Food Marketing Institute (FMI), Arlington, Va.

Steven Markenson joined to lead research efforts, specifically the study design, survey fielding and efforts with outside knowledge partners and FMI subject matter experts, and will also lead the discovery process on the latest industry trends and operational insights. Previously, he was president of WBA Research, where he oversaw more than 30 full-time professionals, along with a part-time staff of more than 100 telephone interviewers, field interviewers and support staff. Markenson’s WBA clients included healthcare, transportation, travel and tourism, financial services, higher education, associations and non-profits as well as partnerships with advertising/marketing agencies and consulting firms. Earlier in his career, Markenson worked at Snyder Communications, where he directed all aspects of more than 90 annual market research studies for the company’s unique marketing programs for clients such as Dow Brands, General Mills, Gerber, Kellogg’s, Kraft, Mead Johnson, Nabisco and SmithKline Beecham.  Markenson began his career at Opinion Research Corp., where he focused on financial services for clients such as Merrill Lynch, Moody’s Investors Service, Chase Manhattan Bank, PNC Corp. and Discover Card.

North American Meat Institute (NAMI), Washington, D.C.
John Vatri, vice president of operations at Cardinal Meat Specialists Ltd., will serve as chairman of the board of directors, while Joe Maas, co-owner and vice president of operations at JTM Provisions, was elected vice chairman. Warren Panico, president and CEO of Bar-S Foods Co., will serve as treasurer, and Brad McDowell, president of AB Foods LLC, was elected secretary. Mike Townsley, president of Bob Evans Farms, Inc., becomes immediate past chairman.

International Dairy Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA), Madison, Wis.
Erik Waterkotte, Sr., director of sales, Columbus Craft Meats, assumed the role of the association’s chairman of the board. He has served on the board of directors since 2010, and has been involved in many committees. Jewel Hunt, group vice president bakery, Albertsons Cos., will continue to serve as past chairman. Other officers for 2017-18 are Rick Findlay, vice president purchasing marketing, Whole Foods Market, Inc., as executive vice chairman; Gaetano Auricchio, executive vice president, BelGioioso Cheese Inc. as vice chairman; and Jim Antrup, vice president commercial, Dawn Foods Products, Inc. as treasurer. Industry leaders elected to serve 3-year terms on the board of directors are Gaetano Auricchio, vice president of sales, BelGioioso Cheese Inc.; Carter Califri, vice president of sales, Norseland Inc.; Suzanne Fanning, vice president of marketing communications, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.; Jennifer Johnson, vice president, deli division, Jennie-O Turkey Store; Peter Sirgy, executive vice president, sales, marketing and R&D, Reser’s Fine Foods, Inc.; and John Wellenzohn, vice president, marketing, Rich Products Corp.

International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C.
IDFA’s three constituent organizations – the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI) and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA) – elected new officers and board members. Leading the associations during the next year will be IDFA chair Mike Reidy, senior vice president – corporate affairs, Leprino Foods Co.; vice chair Jay Bryant, chief executive officer, Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association, Inc.; secretary David Ahlem, president and CEO, Hilmar Cheese Co., Inc.; and treasurer Alan Thomsen, president and CEO, Schoep’s Ice Cream Co., Inc. The new IDFA directors are Robin Dubuc, vice president, manufacturing operations and network optimization, the Kroger Co.; Michael Donohoe, vice president, marketing, Kraft Cheese, The Kraft Heinz Co.; Hank Izzo, general manager, ice cream, Mars Chocolate North America; Ralph Scozzafava, chief executive officer, Dean Foods Co.; Ken Jorgensen, director, dairy operations, H-E-B; and Tim Walls, executive vice president, Schreiber US, Schreiber Foods, Inc. The new MIF board members are Tim Brown, president and COO, Chobani, Inc.; Patrick Carroll, president, IMA Dairy & Food USA; Darin Hanson, director of milk supply, Land O’Lakes, Inc.; Tim Walls, executive vice president, Schreiber US, Schreiber Foods, Inc. The new NCI board members are Troy Ammann, vice president, cheese sales, Agropur U.S. operations; Patrick Criteser, president and CEO, Tillamook County Creamery Association; Michael Donohoe, vice president, marketing, Kraft Cheese, The Kraft Heinz Co.; Douglas Glade, executive vice president, commercial operations, Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.; Mike Neu, senior vice president, food cultures and enzymes, Chr. Hansen, Inc.; Vinith Poduval, senior vice president, enterprise quality and food safety, Schreiber Foods, Inc.; Stan Ryan, president and CEO, Darigold, Inc.; Jeff Saforek, chief operating officer, Cabot/McCadam; and Doug Wilke, chief executive officer, Valley Queen Cheese Factory, Inc. The new IICA board members are Nicholas Alfano, executive vice president and general manager, global food and beverage, Ecolab; Doug Blacksten, general manager, Tamarack Farms Dairy, The Kroger Co.; Ricky Dickson, president, Blue Bell Creameries, L.P.; Hank Izzo, general manager, ice cream, Mars Chocolate North America; and Scott Muyres, executive vice president, Unified Supply Chain, Inc., International Dairy Queen, Inc.


