate development, business development, commercial and legal matters. He also brings substantial experience in working directly with public companies in the OTC and Nasdaq markets and with private and public financings for such entities. Berholtz is the founding partner of the Sorrento Valley Law Group. Previously, he was the executive vice president, general counsel and secretary of Apricus Biosciences, Inc.; vice president, general counsel and secretary of the ACON Group of private U.S. and Chinese companies; chief operating officer and general counsel to Inglewood Ventures; and acting general counsel and secretary of Nanogen, Inc. Prior to that, Berholtz was in private practice with law firms in New York and San Diego.
Royal FrieslandCampina N.V., The Netherlands
Following the completion of acquiring Engro Foods, Hans Laarakker will be appointed CEO ad interim, replacing Babur Sultan, who is leaving the company after spending a decade in senior leadership roles. Previously, Laarakker was vice president M&A and business development, involved in the preliminary phase of the acquisition. He was also managing director of FrieslandCampina Malaysia (Dutch Lady Malaysia), responsible for FrieslandCampina Singapore, Hong Kong and China from 2006-2010. He joined FrieslandCampina in 2003.
Papa Murphy's Holdings, Inc., Vancouver, Wash.
Chair of the board, Jean Birch, was appointed interim chief executive officer, effective immediately, following the resignation of CEO Ken Calwell, who is pursuing other interests. Birch has served as chair of the board since September 2016 and as a member of the board since April 2015. She maintains over 26 years of restaurant leadership experience, previously serving as president of IHOP Restaurants, Inc., president of Romano's Macaroni Grill and president of Corner Bakery Café. She also held executive leadership roles within YUM! Brands, including vice president, operations for Taco Bell, Inc. and senior director, concept development for Pizza Hut, Inc.
Shake Shack Inc., New York
Zach Koff was named chief operating officer. Koff has been leading operations at Shake Shack since the fourth Shack opened in Miami Beach, Fla., in roles such as director of operations; vice president of operations; and senior vice president of operations. Koff has also held numerous operations roles at Bravo Brio Restaurant Group prior to joining Shake Shack in 2010. Meanwhile, Russell Reynolds will act as interim chief financial officer, taking over for Jeff Uttz, who announced plans to retire as chief financial officer come mid-March. Uttz has served as Shake Shack’s chief financial officer since September 2013. Previously, Uttz was the chief financial officer of Yard House, where he led the expansion from three units to over 40 units when Yard House was acquired by Darden Restaurants, Inc. Prior to Yard House, Uttz held a number of positions at CKE Restaurants, Inc.
Del Taco Restaurants, Inc., Lake Forest, Calif.
John Cappasola, Jr. was promoted to president and chief brand officer, charged with leading the company’s brand strategy, marketing, menu development, culinary innovation and restaurant operations and support. Previously, Cappasola served as executive vice president and chief brand officer, leading Del Taco’s efforts in brand strategy, marketing, menu development, operations support and culinary innovation. Cappasola also served in key leadership roles such as marketing, strategic development and operations at Blockbuster, Inc. for 16 years.
EAS Consulting Group, LLC, Alexandria, Va.
Long-time independent consultant Allen Sayler was named senior director for food and cosmetic consulting services. Sayler has been an independent consultant for EAS since 2012, delivering expertise in food processing, particularly in the area of dairy processing, infant formula, food additives, botanical products and FDA food compliance issues. Sayler has spent more than 30 years in the dairy food sector. For 12 of those years, he served as vice president of regulatory affairs and international standards at the International Dairy Foods Association. Prior to that, he served in the dairy division of USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service and with FDA's Milk Safety Branch, including a stint as acting chief of the branch. He also spent 10 years as assistant dairy commissioner for the North Dakota Department of Agriculture. Prior to joining EAS, he was a managing partner of the Center for Food Safety & Regulatory Solutions.
United States Cold Storage (USCS), Voorhees, N.J.
Sixteen-year company veteran Steve Palefsky was promoted to general manager of USCS McClellan, the company’s new multi-temperature site in Sacramento, Calif. Palefsky joined USCS in June 2000 as bay area manager trainee, working between Union City and Oakland, Calif., sites. In 2002, he transferred and helped with the Phase 2 and Phase 3 expansions at USCS Tracy. There, he was later promoted to warehouse superintendent and operations manager.
Fike Corp., Blue Springs, Mo.
