Reusable Packaging Association (RPA), Tampa, Fla.

Norm Kukuk, executive vice president of marketing for ORBIS Corp., was elected chairman of the board for the 2017 term, taking over for Hillary Femal, vice president of global marketing at IFCO SYSTEMS. With nearly 20 years in the reusable packaging industry, Kukuk has developed and shared reusable packaging expertise with leading industrial, consumer goods and food and beverage companies.

American Humane, Washington, D.C.
Dr. Janet Helms was appointed national director of the American Humane Farm Program, effective Jan. 17. Helms has spent her professional career focusing on dairy, veterinary and agricultural enterprises, most recently serving as a senior dairy technical services veterinarian for Zoetis, where she worked directly with veterinarians in Oregon, Washington and Utah to improve the health of dairy cows and cattle in the Northwest. Previous roles at Zoetis and Pfizer included several positions in which she developed, delivered and evaluated training programs for all levels within the organizations. She also helped investigate and resolve possible animal health complaints and worked to comply with strict regulatory guidelines of the FDA, USDA and EPA.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Washington, D.C.
Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt is s President-elect Donald Trump's choice to lead as administrator. Pruitt understands the dairy industry and sustainable and environmentally sound regulatory systems.

U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), Arlington, Va.
Former U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will join as president and CEO, effective Feb. 1, succeeding Tom Suber, who served as president of USDEC since its founding in 1995 and retired at the end of 2016. Under Suber's leadership, global U.S. dairy exports showed significant growth, rising from the equivalent of roughly 5% of U.S. milk production to a high of 15.5%. Vilsack will provide strategic leadership and oversight of USDEC's global promotional and research activities, regulatory affairs and trade policy initiatives, including working with industry leaders to develop a long-term vision for building sales and consumer trust in U.S. dairy. He will also create strategies to successfully achieve the shared vision, and serve as the organization's primary spokesperson and ambassador to a host of global and domestic stakeholders.

National Retail Federation (NRF), Washington, D.C.
Nicky Jackson, founder and CEO of RangeMe, has been named a director to the NRF Digital Council. Jackson is a leading voice for women in business and technology in the retail and consumer packaged goods space.

American Council of Engineering Cos. (ACEC), Washington, D.C.
Gayle Roberts
, president and CEO of Stanley Consultants, was elected to a 2-year term as vice chair. Roberts has been an active member of the ACEC and its Iowa organization for many years. She is a graduate of ACEC’s Senior Executives Institute, has been active on its Design Professionals Coalition and currently serves on its Executive Committee. She also serves as national director for ACEC/Iowa. Roberts maintains 35 years of experience in the engineering and construction industry. She joined Stanley Consultants in 1981, holding positions such as business leader, project manager, resident engineer, industrial market leader and business development manager. In 2007, she was elected the fifth president in the company's history.

National Restaurant Association, Washington, D.C.
Liam Dolan
, owner of Claddagh Oyster Bar, Olde Dublin Pub and Peak's Quay, was to the board of directors for a 2-year term, effective Jan. 24. Dolan is an exchange director and past chair of Restaurants Canada, where he shares Canadian trends and issues with his U.S. counterparts and brings updates and best practices back to his Canadian colleagues.


