United Fresh Produce Association, Washington, D.C.
John Hollay was named senior director of government relations, effective March 19. For the past six years, Hollay has served as vice president of government relations for the National Milk Producers Federation, where he spearheaded strategic efforts for the nation’s dairy farmers on issues around the 2014 farm bill, immigration reform and bioengineering labeling. Prior to that, he spent 5 years as a congressional aid for Joe Courtney of Connecticut and served as a senior legislative assistant on Capitol Hill, where he focused on issues ranging from agriculture policy to education and labor.
Flexible Packaging Association (FPA), Annapolis, Md.
David Staker, president and CEO, Plastic Packaging Technologies, LLC, was elected new chairman of the 2018 board of directors, succeeding Rob Tiede, executive vice president and COO, Sonoco Products Co., who served as chairman from March 2017-March 2018. Newly appointed directors include Doug Bengtson, vice president, international sales, Coveris; Sachin Desai, executive vice president, finance, ProAmpac; Erik Keracik, director, commercial, polyethylene, Westlake Chemical Corp.; Landon Luttrell, sales director, The Dow Chemical Co.; Tom Mason, senior vice president sales, food division, North America, Constantia Flexibles LLC; Joe Moynihan, president of Mondi Jackson LLC; Chris Parrilli, corporate vice president, Sun Chemical Corp.; Geoff Peters, president and COO, Wikoff Color Corp.; Stephen Perkins, vice president, Bryce Corp.; and Joe Raker, vice president, sourcing, logistics and equipment, parts and service, Liqui-Box Corp.
American Dairy Association North East, Syracuse, N.Y.
The following dairy farmers and board members were elected to serve on national dairy promotion boards—Marilyn Hershey; Skip Hardie; and Audrey Donahoe. Hershey, a Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association board member, was elected as chair of the Dairy Management, Inc. (DMI) board of directors. Hardie was re-elected as DMI board secretary, and is also a member of the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council (ADADC) board of directors and chair of the New York Promotion Advisory Board. Donahoe, an ADADC board member, was named chair of National Dairy Council last fall.
Market Fresh Produce, LLC, Nixa, Mo.
Sunny Yearwood was appointed accounting supervisor, responsible for overseeing daily customer invoicing, monitoring and oversight of account collections, identifying customer trends and identifying potential risks and/or opportunities. She will also be setting goals for employee performance and organizing workflow to improve tracking methods. Yearwood maintains more than 10 years of accounting experience and seven years of training experience. Most recently, she worked as a senior accountant for a company based in Bolivar, Mo.
The Fresh Market, Inc., Greensboro, N.C.
Vic Savanello was named vice president of merchandising, produce, where he will oversee management of the fresh produce departments across all 176 stores in 24 states. Savanello maintains more than 30 years of experience in produce and floral management, with an emphasis on independent supermarkets. And, his extensive management career spans more than three decades across the retail and produce sectors. He has served as senior director of produce and floral at Allegiance Retail Services for over 10 years, where he led all produce and floral operations and functions, including sales management, advertising, merchandising and product procurement for nearly 100 stores across three states. Savanello also previously worked for more than two decades at Wakefern Food Corp., where he served as a produce category manager for 15 years. He currently serves as president of the Eastern Produce Council, where he has been on the board since 2006, as well as chairman of the New York Produce Show, EPC Strategic Planning committee and co-chairman of the Eastern Produce Council Golf Outing committee. He’s previously served on the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit committee and is a member of the Southeast Produce Council and New England Produce Council.
Crystal Lake Farms, Decatur, Ark.
Jeff Farver was appointed director of national sales accounts, responsible for nurturing and growing the Crystal Lake Farms business with existing customers as well as identifying and selling to new customers through foodservice and retail channels. Farver maintains over 8 years of experience in poultry, including experience at Tyson Foods, where he was responsible for the P&L of over 800 million pounds annually.
Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd., New Zealand
Theo Spierings announced plans to leave his chief executive officer role later this year. Spierings has led Fonterra as CEO for seven years, helping the co-operative establish a strong demand-led strategy and orient itself to become innovative and sustainable.
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Denver, Colo.
