GMA hires government affairs V-P., ATRI appoints board director, and more
Alliance for Food and Farming (AFF), Watsonville, Calif.
Tim York, president of Markon Cooperative, was appointed chair, replacing Chris Zanobini, executive director of the California Pear Advisory Board, who is stepping down after two years of service. Rick Tomlinson, president of California Strawberry Commission, will serve as vice chair, secretary and treasurer.
American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), Arlington, Va.
Darren Hawkins, president and COO of YRC Worldwide, was appointed to the board of directors. Hawkins maintains more than 28 years of experience in the national LTL industry in both operations and sales roles. He began his career as a dock supervisor at what was then Yellow Freight, and rose through the ranks in a variety of sales and operations roles. Hawkins worked at Yellow Freight from 1991-2009 and Con-way Freight from 2009-2012 before returning to YRC Freight as president in 2013.
Feeding America, Chicago
Carol Medlin joined as chief program officer, tasked with overseeing Feeding America's programs and partnerships, guiding the organization's strategic research agenda and creating a body of evidence and data to help shape policy and strategy for achieving a hunger-free America. Medlin is founder and principal of Praxis Social Impact Consulting, and previously worked with think tanks and philanthropic organizations, including The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as senior program officer, health economics and finance, global health program and as director, health at the Children's Investment Fund Foundation. She has also served as commissioner on the board of directors for the International Initiative on Impact Evaluation, on the advisory committee of the Global Health Investment Fund and as an affiliate faculty member for Department of Global Health and the University of Washington.
Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), Washington, D.C.
Brian Folkerts was tapped executive vice president of government affairs. Folkerts maintains 30 years of experience with companies, trade groups and government. Most recently, he led the confirmation effort for U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, working with the U.S. Senate and the White House. Prior to that, he served as vice president of public and government affairs for Mondelez International from 2012-2016, following five years as vice president of U.S. government affairs for Kraft Foods and six years as a vice president and director at Altria Group/Philip Morris. Earlier in his career, Folkerts worked at the National Food Processors Association (NFPA) from 1994-2001, serving as vice president of government affairs and managing the organization’s state and federal affairs program. NFPA and GMA merged in 2007.
Hormel Foods Corp., Austin, Minn.
Tom Day, group vice president, refrigerated foods, was promoted to executive vice president, refrigerated foods, taking over for Steve Binder, executive vice president and president Hormel business units, who will retire at the end of the second quarter fiscal 2018. As group vice president for the refrigerated foods group, Day is responsible for the general management of the company's largest business unit. Day joined Hormel Foods in 1981, and has held positions of increasing responsibility in sales, sales management and general management. Day was named senior vice president of foodservice in 2007, and was promoted to group vice president, foodservice in 2010. He assumed his current role in October 2013. As executive vice president and president of Hormel business units, Binder is responsible for the company's refrigerated foods and grocery products reporting segments and consumer products sales. Binder joined Hormel Foods in 1979, and progressed through numerous sales and management positions within the meat products and foodservice groups, eventually being named vice president of the foodservice group, group vice president of the foodservice group and group vice president of refrigerated foods. He was named executive vice president of refrigerated foods in 2010, and assumed his current position in 2011.
New Seasons Market, Portland, Ore.
Wendy Collie, chief executive officer, departed the company, effective immediately, following the company’s strategic shift in business direction. Collie joined the company in 2012. She led the effort in New Seasons Marketing becoming what is said to be the first grocer in the world to earn B Corp certification. She also cultivated strong relationships with local vendors and community partners, advanced progressive workplace practices, increased wages, expanded benefits and introduced paid parental leave. Under her leadership, the company grew from 12 stores within the Portland Metro area to 25 stores and two brands across three states with over 4,000 employees. Meanwhile, Kristi McFarland, chief people officer, and Forrest Hoffmaster, chief financial officer, assumed the positions of co-presidents.
Land O’Frost, Inc., Munster, Ind.
Vivian Overcash was named senior brand manager, charged with overseeing the company’s strategic marketing initiatives. Previously, she served as foodservice category marketing manager at AdvancePierre Foods, where she led the re-launch of its burger line and was responsible for developing new marketing tactics to generate sales leads. She first began her career in R&D at Procter and Gamble, using consumer insights to drive product development for Crest and Vicks brands. She then later moved into brand management, where she focused on innovation with Prilosec OTC via the Wildberry Frost launch and led the re-launch of Metamucil and launch of the Meta Wellness campaign.