US Foods Holding Corp., Rosemont, Ill.
Robert “Bob” Dutkowsky, chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors of Tech Data Corp., was elected as an independent director. Prior to joining Tech Data in 2006, Dutkowsky served as president, CEO and chairman of the board of Egenera, Inc. Dutkowsky’s 30 years of experience in the information technology industry also includes senior executive positions with leading manufacturers and software publishers such as IBM, EMC and J.D. Edwards. Dutkowsky currently serves on the board of United Way Suncoast and the Moffitt Foundation, as well as the advisory board of the University of South Florida Business School. Also elected independent director was Carl Pforzheimer, who currently serves as chairman with Barteca Holdings, LLC, the successor organization created in 2012 to Barcelona Restaurants, which he co-founded in 1995. Early in his career, Pforzheimer completed a 2-year apprenticeship in Burgundy, France, and worked under numerous notable chefs in the United States. Pforzheimer was also the original food editor for Martha Stewart Living magazine. He currently serves as a director of Hickory Tavern, LLC, and as a member of the Education Policy Committee at the Culinary Institute of America. Both appointments will be effective Feb. 11. Lastly, Andrew Iacobucci was appointed chief merchandising officer, effective Jan. 23, succeeding Steve Guberman, who in August 2016, was named executive vice president, nationally managed business. Iacobucci will oversee category management, procurement, product innovation, food safety and marketing efforts. Prior to joining US Foods, Iacobucci served as executive vice president, merchandising for Ahold USA, where he led all facets of the company’s U.S. merchandising operations. Prior to joining Ahold, Iacobucci spent 10 years at Loblaw Cos. Ltd., where he served in several senior roles, including president of the company’s discount supermarket business. Guberman has continued to serve as interim chief merchandising officer for the past five months. 

Hormel Foods Corp., Austin, Minn.
Janet Hogan was appointed vice president, human resources, effective Jan. 17, responsible for leading the global HR function, including building and executing world-class strategies for talent development, employee engagement, total rewards and labor relations. Hogan brings more than 25 years of experience leading HR teams. Most recently, she led global human resource organizations such as ProQuest and OshKosh Corp. Prior to her work at these companies, Hogan spent five years as the vice president of human resources at Harsco Corp., and almost 20 years at Monsanto Co.

Empire Company Ltd., Canada
Michael Medline
was elected president and CEO of Empire and its wholly-owned subsidiary Sobeys Inc. He has served for more than 15 years in a variety of senior retail leadership roles at Canadian Tire Corp., most recently as president and CEO.

Church Brothers Farms, Salinas, Calif.
Josh Ruiz was promoted to vice president of ag operations, responsible for all farming and harvesting operations with the goal of leading both areas into a new age of innovation and automation. Previously, Ruiz was director of harvest innovation. He started his professional career as an intern for River Ranch, then started working full time at River Ranch, first as a planting schedule and crop planning assistant, then was promoted to broccoli supervisor, where he helped develop an iceless broccoli program. Ruiz also spent time as general manager of harvesting at Tanimura & Antle, and was later promoted to director of harvest, where he developed and refined cauliflower harvest equipment that saved 25% of labor costs and increased efficiencies and crew capacities. Ruiz also works for his family’s business, Twisted Roots.

Kroger Co., Cincinnati
Matt Perin joined the company as head of government relations and regulatory affairs, responsible for Kroger's federal government relations efforts, including working closely with the company's supermarket operating divisions and other subsidiaries to counsel and guide state and local advocacy activities. Perin previously served as deputy director of government relations for the Bayer Corp. Before joining Bayer, he was staff director for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture's Subcommittee on Nutrition & Horticulture. He has also served as a Congressional legislative assistant and political campaign manager.

Southeastern Grocers, Jacksonville, Fla.
Gayle Shields was appointed new vice president of pharmacy, responsible for overseeing the day-to-day and strategic operations of the company’s several hundred pharmacy locations throughout the Southeast. For nearly 30 years, Shields has worked in the pharmacy industry in various positions for Allied Health, Maxor National Pharmacy Services Corp., Save Mart, Albertsons and Discovery Health, among others. Most recently, she served as vice president of pharmacy for Ahold USA, where she led pharmacy operations for 580 pharmacies in 11 states.

Inventure Foods, Inc., Phoenix, Ariz.
David Meyers stepped down from the board of directors, effective immediately, to fulfill his full-time commitment as the newly-appointed interim chief executive officer and chief operating officer of Del Monte Foods, Inc. Meyers joined the board in May 2013, and serves as the chairman of the board and member of the Compensation Committee of the Board. Timothy Cole was appointed as interim chairman. Cole has served as a member of the board since May 2014, and currently serves as a member of the Compensation Committee. 

