Ben E. Keith Foods, Fort Worth, Texas
Randy Tollison was promoted to vice president of manufacturing, responsible for the manufacturing operations at Winn Meat Co. and the recently acquired Kelley's Foods of Alabama. Kyle Newman was promoted to director for center of the plate, responsible for all center-of-the-plate category management as it pertains to corporate strategies and leadership.
Tom Lange Co., Springfield, Ill.
Josh McKey was named chief financial officer, taking over for Hugh Seelbach, who announced his retirement, effective Aug. 31, after 36 years with the company. Seelbach began his career in 1981 as the staff accountant, and has served on the board of directors for six years. He was most recently secretary/treasurer. McKey began working at Tom Lange in January. Before joining the company, he was with Chemline.
General Mills, Inc., Minneapolis
John Foraker is stepping as president of the Annie’s operating unit to pursue another opportunity. Carla Vernon, vice president, natural and organic growth acceleration at General Mills, was named his successor. General Mills acquired Annie’s in September 2014.
Ahold Delhaize, The Netherlands
Jack Stahl, chairman of the audit, finance and risk committee and a member of the governance and nomination committee, announced plans to step down due to other business-related commitments in the United States. Stahl has served on the supervisory board since July 24, 2016. Prior to the merger of Ahold and Delhaize, he was a member of Delhaize Group's supervisory board since 2008. Supervisory board member René Hooft Graafland will take over as chairman of the audit, finance and risk committee.
Albertsons Cos., LLC, Boise, Idaho
Kevin Turner was appointed vice chairman of the board of managers of AB Acquisition LLC., its direct parent, and senior advisor to chairman and CEO, Bob Miller. Turner brings decades of retail and technology experience, including roles at Walmart and Microsoft. His tenure at Walmart began as a cashier in 1985, and culminated in his appointment to president and CEO of SAM’s Club and executive vice president of Walmart Stores, Inc., a position he served in from 2002-2005. From 2005-2016, he was with Microsoft, most recently as chief operating officer. At Microsoft, he led a number of teams, including worldwide sales and marketing, the retail stores division, corporate information technology and operations. Key accomplishments include his leadership of the company’s cloud services adoption as well as the sales and marketing efforts behind Office 365.
Naturipe Farms, Salinas, Calif.
Brian Vertrees was promoted director of business development-West, responsible for providing additional leadership, guidance and direction for Naturipe’s West coast blueberries and all-organic berry programs. Vertrees joined Naturipe Farms in 2011 as an account manager, and was then promoted to senior account manager in April 2014.
Hormel Foods Corp., Austin, Minn.
Stephen Koven was appointed vice president of digital experience, responsible for developing digital strategies and leading teams to cohesively build, align and execute digital marketing and sales plans. Koven will direct the four teams within the company's recently formed digital experience group, including digital marketing, shopper engagement, digital strategy and innovation and digital data analytics and insights. Koven brings extensive digital, marketing, sales and brand management experience to Hormel Foods, from companies such as The Dial Corp. and The Clorox Co. Koven also spent time at Price Waterhouse and Accenture in tax and finance roles.
Southeastern Grocers (SEG), Jacksonville, Fla.
Anthony Hucker was appointed president and CEO, effective immediately. He has served as interim president and CEO since July 1. Before joining SEG, Hucker was president and COO of Schnucks, and previous to that, president of Giant Food. Prior to joining Giant Food, he spent seven years at Wal-Mart in a variety of leadership positions, internationally and domestically. He began as the chief information officer of the Americas, formed the global format development division and was promoted to head of strategy and business development for Wal-Mart USA. He also spent 10 years with Aldi, where he served in a variety of leadership assignments in Germany, the United States and Austria, and was part of the original startup leadership team that set up Aldi UK.
Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG), Canada
Joe Sbrocchi will assume the general manager role, effective Sept. 18. Sbrocchi has been active in a number of roles in the greenhouse sector for the last 8 years. Previously, he held management roles with national retailers like Sobeys and Walmart, providing a solid body of work throughout the entire value chain.
Sonic Corp., Oklahoma City, Okla.
Jose Dueñas was named executive vice president and chief brand officer, responsible for the end-to-end customer experience, including marketing and culinary innovation, digital strategy, consumer insights, guest relations, concept development and overall evolution of the SONIC brand. He joins with more than two decades of marketing and brand senior leadership in the restaurant and consumer packaged goods industries. He spent five years with Olive Garden, most recently as executive vice president and chief marketing officer, where he led same-store sales growth and profitability and served as marketing lead with responsibility for brand strategy, food innovation, guest experience design, advertising and communications, digital and social media, market research and guest relations. Dueñas joined Olive Garden after 15 years of progressively responsible positions at the Kellogg Co. in the United States and Mexico.
Flowcrete Americas, Spring, Texas
Ben Smith was named vice president, effective immediately. Smith has spent the last five years as Flowcrete Americas’ national manager for Canada, during which time he increased Flowcrete’s market share, sales and infrastructure in this region. He maintains 24 years of experience in the polymer floor and wall coatings industry. Before joining Flowcrete Americas, he worked as a performance flooring sales manager of BASF Corp.'s performance products group.
tna, Dallas, Texas
Alexandra Simakova was named manager of TNA Eurasia LLC, tna’s newly opened office in Russia. Simakova maintains a strong background in the food and beverages sector, having worked for some of the world’s biggest packaging and food processing equipment suppliers. She brings over 15 years’ experience in sales, business development and service management in a variety of industry segments, including confectionery, powders, baked goods and various dry foods.
Hazel Technologies, Inc., Chicago
Minos Athanassiadis, a fresh produce industry pioneer with a history of introducing new technologies to produce grower shippers, joined as an advisory council member, responsible for advising on product development and assisting with commercial rollouts. Athanassiadis’ accomplishments include commercializing packaged salads with Dole Fresh Vegetables, working over a decade as a specialty produce grower and more than 15 years as a consultant in agriculture technology for companies like John Deere and Monsanto.
IN MEMORIUM: LOWELL KOCH, KOCH’S TURKEY FARM
Lowell Koch, founder of Koch’s Turkey Farm, Tamaqua, Pa., passed away Aug. 3 after a brief battle with lymphoma.
Koch and his wife Elizabeth founded Koch’s Turkey Farm in 1953, after taking over the turkey division of his late father’s farm, and grew the company from 1,300 turkeys per year to over a million turkeys per year.
He was also president of the former Gottshall’s Turkey Plant, and served as former president and current member of the Pennsylvania Poultry Federation and member of the National Turkey Federation.
In addition, he served as director of Sky View Memorial Park, director of the former Lakewood Telephone Co. and past chairman of the Pennsylvania National Bank Advisory Board. He previously served as a member of the Schuylkill County Soil and Water Conservation District, and was a member of Calvary United Methodist Church, Lewistown Valley, Tamaqua F & A Masons #238 and the Schuylkill Country Club.
Koch is survived by Elizabeth and his three daughters: Barbara Koch, Beth Argall, and Pamela Williams, 10 grandchildren, two greatgrandchildren and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his son, Duane Koch, on June 30.
Memorials in Lowell’s name may be made to Abramson Cancer Center Development, 3535 Market St., Ste. 750, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Checks made payable to “Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.”
Online condolences may be made at www.zgfuneralhome.com.