West Liberty Foods’ president steps into CEO role, among other personnel changes
International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation, Washington, D.C.
Timothy Sellnow and Anna Maria Siega-Riz were named new members of the board of trustees. Sellnow
is a professor at the Nicholson School of Communication at the University of Central Florida. His research focuses on bioterrorism, pre-crisis planning and strategic communication for risk management and mitigation in organizational and health settings. Siega-Riz is a professor of Public Health Sciences and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Her research focuses on the first 1,000 days of life by understanding the influence of maternal weight status, as well as dietary patterns and behaviors in the causes of adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Alliance for Food and Farming, Watsonville, Calif.
Markon president Tim York was appointed as vice-chair, replacing Bryan Silbermann, who is retiring as chief executive officer of the Produce Marketing Association (PMA). Dr. James Gorny, vice president of food safety and technology at PMA, and Kate Woods, vice president of Northwest Horticultural Council, were also appointed to the AFF management board during the annual meeting. Woods serves on the AFF Communications Committee, and replaces Christian Schlect, who is retiring from the Northwest Horticultural Council in March. The board also elected Teresa Thorne as the new executive director, taking over for Marilyn Dolan, who left the organization to pursue other business interests.
American Dairy Coalition, Green Bay, Wis.
New to the board of directors is John Jacobs, appointed as board president. Jacobs is owner and manager of Green Valley Dairy. His tasks as president include ensuring a reliable labor force through immigration reform, roll back overreaching regulations that cost farms money without improving the environment, increasing access to quality healthcare and internet connections for rural farms, improving rural road infrastructure, providing farmer protection from animal rights activists and increasing exports of dairy products worldwide. Meanwhile, Greg Jans was elected secretary. Jans is partner of Co-Jo Dairy, a 1,000-cow dairy operation. Jans will support the use of peer-reviewed scientific safe technology to produce nutritious, affordable dairy products. Walt Moore, president and general manager of Walmoor Holsteins, Inc., was named treasurer. Additional board members Kari Kuehl, director of sales at RP Feed Components, LLC, as executive advisory chairperson; Laurie Fischer, founder of the American Dairy Coalition, as chief executive officer; Jeff Burton, president of Burton Strategies Group, as lobbyist; and Dave Crass, industry group chair, agribusiness, food and beverage for Michael Best, as general counsel.
West Liberty Foods, LLC, West Liberty, Iowa
President and CEO Ed Garrett will step into the role of chief executive officer, with Michael Quint, current vice president and chief customer officer, being promoted to president. Quint joined the company in April 2006 as vice president and CCO, leading the sales, marketing and R&D departments. During his time with West Liberty Foods, he led the team in diversifying customer base and product lines. In addition, he provided strategic visioning and overall leadership in expanding the research and development team and building West Liberty Foods’ brand strength. Quint holds a combined 30-plus years in the meat industry. Meanwhile, Allen Hansen was promoted to vice president of finance and CFO, K. Joseph Swanson was promoted to vice president of operations and Brandon Achen was promoted to vice president of supply chain. Hansen started with West Liberty Foods in 2002, and has been integral to the company’s continued success and the growth of the finance department. He has held roles such as executive director of finance, corporate controller and controller. Swanson brings a diverse background, having been with the company from its inception. He maintains a depth of experience in quality assurance, operations, continuous improvement, finance and human resources. Achen began with West Liberty Foods in 2008, and has advanced new ideas directly facing supply chain challenges. His previous roles include industrial engineer and management roles in the scheduling, purchasing and supply chain departments. Also, Scott Cole will join the company as chief customer officer, and Dominik Teyke will join as vice president of R&D. Cole brings 25-plus years of sales and strategic leadership experience from the Hershey organization. He can be credited with portfolio diversification, business growth and proven sales results. And, Teyke brings over 28 years of protein and product research. He has spent the last decade at Boar’s Head leading the culinary, project management, applied science and product development departments. West Liberty Foods received Refrigerated & Frozen Foods’ 2017 Refrigerated Foods Processor of the Year award, with Garrett on the front cover.
the happy egg co., San Francisco
As the company expands in the United States, David Wagstaff, president and COO; Jen Danby, chief marketing officer; and Jon Hayman, vice president of operations, will be succeeded by Neil Turpin, general manager; and Kristin Herzog, chief marketing officer, effective immediately. Turpin is a veteran of the food and beverage industry, and will lead the happy egg co. in its next phase of growth. Herzog will drive U.S. expansion by leading all brand marketing initiatives, including strategy, product and integrated marketing campaigns. She will also oversee advertising, public relations, digital media and shopper marketing, and continue to serve as liaison for suppliers, business development partners, customer service and key retail partners.