Brad Batz added chief executive officer to his title of president, effective immediately, charged with leading the strategy and direction of the company globally. Focused on future growth and profitability, he has been instrumental in introducing new initiatives to streamline the company's manufacturing and operational processes. Recently, Batz developed and implemented an aggressive plan for restructuring the company to improve its efficiencies and transition to a market-served organization. Appointed president in 2014, Batz led all corporate functions, including manufacturing, quality, supply chain, finance, human resources and information technology. Prior to becoming president, Batz was executive vice president of Fike's oil and gas business unit, and before that, corporate operations where he was responsible for manufacturing activities around the world.
SCS Global Services, Emeryville, Calif.
Jim Knutzon joined as vice president for special projects, playing a pivotal role in the continued expansion of SCS’s certification, auditing and testing services. Knutzon brings decades of agricultural experience, including pioneering work in sustainable and organic production, product development, food safety and standards development. Knutzon recently retired as the first president and CEO of Farm Fresh Direct, LLC, where he has been working since 2000. During his tenure at Farm Fresh, Knutzon spearheaded many “firsts,” including development of the ready-to-eat baked potato, identification of the most antioxidant-rich purple potatoes and more. Knutzon started his career in the agricultural chemical business, then transitioned into vegetable farming. In 1979, he co-founded Valley Fresh Distributing, and in 1988, his organic carrots caught the attention of SCS and Raley’s Supermarket in California, when they were tested and shown to contain exceptional levels of beta-carotene. Knutzon later joined SCS, serving as chief operating officer for a decade, managing programs in agriculture, forestry, fisheries and life-cycle assessment before leaving to take the reins at Farm Fresh Direct.
Applied DNA Sciences, Inc., Stony Brook, N.Y.
Dr. Mehmood Khan, PepsiCo's vice chairman and chief scientific officer of global research and development, joined the company's Strategic Advisory Board. Khan leads PepsiCo's research and development efforts, creating breakthrough innovations in food and beverage product development, delivery, packaging and production technology. He also oversees PepsiCo's global Performance with Purpose agenda, focused on improving health and wellbeing through the products it sells; protecting the planet by reducing the environmental footprint of the company's operations and supply chain; and empowering people and social development around the world.
Graphic Packaging International, Inc., Atlanta
Joseph Yost was named senior vice president and president, Americas, responsible for the food and beverage commercial and converting organization within the United States. Yost has spent the last 27 years with Graphic Packaging in roles such as senior vice president, global beverage and Europe; chief integration officer and European CFO; and senior vice president, global supply chain. As a result of this appointment, Mike Ukropina, senior vice president, consumer packaging division, will leave the company.
RadTech International North America, Bethesda, Md.
Lisa Fine, technical director for Joules Angstrom UV Printing Inks, assumed the president role for a 2-year term beginning Jan. 1. Peter Weissman, global aerospace business director at Quaker Chemical Corp., will move to immediate past president. Eileen Weber, vice president of sales and marketing for Red Spot Paint and Varnish, was nominated to serve as president elect, assuming office in 2019. New board members also include Susan Bailey, technical manager for North America for IGM Resins; David Biro, scientist at Sun Chemical; and Michael Gould, technical key account manager for RAHN USA. Also, Christopher Seubert, research engineer at Ford Motor Co., was elected to serve as an at-large board member.
Agr International Inc., Butler, Pa.
Christian Kapsamer joined as the regional director of Agr Northwestern Europe, effective Jan. 1, charged with managing the newly established regional sales territory, which includes Austria, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, the Nordic countries and some of the surrounding areas. Kapsamer brings with 30 years of experience in the container manufacturing and beverage packaging industry. Most recently, he was director of beverage closures EMEA & SAARC for Husky Injection Molding Systems GmbH, where he was instrumental in growing the company’s beverage closure business and expanding it throughout EMEA & SAARC countries. In addition, he has been a frequent speaker at packaging forums and conferences throughout Europe.
TPC Wire & Cable Corp., Macedonia, Ohio
Victor March was named chief financial officer, bringing with decades of financial leadership, acquisition integration experience and a deep understanding of the role as it functions within a private equity-owned business. March most recently served as chief financial officer of EXAL Group, where he directed the company’s consolidation of financials, completion of global audits and focus on customer profitability. Previous to EXAL, March served as chief financial officer of Excel Polymers, LLC. His global experience with acquisitions and divestments includes participating in private equity transactions across the United Kingdom, Hungary and South America.