Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA), Antigo, Wis.

Eric Schroeder, president of Schroeder Brothers Farms, Inc., was elected president for 2017, succeeding Mark Finnessy, co-owner of Okray Family Farms, who served as board president in 2016. Josh Mattek, treasurer of J.W. Mattek & Sons, Inc., was elected vice president; Gary Wysocki, president of RPE, Inc., was re-elected secretary; and Wes Meddaugh of Heartland Farms, Inc., was elected as Treasurer. The WPVGA associate division board of directors elected Sally Surprise, commercial insurance adviser for Ansay & Associates, LLC, to be its president for 2017, replacing Wayne Solinsky, agronomist at Jay-Mar, Inc., who completed his second term. Newcomers elected to the board were Paul Cieslewicz, owner of Sand County Equipment, and Kenton Mehlberg, agronomist at T.I.P., Inc./Ag Grow Solutions. They were elected to replace Solinsky and Dale Bowe, agriculture representative at Wisconsin Public Service Corp., who completed their second terms. As part of the Wisconsin Seed Potato Improvement Association (WSPIA), the board of directors elected Bill Guenthner, of Guenthner Farms, Inc., as president for 2017, succeeding Schroeder, who served as board president in 2016. Charlie Mattek, of J.W. Mattek & Sons, Inc., was elected vice president; and Schroeder was elected secretary/treasurer.


Tyson Foods, Inc., Springdale, Ark.

Brad Sauer stepped down from the board of directors after nine years of service. Sauer was previously an executive for 3M, last serving as an executive vice president of the company’s industrial business group before retiring in 2014.

Raley’s, West Sacramento, Calif.
Chief operating officer Keith Knopf was promoted to president and COO. Knopf joined Raley’s nearly two years ago, and will continue to direct the development of Raley’s overall strategic plan. Knopf maintains over 25 years retail experience and leadership roles in companies such as Kohl’s, Victoria’s Secret and May Co. Also, senior vice president, human resources and labor relations Mark Foley was promoted to chief people officer, overseeing HR and legal departments. Since returning to Raley’s in 2013, Foley has helped re-energize the company’s culture, motivating team members to personally connect to the company’s purpose.

Sysco Corp., Houston, Texas
Anita Zielinski will join as senior vice president and chief accounting officer, effective April 3, where she will oversee all accounting functions, with responsibility for financial accounting and reporting, accounting policy, tax compliance and strategy and internal controls. She will also act as key liaison to external auditing firms and confirming the company’s views on technical accounting matters. Zielinski has been a member of Ernst & Young’s Assurance practice for 20 years, and was promoted to partner in 2013. She maintains extensive experience working with Sysco as a client, as well as other large and mid-cap public companies in the distribution, real estate, transportation and manufacturing industries, responsible for overseeing SEC registration statements, filings, business combinations and complex accounting and financial reporting matters. Her accounting experience includes both U.S. GAAP and International Financial Reporting Standards.

Giumarra Cos., Los Angeles
Stu Monaghan joined as division manager of Giumarra Southeast. Monaghan comes to Giumarra from Seald Sweet, where he served as sales director. Prior to Seald Sweet, he was employed with DNE World Fruit in various management roles. He mantains nearly 30 years of produce industry experience. And, Rob Campbell was named director of sales for the Giumarra International Berry East Coast operation. Campbell was previously employed with Giumarra during 2006-2010, and re-joins the company from the Oppenheimer Group, where he specialized in berry sales.

Clear Springs Foods, Inc., Buhl, Idaho
Stephen Reichley joined as director of fish health, effective immediately, providing consulting on a part-time basis. Reichley will join Clear Springs on a full-time basis upon completion of his PhD doctoral studies on or about July 1. Reichley brings eight years of extensive aquatic animal health experience. He currently serves as clinical instructor in the Aquatic Teaching and Diagnostic Service in Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine at Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine within the Thad Cochran National Warmwater Aquaculture Center. He also previously served as an intern at Clear Springs Foods, Inc. in the fall of 2012. 

Stonyfield, Londonderry, N.H.
Nichole Cirillo joined in the newly created position of mission director. Cirillo joins following an extensive career in the CSR arena, most recently as the international director of strategic partnerships for the Earthwatch Institute.

