The California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC), Salinas, Calif.
John McKeon, senior manager of organic compliance and sustainability for Tanimura & Antle, was elected as a producer alternate to the committee. McKeon, a 17-year organic industry veteran, obtained numerous certifications in his career, with the most recent being the PSA Grower Training Course, Foreign Supplier Verification Rule Training and the United Fresh Harmonized GAP Training.   

The Midwest Association of Rail Shippers (MARS), Wayne, Ill.
Harry Zander, senior vice president of Trinity Rail, was elected president for the 2018 term. Tom Surma, manager, transportation services for Ingredion, was elected first vice president. Stefan Loeb, executive vice president, network strategies, Watco Cos., was elected second vice president. Newly elected to the executive committee are: Luke Jones, corporate account manager, GATX; Katie Tamisiea, business manager, Union Pacific Railroad; Kevin Zimski, corporate rail fleet manager, Cargill; Robert Babcock, senior vice president, operations and business development, Indiana Rail Road; Chad Hartwig, director of logistics, Fairmount Sanitrol; Michael Kelly, vice president, sales - Midwest region, Freight Car America; Matt O’Kray, national account manager - energy, chemicals and plastics, Canadian Pacific Railroad; and Dave Murawski, senior vice president sales and marketing, Union Tank Car.

American Dairy Products Institute (ADPI), Elmhurst, Ill.
David Thomas will retire as chief executive officer, effective June 30. Thomas joined ADPI in February 2012 as chief executive officer. Under Thomas' leadership, ADPI expanded through a 71% increase in membership. Thomas also created the ADPI Center of Excellence and expanded the organization's voice and leadership throughout the dairy ingredients sector. 

The Dallas Fresh Food Association, Dallas, Texas
Dale Long, vice president of supply chain for North Texas Food Bank, was appointed president of the 2018 term. Long maintains more than 30 years in the fresh produce industry, having served as chairman of several local organizations and associations. Michael Grinstead, partner of The Grinstead Group, was elected treasurer. Beth Keeton, communications director at DMA Solutions, was appointed the marketing position on the board. Steve Monson, C.H. Robinson, was elected membership. For more than 27 years, Monson has helped retailers, restaurants, growers and foodservice companies meet consumers’ demand for fresh food. And, Lucian LaBarba, business analyst at Ben E. Keith, was elected the philanthropy spot on the board, while Bobby Grinstead, partner at FreightFlow, was elected the technology position on the board. 

Dairy Management Inc. (DMI), the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board (NDB) and the United Dairy Industry Association (UDIA), Rosemont, Ill.
New DMI officers are as follows: Marilyn Hershey, co-owner of Ar-Joy Farm, was elected chair; Steve Maddox, co-owner of Maddox Dairy, was elected vice chair; David “Skip” Hardie of Lansing, N.Y., was elected secretary; and Larry Hancock, treasurer of Dairy Max, Inc., was elected treasurer.  New NDB officers are as follows: Brad Scott of San Jacinto, Calif., was elected chair; Connie Seefeldt, owner/operator of Seefeldt Farms, was elected vice chair; Steve Ballard, co-owner of Ballard Family Dairy & Cheese, was elected secretary; and Carol Ahlem, dairy farmer at James Ahlem Dairy, was elected treasurer.


Jane's Dough Foods, Columbus, Ohio

Stan Jacot was promoted to president, responsible for maximizing the company's operation performance as well as driving sales through innovation and increased brand exposure. Previously, he was executive vice president and general manager of Jane's Dough Foods, where he oversaw manufacturing operations, brand management, sales, distribution and new product development. Most notably, under his leadership, the Sonoma Flatbreads brand enjoyed an over threefold increase. Prior to Jane's Dough Foods, Jacot spent more than 20 years in senior-level general manager and brand management positions with companies such as Kellogg's, Capital One, ConAgra Foods and Borden Dairy.