Del Monte Foods, Inc., Walnut Creek, Calif.
David Meyers
was appointed as chief operating officer and interim chief executive officer, taking over for Nils Lommerin, who resigned as director and CEO, effective immediately. Meyers has served on the board of directors for Inventure Foods since May 2013.

Butterball, Garner, N.C.
Jay Jandrain was promoted to chief operating officer, following the retirement of Joe Nalley, who led the company’s operations for 10 years. Jandrain now oversees live operations, plant operations, supply chain, purchasing, engineering and research and development, and will be responsible for all operational issues. Jandrain, a 28-year industry veteran, joined Butterball in April 2002 as the director of research and development. As the executive vice president of sales, Jandrain was responsible for foodservice, retail and export channels as well as product research and development, customer service and integrated business strategy. Al Jansen was promoted to executive vice president of sales, Jandrain’s prior role, responsible for all sales channels and customer service. During his tenure at Butterball, Jansen was vice president of integrated business strategy and senior vice president of retail sales, and worked with key functional areas such as live operations, manufacturing, distribution and sales. Most recently, the 26-year industry veteran was a driving force behind Butterball’s tray pack expansion and Farm to Family new product launch.

SUPERVALU INC., Minneapolis
Anne Dament was named senior vice president of retail, merchandising and marketing, effective immediately, responsible for leading the company's retail banner operations and overseeing the retail merchandising and marketing functions. Dament, a 25-year retail veteran who began her career at SUPERVALU, most recently served as senior vice president of merchandising for Target Corp., where she oversaw food merchandising for its grocery business, including perishables, non-perishables, food service and private label brands. Prior to joining Target, Dament spent 7 years in senior level positions at PetSmart, including vice president of merchandising solutions and vice president of services. Dament’s retail career also includes 10 years at Safeway, where she held numerous category director positions, as well as vice president, business unit general manager, homecare and general merchandise; group vice president,; and group vice president, perishable strategy.

George Weston Ltd. and Loblaw Cos. Ltd., Canada
Galen G. Weston was appointed chairman and CEO of George Weston, but will continue in his role as chairman and CEO of Loblaw. Weston became chairman of George Weston September 2016, succeeding his father W. Galen Weston, who stepped down after over four decades leading George Weston. With this appointment, Weston succeeds Pavi Binning, who will become special advisor to Wittington Investments Ltd., which is owned by the Weston family. Binning will step down from the boards of directors. Then, Luc Mongeau was appointed president, Weston Foods. Mongeau is a seasoned consumer goods executive with extensive branding, product development, operations and P&L management experience in food, chocolate and petcare categories. He spent 15 years at Mars, leading the Canadian business, Mars Petcare's multi-billion dollar North American business and setting the global strategic and marketing direction for some of Mars' leading Petcare brands. Lastly, Sarah Davis was appointed president, Loblaw, responsible for the day-to-day operation of Loblaw's business. Since 2014, Davis has served as chief administrative officer, responsible for supply chain, IT (including SAP implementation), process and efficiencies, real estate, goods not for resale and strategy. Prior to that, she served as chief financial officer of Loblaw, appointed in 2010.

Devault Foods, Malvern, Pa.
Brett Black, chief operating officer, will assume the role of president and CEO, becoming the third person in the company’s history to hold that title. Thomas Fillippo was promoted to executive vice president.

Backyard Farms, Madison, Maine
Tony Stevens was named head grower, overseeing the company’s 42-acre greenhouse to ensure consistent, year-round quality. Stevens maintains 18 years of greenhouse growing experience. He was most recently a senior grower with Windset Farms, and has held senior leadership positions at other commercial greenhouses, including Colorado Greenhouse, Eurofresh Farms and Nature Sweet Farms.

Tom Lange Co., Springfield, Ill.
Miles Fraser-Jones
was named director of global business development for the company’s Seven Seas-New Jersey unit, effective Jan. 9. Fraser-Jones brings with him an extensive background of 18 years in the produce and food industry, having most recently served as senior vice president of AMC Direct, Inc.

