National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), Washington, D.C.
Keira Lombardo, senior vice president of corporate affairs of Smithfield Foods, was named a member of the board of directors, tasked with assisting in the advancement of NAM's manufacturing policy agenda to promote growth and prosperity for all manufacturers in a variety of industries nationwide. Lombardo was selected for this position because of her dedication to the manufacturing industry and for sharing her skills, expertise and experiences with others in the field. Last year, Lombardo was honored by the Manufacturing Institute, the non-profit arm of the NAM, for its annual STEP Ahead Awards for her positive impact on the industry through advocacy, mentorship, engagement, promotion and leadership.
Potatoes USA, Denver, Colo.
The grower membership elected new leadership, including John Halverson, a fourth-generation potato grower at Black Gold Farms, as chair. Co-chairs of domestic marketing consist of Jerry Tominaga, grower/shipper in Rupert, Idaho; and David Tonso, president of Cañon Potato Co. Co-chairs of research include Steve Gangwish, vice president of CSS Farms; and Dan Moss, chief executive officer of Moss Farms. Immediate past chair of research is Mike Pink, farmer in Mesa, Wash. Co-chairs of international marketing entails Marty Myers, general manager at Threemile Canyon Farms; and Doug Poe, farmer in Connell, Wash. Co-chairs of industry outreach consist of Jason Davenport, president of Allied Potato, Inc.; and Jay LaJoie of LaJoie Farmers, Inc. Finance chair goes to Phil Hickman, co-owner and operator of Dublin Farms.
National Mango Board (NMB), Orlando, Fla.
Greg Golden, owner operator of Amazon Produce Network LLC, was elected to serve as chair, while Joella Shiba of Los Angeles will serve as vice chair. Serving as secretary is Patrick Dueire of Wilmington, Del., and elected as treasurer is Michael Warren of Pompano Beach, Fla.
TreeHouse Foods, Inc., Oak Brook, Ill.
Rachel Bishop, currently senior vice president and chief strategy officer, will assume the role of president of the company's snacks division. Keiran Kelly, currently president of the snacks division, will focus on the sales growth and development of the emerging online channel and several key customers. Also, Maurice "Moe" Alkemade will join as senior vice president and chief strategy officer. Alkemade comes from Walgreens, where he was most recently group vice president/general manager – convenience, responsible for the household, consumables and general merchandise categories. Prior to that, he was group vice president of retail brands and global sourcing, where he was responsible for creating and leading a team responsible for Walgreens' $5-plus billion private brands business. Prior to that, Alkemade spent 15 years with Kraft in a variety of sales and marketing roles, including customer relationship management, Asia Pacific and Canada. All of these management developments will become effective April 24.
World Finer Foods (WFF), Bloomfield, N.J.
William Flynn, a senior executive with more than 20 years of experience leading global finance teams, was selected as chief financial officer. Flynn joins WFF after 12 years at Sharp Americas, first as vice president and controller, and for the last seven years as senior vice president and CFO. Prior to Sharp, Flynn was international controller at AT&T, where he managed day-to-day accounting operations and a worldwide staff.
Tyson Foods, Springdale, Ark.
Dr. Scott Stillwell was promoted to senior vice president, food safety and quality assurance (FSQA), charged with providing strategic leadership, direction and guidance for Tyson Foods’ global FSQA discipline, and overseeing the company’s commitment to safety and quality for all Tyson Foods products. Stillwell joined Tyson Foods in 1988 as a quality control microbiologist. He most recently served as vice president, food safety and quality assurance for Tyson Foods, supporting the company’s poultry division. He replaces Dr. Rick Roop, who announced plans to retire after 31 years with the company.
BRF S.A., Brazil
The food processing company created two fronts—response management and business management—to better respond to the Weak Flesh Investigation. The response management front is composed of a multidisciplinary team led by the executive Simon Cheng, while Pedro Faria, former chief executive officer latam of RedBull, becomes chief executive officer. Alexandre Almeida, former chief executive officer of Itambé, will take the lead on the Brazilian market to conduct the integration process and give sequence to the ongoing priority initiatives. Rafael Ivanisk is leaving the company due to personal reasons. Leonardo Byrro will now become vice president of supply chain, tasked with optimizing and integrating the company’s value chain.
Sargento Foods Inc., Plymouth, Wis.
Jane Bullinger was named vice president of sales to help oversee sales operations in the consumer products division. Bullinger was most recently the regional sales director at Nestlé Waters North America, where she produced impressive sales growth across supermarket retailer and wholesaler customers. And, Jeremy Schellin joined as senior manager of new platform development in the consumer products division, where he will lead the identification and development of new product initiatives. Previously, he held several marketing and innovation positions for General Mills, most recently as marketing manager, where he oversaw the innovation portfolio and commercialization for the Betty Crocker brand.
Wegmans Food Market, Rochester, N.Y.
Colleen Wegman was named president and CEO, taking over for her father, Danny Wegman, who will become chairman. Colleen joined Wegmans in 1991, and was named president in 2005 by her grandfather, the late Robert Wegman.
Kentucky Fresh Harvest, Stanford, Ky.
Shubin Saha joined as production and integrated pest management director, effective May 1, tasked with overseeing the building of the new Lincoln County high-tech greenhouse project and managing its advanced hydroponic system. Saha spent over a decade conducting plant science research while serving in various capacities at major institutions. At the University of Kentucky, he served as assistant extension professor in the department of horticulture, where he applied over a decade of research in the field of protected agriculture to provide support to commercial vegetable producers and develop the growing vegetable industry.