California Dairies, Inc. (CDI), Visalia, Calif.
Rob Vandenheuvel joined as vice president of industry and member relations, serving as the face of CDI to the industry, governmental and regulatory bodies, and working directly with member-owners. Vandenheuvel has served as general manager for the Milk Producers Council (MPC) since 2007. Prior to his tenure at MPC, he was a press secretary for the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee in Washington D.C.
T. M. Kovacevich-Philadelphia, Inc., Philadelphia, Pa.
Thomas Kovacevich was named president and COO. Former president George Manos will continue as chairman of the board and CEO. Kovacevich is the third generation of his family to be actively involved in the produce business. He has been with the company since 1986 in various marketing and management positions, most recently as general manager.
Agropur Cooperative, Canada
René Moreau was named new president, succeeding Serge Riendeau, who is retiring after heading the board for the past 15 years and serving as a director for 26 years. Moreau is a dairy farmer, and has been a member of Agropur's board since 1998, representing the Nicolet-Bois-Francs region. He has served on numerous Agropur committees, including the Executive Committee since 2002. He became vice president of Agropur in 2012.
Fazoli's, Lexington, Ky.
David Hasler was named chief financial officer, responsible for overseeing the finance, accounting, financial planning and analysis, information technology, payroll and legal services departments. Hasler spent the past 10 years in finance roles with Wal-Mart, most recently as senior director of global treasury. Prior to his 10 years at Wal-Mart in global treasury, financial planning and analysis, investor relations and finance and strategy for the grocery and health & wellness divisions, Hasler served in similar roles at The Body Shop International plc, Limited Brands and Procter & Gamble. Tracy Haskins was promoted to vice president of finance and treasury. A 20-year Fazoli's veteran, Haskins has been an instrumental part of financial transactions and capital restructuring events throughout her career with the company. And, Spencer Houlihan re-joined Fazoli's in the newly created role of vice president, financial planning and analysis. Houlihan originally started with the company in 2008 as a senior financial analyst.
Yum China Holdings, Inc., Louisville, Ky.
Joey Wat was named president and COO, overseeing the KFC, Pizza Hut Casual Dining and Pizza Hut Home Service brands. Wat joined Yum! Restaurants China in September 2014 as president of KFC China, and was promoted to chief executive officer of KFC China in August 2015. She led the operating and marketing functions for the KFC division, and was responsible for growing KFC within China. Prior to Yum, she worked at McKinsey, and later headed Watsons, UK, including the Superdrug and Savers retail chains. Born in Fujian, China, Ms. Wat attended the University of Hong Kong and earned an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Meanwhile, Johnson Huang was named general manager of the company's KFC business. Huang joined Yum! Brands, Inc. in 2006 to lead the information technology department in China, and was appointed chief information officer in 2013. He began overseeing shared marketing services in 2014, and became chief information and marketing support officer of Yum China in October 2016. Prior to Yum, Huang held various business leadership and information technology positions with Cap Gemini Ernst & Young Group in the greater China region and Evergreen Group in the UK.
Yoshinoya America, Torrance, Calif.
Jim Stevens was named to the newly created role of chief operating officer, effective immediately, working closely with the senior level team on the company's overall strategy and execution, and overseeing, developing and setting direction for operations as the company continues to remodel its existing store base and open new locations. Stevens maintains nearly three decades of experience in all aspects of quick-service restaurant management. Previously, he was the executive team ops leader for Checkers Drive in Restaurants/Rally's, where he led the brand’s turnaround. Stevens started his career at Yum Brands in 1992, and has worked his way up through multiple management positions, including vice president of operations at Arby's and chief operating officer of Captain D's.