Superior Farms, Sacramento, Calif.

Bob Mariano was named new director of marketing, where he will spearhead innovation and bring greater insight to the ever-changing landscape of retail supermarkets. Mariano’s extensive retail marketing portfolio spans 16 years. Previously, he was director of omnichannel production for Raleys.

Good Foods, Pleasant Prairie, Wis.
Lorie Donnelly was tapped as vice president of foodservice sales, responsible for developing and executing Good Foods’ business strategy for the foodservice and institutional channels, leading an enterprise sales approach by coordinating internal resources and working alongside the company’s culinary, R&D, marketing and operations teams to fulfill customer needs. Donnelly maintains over 20 years of experience in various sales leadership roles with Kettle Cuisine.

Yesway, Des Moines, Iowa
Carlos Acevedo joined in the newly created role of culinary innovation and research chef, responsible for identifying current and forward-looking food trends, driving new food initiatives and creating food concepts unique to the Yesway brand. Acevedo brings years of experience as a working chef and recipe developer. Previously, he was test kitchen director for Grey Dog Media, overseeing recipe development for custom food magazines. In addition to serving as the restaurant critic for The Des Moines Register, Acevedo was senior food editor at Better Homes & Gardens Magazine, food editor for Cuisine at Home Magazine and worked as chef at restaurants in New York City and Washington. Acevedo also served as a staff sergeant in the Air National Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue.

Calavo Growers, Inc., Santa Paula, Calif.
Jim Catchot announced plans to retire as president of the Renaissance Food Group, LLC (RFG) subsidiary, effective Oct. 31, which Calavo Growers acquired in 2011. Catchot co-founded RFG in 2003. Catchot began his career when he founded JC Produce in 1980. In 1991, he was one of six founding members of Pro*Act, served as its founding chairman and was Pro*Act’s CEO for 5 years before founding RFG in 2003. Succeeding Catchot as RFG president will be Jim Gibson, a founding co-member of RFG who served as the company’s chief operating officer.

True Citrus, Baltimore, Md.
Robert Cuddihy was named chief operating officer, responsible for overseeing investor relations and finance, as well as strategic planning and day-to-day operations. Cuddihy maintains more than 20 years of experience as chief operating officer and/or chief financial officer of ProPhase Labs, iDNA Inc. and HMG Worldwide Corp., focusing on corporate communications, retail, planning and merchandising. Cuddihy started his career with KPMG Peat Marwick, Certified Public Accountants, where he was a senior audit manager.

The Hain Celestial Group, Inc., Lake Success, N.Y.
Julie Bowerman was appointed senior vice president, digital engagement and e-commerce, effective Oct. 4, tasked with overseeing the company's overall digital strategy and vision, including customer and commercial development and online media with marketing to further the development of Hain Celestial's global business in the online channel and the digital marketing of its brands. Bowerman maintains more than 20 years' experience with The Coca-Cola Co. in various marketing, commercial and digital roles, most recently as global vice president-omni-shopper marketing and digital commerce, responsible for the global e-commerce platform and multi-year strategy. She started her career at J. Walter Thompson as a senior media buyer and planner working with national consumer products companies. 

