Idaho Potato Commission (IPC), Eagle, Idaho

Produce industry veteran Dave Rhodes joined as retail promotion director-Northeast, replacing Ken Tubman, who is retiring. Rhodes will work with retail produce managers in the northeastern United States and Canada to help drive sales of Idaho potatoes through marketing and promotions, competitive research and point-of-sale materials and representing the Idaho potato brand at retail industry tradeshows. Rhodes maintains more than 40 years in the produce industry, starting as a store-level produce manager after serving four years in the U.S. Marine Corps. His experience includes working as director of produce for a Northern Michigan supermarket chain, vegetable category manager for a Midwestern distributor and produce category manager for Marsh Supermarkets.
National Grocers Association (NGA), Arlington, Va.

Christopher Jones, former legislative director, counsel for U.S. Representative Rick Crawford (R-AR) and a member of the House Agriculture Committee and Nutrition Subcommittee, was named vice president of government relations, where he will oversee the trade association’s team of lobbyists and manage a portfolio of issues, including agriculture, nutrition and regulatory reform. Jones joined Congressman Crawford’s staff in 2010 as a staff assistant, and has held senior roles since 2011. In 2014, he served as NGA’s senior manager of government affairs before returning to Crawford’s office. During his time on Capitol Hill, Jones led a team of legislative aides, directed the activities of two subcommittees that Congressman Crawford chaired and helped craft the 2014 Farm Bill.

Canadian Beef Grading Agency (CBGA), Canada
Marty Carpenter was named president, effective immediately, replacing Dennis Laycraft, who has served as acting president since January. Carpenter brings a wealth of beef industry experience. During the past 25 years, he has held roles with the Alberta Beef Producers, Beef Information Centre and Canada Beef, where he dealt with domestic and export clients and the technical elements of the Canadian beef grading system. While at Canada Beef, Carpenter oversaw the development and creation of the Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence. Also beneficial are Carpenter’s roots in the foodservice industry, including time as a former certified Chef de Cuisine and as a member of the Alberta Food Processors Board of Directors.

International Refrigerated Transportation Association (IRTA), Alexandria, Va.
Robert Fay, president, Florida Freezer, was elected 2017-2018 chairman. Debbie McDowell, director of business development and customer service for Seaonus, was elected vice chairman. And, Todd Lanter, director of transportation, Henningsen Transportation Services, was elected treasurer. New board members elected to 3-year terms include Scott McIntosh, senior vice president and general manager, VersaCold – North America Transportation Solutions; Richard Patenaude, director of logistics, Congebec Logistics, Inc.; Ned Runser, operations manager, Hall’s Warehouse Corp.; Brian Webb, senior vice president, business development, JB Hunt; and Brandon Woods, vice president, Refrigerated Transport, Inc. Re-elected to 3-year terms are Greg Bryan, senior vice president, transportation, Lineage Logistics; Barbara Pratt, director, Maersk Line; Chris Mnichowski, president, CTI Freight Systems; Keith Mowery, vice president, transportation and logistics, United States Cold Storage, Inc.; and Eric Olafson, associate director for global trade, Port Miami.


M. Levin & Co., Inc., Philadelphia, Pa.

Ryan Miller joined in general produce sales, specializing in fresh vegetables. Miller maintains experience in finance.

G. Willi-Food International Ltd., Israel
Zwi Williger was appointed co-chairman of the board, joining current chairman Yoseph Williger.

Fowler Farms, Wolcott, N.Y.
Edith Skellie joined as food safety manager, tasked with maintaining proper regulatory protocols and documenting, monitoring and collecting data from trials and experiments to improve growing conditions. Her sphere of influence will reach from in the orchard and throughout all facilities and grounds that Fowler Farms operates.

Coastline Family Farms, Salinas, Calif.
Robert Verloop was named into the newly created position of chief operating officer and general manager. Verloop will oversee the company’s day-to-day operations, including sales, marketing, finance and accounting, quality assurance, IT, food safety, packaging, new business development and strategic planning. Verloop maintains extensive experience in the produce industry, most recently with Naturipe Farms, where he has worked for the past eight years. His prior experience includes nine years with the California Avocado Commission and seven years with Sunkist Growers. Verloop started his career on the production side before moving into marketing, sales, business development and corporate management.

