Produce Marketing Association (PMA), Newark, Del.
Steve Lutz joined as regional vice president-U.S. and Canada West. Lutz has been with CMI Orchards since 2013, serving as vice president of marketing, and then transitioned to senior strategist in 2017, where he focused on strategy development, category management and data analysis. Prior to joining CMI Orchards, Lutz served as president of the Washington Apple Commission. In 2000, he became a founding partner and executive vice president of the Perishables Group, which sold to Nielsen in 2012.
Kellogg Co., Battle Creek, Mich.
Chris Hood, president, Kellogg Europe, was named president, Kellogg North America, tasked with leading the portfolio of businesses, including U.S. morning foods, U.S. snacks, U.S. frozen foods, U.S. specialty channels, Kashi and Canada. Hood replaces Paul Norman, who left the company earlier this year. Hood, a seasoned consumer packaged goods leader, joined Kellogg in 2012 as part of the Pringles acquisition after 19 years with Procter & Gamble, where he was vice president and general manager for Pringles North American business. Meanwhile, Dave Lawlor, vice president, European cereal business, was promoted to president, Kellogg Europe, succeeding Hood. Lawlor began his Kellogg career in sales in Ireland in 1991. Over the past 27 years, he has held senior commercial roles, including leading the company's businesses in the Mediterranean, Middle East, Russia and United Kingdom/Ireland.
Sabra Dipping Co., LLC, White Plains, N.Y.
Tomer Harpaz was named chief executive officer, replacing Shali Shalit-Shoval, who returned home to family overseas after five years with the company. Harpaz will oversee Sabra and Obela, a venture between PepsiCo and the Strauss Group. For the past four years, Harpaz has served as chief executive officer of Strauss Coffee, where he helped the company deliver record-high historical performance in growth and profit while introducing global acquisitions, innovations and sustainability initiatives. Prior to joining Strauss Coffee in 2010, Harpaz, served as a member of Strauss Group's management team and as executive vice president, strategy, business development and technology, where he established The Kitchen FoodTech Hub and Alpha Strauss food and tech incubator think tanks. Previously, Harpaz served as chief executive officer of P.O.C., was chief executive officer of ARA Minerals and was co-founder and chairman of Re:bar Ltd.
Whole Foods Market, Austin, Texas
Kelly Landrieu was named global coordinator of local brands, working with local foragers and merchants to support and counsel local suppliers in bringing innovative and trending products with high-quality ingredients. She will also develop continued education and mentorship programs for current and future local suppliers. Prior to this role, Landrieu helped develop and manage the “Friends of Whole Foods Market” program. Before that, Landrieu spent four years as Whole Foods Market’s local forager in the Southwest region, which includes over 40 stores across Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas. In that role, Landrieu discovered, brought to market and mentored hundreds of local brands, including MALK Organics.
SunFed, Rio Rico, Ariz.
Gretchen Kreidler Austin was appointed new director of marketing and business development, effective June 11, where she will expand the company’s portfolio of products and pioneer new business, as well as orchestrate business development and oversee resource planning, reporting and communications. Kreidler Austin will also be responsible for pioneering new business with retailers, foodservice accounts, processors and more; creating new items; participating at tradeshows, industry events and boards; coordinating oversight for all tradeshows and marketing-related events; being the trade contact for press releases and advertisement planning; creating packaging design, vendor alignment and new item generation; and overseeing all materials inventory, price negotiations and cost controls. Kreidler Austin has served as director of business development for Grow Farms since 2015. Before that, she worked at IFCO Systems from 2011-2015, where she was director of retail sales for Central United States.
River Fresh Farms and River Fresh Logistics, Salinas, Calif.
Veteran produce industry sales and marketing executive Joe Feldman joined as general manager.
The Oppenheimer Group, Canada
On June 1, marketing development manager Cathie MacDonald was elevated to director of marketing services. MacDonald has been with Oppy since 1991, serving as the marketing coordinator for ENZA Fresh, Inc. before it was absorbed into Oppy in 1997, when she became the company’s trade relations manager. Subsequently, MacDonald has served in marketing roles of increasing responsibility, including promotions manager – marketing; packaging and marketing development manager; and creative services and marketing development manager. Meanwhile, Karin Gardner, previously marketing communications manager, was promoted to director, corporate communications, tasked with leading Oppy’s internal and external communications initiatives and execution of related strategies. Gardner joined Oppy in 1992 as a public relations assistant. She was promoted to communications manager in 1998, going on to serve in various marketing communications capacities.
Rich Products Corp., Buffalo, N.Y.
Richard Ferranti was promoted to president and COO, succeeding founder Bob Rich Sr., chairman Bob Rich Jr. and chief executive officer Bill Gisel, who will continue leading as chief executive officer. Meanwhile, Jeff Kim was promoted to the newly created role of president of global markets, responsible for leveraging Rich’s global reach and local activation. A 26-year associate, Kim most recently led business operations as president of Rich’s Asia-Pacific Region. Ray Burke joined the executive team as president of Rich’s US-Canada region. Burke, who has served in his current role since 2012, maintains primary oversight and accountability for Rich’s food businesses across the United States and Canada.
JAXPORT, Jacksonville, Fla.