Sonic Corp., Oklahoma City, Okla.
Claudia San Pedro was promoted to president, responsible for franchisee relations, supply chain, franchise sales and development and business planning. San Pedro, a 12-year veteran of Sonic, most recently served as executive vice president and CFO. She joined the company as treasurer, and was subsequently promoted to vice president of investor relations. Appointed chief financial officer in 2015, she led all financial strategies and planning practices, as well as the brand's relationship with lending institutions, shareholders and the financial community. Corey Horsch was promoted to chief financial officer, replacing San Pedro, responsible for all financial planning, internal audit, accounting and tax, while maintaining leadership for the investor relations and treasury functions. Horsch joined Sonic as vice president of investor relations and treasurer in 2015. And, S. Kirk Kinsell was elected to the board of directors for a 3-year term. Kinsell is a seasoned hospitality executive with more than 30 years of operational, franchising and management experience in the hotel sector. He currently serves as principal partner of Panther Ridge Partners, LLC, and previously served as president and CEO of Loews Hotels and Resorts.
Inspire Brands, Atlanta
Paul Brown, chief executive officer of Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc., will serve as chief executive officer of the new company created after Arby’s acquired Buffalo Wild Wings. And, Neal Aronson, founder and managing partner of Roark, an Atlanta-based private equity firm and the majority owner of Inspire, will oversee the continued growth and success of Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and an emerging brand, R Taco, while building a platform for future strategic additions.
Shari's Management Corp. and Shari's Restaurant Group, Beaverton, Ore.
John Iannucci joined as senior vice president of restaurant operations. Iannucci previously served two years as vice president of operations for Logan's Roadhouse. Iannucci's professional career began at Famous Dave's, followed by eight years at Cheesecake Factory in the Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C., area. He was also director of operations for Max Brenner restaurants and Alicart's Camine's restaurants. Tony Fialho was named executive chef and director, culinary innovation. Fialho's background includes tenure as the directory of culinary innovation at Taco Bueno as well as Chili's corporate innovation chef in the Dallas area. Previously, he worked as director of culinary innovation for Black Bear Diner.
Roy's Restaurants, Dallas, Texas
John Crawford, who joined the company in October as vice president of operations, was promoted to chief operating officer, effective immediately. Crawford maintains more than 30 years of diverse industry experience, specifically in building great teams and growing and improving profitability, performance and value of organizations. Prior to joining Roy's, he spent 10 years with Ruth's Chris Steak House as vice president franchise operations and development, where he was instrumental in doubling the number of franchise restaurants resulting in an additional $148 million in annual sales. He was also responsible for overseeing more than 30 franchise groups and 80 restaurants in the United States, Aruba, Asia, Canada, Dubai and Mexico, including direct responsibility for 12 company-owned restaurants. Before his Ruth's Chris career, Crawford spent 20 years with Metromedia Restaurant Group, most notably as vice president of worldwide franchise operations for Bennigan's, where he spearheaded international growth with more than $115 million in annual sales while adding 18 domestic and international locations in two years.
Kezzler AS, Norway
Christine Charlotte Akselsen was appointed chief executive officer, replacing Thomas Körmendi, who is taking on the position as global CEO of the Elopak Group. Prior to joining Kezzler, Akselsen was chief executive officer of Sweet Protection, where she developed a deep understanding of the physical value chain, while growing a consumer brand with global reach. She completed the sale to Active Brands and stayed on to secure the integration as a member of the Active Brands executive committee. Prior to Sweet Protection, she was executive vice president, growth initiatives, commodities and energy at Thomson Reuters, and before that, executive vice president and director of news and conferences at Point Carbon AS. She was part of growing the company from early phase until it was sold to Thomson Reuters in 2010.
Brother Gearmotors, a division of Brother International Corp., Bridgewater, N.J.
Dan Lydigsen was named national sales director, responsible for managing all sales team members throughout the United States and Canada. During his 13-year tenure with Brother’s business machine group, he was director of sales, machine group for the company’s direct market reseller channel. Before that, he served as key account manager, machine group for OfficeMax.
Katharina Hamma was named head of division in trade fair management, taking over for Dietmar Eiden, who is leaving the company to pursue new professional challenges. Eiden has been with Koelnmesse since 2005, responsible for the food and food technology segment. He took over the as divisional head in 2012, responsible for events such as Anuga, ISM, Eu’Vend, Anuga FoodTec, veganfach and ProSweets Cologne.