American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI), McLean, Va.
The newly-elected AFFI officers for 2018 are Shawn Campbell, president and CEO of NORPAC, as chair; Mike McEvoy, executive vice president operations of Sargento, as vice chair; and Stan Firestone, president and owner of Firestone Pacific Foods, as immediate past chair.

Manufacturing Leadership Council, Jackson, Minn.
The board of governors elected two new senior-level roles. John Fleming, former executive vice president of global manufacturing and labor affairs at Ford Motor Co., was named chair. Previous assignments also included chairman and CEO of Ford of Europe and chairman of Volvo Cars. He joined Ford as an apprentice in 1967 in the UK and retired in 2015 after 48 years of service. Since then, he has worked as a senior-level industry consultant around the world. Current roles include senior advisor to Changan Automobile Group and Beet Analytics Technology. He is also a board member of Republic Airways. Fleming joined the Manufacturing Leadership Council in January 2012, and was appointed to the board of governors in November 2012. And, Michael Packer, director of manufacturing, advanced production programs at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, was elected vice-chair. Previous roles include vice president, manufacturing strategy and technical integration for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. He has been a member of the Manufacturing Leadership Council since its inception, and was appointed a founding member of the board of governors in 2010. Packer also serves as a board member and treasurer of SME, board chair of the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining and board member and treasurer of the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council.


Pre Brands, Chicago

Nicole Schumacher was named chief marketing officer, responsible for leading marketing strategy development and execution, and helping drive growth and profitability for the brand's customer partners. Schumacher brings a 19-year track record of growing entrepreneurial start-ups and Fortune 500 companies with a focus on food, health, fitness and experiential retail, having worked at Escalade Sports, Pivotal 5, Kraft Foods, Boca Foods and Saks, Inc.

TreeHouse Foods, Inc., Oak Brook, Ill.
Steven Oakland was named president and CEO, effective March 2, succeeding Sam Reed, chairman, president and CEO, who will serve as non-executive chairman of the board through July 1, at which time he will retire from the company. Oakland was most recently vice chair and president, U.S. food and beverage at The J.M. Smucker Co., where he led the $5 billion U.S. food and beverage businesses across all channels, including U.S. retail coffee, U.S. retail consumer foods, natural foods, U.S. retail sales and marketing services. Prior to his vice chair role with J.M. Smucker, he served in several other positions, including president, coffee and away from home; president, international, foodservice and natural foods; president, U.S. retail - Smucker's, Jif and Hungry Jack; vice president and general manager, consumer oils and baking; vice president and general manager, foodservice; and general manager of J.M. Smucker Canada. He currently serves on the boards of directors of Foot Locker, Inc., Foster Farms and MTD Products Corp.

Blount Fine Foods, Fall River, Mass.
William Bigelow was promoted to chief innovation officer, tasked with serving the customer and sales team by translating national and global trends and consumer insight into opportunities, and using the product and innovation process to maintain food safety and continued operational success. In addition to product-based R&D, Bigelow will continue to have responsibilities in business development, pricing, forecasting and customer service, and will add the responsibilities of packaging innovation and leading a future acquisition search to include relevant and opportunistic products, geographies and brands. Bigelow joined Blount’s newly formed research and development department in 2002, just four years into his career, and was instrumental in launching more than 1,000 new or improved products.

Passport Food Group, Ontario, Calif.
Michael Axelrod was named chief executive officer, succeeding John Signorino, who guided the company through the acquisition by Swander Pace Capital. Axelrod brings nearly three decades of experience in and beyond the retail and foodservice industry. He most recently served as president of TreeHouse Foods, where he oversaw the company’s condiments division. He has also held senior management roles at Kraft, McCain Foods, Whirlpool and Pactiv.

Hormel Foods Corp., Austin, Minn.
Jeff Frank, president of MegaMex Foods, was named vice president of foodservice marketing, replacing David Weber, who was recently promoted to vice president of foodservice sales. Ryan Michaelis, vice president of sales and marketing at MegaMex Foods, was named president of MegaMex Foods. Frank began his career with Hormel Foods in 1998 as a meat products sales representative. A year later, he transferred to the world headquarters and steadily progressed to become senior product manager in 2003. In 2005, he advanced to director of retail marketing at the company's former business in Los Angeles, Calif., and was promoted to vice president of retail marketing in 2007. He transitioned to MegaMex Foods in 2009 as the vice president of marketing, and assumed his current role in 2013. Michaelis began his career with Hormel Foods in 1997 as a meat products sales representative. He held various meat products territory manger and account executive roles until being named corporate category manager for deli in 2003. He assumed the position of customer regional manager for the Kroger business in 2005, and the customer business manager for Walmart prepared foods sales in 2007. Michaels returned to the world headquarters in 2009 as the corporate manager of category sales for grocery products, and moved to the Bentonville, Ark., sales office to become director of Walmart and Sam's Club grocery products sales in 2013. He assumed his current role in 2015.