Vegpro International Inc., Canada
Stephan Schmekel joined the sales team, effective Jan. 9, bringing a produce background that spans 30 years. He has been a member of the Del Monte Fresh Produce Team (Canada) for the past 18 years, where he recently acted as vice president of sales in Canada. Prior to that, he worked for more than 7 years as a regional sales manager for Dole. Schmekel was also 2015-2016 chairman of the board for the Quebec Association of Fruit and Vegetable Distribution (AQDFL), for which he was actively involved as director since 2007. He has also been on the board of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association since 2011. Luc Prévost was named vice president marketing and vice president trade, responsible for leading Vegpro’s sales and marketing efforts. Edward Thompson joined as sales director, Canada, with a primary mandate to build and maintain relationships and support business development with customers in Ontario and in the Maritimes.

Suisan Co. Ltd. and Suisan Properties Ltd., Hilo, Hawaii
Steve Ueda assumed the role of president and CEO, effective Jan. 16, taking over for Glenn Hashimoto, who will stay on as executive advisor. Ueda is the grandson of Rex Matsuno, the former long-time president, CEO and chairman of the board. In his new role, Hashimoto will oversee Suisan’s business development and assist with executing the company’s strategic vision. Ueda has been with the family-owned company since 2007, holding down numerous positions, including distributor sales representative, buyer, sales manager for the company’s retail market segment, and most recently, vice president of sales. Prior to Suisan, Ueda worked throughout the United States and United Kingdom as a product and systems developer for companies such as Ford, Visteon and Altia Automotive.

SOMMA Food Group, Dallas, Texas
Jordan Phillips joined as director of marketing and public relations, responsible for managing external communications strategies and assisting with the development and execution of marketing initiatives across all brands and platforms. Previously, she developed campaigns for a variety of consumer packaged goods brands, including Grupo LALA and Promised Land Dairy.

Target Corp., Minneapolis
Rick Gomez
was promoted to executive vice president and chief marketing officer, effective Jan. 29, responsible for furthering Target’s brand positioning and leading the integration of all marketing programs. He will oversee marketing and media strategy, creative, marketing communications, guest research, loyalty, corporate communications and corporate social responsibility efforts. Since joining Target in 2013, Gomez’s leadership has been instrumental in driving growth in baby, kids, style and wellness. He championed the company’s renewed emphasis on deeper, more personal guest research and the establishment of Target’s Guest Center of Excellence. Prior to joining Target, Gomez held several roles at PepsiCo, Quaker Oats and MillerCoors, where he focused on integrated marketing, brand building and customer engagement.

Big Y Foods, Inc., Springfield, Mass.
Richard Bossie was appointed vice president of store operations, succeeding William Hogan, who retired. In his new role, Bossie will continue to oversee all store, customer service, workforce management operations for all 77 Big Y stores, including their World Class Markets, supermarkets, Fresh Acres Specialty Market, Table and Vine wine and liquor division and Big Y Express Gas and Convenience locations. He is also responsible for directing the execution of sales initiatives, staffing, store conditions, customer service, expense control and profitability. Bossie maintains 30 years of experience in the supermarket industry, where in 1981, he started as a part-time service clerk at D & A Super market. In 1988, he was appointed to assistant grocery manager, and in 1993, to grocery manager. Later that year, Bossie was accepted into Big Y’s store manager training program where he experienced every department. In 1994, he was appointed store manager for Torrington, Conn., store and subsequently managed five other Big Y’s in that state. By 2006, he was named sales and merchandising mentor, where he assisted the marketing and operations departments with weekly sales, merchandising and training opportunities until 2010, when he became a district director and one year later as director of operations.

Just Desserts, San Francisco
David Purvis was named new business development manager, responsible for overseeing the management and growth of key strategic accounts. Most recently, Purvis was regional account manager for a large bakery manufacturer of laminated dough and bread products.  Purvis’ career also comprises 19 years with Safeway Inc., with his first 9 years in management roles at the store level, and his latter 10 years at the corporate level, where he held several management roles in the supply chain department.  Purvis also led packaging innovation and working capital reduction during his time as product development and tolling manager for Safeway’s in-store bakery department.