Dot Foods, Mt. Sterling, Ill.
Outgoing CEO John Tracy announced that his brothers Joe Tracy and Dick Tracy have taken on new roles as CEO and president, respectively. John will remain full-time with Dot, serving as executive chairman. Joe has served as Dot’s president and COO for nearly a decade, and has held a variety of positions in sales, purchasing, distribution center management, warehouse and transportation. He became chief operating officer in 2007, and added president to his responsibilities in 2008. Dick took over the chief operating officer role in 2015, and has worked in the family business since 1991, serving as national sales manager, general manager of the company’s e-commerce subsidiary, vice president of customer development and executive vice president of the foodservice division. Meanwhile, Anita Montgomery was named new chief financial officer, replacing Bill Metzinger, who retired at the end of 2016 after 23 years of service. Montgomery joined the Dot team in 2008 as credit manager before being promoted to director of credit. She has been vice president of replenishment since 2013, responsible for maintaining Dot’s inventory. She is also a certified public accountant who served as senior vice president and CFO at Corn Belt Bank & Trust Co. Also, Jeff Grever, a 19-year Dot veteran, is the new vice president of corporate accounts, managing Dot’s relationship with the company’s largest foodservice customers and working with foodservice buying groups to identify efficiencies and opportunities for growth. He will continue the responsibilities he held as director of corporate accounts. Prior to that, Grever was a regional sales manager, business development manager and district sales manager for Dot. Lastly, Bryan Langston, a 16-year veteran with Dot, became new vice president of warehousing. Langston came to the company in its acquisition of Principal Resource in 2000. He graduated from Dot’s district sales manager training program and became warehouse manager of the Louisiana/Mississippi territory before helping open the Ardmore, Okla., distribution center. Langston then returned to Dot’s corporate headquarters to serve as the cooler warehouse manager, and was promoted to general manager of the Illinois warehouse.


Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc., Dallas, Texas
The parent company of the Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana fast casual restaurant brands appointed Richard Stockinger as chief executive officer. Stockinger served as president and CEO of Benihana Inc. from 2009-2014, a member of the board of directors of Benihana from 2008-2014, a member of the Audit Committee of Benihana from 2008-2009 and chairman of the board of directors of Benihana from 2010-2012. Prior to joining Benihana, he spent more than two decades at The Patina Restaurant Group, LLC and its predecessor Restaurant Associates, Inc., where he served in various senior executive capacities, including as president from 2003-2008 and as a director from 1998-2006. Most recently, Stockinger was a consultant of Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co. and Not Your Average Joes. Meanwhile, Paul Twohig was appointed a non-executive member of the board of directors. Twohig currently serves as president, Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. and Canada. Prior to joining Dunkin’ Brands in 2009, he served as a senior vice president, Eastern division for Starbucks Corp., and previously served as chief operating officer for Panera Bread Co. Stacey Rauch was also appointed non-executive chairman of the board of directors. Rauch has served as a non-executive director of the company since 2012. She is currently a director emeritus of McKinsey & Co., from which she retired in September 2010, after serving 24 years with the company. Rauch was a leader in McKinsey’s retail and consumer goods practices, served as the head of the North American retail and apparel practice, and acted as the global retail practice convener. Lastly, Danny Meisenheimer was promoted to chief operating officer and senior vice president. Meisenheimer has been interim CEO of Fiesta since September 2016, and chief operating officer and vice president of Pollo Tropical since 2013. Meisenheimer previously served as chief brand officer of Pollo Tropical in 2012. Prior to joining Pollo Tropical, Meisenheimer was chief operating officer at Souper Salad, Inc. from 2010-2012 and chief brand officer at Souper Salad, Inc. from 2008-2010. Before that, Meisenheimer was vice president, brand management at Pizza Inn from 2005-2008.

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc., Atlanta
Cheryl Bachelder will be stepping down as chief executive officer at the closing of the company's transaction with Restaurant Brands International Inc. Bacheldor joined Popeyes in 2006 as a member of the board of directors. In November 2007, she was named chief executive officer, and has the remarkable transformation of the company to include a global presence with nearly 2,700 restaurants in 26 countries.


SpecPage, Bradenton, Fla.

Jozef Oleár and Fernando Fernandes were appointed as business development managers to boost its activities in Central, Eastern as well as Southern Europe. In their new roles, Oleár and Fernandes will be responsible for building up SpecPage’s presence in their respective focus regions as well as customer service of existing clients. Before joining SpecPage, Oleár held senior sales positions, heading the confectionary packaging sales for global packaging suppliers Schur Flexibles Moneta and Moneta S. Fernandes maintains vast experience in sales and lead representative roles with companies in the IT industry such as IBM and DELL.

AMF Bakery Systems, Richmond, Va.
Jason Ward was promoted to president, effective immediately. In this new role, Ward will continue to manage the company’s day-to-day operations while creating and delivering the company’s vision and overall mission. Ward joined AMF Bakery Systems in 2011 as vice president of sales and marketing, leading the expansion of the company’s international sales and global brand awareness. Ward stepped into an executive leadership role as executive vice president in August 2015.

Benchmark Automation and KLEENLine, part of the Pro Mach family of brands, Athens, Ga.
Eric Cruse was appointed new director of sales, responsible for providing sales leadership and strategic direction for the brands’ North American regional sales organization. Cruse maintains more than 10 years of extensive experience in the baking industry, including material handling. His career began as a controls engineer for Peerless Food Equipment. Most recently, he served as Midwest regional sales manager for Benchmark Automation.