Schuman Cheese, Fairfield, N.J.
Jim Low, a business and marketing leader with over 17 years of consumer packaged goods experience, was named executive vice president of sales and marketing, responsible for overseeing the company’s sales and marketing strategy and advancing the company’s marketing efforts and selling capabilities across distribution channels, including retail and foodservice. Low is taking over for Ellen Schum, who is now chief operating officer. Previously, Low was the general manager of Enjoy Life Foods, and before that, headed Mondelez North America’s U.S. sales planning organization and led a variety of brands, including Trolli Gummi Candy, Ritz Crackers, Wheat Thins and Trident Gum.   

Green Giant Fresh, Salinas, Calif.
Nancy Bryner joined as Southeast regional sales manager/foodservice manager, charged with managing the Southeast sales. Bryner maintains 22-plus years’ sales experience in developing key markets in both retail and foodservice. She most recently spent time at Misionero. And, Sean Frisby was appointed director of category management and trade marketing. Frisby maintains agency and CPG experience, along with a retail background at H-E-B. He moved into produce about a decade ago working for Nature Sweet, and most recently served as director of product management for Apio.

The Fremont Co., Fremont, Ohio
Dave Stark will join as vice president of human resources, leading the company’s HR initiatives and building an exceptional place for employees to work and a culture that attracts great talent. Stark previously served as director of human resources at Shrader Tire and Oil.

Captain D's, Nashville, Tenn.
Summer Sims was promoted to director of operations, overseeing the operations and financial responsibilities of Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Arkansas territories and helping to hire and develop talented professionals for these areas. Sims’ Captain D's career spans over two decades, beginning as a guest specialist, followed by hospitality supervisor, assistant general manager, general manager, operations standards auditor and area director. She also serves as part of Captain D's area director mentor program.

The Wendy's Co., Dublin, Ohio
Scott Weisberg, chief people officer, announced his intent to leave the company, effective first quarter of 2018, in which he will transition his responsibilities to Coley O'Brien, currently vice president of human resources. Weisberg has been with Wendy's since 2012. O'Brien joined the company in 2007 as national director of operations training, and has been promoted through operations and human resources leadership roles over the past 10 years.

Yum China Holdings, Inc., China
Joey Wat, who currently serves as president and COO, will succeed Micky Pant, chief executive officer, who will transition to the roles of vice chairman of the board and senior advisor to the company, effective March 1, 2018. Pant has served as CEO of Yum China since its spin-off from Yum! Brands, Inc., and prior to that, served as CEO of Yum! Restaurants China, a division of YUM. Wat has served as president and COO of Yum China since February, and was appointed as a member of the Yum China board in July. She joined Yum China in September 2014, first serving as president of KFC China, and then promoted to chief executive officer of KFC China in August 2015. Prior to that, Wat served in both management and strategy positions at AS Watson of Hutchison Group from 2004-2014, including as managing director of Watson U.K., which operates Superdrug and Savers. Before joining Watson, Wat spent 7 years in management consulting, including with McKinsey & Co.'s Hong Kong office from 2000-2003.


EnWave Corp., Canada
Brent Charleton
was appointed senior vice president, sales and business development, taking over for Bino Anand, who will be retiring. Charleton joined EnWave in 2010, and has led the company's proactive business development efforts. In this expanded role, Charleton will further accelerate EnWave's sales and business development strategy to secure additional purchase orders and licenses for the use of EnWave's radiant energy vacuum (REV) dehydration technology.