Sæplast Americas Inc., Canada
Cristina Nicolalde Flores was appointed director of sales – Latin America, effective March 13, responsible for commercial activity in Central and South America. Nicolalde Flores maintains a deep experience in the food, protein and fish markets in Ecuador and other Latin American markets. She comes from ADITMAQ, where she held the dual roles of general manager for Peru and division manager for Ecuador. Meanwhile, Bruce Hannough, owner of Hannough Containers, and his son Connor Hannough were named new sales agents for the Mid-Atlantic region, effective immediately. The primary commercial focus will be in the meat, protein and general food processing market segments, selling PE/PUR totes, pallets and buggies. Bruce started his career in product development with Bonar Plastics, and became an independent agent for Bonar covering Eastern Ontario and Quebec. In 2012, he moved to Agri-Plastics as an agent, covering the same territory until relocating to Philadelphia in 2014 covering the Mid-Atlantic states. Connor is a recent graduate of Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Both will focus on the seafood and protein market segments, promoting the advantages of the Sæplast brand of containers.
Coherix, Inc., Ann Arbor, Mich.
Dr. Zhenhua Huang was promoted to general manager of the Americas, tasked with leading business development, customer support, operations and sales across the Americas. Huang joined Coherix in 2006. Most recently, he was serving as product manager, responsible for the strategies and roadmaps of Coherix Robust3D product lines. In 2015, Huang launched Coherix China JV, where he served as general manager until September 2016. Previously, Huang was the chief technical officer of Asia Pacific and the chief architect of the ShaPix product line, where he led the research team for the “High Definition Metrology and 2µ Manufacturing Program” funded by US National Institute of Standards & Technology.
ReposiTrak, subsidiary of Park City Group, Salt Lake City, Utah
David Koch joined the business development team, playing a key role in helping ReposiTrak meet the industry’s need to validate compliance through documentation. Koch brings more than 30 years of experience working for consumer packaged goods companies, calling on retailers and wholesalers in a variety of roles, including account and category management, business development and sales.
Seegrid, Pittsburgh, Pa.
The manufacturer of vision guided autonomous vehicles for materials handling formed a new strategic advisory board composed of experts Patrick Donahoe, Mel Wolfgang and Dr. Ken Gabriel to identify strategic growth opportunities. Donahoe, the former U.S. postmaster general and 39-year veteran of the United States Postal Service, began his career as a postal service clerk. Wolfgang is a senior partner and managing director for The Boston Consulting Group, and serves on its industrial goods practice leadership team. Ken Gabriel is president and CEO of the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Inc., and was previously the deputy director of Google’s advanced technology and projects group.
Primex Plastics Corp., Richmond, Ind.
Jeffrey Burke was appointed to the newly created position of commercial applications development engineer. Burke maintains over 30 years of plastics industry experience in both resin and sheet extrusion sales in food, beverage and industrial packaging applications. He currently serves as a board member of the New Jersey Packaging Executives organization.
IN MEMORIUM: ALBERT PIERI, OCEAN MIST FARMS
Albert Pieri, one of the original founders and 50-year employee of Ocean Mist Farms, Castroville, Calif., passed away.
Pieri was a pioneer in the early days of California Artichoke and Vegetable Growers, which was renamed Ocean Mist Farms in 1995.
In 1954, Pieri took on the company’s bookkeeping position, but soon found himself answering sales calls, subbing for the sales manager and becoming well known by the buyers. In 1964, he became sales manager.
“Our most heartfelt condolences go out to Albert’s children, Renee, Glen, Dorian and Diane, along with his sister Norma Pieri-Reasons, brother-in-law Don Reasons and companion Marlene McMillan,” says Joe Pezzini, chief executive officer. “Al’s contributions to our organization, the agricultural industry and his community will be remembered and appreciated by all for many years to come.”
A graveside memorial service is planned for May 6 at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery, Woodland, Calif. In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation be made to the Ocean Mist Farms Academic Scholarship Program.
IN MEMORIUM: GRANT “JIM” HUNT, JR., GRANT J. HUNT CO.
Grant J. “Jim” Hunt, Jr., former president of Grant J. Hunt Co., an Oakland, Calif.-based produce distribution firm, passed away.
Hunt joined Grant J. Hunt in 1946 after his rehabilitation from wounds received in battle during World War II in France during the Battle of the Bulge. Hunt took the helm of the company in 1949 after the sudden death of the company founder, Grant J. Hunt, Sr. He served as president for decades until his retirement in 1992.
Hunt served on many board positions with the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), including president in 1981; his son Grant M. Hunt served as PMA chair in 1999. To date, they are the only father-son duo to ever serve in the board president/chair capacity. Under Hunt’s leadership, PMA’s three divisions (retail, foodservice and floral) developed policies to enhance the growth of the industry.
“Jim Hunt had already completed his term as chairman of the PMA board when I joined the association in 1983. Nonetheless, he took the time to school me in the workings of our industry and the lessons he had learned throughout his career. Jim’s unselfish service to the industry he loved is one reason I was so pleased to visit him just weeks ago at his home, where he reminisced so lucidly on shared experiences. Like his son Grant, another PMA chairman of the board, Jim understood so well the mutual benefit that flows from leadership service to others across an industry,” says Bryan Silbermann, retired PMA CEO.
Hunt was the recipient of The Packer’s Produce Man of the Year Award in 1978 in recognition of his efforts with other Bay Area leaders to eradicate corruption involving the unloading of produce trucks at wholesale markets in Northern California.
A Mass of Christian Burial is planned for April 5 at St. Helena Catholic Church in St. Helena, Calif.