SCS Global Services, Emeryville, Calif.
Willette Crawford joined the food safety team as senior technical trainer, responsible for designing, developing and delivering regulatory and food safety standard trainings, and creating customized curriculum to support customers’ complex training needs. Crawford’s experience as a food safety professional spans both regulatory and industry issues in the primary production and processing arenas. She served as technical advisor and subject matter expert in developing policy for the US Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, and has held leadership positions in Chiquita Brands and Green Giant Fresh.

Eurofrigo B.V., The Netherlands
Jeroen Tempels joined as vice president, taking over for van Mackelenbergh, who will step down as managing director effective July 1. Tempels maintains a strong background in international logistics, supply chain management and project management in various leadership roles. Mackelenbergh will stay on board as senior advisor until July 1, 2018.

Yusen Logistics (Americas) Inc., Secaucus, N.J.
Brian Paolillo will take on the newly-created position of senior vice president of strategic sales, responsible for working at the regional level and participating at the global level to build the company’s sales capabilities and bring the breadth of its geographic scale and the full scope of service offerings to new and existing customers. In addition, he will have direct responsibility for the transportation group sales team and develop strategic sales planning and growth initiatives for the group. Meanwhile, Adriene Bailey will assume the role of senior vice president and general manager of transportation, responsible for group profit and loss. She will lead the company’s intermodal, dray and truck brokerage service offerings and continue her involvement with the company’s global strategy initiatives. Both appointments were effective March 1.

Sodexo, Gaithersburg, Md.
Dianne Salt was appointed group chief brand and communications officer, effective April 18. Salt comes from Royal Bank of Canada, where she was senior vice president, communications. She began her career in the public sector and worked as director of communications for the Canadian House of Commons, and then the Senate before joining Imperial Oil, a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil, as public affairs associate. She joined TD Bank in 2001, where she had various roles, including senior vice president corporate and public affairs. Since 2013, she was with Royal Bank of Canada, where she had global responsibility for internal and external communications. 

Dolco Packaging, a Tekni-Plex company, Wayne, Pa.
Phil Laughlin was promoted to vice president of sales, responsible for leading sales efforts across all markets and products (egg cartons, fruit trays, foodservice containers, poultry/meat trays). In his 3-plus decades with Dolco, Laughlin has been instrumental in building the company’s position in the polystyrene (PS) egg carton market.

Associated Integrated Supply Chain Solutions, Addison, Ill.
Tim Combs was appointed as president and CEO, replacing Michael Romano, who was named president and CEO of Toyota Advanced Logistics Systems at Toyota Industries Corp. Combs brings 35 years of leadership and sales experience, having most recently served as president of sales and marketing at The Raymond Corp. Combs also served as Associated’s general manager from 2009-2010.

Distribution Market Advantage, Inc. (DMA), Schaumburg, Ill.
Pat Mulhern
will become president and CEO, effective April 3, taking over for Dan Cox, who is retiring after 10 years at DMA; the last five as its president and CEO. Mulhern's foodservice career includes nearly 25 years in multi-unit restaurants, with 20 of those years in leadership roles with US Foodservice, Vistar (now Performance Food Group), Alliant Foodservice and Kraft. Cox joined the board of directors in 1999 and then as chief operating officer in 2007. He was appointed chief executive officer in 2012.

Navistar International Corp., Lisle, Ill.
Persio Lisboa was promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer, effective immediately, responsible for overseeing operations, global and sales functions. In his most recent role as president of operations, Lisboa was responsible for procurement, product development and manufacturing, where he helped drive hundreds of millions in total cost savings, while overseeing key strategic investments in new products and services. He also played a major role in negotiating the close of Navistar's strategic alliance with Volkswagen Truck & Bus. Curt Kramer, currently associate general counsel and corporate secretary, will become senior vice president and general counsel, effective April 1, succeeding Steven Covey, who is retiring after 36 years with Navistar. Kramer will be responsible for leading all legal and corporate governance matters for the company.



Don Lorenzo Servitje Sendra, one of the founders of Bimbo Bakeries, Mexico, passed away Feb. 3

Servitje founded Bimbo in 1945, alongside Jaime Jorba Sendra, José Trinidad Mata, Jaime Sendra Grimau and Alfonso Velasco Pérez. The company began with 38 associates, the first of whom was his brother Roberto, 10 vehicles, one brand and four products. He held the posts of manager, director and chairman of the board of directors of Grupo Bimbo.



Kent Romrell, one of the original founders and former senior vice president of sales at Potandon Produce LLC, Idaho Falls, Idaho, passed away from an inoperable brain tumor, which he had been undergoing treatment for since Aug. 26, 2016.

Romrell retired from Potandon Produce in March 2013 after more than 30 years in the fresh produce industry. His produce career started in 1983 when he joined the R.T. French Co., and later with Pillsbury Foods after a buyout in 1985. In 1995, Romrell and three other senior Pillsbury managers, Jeff Sholl, Mel Davenport and Steve Ottum, led a buyout of the fresh potato and onion division and formed Potandon. Under his leadership, Potandon Produce introduced many new potato varieties into the marketplace and helped change the direction of the category forever.

Romrell is survived by his wife Deon, four children and several grandchildren.