USDA appoints new execs, Peapod president resigns, Starbucks names new president, and more
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Washington, D.C.
Gregory Ibach was named under secretary for marketing and regulatory programs. Previously, he was Nebraska’s director of agriculture. Bill Northey was appointed under secretary for farm production and conservation. Northey has served as Iowa’s secretary of agriculture for the past 10 years, and is a fourth-generation corn and soybean farmer. Stephen Vaden was named general counsel.
Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB), Madison, Wis.
Adam Brock was tapped as new director of technical services, responsible for supporting Wisconsin dairy companies through the enhancement of technological capabilities, food safety program assistance and supply of critical technical and regulatory information. Brock maintains over 14 years of experience in food quality and research and development. Most recently, his experience includes process improvement, performance optimization and product development at Papa John’s International and Sargento Foods, Inc.
Georgia Ports Authority, Savannah, Ga.
Bruce Kuzma will serve as senior director of trade development for ocean carrier and non-container sales, responsible for guiding carrier client development and sales functions, including sales planning, sales administration and associated service functions. Kuzma most recently served as director of chemicals marketing for CSX Transportation. Over the last 25 years, Kuzma has held a variety of commercial positions in the rail industry, starting at Burlington Northern Railroad in 1992, where he held positions in logistics management, industrial development and chemical sales. In 1996, he joined CSX Transportation, spending time in agricultural, chemicals, metals, minerals and paper and forest products sales and marketing. His time at CSX also included four years managing the rail provider's international sales and marketing team, which focused on developing and managing relationships with port authorities, ocean carriers, port facility operators and beneficial cargo owners in Europe, South America and Asia.
Ahold USA, Carlisle, Pa.
Jennifer Carr-Smith announced her resignation as president of Peapod, effective Sept. 15. Walt Lentz, head of supply chain strategy and operations for Peapod, will oversee the operations on an interim basis.
The Kroger Co., Cincinnati
Scott Hays was promoted to Michigan division president, effective Sept. 30, succeeding Jayne Homco, who retired after 42 years of service. Hays currently serves as vice president of operations for the company's Fry's division. Homco began her Kroger career in 1975 as a store clerk in Kroger's Central division. She spent time in store management roles, before relocating to the company's Dillons division in 1998 as a deli/bakery merchandiser. She went on to hold several leadership positions in Dillons and multiple Kroger divisions, before being promoted to vice president of merchandising for the QFC division in 2004. She was named to the same position for Kroger's Southwest division in 2007. She was promoted to her current role in the Michigan division in 2013. Hays joined Kroger in April. He came to from Albertson's Inc., where he began his grocery career in 1983 as a grocery clerk in Provo, Utah. He was promoted to a store director, and then held positions of increasing responsibility throughout Albertson's footprint, including district manager, area vice president and division vice president leading the company's San Antonio, Texas, division. He played an integral role in the development of the Texas and Louisiana markets for Albertson's. He also served as the vice president of operations for Jewel Osco in the Chicagoland market, and most recently was the division president for Albertson's Dallas-Fort market.
General Mills, Minneapolis
Kim Nelson, senior vice president, external relations and president of the General Mills Foundation, announced plans to retire at the end of the year. Nelson has been with the company for 29 years, most recently responsible for the General Mills Foundation, sustainability, global corporate communications, government affairs and public policy and consumer relations functions. Nelson has been a corporate officer since 2000, and was named senior vice president of external relations in 2010. Prior to that role, she served as president of the U.S. snacks division, and spent 22 years in operating roles leading a variety of brands, including Cheerios, Wheaties, Nature Valley, Fiber One, Yoplait, Hamburger Helper, Old El Paso and Chex Mix.
ARYZTA AG, Switzerland
Frederic Pflanz was tapped chief financial officer. Pflanz comes from Maxingvest Group, where he is an executive board member. From 2010-2014, Pflanz held a number of roles in Remy-Cointreau Group, including group CFO, chief operating officer, head of the group’s global operations and director of external development. From 1992-2010, he held a number of senior positions at L’Oreal Group, where he worked extensively across continental Europe and Asia. Most recently, he served as chief financial officer of ARYZTA’s global consumer products division. He brings extensive expertise in global consumer products businesses as well as experience in organization integration and business consolidation.
John Vena, Inc., Philadelphia, Pa.