Captain D's LLC, Nashville, Tenn.
Bob Kraut joined as chief marketing officer, responsible for leading, developing and executing marketing strategies to further increase brand awareness and continue the brand's strong sales growth. Kraut maintains extensive experience leading the marketing activities of several national foodservice companies, including Papa John's and Arby's. Over the course of his 30-plus-year career, Kraut has helped brands such as Papa John's, Arby's and Pizza Hut achieve record-breaking sales growth.


KM Packaging Services Ltd., UK
Agnieszka Knap was named technical manager. Knap brings nearly 10 years’ experience in the packaging industry, fulfilling a wide remit in quality and technical roles, and an in-depth knowledge of converting and testing material properties. Natalya Ricketts joined the customer service team. She brings over 50 years of experience in service delivery. In addition, Emily Perry joins as business support assistant, responsible for the purchase ledger and company expenses, as well as fulfilling trial despatches to customers.

Engage Technologies Corp., Brooklyn Park, Minn.
The parent company of Squid Ink Manufacturing, Eastey Enterprises, American Film & Machinery and Cogent Technologies hired Jake Zender as vice president of sales, Americas. Zender maintains over 18 years of sales leadership and experience leading international sales teams. Previously, he was the vice president of sales, marketing and customer service for IMI Hydronic Engineering, a division of IMIplc, where he built a team of 12 regional sales managers, customer service team, inside sales, marketing and product management with an annual sales budget of $15 million for distributors and OEM customers.  Additionally, Jake spent 7 years with IMI Norgren, another division of IMIplc, as a sales director.  Previous to his career with IMIplc, he spent 8 years as an active duty Air Force officer, working in intelligence. He is still a Lt. Colonel (SCL) reserve officer working with the Air Force Academy.

Allen Lund Co., Cañada Flintridge, Calif.
John Maxwell
will manage the company’s newly opened Nashville, Tenn., office. Maxwell brings 17 years of diverse 3PL experience, maintaining a rich history and stellar reputation with customers, carriers and employees.

Anchor Packaging, Inc., St. Louis, Mo.
Nick Gross, Paul McGhee, Aaron Troll and Jerome Stegall, who maintains over 10 years’ experience, were named process engineers, responsible for process optimization, continuous improvement and operator training and development.   

TricorBraun Design & Engineering Group, Oak Brook, Ill.
Gregg Aukeman was promoted to package qualification manager, responsible for leading the packaging quality team and the packaging performance laboratory, providing critical support in the development of custom packaging solutions that meet filling, labeling and functional requirements in the design, engineering and production stages. Aukeman has been with TricorBraun since 2014. Meanwhile, Ryan Fichuk joined as packaging quality engineer. Previously, Fichuk was a package engineer intern at Silgan White Cap.

MOCON, Inc., Minneapolis
Maurice Janssen joined as senior vice president of global sales and marketing, tasked with leading the company’s global sales and marketing teams across all of its operating segments. Janssen brings more than 20 years of worldwide sales and marketing experience in analytical instruments and process control solutions for food and beverage products. Previously, Janssen was vice president of sales and marketing, Latin America, for FOSS ANA. He also served in leadership positions at One Earth Future Foundation, GEA Grasso International and Marel Food Systems Benelux (formerly Scanvaegt Benelux).

Danfoss, Bethpage, N.Y.
Ian Levergood was appointed sales manager of the North American electric heating business, focusing specifically on the growth of indoor and outdoor electric heating applications and advancing comfort and safety solutions in the United States and Canada. Levergood maintains more than 11 years of engineering, servicing and application experience, specifically in the heat trace market, having worked with customers, products and manufacturers’ representatives across the Americas. Previously, he served as the eastern regional sales manager for Danfoss, working closely with manufacturers’ representatives and factories overseas to expand.