Impossible Foods, Redwood City, Calif.
Sasha Markova was hired as the company’s first executive creative director, tasked with leading the company’s in-house creative team, which manages all visual messaging across the brand’s channels. Markova was global creative director at Mother London and Mother LA from 2009-2017, where she oversaw efforts for clients such as Stella Artois and Boots, and built a foundation for its first-class brand reputation and international acclaim. After relocating to Los Angeles in 2015, Markova pioneered Mother’s expansion to the West Coast.

Shuman Produce, Reidsville, Ga.
Amanda Lott was appointed new marketing coordinator. Lott joins the organization with 7 years of experience in the produce industry, specializing in sweet onion and sweet potato commodities, as well as a background in sales and marketing.

Stonyfield, Londonderry, N.H.
Co-founder Gary Hirshberg took on the newly-created role of chief organic optimist, where he will help accelerate Stonyfield's mission of healthy people and a healthy planet through new products, partnerships and initiatives.

US Foods Holding Corp., Rosemont, Ill.
Sunil Gupta, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, was appointed to the board of directors, effective March 1. Gupta joined Harvard Business School in 2006, and has served as the chair of the general management program for senior executives, co-chair of the Driving Digital Strategy executive program since 2013 and as the chair of the marketing department from 2008-2013. Before joining Harvard Business School, Gupta held positions at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business, including serving as the Meyer Feldberg Professor of Business. He’s served on the advisory boards of several startups, as well as the board of the American Marketing Association.

Raley’s, West Sacramento, Calif.
Kevin Konkel was promoted to the newly created role of chief operations officer, responsible for leading operations in all Raley’s banners and pharmacy operations, as well as store design and construction, operations administration, distribution and asset protection. Konkel maintains 40 years of service with Raley’s. Previously, he served as senior vice president, operations. And, Paul Gianetto was promoted to senior vice president, sales and merchandising, where he will manage strategic pricing, private label, sales and merchandising for both center store and perishable departments. Gianetto is an industry leader with more than 35 years in the grocery business. He joined Raley’s in 2008, and has held many roles in merchandising. In 2017, Gianetto was promoted to vice president of center store.

Albertsons Cos., Boise, Idaho
Jim Donald, former president and CEO of Starbucks, was appointed president and COO, effective immediately, replacing Wayne Denningham, who retired earlier this year. Donald will be responsible for the operations of the retailer’s 2,300-plus portfolio and helping to grow the omni-channel platform. He is an experienced retail operator with extensive knowledge of Albertsons, having previously served in senior leadership roles at Albertson’s, Inc. and Safeway, Inc. Donald also served as a member of the board of directors of Rite Aid from 2008-2013. Most recently, Donald served as chief executive officer of Extended Stay America from 2012-2015. From 2009-2011, he served as president and CEO of Haggen, Inc. Prior to that, he spent six years at Starbucks, leading the company through a period of strong growth and performance, working his way up from president of the North America division to president and CEO. Earlier in his career, Donald led Pathmark Stores, Inc. and held a variety of senior management positions with Albertson’s, Inc., Safeway, Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Seaboard Corp., Merriam, Kan.
Terry Holton, president of the pork division, Seaboard Foods LLC, announced his intent to retire during the current calendar year 2018. Holton was instrumental in the success of the pork division during his 24-year career at Seaboard, with the last six years spent serving as president.

Deli Star Corp., Fayetteville, Ill.
Charles Hayes was hired as vice president of culinary innovation, tasked with leading the company’s research and development, sales and marketing efforts, both at the company’s Fayetteville, Ill., meat processing facility and in the Deli Star Innovation Center in St. Louis, Mo. Hayes is a certified executive chef, certified research chef and certified food scientist with more than 30 years of hotel, restaurant and food processing experience. During his career, he has worked at or consulted with major brands around the globe, including Sara Lee, JMH Premium, Cara Operations Ltd. and Awrey Bakeries/Atkins Elegant Desserts. Hayes has also run several large research and development teams on both the restaurant and manufacturing side of the business, launching several category-defining products in the process.