PRE Brands, Chicago
Todd Thomason was named chief business development officer, responsible for building and fostering relationships with current and prospective customer partners. Thomason brings more than 25 years of consumer experience providing executive leadership to consumer brands such as Red Bull, Neuro, G-Pure/Voss, Xyience, Snapple and Gatorade, during their hyper-growth phases. Thomason has also managed global teams, sales planning and development, national product launches, customer marketing, sales and finance teams and brands with up to billions in sales volume. Thomason began his consumer packaged goods (CPG) career working for The Minute Maid Co., Quaker and PepsiCo. Meanwhile, Jason Pinter was appointed chief financial officer, leading the finance, technology and administrative functions. Pinter maintains over nearly two decades of experience, having spent time at SpotHero, DialogTech, Orbitz and at CPG companies like Kraft.

Country Pure Foods, Akron, Ohio
Raymond Lee announced plans to retire from his role as president and co-CEO, effective Dec. 31. Kenny Sadai, current co-CEO, will assume the role of chief executive officer after Lee retires. Lee joined the company from Deloitte & Touche, after he led the effort for one of his clients to acquire the original Ohio Pure Foods in 1992. He was one of the original senior management members when Country Pure Foods was formed in 1995, and ultimately served as chief executive officer for over 20 years. During his tenure, he oversaw growth from $12 million in revenue in 1992 to over $200 million today. Lee also managed the completion of nine different acquisitions under five different ownership groups.

Dean Foods Co., Dallas, Texas
Chris Bellairs, executive vice president and CFO, will depart the company, effective Sept. 1. Scott Vopni, senior vice president and chief accounting officer, will take over as interim CFO. Vopni joined Dean Foods in May 2008, and has served multiple senior roles in the company's finance organization. During his tenure, Vopni was integrally involved in debt, equity and M&A transactions and led the company's investor relations activities. Vopni currently leads the accounting team and oversees the finance function for both the supply chain and commercial organizations.

Mulay's Sausage, Longmont, Colo.
Sheri Merz was named vice president of sales for the eastern Rocky Mountain region, following the move to expand distribution into all Colorado King Soopers and City Markets outlets. Merz will be responsible for planning, development and implementation of effective regional sales strategies, programs and policies, as well as developing new territories. Merz maintains over 20 years in the meat and deli industry, and has worked at Natural Grocers, Albertsons and Safeway.

Publix Super Markets, Inc., Lakeland, Fla.
Alison Midili Smith was promoted to senior vice president, responsible for the strategic oversight of human resources, customer care and social media and media and community relations. Midili Smith began her Publix career in 1995 as a part-time intern in human resources. In 1996, she was hired as manager of selection systems. She was promoted to director of employment and staffing in 1999, and director of organizational development in 2004. In 2013, she was promoted to vice president of talent and organizational development, and in 2016, was named vice president of human resources. Marcy Benton was promoted to vice president of talent management, responsible for associate relations, associate services, diversity, policies and procedures, recruiting and selection and performance management. Benton began her Publix career in 1992 as an expense accounting clerk. In 1995, she joined human resources, and after holding various positions, was promoted to manager of associate diversity in 2001. In 2013, she was promoted to her current position, director of retail associate relations. Woody Rayburn joined the newly created position of vice president of real estate assets, responsible for managing the company’s growing shopping center portfolio and leveraging and acquiring assets as investments. Rayburn began his Publix career in 1993 as manager of business analysis. He was promoted to asset manager in 2000, and to his current position, director of real estate assets, in 2003. All appointments are effective Sept. 1.

Tanimura & Antle, Salinas, Calif.
Veteran organic produce sales pro Sarah Burns was named senior manager of organic sales. Burns maintains produce career in organic sales, having spent 11 years on the sales team at Earthbound Farm, where she developed strong relationships with retail and wholesale accounts in the Western United States and Canada. 

Target Corp., Minneapolis
Minsok Pak was named executive vice president, chief strategy and innovation officer, effective Sept. 11, responsible for enterprise strategy development and retail innovation with the goal of enhancing guest experience and accelerating growth. He will also oversee business development, including mergers, acquisitions, partnerships and joint venture initiatives. Pak maintains two decades of experience with McKinsey & Co., where he held various leadership roles and worked with leading global retail and consumer companies. Additionally, Pak led McKinsey’s digital transformation group, and was in charge of the firm’s internal digitization initiative. Pak also served as the global executive vice president and chief strategy officer at LG Electronics, where he developed a new corporate strategy and led the company’s M&A and business development efforts. Separate from his time at McKinsey, he was a managing director at Actium Corp. Most recently, Pak was senior vice president, LEGO retail at The LEGO Group, where he was responsible for leading the company’s branded retail channel, including more than 250 stores and e-commerce sites across 24 markets.