Emily Kohlhas will assume the position of director of marketing effective immediately, responsible for managing the John Vena, Inc. brand, enhancing business development and coordinating the strategic growth of products and services in foodservice, retail, meal kitting and processing. Kohlhas has been with the company since 2015, most recently as sales and marketing coordinator, during which time she took on a number of initiatives, including design of an enhanced program of collateral support, growth of brand presence in print, establishment of a strong B2B social media program and development of a strategic marketing plan. She also represented the company at tradeshows and other events, and regularly conducted specialty produce trainings for clients, students, non-profit partners and other guests. Previously, Kohlhas held positions in communications, marketing and event planning for Fair Food Philly, the Vetri Community Partnership and the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia.
Kraft Heinz, Chicago
Paulo Basilio was named zone president of the U.S. business. Basilio joined the H.J. Heinz Co. in June 2013 as chief financial officer. David Knopf was promoted to executive vice president and CFO. Knopf joined Kraft Heinz in July 2015 in connection with the merger of Kraft Foods and H.J. Heinz Co., initially serving as vice president of finance, head of global budget and business planning, zero-based budgeting and financial and strategic planning, and most recently as vice president and category head of the Planters business. Prior to that, Knopf held various roles at 3G Capital from 2013-2015, where he worked on several large acquisitions, including both Burger King and Heinz before joining Kraft Heinz. Previously, he held positions at Onex Partners and Goldman Sachs, and has been a partner of 3G Capital since 2015. Both appointments are effective Oct. 1.
Ahold Delhaize, the Netherlands
Pierre Bouchut, member of the management board and COO Europe and Indonesia, announced plans to retire, effective Jan. 1, 2018. Pierre became COO Europe and Indonesia following the merger of Ahold and Delhaize Group last year, and served as executive vice president and CFO of Delhaize Group since 2012. Wouter Kolk, brand president of Albert Heijn, will assume the role of COO Europe and Indonesia, effective Jan. 1, 2019. As a result, Xavier Piesvaux will be appointed as the new brand president for Delhaize Belgium and Luxembourg, effective Sept. 11, succeeding Denis Knoops, who is leaving the company. Most recently, Piesvaux was senior vice president of Walmart East Canada. Prior to that, he served as brand president of Ahold Delhaize's Mega Image brand in Romania, where he was instrumental in the development of the brand, helping Mega Image grow from 14 stores in 2006 to almost 500 when he left in 2015.
Dunkin' Donuts, Canton, Mass.
Marketing veteran Tony Weisman was named U.S. chief marketing officer, responsible for leading marketing, product innovation, field marketing, consumer insights and advertising as well as the brand's digital and consumer packaged goods initiatives. He will also be responsible for developing and executing strategies that build Dunkin' Donuts' position as a leading coffee and beverage brand and will partner closely with the operations team to drive sales. Weisman brings nearly three decades of advertising and marketing experience to Dunkin' Donuts. Since 2007, he helped guide the digital transformation of leading global companies through his senior management positions at DigitasLBi, where he most recently served as the chief executive officer of North America. Prior to DigitasLBi, Weisman served as chief marketing officer of Draft Worldwide, and spent 19 years at Leo Burnett in various management and other related positions leading global consumer accounts, including General Motors, Procter & Gamble, Reebok International and McDonald's Corp., where he was part of the team that created the series of spots starring NBA greats Larry Bird and Michael Jordan.
Starbucks Corp., Seattle, Wash.
Rosalind Brewer was appointed group president and COO, effective Oct. 2, responsible for leading the company’s operating businesses across the Americas (Canada, United States and Latin America), as well as the global functions of supply chain, product innovation and store development organizations. Brewer will also provide vast expertise in product development, product management, innovation and international operations and distribution. Brewer maintains more than 30 years of management experience and more than 10 years of experience leading multi-national retailers. Brewer brings with her extensive insight on large-scale operations and supply chain logistics based on her past senior leadership positions, which includes 5 years with Sam’s Club, 6 years in executive roles for Wal-Mart and 22 years at Kimberly-Clark.
Garden Fresh Restaurants, San Diego, Calif.
Restaurant industry leader John Haywood was named chief executive officer to lead the next phase of the company’s growth. Haywood maintains over 20 years of senior management experience with several national restaurant companies. For instance, he’s been a hospitality industry turnaround specialist for the past decade in various private equity advisory and restaurant interim CMO and CEO positions. Earlier in his career, he served as chief concept officer and chief marketing officer for Carrols Corp.'s Hispanic restaurant division, where he led brand strategy and growth of the Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana chains. Previous assignments include advising Chef Bobby Flay on the creation and rollout of the Bobby's Burger Palace concept, interim CEO of Don Shula's Steakhouses, vice president of food and beverage for the Black Angus chain and leading research and development for Metromedia Restaurant Group. He has also served on the board of directors of Black Angus Steakhouses and Lessing's Hospitality.