ZAF Energy Systems Inc., Columbia Falls, Mont.
Randy Moore was tapped as new president and CEO. Moore brings a track record as the leader of several technology-oriented companies in the battery, aerospace, defense and medical product industries. Previously, he was the president of EaglePicher Technologies, and led the company through eight years of growth and profitability improvement. He was also an executive vice president and general manager at Kollsman, spent five years at Kaman Corp., where he ran a new strategic business unit, and served in management and operations positions at major corporations such as Westinghouse, E-Systems/Raytheon and Lucent Technologies. He is also a founding member, former chairman and current board of director of the National Association of Advanced Technology Batteries (NAATBatt) International. Moore spent a combined 27 years in the active and reserve Air Force and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. Meanwhile, Tom Shireman was named vice president of manufacturing operations. Shireman also comes from EaglePicher Technologies as plant manager, responsible for overseeing the largest part of EaglePicher’s battery production operation in multiple chemistries and battery formats. He also improved on-time delivery from 68% in 2003 to 99.8% in 2016.

Action Technology, division of Tekni-Plex, Wayne, Pa.
Johan Laureys
was named vice president the company’s global business and managing director of Tekni-Plex Europe NV. Laureys, who has been with Tekni-Plex’s Action Technology business unit for more than 20 years, will be succeeding Luc Vercruyssen, who is stepping down after 44 years with the company. Laureys joined Tekni-Plex Europe in 1996, and was named managing director of Action Technology Italia SpA in 2008. 

FoodLogiQ, Durham, N.C.
Charles Irizarry was appointed chief technology officer, responsible for overseeing technology and engineering efforts. Formerly the chief product architect and managing director at Rokk3r Labs, his experience includes managing sophisticated, multi-disciplinary technology teams, having launched over 20 different platforms and products across multiple businesses and industries. Meanwhile, Chris Haase joins in the newly created position of vice president of sales, charged with directing sales strategy and driving revenue. Haase has been director of strategic accounts for SciQuest for past 5 years. He also maintains deep software sales and leadership experience from his time at Ultimus and Oce. Michelle Wells joins as the Western regional sales manager, bringing extensive sales and leadership experience working in SaaS technology following her former positions at SciQuest and CivicPlus. John Koski was named a sales executive to focus on growth of the food manufacturing market. Previously, he was with NetSuite, where he has developed a deep knowledge of the food and beverage industry. And, Todd Fabec joins the team to oversee small and mid-market accounts, offering a broad experience working in sales, marketing and consulting in a variety of industries from retail to technology. Shawn Shefte was appointed customer success manager. Previously, he held customer success positions at Cisco and Apptio. Meanwhile, Roberta Patterson was named public relations and marketing manager, responsible for expanding corporate communications and supports marketing initiatives. Lastly, Jeff Ramsaur was promoted to senior director of strategic initiatives, where he will focus on strategic initiatives across sales, account management, product development and customer success.

Precision Global, Rye Brook, N.Y.
Thierry Bouan was appointed regional manager of Asia Pacific, which includes facilities in Thailand, Australia, China, Japan and South Africa, effective immediately. Bouan brings over 20 years of value-added packaging and consumer packaged goods experience. Previously, he spent 10 years at Global Closure Systems, most recently serving as vice president Asia Pacific, where he was responsible for overseeing approximately 600 employees. Before joining Global Closure Systems, Bouan worked for over a decade at Crown Group, where he served in various financial and plant management roles. 

Agro Merchants Group, Alpharetta, Ga.
Co-founder and CEO Neal Rider is transitioning to the newly-created role of executive chairman. Rider has led the company since its formation in February 2013. Carlos Rodriguez, co-founder and president of Agro Merchants Europe, will be promoted to chief executive officer.



Thomas Truhlar, owner of Southeast Insulators Supply (SIS), Port Orange, Fla., died peacefully at his home Jan. 8. Truhlar was an active member of the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA), Alexandria, Va.

The funeral will be held on Jan. 20 at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 1014 N. Halifax Ave., Daytona Beach, FL 32118. Condolences may be shared at

In lieu of flowers, please make donations payable to Tom’s passion for the education of poor and disadvantaged children by contributing to the Thomas Truhlar Legacy Scholarship Fund at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church.