Tampa Maid Foods, LLC, Lakeland, Fla.
Chuck Pappas was hired as business development manager for the Southeast region, responsible for developing and managing Tampa Maid’s foodservice distribution business and broker network in the Southeastern United States. Pappas maintains over 20 years of experience in the seafood/foodservice industry, and for the past 10 years, has worked with Tampa Bay Fisheries/Singleton Seafood as national account manager. Prior to that, he spent 8 years with Rich-SeaPak.

Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, Charlotte, N.C.
Richard (Stick) Williams
was appointed to the company’s board of directors, effective Aug. 23. Williams has served in various leadership roles during his 37-year career at Duke Energy Corp., most recently as vice president of corporate community affairs and president of the Duke Energy Foundation. Williams is currently a board member for HomeTrust Bancshares, co-chair of Project LIFT and also serves on the boards of National Association of Corporate Directors - Carolinas Chapter, Carolinas HealthCare System, Central Piedmont Community College, Read Charlotte, the Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology and Science, Hope Haven, Inc. and The Good Fellows Club. 

Ippolito International, Salinas, Calif.
Henry Dill
joined as vice president, sales, where he will provide sales direction as well as share his knowledge of the production process to the sales team. Dill was most recently with PIM of Salinas, where he spent 22 years in sales and sales manager roles. He began his foray in the produce industry in 1979 with the Garin Co., and did sales stints at Bruce Church, Code (which later merged with Fresh Network) and D’Arrigo Brothers. Also, Sarah Clarke joined as sales and commodity manager. Clarke brings 14 years of produce industry experience, having most recently spent 12.5 years in sales with Dole, where she sold the full Fresh Pack line, foodservice line and provided customer service for the full value-added line.


Brinker International, Inc., Dallas, Texas

Joseph Taylor was named senior vice president and CFO, effective immediately. Taylor has been with Brinker for the past 17 years, holding multiple leadership roles in finance, communications and public policy. He joined the Brinker family in 1999 as vice president of finance, went on to lead corporate affairs and investors relations, and most recently, has served as interim CFO since April. Prior to Brinker, Taylor served as vice president for Banc America Securities and Bank of America, Inc.

MOD Super Fast Pizza Holdings, LLC, Seattle, Wash.
Tracy Cioffi joined as the company’s first chief marketing officer, effective immediately, responsible for leading the company’s global marketing strategy, including brand marketing, design, customer insights, local store marketing, digital marketing and communications. Cioffi brings more than 20 years of expertise in building and developing national retail and culinary brands, and most recently served as senior vice president for Sur La Table, Inc., where she developed and managed the integrated marketing strategy for 130-plus stores and 75 culinary locations. Prior to Sur La Table, Cioffi was vice president and head of marketing for See’s Candies Inc., where she oversaw marketing and sales for more than 250 stores and led e-commerce operations. Meanwhile, Kate Jaspon was named to the board of directors, also effective immediately. Jaspon is an 11-year veteran of Dunkin’ Brands, where she currently serves as chief financial officer. There, she has led several key financial initiatives, including the company’s IPO and follow-on offerings, and steered a cross-functional team responsible for financial and SEC reporting, debt management, cash management, insurance, enterprise risk management, contract administration and records management. In addition, she was a member of the Audit Committee, the company’s Retirement Committee and was chair of the Disclosure Committee. Prior to Dunkin’, Jaspon was a senior manager with KPMG, where she served as an audit manager for both publicly-traded and privately-held clients in several industries, including software, bio-tech, high-tech and manufacturing.

Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc., Atlanta
Rob Lynch
was appointed to the newly created role of president, effective Aug. 21, where he will oversee the brand’s marketing, operations and marketing development functions. Lynch previously served as chief marketing officer and brand president. He will continue to serve as president of Arby’s Franchise Association. Jim Taylor was promoted to chief marketing officer, where he will lead all research and development, new product innovation, brand marketing and positioning, advertising creation and media planning. Taylor previously served as senior vice president of marketing.


Johnson Controls International plc, Ireland

George Oliver, currently president and COO, will assume the role of chairman and CEO, effective Sept. 1, taking over for Alex Molinaroli, who is leaving the company and the board. Meanwhile, Jürgen Tinggren, chair of the audit committee and a member of the executive committee, was appointed lead independent director of the board of directors, effectively immediately. Separately, Jeffrey Joerres has stepped down from the board of directors. 

Danfoss, Bethpage, N.Y.
Ashwani Girdhar was named new regional sales manager, supporting the company’s heating business in Canada. Specifically, Girdhar will focus on growing sales and supporting Canadian customers of Danfoss’ hydronic comfort controls portfolio. Previously, Girdhar spent six years as a senior sales manager for Danfoss in India; he maintains 10 years of experience in the HVAC industry.