Target Corp., Minneapolis
Dmitri Stockton, former senior vice president of General Electric Co., was elected to the board of directors, effective March 5. Stockton spent 30 years at GE, prior to retiring in March 2017. During his tenure, he held a series of escalating leadership positions and spent a decade working in France, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. From December 2008 to April 2011, Stockton served as president and CEO of GE Capital Global Banking, where he was responsible for $5 billion in revenue and approximately 40,000 employees. From May 2011 to December 2016, Stockton served as chairman, president and CEO of GE Asset Management and led the sale of the business to State Street Global Advisors in July 2016. Stockton currently serves on the boards of Deere & Co., American Family Insurance and Ryder System, Inc., as well as the Georgetown University Board of Regents.

Crunch Pak, Cashmere, Wash.
Cindy Grissom and Ben Cope were named new sales executives and TeiAnna Mayer was appointed a sales associate. Grissom maintains several years’ experience in the apple industry, including time spent at Dovex Fruit Co. and Stemilt Growers. Her customer list includes companies in the retail, club and natural food channels. Cope most recently served as the global supply chain and logistics manager for a natural foods company, and spent several years in the outdoor industry in a variety of areas, including sales and rock climbing instruction. Mayer has been in the apple industry for more than 15 years with Stemilt Growers, and maintains previous experience in retail and medicine.

The Giumarra Cos., Los Angeles
Jay Robinson was hired as sales manager for the Southeast division, tasked with helping expand the division’s product line, overseeing existing customer accounts and developing new business. Robinson brings over 20 years of produce sales and marketing experience to the role. Most recently, he worked with L&M Cos. as a sales specialist and organic commodity manager.

Gelest, Inc., Morrisville, Pa.
Dr. Jonathan Goff was promoted to vice president of research and development, responsible for facilitating customer relationships, research initiatives and operational efficiencies. He will also continue to manage the polymer development and technical services groups, and help lead the silanes, metal-organics and research engineering groups. An 8-year veteran of Gelest, Goff was an integral part of the research and development team’s growth. Meanwhile, Dr. Youlin Pan was named senior research fellow, adding to his current title of senior R&D manager of silanes, metal organics and senior research fellow. In addition to continuing to manage his research and development group, Pan will broaden his role in developing and expanding the capabilities of Gelest research and development and overall operations. He has been with Gelest for over 21 years.

Airmaster, Clarklake, Mich.
Mario Meiwes was appointed operational excellence manager, responsible for continued improvement in the production and logistics operations, and for the standardization and measurement of processes, as well as keeping up with the evolution of processes standards and improvement methods. Previously, Meiwes spent seven years as an operational excellence manager for HELLA.

Dorner, Hartland, Wis.
Scott Volk was appointed territory sales manager, working with sales channel partners and key accounts to grow the company’s industrial and sanitary conveyor business throughout Indiana. Volk maintains more than 10 years of territory sales experience in automation, fluid power and safety systems/products industries. Most recently, he was account manager at Exotic Automation.

Everidge, Minneapolis
Feras Affani was appointed vice president of sales for the ThermalRite and ICS brands, responsible for generating new business and sustaining and growing current customers in the foodservice and non-commercial segments. At ThermalRite, he will be in charge of chain accounts; at ICS, he will manage 1-piece walk-in sales. Affani started his career working for ICS as a welder and sheet metal fabricator, and went on to become national sales manager.

Choptank Transport, Preston, Md.
Jacob Griffith
was named regional manager of the company’s new sales office in Baltimore, Md. Also, Brandy McMullen was appointed new regional manager of the Tampa, Fla., office, bringing with years of experience in the 3PL industry.



Dr. h.c. Helmut Maucher, long-serving chairman, CEO and delegate of Nestlé S.A., Switzerland, passed away.

Maucher began his career with a commercial apprenticeship at Nestlé in Germany. In 1980, he was appointed executive vice president of Nestlé S.A. and member of the executive committee, and in 1981, was appointed chief executive officer of Nestlé S.A. From 1990-1997, Maucher served as chairman of the board and CEO, and continued on as chairman of the board from 1997-2000.

"Helmut Maucher was a highly esteemed and charismatic personality, a strong and visionary leader, who dedicated so much of his life to Nestlé. His legacy lives on, as Nestlé owes much of what we are today to Helmut Maucher. With his passing, we lose an exceptional human being, whose fairness, honesty and wise advice were always highly appreciated," says Paul Bulcke, chairman of the board of directors of Nestlé S. A.