Hanson Logistics, St. Joseph, Mo.
Ken Whah joined as chief operating officer, responsible for managing the company’s warehousing, transportation and information technology operations, including Hanson’s flagship Velocities Multi-Vendor Consolidation program. Previously, Whah was director of North American logistics for Whirlpool Corp., where he oversaw more than 1,000 logistics associates and a network of 23 factory and regional distribution centers, and initiated multiple large-scale infrastructure, system and technology investments as strategic enablers.

Fristam Pumps USA, Middleton, Wis.
Rubi Rojas joined as a Bilingual customer service representative, responsible for aiding Latin American and U.S. customers with technical support and customer service. Meanwhile, Colleen Ploszaj joined as a customer service representative, responsible for aiding customers with technical support and customer service. Ploszaj maintains over 30 years of customer service experience.

Norfolk Southern Corp., Norfolk, Va.
Fredric Ehlers was elected chief information officer, effective immediately. Ehlers, a 32-year railroad veteran, will continue serving as vice president information technology, a position he has held since 2013. Ehlers joined Norfolk Southern in 1985 as a management trainee. He has served in a number of transportation positions before being named assistant vice president in the executive office of the chairman in 2004. Since then, Ehlers has moved into positions of increasing responsibility, serving as vice president customer service and vice president network and service management before being named vice president information technology.

Stellar, Jacksonville, Fla.
Clint Pyle was promoted to senior vice president and CFO, succeeding Scott Witt, who will serve as chair of the finance committee. Pyle is a licensed CPA with almost 20 years of accounting and finance experience. He most recently served as divisional vice president of shared services for Stellar. Prior to joining Stellar in 2006, Pyle was the manager of finance and planning at The St. Joe Co., and was an accountant at CNL Financial Group. Stellar also promoted Jason Duff to division vice president, engineering, Luke Facemyer to division vice president, refrigeration contracting, Chris Williams to vice president operations, mechanical services, Amy Rojas to director of human resources, Mike Davis to operations manager and Sid Sapp to senior superintendent.

Shuttleworth LLC, Huntington, Ind.
Tony Leckie was appointed Southwest regional sales manager. Leckie maintains over 24 years of combined sales and management experience in the packaging industry. Most recently, he held the similar position with C&M Conveyor, and has led aftermarket support efforts for MarquipWardUnited, a division of Barry-Wehmiller. Also, Damon Neal was appointed Southwest regional sales manager. Neal brings over 20 years of experience in technical sales, support and training, as well as project management. Most recently, Neal was sales engineer-Central division for FlexLink Systems, and also served 5 years with the United States Marine Corps.

STILL GmbH, Germany
After 34 years of service in various positions within the KION Group, Karl-Heinz Birkner, chief financial officer, will be retiring, effective Feb. 1, 2018. He will be succeeded by Thorsten Hofmann, currently head of corporate controlling at the KION Group. Birkner was appointed to the management board at STILL in February 2016, having already been a member 2009-2011. Before transferring to Hamburg, he was the head of accounting, tax and financial services at the KION Group. He started his career in 1984 at Linde AG, and held several management positions over the years, primarily in the industrial truck business, with Linde Material Handling 2005-2007. Hofmann began his career in 1991 in controlling at Linde AG. In 1994, he transferred to Linde Material Handling, and held a number of management positions in finance and controlling. In 2013, he was appointed the head of controlling at KION Group.

Port Logistics Refrigerated Services (PLRS), Tampa, Fla.
Victor Gonzalez was named chief commercial officer of logistics operations, tasked with developing new business for PLRS’ one-of-a-kind, world-class logistics hub. Gonzalez maintains 30-plus years in supply chain and global perishable logistics, with knowledge of multimodal transportation, supply chain management, warehousing and ocean/air forwarding. He has held various senior positions with many international logistics companies, including Flagler Global Logistics, APL and Crowley American Transport. He most recently served as vice president of Flora Logistics.

tna, Coppell, Texas
Steven Wolfe
was named general manager, effective Aug. 1. Wolfe maintains over 25 years of industry experience, with a proven track record for optimizing processes, reducing lead times and improving customer satisfaction at some of the country’s leading manufacturing businesses.