Chris Brandt was named chief marketing officer, effective April 2. Most recently, Brandt served as executive vice president and chief brand officer for Bloomin' Brands, where he oversaw a 75-person brand team and was responsible for product innovation, brand positioning, product pipeline development, consumer insights, creative strategy and development, media strategy, loyalty and digital marketing across Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's, Bonefish Grill and Fleming's. Prior to his time at Bloomin' Brands, Brandt served as chief brand and marketing officer at YUM! Brands' Taco Bell, where he led marketing and food innovation. He oversaw numerous new product launches, including Doritos Locos Tacos and the quesalupa, new dayparts such as Happier Hour and breakfast, digital initiatives such as the Taco Bell app and other media and sponsorship programs. Before joining Taco Bell, he held senior level marketing and brand development positions with Odwalla/Coca Cola and General Mills.
Wingstop Restaurants Inc., Dallas, Texas
Flynn Dekker resigned as chief marketing officer, effective March 21.
Mars Air Systems, Gardena, Calif.
Christopher Burke was named vice president, national sales, tasked with managing over 200 factory-trained manufacturers’ representatives and dealers/distributors across the United States and globally. Burke has been with Mars Air Systems for the past 5 years as national sales manager. He’s also held leadership positions with Trane and Goodman Manufacturing.
Primus, Woodstock, Ga.
Randy Jennings joined the team to help the design-build firm enhance its business solutions offerings. Jennings is an automation/material handling expert, whose clients include Wal-Mart, Publix, Caterpillar, Saturn, Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing, Bridgestone-Firestone, Cummins Engine, Bobcat, Chrysler, Baxter Healthcare, Shaw Flooring and Sutter Home Wineries. His career includes roles at Swisslog, America in Motion, Transbotics Corp., Mid-America Systems and NDC Automation.
Stertil-Koni, Stevensville, Md.
Devin Leahey joined as warehouse associate, dedicated to ensuring that all incoming and outgoing deliveries are loaded and unloaded properly, safely and efficiently. Other responsibilities include organizing, examining and re-packaging parts, materials and lifts. Leahey maintains related construction industry experience as a carpenter and as an insulation installer.
Choptank Transport, Preston, Md.
Brandy McMullen was appointed general office manager of the company’s Tampa, Fla., office, taking over for Jacob Griffith, who will be spearheading Choptank’s new Baltimore, Md., location in early June. Previously, McMullen worked for a third-party logistics company, taking on various positions over her 16-year career that included carrier sales, customer sales, marketing, administration and management.
ESE, Inc., Marshfield, Wis.
Erik Winer was promoted to facility modernization consultant, where he will perform site reviews, develop modernization plans for customers, review current customer installations and help determine the desired future state of a facility based on a customer’s needs, timeline and budget. Winer has been with ESE since 2014, serving first as application engineer, and most recently as partnership development engineer. Before joining the ESE team, Winer worked as an associate R&D electrical engineer at WillPemcoBielomatik.
CRB, Denver, Colo.
Jason Osicka joined as a senior process engineer and subject matter expert. Osicka maintains 15 years of food and beverage experience. Previously, he was the aseptic process engineering authority at The Kroger Co., and has worked on major aseptic processing and filling projects, providing consulting and design services in the food, beverage and beer industries on a national level. He also worked as an engineering manager for WhiteWave Foods, where he led, managed and executed capital projects ranging from $1-44 million. He holds significant experience in managing projects from concept to completion in construction management, process, packaging and utility infrastructure, dairy and non-dairy products (storage, delivery, mixing, pasteurization and fermentation), ultra-high temperature aseptic/extended shelf-life processing and packaging lines (design, construction, installation, commissioning qualification and validation), raw food products (developing specialty/proprietary robotic wet/dry packaging) and yeast propagation (storage and injection of dairy yogurt and beer cultures)
Tekni-Plex, Inc., Wayne, Pa.
John Seifert was promoted to chief financial officer, replacing Glenn Fish, who was promoted to chief operating officer. Previously, Seifert was the vice president of finance. Prior to joining Tekni-Plex in 2012, Seifert held various senior roles in both private and public companies, including Reading Entertainment Inc., InfraSource Inc. and Taurus Aerospace.
PTI Global, Holland, Ohio
Craig Robinson was promoted to vice president of business development and innovation. Robinson joined PTI in 2017 as director of business development and innovation. He brings more than 30 year’ experience in a wide variety of industries, including packaging, orthopedic products and medical devices. Prior to joining PTI, Robinson was director of business development for Kaleidoscope Imaging, and for more than 20 years, was president and CEO of Vantage Orthopedics.