Kristen DeMarco was appointed new chief commercial officer, responsible for leading JAXPORT’s international cargo sales and marketing initiatives as well as tracking trends and issues related to maximizing the port’s business potential. DeMarco maintains nearly two decades of business development experience in the logistics industry, negotiating multi-million dollar deals and building relationships with decision-makers from some of the world’s largest companies. Prior to joining JAXPORT, she served as vice president of ocean business development – North America for CEVA Logistics, leading the division’s ocean product sales efforts during a time of double-digit revenue growth. She has also served in business development roles of increasing responsibility for shipping lines owned by A.P. Moller – Maersk.
Dorner Manufacturing Corp., Hartland, Wis.
Ricardo Sanchez and Daniel Hernandez V were named new regional sales managers covering Mexico for Dorner Latin America. Both Sanchez and Hernandez will be working with distributors and sales channel partners to grow the company’s industrial and sanitary conveyor business throughout the country. Sanchez will be covering South states, as well as portions of the Central states of Mexico. Previously, he used his training as a mechatronic engineer to work as a project manager in the food and material handling industries. Hernandez has been a mechanical engineer for Dorner Latin America for the past three years. Prior to Dorner Latin America, Hernandez worked as a mechanical and automation engineer designer for DEIYSA.
CBRE, Los Angeles
Jeffrey Hipschman, senior managing director of the company’s New Jersey market, is taking on the additional role of industrial and logistics divisional lead for the Northeast, tasked with further expanding and integrating CBRE’s logistics services across the region. Hipschman is also responsible for managing all CBRE business lines across New Jersey, as well as all operating and support units, including office and industrial brokerage, asset services, project management, investment properties, research, marketing, legal and finance.
Johnson Controls International plc, Ireland
Jean Blackwell was elected to serve as a director, effective immediately. Blackwell previously served as executive vice president of corporate responsibility and CEO of the Cummins Foundation. Blackwell joined Cummins Inc. in 1997, and has served in various leadership roles, including chief financial officer, general counsel and vice president of human resources. Prior to joining Cummins, she was a partner with Bose McKinney & Evans, and previously served as budget director for the State of Indiana.
PLM Trailer Leasing, Newark, N.J.
Lynne Wilson joined as chief financial officer in the fleet solutions center, taking over for Robert Sukovich, who was previously the CFO and legal counsel, before becoming chief compliance officer and chief legal counsel. Wilson maintains over 30 years of senior level experience in tax, audit, finance and accounting. Previously, Wilson was chief financial officer for Beacon Rail Leasing, and previous to that, was senior vice president and CFO of Marlin Business Services Corp. She also spent seven years with the General Electric Corp. in FP&A and was global controller of GE Commercial Finance.
AMF Bakery Systems, Richmond, Va.
Blake Millard joined as sales director for the United States and Canada. With over 13 years of sales and sales leadership experience in the food industry, Millard will lead AMF’s U.S. and Canada teams to deepen existing customer relationships while seeking new market opportunities. Previously, Millard served as North American sales leader for Cargill Global Edible Oil Solutions (GEOS), where he managed a team of 17, providing ingredient solutions to bakery and food production customers. Before that, he worked with Pfizer, Inc., developing and testing equipment automation solutions.
Chowbotics, Redwood City, Calif.
Warren Manzer joined as vice president of foodservice sales, after the company closed $11 million of Series A-1 funding. Previously, Manzer was president of foodservice for Clipper and senior vice president at Crown Brands. Rory Bevins joined as vice president of hospitality. Previously, Bevins was senior vice president at La Bottega Americas and global vice president at Molton Brown. Lee Greer joined as vice president of its off-premise kitchen business unit. Greer was chief marketing officer at Jason’s Deli. Shelley Janes joined as director of sales, responsible for the western region of the United States. Previously, Janes was head of partnerships at CarDash and chief executive officer of SideDoor. And, Nolan Schachter joined as director of sales, responsible for Canada. Previously, Schachter was director of sales and marketing at TeaBot.
Hanson Logistics, St. Joseph, Mich.
Ken Whah was appointed executive vice president, effective immediately. Whah recently joined the company as chief operating officer, and will continue those responsibilities in addition to his new role. Whah will also add business development and engineering to his scope of accountability. Previously, Whah served as director of North American logistics operations at Whirlpool Corp., where he oversaw 1,000 logistics associates and a network of 23 factory and regional distribution centers.
Culinary Software Services (CSS), Boulder, Colo.
Bryan Counts was appointed vice president of operations, responsible for leading strategic growth initiatives and business development, as well as directing oversight of the sales, support and training departments. He will also oversee all day-to-day sales and training activities, including the development, implementation and management of sustainable and profitable operation procedures. Counts maintains over 20 years of experience in product management and sales. Previously, he served as operations manager at CSS, where he was responsible for day-to-day tactical functions. Prior to joining CSS, he was senior manager enablement at Salesforce Industries.
IN MEMORIUM: NORM STAVIS, NORTH COAST SEAFOOD
Norm Stavis, president of North Coast Seafood, Boston, Mass., passed away.
He played an important role in helping the National Fisheries Institute, Washington, D.C., advocate for all of its members.