TGI Fridays, Dallas, Texas
Stephanie Perdue joined as chief marketing officer. Perdue was most recently chief product marketing officer at Taco Bell, where she led the team that designed and delivered the Doritos Locos Tacos and introduced the breakfast daypart and several other new product platforms. And, long-time restaurateur Jerry Comstock joined as president and COO. Comstock maintains extensive experience as an owner and operator of restaurants, including 27 TGI Fridays. As former chief executive officer of Strategic Restaurants Corp., Comstock made a career out of maximizing profits at the restaurant level while developing local leadership, emphasizing a commitment to operational excellence and building a performance-driven culture. He has held leadership roles at Bennigan’s, Wherehouse Music and AutoNation.
Myers Foodservice Equipment, Supply & Design, Santa Rosa, Calif.
Michael Scheiman was promoted to vice president business development and design. Scheiman has been one of the driving forces behind the monumental growth of the company over the past four years. He came to Myers after an acclaimed career as a chef with The Markham, Montrachet, Tribeca Grill and Nobu. His culinary career includes a position as executive chef for The Canal House at the Soho Grand Hotel. Scheiman also spearheaded relationships with restaurant design and construction companies.
Vector Solutions, Tampa, Fla.
Nancy Allen was promoted to senior vice president of sales, responsible for leading the enterprise sales teams for RedVector’s AEC and industrial segments and for the company’s newest brand, LearnSmart. Allen came to RedVector in 2015 after a long career with Konica Minolta, where she was the national vice president of vertical markets.
Brother Gearmotors, a division of Brother International Corp., Bridgewater, N.J.
Bernie Hurda was named new director of sales, tasked with steering overall sales strategy, including managing a sales team, overseeing a broad sales structure and developing additional business channels. Hurda has been involved in the power transmission industry for more than 16 years, beginning his career as a sales engineer, and later, serving as field sales manager and eventually national sales and marketing manager.
The Greenbrier Cos., Inc., Lake Oswego, Ore.
Twenty-two-year FBI veteran Greg Bretzing was hired as director of global security and special projects, charged with overseeing physical security measures at all facilities owned or occupied by Greenbrier, and managing security for business travelers outside of the United States. He will also help drive Greenbrier's cybersecurity efforts and play an active role in Greenbrier public policy and international business activities. In January, Bretzing completed an FBI career that started in 1995. His most recent service was as special agent in charge of the FBI's Portland Field Office, where he directly and indirectly managed over 250 employees in six offices across Oregon. Prior to serving in Oregon, he was an FBI inspector at agency headquarters in Washington, D.C., for 18 months. During his 20-year career with the FBI, Bretzing was also deployed overseas on numerous occasions, including serving as the FBI's attaché in Panama City, Panama, in 2001, and as the FBI's on-scene commander in Afghanistan in 2009. Before his tenure with FBI, Bretzing worked as a CPA for Ernst & Young.
Triad Technologies, LLC, Vandalia, Ohio
Jeff Knaus was hired as regional sales manager for the Southern Ohio region, responsible for sales and market share growth, as well as providing field support and developing sales talent within that geography. He will play a key role in driving sales strategies that align with corporate growth goals. Knaus has been regional sales manager at Parker Hannifin since 2001.
JFPT (Jansen Food Processing Technology), The Netherlands
Martin Wieffering now was appointed chief executive officer of foodlife group.
Navistar International Corp., Lisle, Ill.
Martin Ketelaar was appointed vice president, investor relations, effective Feb. 13, responsible for developing and implementing Navistar's investor relations strategies, leading its investor marketing activities and managing relationships with the company's shareholders, analysts and overall financial community. Ketelaar maintains a 20-plus years’ experience in investor relations, corporate finance and public accounting for publicly traded and privately held companies. He served as vice president of investor relations for Quanex Building Products Corp. from 2012-2015. In 2013, he added the treasurer role. Ketelaar was also vice president of investor relations and assistant treasurer at The ServiceMaster Co. from 2007-2012. Prior to that, he was vice president of investor relations at AmerUs Group Co.
JCS Process & Control Systems Engineering, Rochester, N.Y.
John Vetere, a seasoned business manager, was named president. Vetere specializes in optimizing systems, processes and people in dynamic growth environments, and brings specific experience in the food and beverage industry. Vetere began his career at Arthur Andersen & Co., where he received his CPA and worked as a consultant managing systems and profit enhancement projects across a variety of industries. He then went on to serve as president of RMA/Kolko Corp. (later a division of Unisource Worldwide), and more recently, as president of LiDestri Foods, Inc.