Kellogg North America, Battle Creek, Mich.
After a long and distinguished Kellogg career, Paul Norman, president, announced plans to leave the company, effective April 1. Company CEO Steve Cahillane will oversee Kellogg North America in the interim. 

MegaMex Foods, Fort Worth, Texas
Jay Alley, vice president of sales, announced plans to retire at the end of February. Alley spent over 40 years in the produce world, the last 16 of which he spent building and growing the Wholly Guacamole brand. Alley participated in many industry boards, including Produce Marketing Association, United Fresh Produce Association and Viva Fresh. He also developed the GuacMobile, what is dubbed as the first mobile marketing truck in the produce industry.

Kiolbassa Smoked Meats, San Antonio, Texas
Dan Marshall was appointed vice president of supply chain. Marshall maintains more than 20 years of experience in the grocery industry, including more than a decade of experience in meat procurement at H-E-B.

Nestlé USA, Rosslyn, Va.
Steve Presley, currently chief finance and strategic transformation officer, will succeed Paul Grimwood as market head and CEO, effective April 1. Grimwood will continue to serve the business as non-executive chairman until May 2019. Presley began his career with Nestlé more than 20 years ago as a controller for the beverage factory in Suffolk, Va. He has held various roles within the beverage division, including vice president of finance and vice president/general manager of premium ready-to-drink beverages. In 2009, Presley was named president of Nestlé Business Services, and in 2013, was appointed chief financial officer for Nestlé USA. In 2016, Presley's role expanded to include leading Nestlé USA's strategic transformation, where he is currently responsible for developing, implementing and leading new and innovative strategies. Grimwood has served as chairman and CEO of Nestlé USA since 2012. He joined Nestlé in 2001 as country business manager for Nestlé Purina PetCare UK and Ireland. In 2005, he served as head of operations for Zone Europe, and was appointed market head for the UK and Ireland in January 2009.

San Miguel Produce, Inc., Oxnard, Calif.
Bob Cummings was appointed vice president of sales and marketing. Cummings maintains a long history in the food and fresh-cut produce business. Initially starting in the meat industry, he has held senior management positions at Hormel, ConAgra (now Conagra Brands) and Farmland Foods (now Smithfield Foods). Cummings entered the produce industry 18 years ago, starting with Reichel Foods, and most recently, at Crunch Pak for the past 11 years.

TreeHouse Foods, Inc., Oak Brook, Ill.
Matthew Rubel was appointed to the board of directors, taking over for Terdema Ussery, who resigned effective immediately. George Bayly will replace Ussery as chairman of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee and Linda Massman will take Ussery's place on the board's Compensation Committee. Rubel most recently served as chief executive officer of Varsity Brands, and currently serves as executive chairman of the board at KidKraft, Inc. and as the lead independent director of The Joint Corp. He is also an independent director at Hudson's Bay Co. In 2010, Rubel became a Presidential Appointee to the White House Advisory Council on Trade Policy Negotiation. Rubel maintains extensive private equity experience. He has served as a senior advisor to both TPG Capital L.P. and TPG Growth, as well as Roark Capital Group. Prior to his advisory roles, Rubel served as president and CEO of Collective Brands, Inc. from 2005-2011, including his time as chairman, president and CEO of Payless Inc., where he oversaw the acquisition of Sperry Topsider, Saucony, Stride Rite and Keds brands. From February 1999 to July 2005, he served as the chairman, president and CEO of Cole Haan, and has been an executive and director of numerous multi-national retail and consumer branded companies, including Supervalu from 2010-2016 and HSNi from 2012-2017.

The Allen Lund Co. (ALC), La Cañada Flintridge, Calif.
Ricky Womrath, former transportation broker, is now operations manager of the Orlando, Fla., office. Womrath joined ALC in 2011, and maintains over 11 years of industry experience. Jessica Haney, former product developer and trainer, is now senior product developer and trainer. Haney joined the project management team in 2012 after four years in an operations role in the Charlotte, N.C., office. Nick Terry, former product development assistant, is now product developer and trainer in project management. Terry joined project management in 2017, after starting with the Rochester, N.Y., team in 2013. Joe DiGuradi, former business development specialist, is now business development specialist-LTL sales. DiGuardi joined ALC in 2017 with over three years of industry experience.

Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc., Coral Gables, Fla.
Hani El-Naffy, president and COO, announced his intent to retire, effective May 2. El-Naffy assumed his responsibilities in August 1996.


(Fresh. Authentic. Tasty.) Brands Inc., Los Angeles
The parent company of Fatburger hired Toni Bianco as president and COO of Fatburger, taking over for Don Berchtold, who, after 15 years in this position, will be transitioning to a new role as executive vice president and chief concept officer, where he will help develop new concept designs across FAT Brands’ portfolio. Bianco will work side-by-side with long-standing CEO Andy Wiederhorn to further expand Fatburger's presence worldwide. Bianco brings over 15 years of experience in the franchise management space. Previously, Bianco oversaw significant international expansion deals for Papa John's, where he drove more than 30 new openings, primarily in Asia. Most recently, he managed global operations, training, development and IT for the Long John Silver's brand.


CP Kelco, Atlanta
Jennifer Aspen Mason joined as senior vice president, global innovation, responsible for leading global research and development, including strategic innovation imperatives to drive the company’s long-term growth, as well as oversight of technical teams focused on new product innovation, process R&D and research. Mason maintains more than 20 years of industry experience, leading science organizations within Fortune 100 companies. Most recently, she spent more than five years as technology and science strategy officer for Mars, Inc. Prior to joining Mars, Mason spent 14 years with Unilever, holding several roles of increased responsibility and working in the Netherlands, the UK, Chicago, and New Jersey. While at Unilever, she led global R&D teams for beverages, food solutions and dressings; ran the Regional Deploy Center for the North American food business; and served as the R&D director for the North American ice cream unit. Upon joining Mars in 2011, Mason served as vice president – R&D, quality and food safety for the Mars Petcare business and managed a team of 400 R&D associates while leading the expansion of a global innovation center. She assumed her most recent role as technology and science strategy officer at Mars in 2016.

ITS Logistics, Reno, Nev.
Jamie Lawson was elevated to chief financial officer. Lawson started with ITS Logistics in 2014 as controller before being promoted to director of finance. Collectively, she has spent more than 20 years in public accounting and private industry before joining ITS.



Bernard Kennedy, co-chairman and former president of King Kullen Grocery Co., Bethpage, N.Y., passed away Feb. 17. 

The second generation of four generations of Kennedys that have served King Kullen over its 88-year history, Kennedy spent his entire career at King Kullen.

“He is responsible for many of the merchandising and marketing changes and improvements we have made over the years, and personally oversaw countless details that enhanced our offering in the marketplace,” says Brian Cullen, co-president. “Beyond the efforts Mr. Kennedy made in our stores, he made a difference with the leadership and guidance he provided to our management and employees.  As well as having a sharp mind for business, Mr. Kennedy had an unwavering moral compass that set the standard for the operating practices we embrace today.  We were fortunate to have him in our midst and he will be missed.”

Kennedy served in the Navy as a gunner on a ship in the North Atlantic during World War II, and returned to New York after he was discharged in May 1946.

Kennedy’s career began at King Kullen in 1949 in an entry-level office position. He worked various jobs, including buyer, assistant vice president and vice president for merchandising, before becoming president, a position he held from 1984-1998.  He remained co-chairman of the board until his death.

“One of my father’s lesser-known avocations was writing operas,” says Bernard P. Kennedy, general counsel. “He had several productions performed locally. He also enjoyed fishing and was an avid golfer.”

In addition to wife Dorothy and sons J. Donald Kennedy and Bernard P. Kennedy, Kennedy is survived by his children Maura LaBella, Terence Kennedy and Dr. Eugene Kennedy. He also leaves behind 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.