SPX FLOW, Charlotte, N.C.
Ava Drayton was appointed vice president of the food and beverage business, Americas, to further drive and grow market share. Drayton previously worked for large multi-billion dollar companies; most recently in a global role in the power and water sector for GE.
CS Hudson, Hauppauge, N.Y.
Josh Cohen was named new head of finance and corporate development. Armed with nearly a decade of experience and his trademark-pending model called "Actionable Analytics," Cohen is tasked with building a sustainable operating platform that will enable revenue growth, increase strategic mergers and acquisitions and create new jobs. Previously, Cohen was a senior manager at a highly specialized consulting firm, advising companies such as Vice Media. Before that, he served as the head of finance for a facility solutions company, where he led a team of 20 professionals and controlled all treasury operations. He also spent several years as an associate with PriceWaterhouseCoopers. In 2010, Cohen took a sabbatical with the World Swim Against Malaria, and for two months, he travelled to 10 remote villages in Southeast Africa, spreading global awareness of malaria through seminars and demonstrations.
ESE, Inc., Marshfield, Wis.
Josh Gerstner was promoted to sales support coordinator, responsible for helping coordinate sales activities and continuing to support analytical business needs. Gerstner has been serving ESE since 2015 as the technical team leader for the analytical division. Prior to joining ESE, Gerstner worked as a quality assurance director for Wiskerchen Cheese Inc. and a formulation specialist at Land O’Lakes.
InContext Solutions, Chicago
David Rich, pioneer of the use of predictive analytics at Accenture and Microsoft’s Revolution Analytics, was appointed executive chairman. Rich will play a key role in expanding the company's reach and furthering the strategic vision to revolutionize the shopper experience through virtual reality and big data. Rich is chairman and CEO of DBR & Associates, where he focuses on big data/analytics, big marketing and digital/business transformation. Prior to forming DBR & Associates, Rich grew Revolution Analytics, where he served as executive chairman and CEO. Rich brings a robust background of global industry experience, having run several services businesses during his 28-year tenure at Accenture.
Trax Technologies, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Christopher Rajiah was named chief revenue officer, responsible for setting and executing the company’s go-to-market strategy to scale the organization and solidify its position as a market leader for freight audit and payment and supply chain data management. Rajiah comes from Equinix, where he served as vice president of worldwide channel partners and alliances. Prior to Equinix, he was senior vice president sales and marketing at ViaWest, and vice president of worldwide partner sales at Rackspace Hosting. Rajiah also spent 9 years at Extreme Networks, where he started his career and eventually led its North American channel and worldwide strategic alliance teams.
Mark Sarvary was appointed president and CEO, taking over for Howard Deck, who stepped down from his CEO role. Most recently, he was president and CEO of Tempur Sealy, where shareholder value grew from $700 million to $3.7 billion and sales from less than $1 billion to $3 billion. From 2002-2007, Sarvary was executive vice president and president of Campbell’s Soup North American Division, and from 1999-2002, was chief executive officer of J. Crew.
Gladson, Lombard, Ill.
Rahul Miglani was named chief technology officer, responsible for charting the company's future technology roadmap while accelerating existing solutions development. He comes from West Monroe Partners, where he served as strategic technology services consultant. Prior to that, Miglani held CTO roles at AdGooroo and Market6, where he led a product-focused transformation that provided customers with analytical solutions to improve operations in retail merchandising, category management, inventory management and collaborative management. Meanwhile, Chris Barnes was named senior vice president, strategy and solutions, responsible for working with clients to innovate and deliver new solutions, develop industry partnerships and enhance the company’s product roadmap. He come from Market Track, where he spent the last five of his eight years as the senior vice president of e-commerce solutions. He also has held various strategic account management positions at Market Track and Corporate Executive Board (CEB).
East Coast Warehouse & Distribution, Elizabeth, N.J.
Former Amazon manager and U.S. Army Captain Rafael Varela was appointed senior director of warehouse operations, responsible for warehouse operations on both Elizabeth and Jersey City, N.J., campuses, as well as the company’s co-pack, inventory, safety and quality teams. Rafael has held senior leadership positions with Amazon, Cardinal Health and Cintas, and specializes in employee development, leadership, contract negotiation, customer retention and delivering on financial goals.