SPX FLOW, Charlotte, N.C.
Pierre Sbabo
tapped to head up the food and beverage sector in EMEA. He maintains a strong background in the water and process technology markets, and has worked for global leaders in water and fluid treatment and processing, most recently with Pentair. Sbabo joined SPX FLOW in May.

SpecPage, Bradenton, Fla.
Tony McQueen was appointed business development manager, responsible for developing new business opportunities in the United States and Canada. McQueen brings years of extensive knowledge working with global brands, manufacturers and suppliers and strategic development of both IT and food and beverage industry. Previously, he was national account manager with Genius Central Systems, and has held senior positions in a variety of Fortune 500 companies, where he helped grow brand awareness, create and manage marketing strategies and identify partnership opportunities.

Plastic Technologies, Inc. (PTI), Holland, Ohio
Thierry Fabozzi
was appointed president, effective immediately, responsible for global operations. He joined the company in 2012 as managing director of PTI Europe S.a.r.l. Fabozzi maintains a 30-year track record of packaging technology and business development achievements. For the past five years, he has helped major European brand owners achieve their packaging objectives. Before joining PTI, he was the business stream packaging leader and rigid packaging specialist for Nestlé’s Nestec Product Technology Center Orbe. Before that, he spent 7 years in technical and business development positions with Milacron Plastic Technology Group. This included the Ferromatik injection molding machine operation in Germany, as well as the Uniloy blow molding business unit in Michigan. His experience also includes 8 years as a technical and research and development manager with Tetra Pak Plastics, Inc.

KPS Global, Fort Worth, Texas
Patrick Rogers and Ron Smith were named regional sales managers. Rogers maintains 30 years of experience in HVAC/R systems. He comes from Hill Phoenix, where he was responsible for managing and inspecting equipment deliveries, assisting with system start-up, answering contractor installation questions and more. Prior to that, he spent 3 years as a technical support supervisor at Kysor/Warren. Smith brings with him 35 years in the supermarket industry, where he performed various positions in sales, operations and management. Previously, he worked as the Southeast sales manager at Source Refrigeration and HVAC, where he managed sales representatives and the customer support team. Smith also held various positions during his 20-plus career at Hussmann and owned DHR Mechanical before it was purchased by Source Refrigeration. Smith has received training in Six Sigma, LEAN manufacturing and served in the United States Navy.

Stellar, Jacksonville, Fla.
Michael Chapman was named director of process safety management (PSM) compliance and technological solutions, tasked with developing advanced technology to enhance refrigeration operator/technician training to increase awareness and understanding of ammonia hazards, and to teach best practices in system operations and maintenance for accident prevention. Before joining Stellar, Chapman served Tyson Foods, Inc. for almost 17 years, and spent the last 10 years as the company’s program manager for process safety and risk management programs for all 100-plus U.S. locations. Prior to Tyson, Chapman worked for North Carolina’s division of air quality, where he led the chemical accident prevention program. Chapman has also been a volunteer and part-time firefighter for 24 years. He is a certified hazardous materials specialist, instructor and internationally accredited Fire Officer, and currently serves on the board of directors for the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) and is a master instructor with the Ammonia Safety and Training Institute (ASTI).

Coretex, San Diego, Calif.
Clay Bowman was named vice president of sales, construction. Bowman maintains 20 years’ experience selling in the materials industry. Previously, he spent 15 years with Command Alkon. Chris Roberts was tapped to support the construction division. Previously, Roberts was with 5Cubits (a division of Command Alkon), and maintains more than 19 years’ experience in ready-mix dispatch software.

FreightFlow, Reno, Nev.
Dan Vache was named sales director. Vache was previously vice president of supply chain management for the United Fresh Produce Association.



Steven Tipping, former president and founder of Tipping Structural Engineers (TSE), Berkeley, Calif., passed away suddenly Aug. 11.

Tipping served as the president of the firm since its founding in 1983.

For more than 35 years, Tipping advanced the science and art of structural engineering, pioneering creative yet pragmatic design solutions for a broad range of projects. For instance, Tipping pioneered the use of vertical post-tensioning to deliver self-centering capability to concrete walls.

Tipping began his engineering career as first lieutenant with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and soon thereafter, completed a tour of duty in Vietnam. After working for several Bay Area engineering firms, he founded Steven Tipping and Associates in 1983, re-naming the firm Tipping Structural Engineers in 2014. Tipping served as a board member and president (2002-2003) of SEAONC, and was inducted as a fellow of the organization in 2004.