Organic Trade Association hires farm policy director, True Food Innovations appoints COO, and more personnel news
Organic Trade Association, Washington, D.C.
Johanna Mirenda will join as new farm policy director, effective Aug. 6, succeeding Nate Lewis, who will focus more on his certified organic farm in Washington State after serving four years on OTA staff. Mirenda will help develop policy strategy through producer engagement, serving as primary staff to its Farmers Advisory Council and building relationships with the organic farming community. Mirenda will also serve as lead technical expert on issues related to crop and livestock materials and standards, and in-house technical lead in international standards evaluation and analysis. Mirenda has served as technical director for the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) since 2015, where she gained extensive experience in policy development, project management and technical writing, and oversaw OMRI Standards Manuals for review of materials to USDA’s National Organic Program regulations and Canadian Organic Regime standards. She also served as OMRI’s primary point of contact for governmental and regulatory bodies, among other duties. Previous to this position, she was policy director for Pennsylvania Certified Organic from 2012-2015.
True Food Innovations (TFI), Newport Beach, Calif.
Christopher Johnson was appointed to the newly created position of chief operating officer, tasked with overseeing the recently launched food-grade-certified 3PL cold chain fulfillment business. He will also be responsible for the company's existing manufacturing, product development and operations, including True Chef meal kits and other upcoming product launches. Previously, Johnson led Chef’d’s white label fulfillment and third-party logistics business, where he was responsible for identifying prospective partners, structuring a broad range of programs utilizing multiple platforms, negotiating contracts and executing ongoing delivery management. He also launched cold chain programs with vegan, individually-quick frozen baby food and liquid consumable offerings. Johnson maintains over 20 years of management experience in food manufacturing, multi-geographic logistics and recycling and human capital management.
The Hain Celestial Group, Inc., Lake Success, N.Y.
Newly appointed chief executive officer Irwin Simon, who’s also the founder, president and CEO, will become non-executive chairman of the board for a transition period to work closely with the incoming chief executive officer.
NightFood Holdings, Inc., Tarrytown, N.Y.
Jim Christensen joined to help launch the nighttime ice cream. Christensen maintains an extensive background in ice cream product development, having spent over 20 years as vice president of ice cream sales at Unilever, where he headed up sales and distribution initiatives for such brands as Ben & Jerry’s, Klondike, Breyers and Good Humor.
Gold Coast Packing Inc., Santa Maria, Calif.
Bill Munger was named new vice president of sales and marketing. Munger brings more than 25 years of foodservice, retail and industrial sales experience. Previously, he served as executive vice president at Greengate Fresh, and prior to that, was chief executive officer of Amerifresh.
Naturipe Farms, Salinas, Calif.
Dustin Hahn was appointed to the newly created role of West Coast sales director for Naturipe Avocado Farms, responsible for leading the development and management of the Western half of the United States and Canada. Previously, Hahn worked at Frieda’s, Inc. He brings over 10 years of business development and retail marketing experience.
BrightFarms, Irvington, N.Y.
David Blau, vice president of strategy and corporate development, and Lacey Lewis, senior vice president of finance, both for Cox Enterprises, joined the board of directors, after Cox Enterprises secured $55 million in a Series D equity financing.
Grafton Village Cheese Co., Grafton, Vt.
Ruth Flore was appointed chief executive officer, effective Aug. 20. Flore currently manages marketing and business development of several partner brands for Norseland Inc., and maintains over two decades of industry experience, including early in her career with Vermont Creamery. Flore also served as president of the American Cheese Society, and co-founded the Cheese of Choice Coalition to protect the production and sales of raw milk cheese in the United States. She also serves on the Advisory Committee for the newly re-launched Oldways Cheese Coalition, is a member of the Guilde Internationale des Fromagers and a judge for the Royal Bath & West British Cheese Awards.
Barberitos, Athens, Ga.
After a 10-year hiatus, Mark Boohaker re-joined as vice president of brand development and technology, focusing on same-store sales and working to integrate Barberitos' online resources over a single platform. Boohaker began his professional career in 2001 as a grill cook. In the years following, he was promoted multiple times, and eventually helped establish the company's operational and marketing standards. After seven years with Barberitos, Boohaker resigned to pursue other opportunities in the restaurant industry, including with the RITA Restaurant Corp. and Your Pie Franchising, where he is credited with conceptualizing and rolling out the company’s million-dollar store operational model.
Boston Pizza International Inc. (BPI), Canada
Peter Blackwell joined as senior vice president, marketing and communications. With 25 years of experience spanning multiple industries, Blackwell will be instrumental in leading Boston Pizza's brand shift to an "approachable, family-friendly sports bar." He also maintains experience working at Volkswagen Canada, Canadian Tire, Kraft Canada and Warner – Lambert Canada Inc.
Toray Plastics (America), Inc., North Kingstown, R.I.
André Lussier was promoted to associate sales representative in the Lumirror Polyester Film division. Lussier joined Toray in 2016 as a process engineer. Previous to that, he was product engineer at Worthen Industries.
Dorner, Hartland, Wis.
Kelly Tebon was named to lead the expansion of Dorner’s aftermarket sales program, where he will work with sales, marketing and channel partners to create and implement long-term strategic plans to grow the aftermarket sales program. Tebon maintains nearly 20 years’ experience in sales, marketing and management, working for major consumer and industrial companies, holding titles such as brand manager, product manager, sales manager, and most recently, global retail channel business manager for a national adhesives manufacturer.
Charlottetown Metal Products (CMP), Canada
Paul LeBlanc joined as chief executive officer. LeBlanc is founder of Arrivals+Departures Marketing (formally Extreme Group) and a partner at VistaCare Communications. Trevor Spinney, formally CMP’s vice president of sales, was promoted to president, while Daniel Tolensky was appointed vice president, finance. Paul Gaddess was named vice president, transformation and continuous improvement. And, Jason MacDougall joined as vice president, operations.
Norfolk Southern Corp., Norfolk, Va.
Vanessa Allen Sutherland was named vice president law, effective immediately. Previously, Allen Sutherland served as chief executive officer and chairperson of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, and as chief counsel with the U.S. Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration; counsel and senior counsel with Philip Morris USA; and corporate counsel, senior corporate counsel and vice president, deputy general counsel with Digex Inc.
Microbiologics, Inc., Saint Cloud, Minn.
Raffaella Giardino joined as executive director, international sales, effective Sept. 3, responsible for leading sales initiatives in the Europe, Middle East and Africa, Latin America and Asia-Pacific regions.. Previously, Giardino was global marketing and strategy executive director, culture media and blood culture for bioMérieux. She began her career as a scientist at the National Research Council, where she collaborated with Cornell University. Giardino also took on sales and marketing roles at FOSS, and served as the R&D and operations director for food diagnostics at the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory at the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense. She then began her tenure at bioMérieux, where she held various marketing and executive roles.
MonarchFx, a business unit of Tompkins International, Raleigh, N.C.
Keith Goldsmith was appointed senior vice president of the company’s new food and beverage sector. He joins MonarchFx after leadership roles as group CIO and senior vice president, Americas, for CEVA Logistics, and more recently, as executive vice president and chief commercial officer of Americold Logistics.
KION GROUP AG, Germany
Susanna Schneeberger was appointed a member of the executive board for a 5-year term starting Oct. 1. Schneeberger will assume strategic responsibility for the supply chain solutions segment, as well as serve as chief digital officer, responsible for managing activities aimed at digitalizing and networking products and processes and further developing IT systems. Most recently, Schneeberger was executive vice president at Konecranes Plc, responsible for corporate strategy, M&A and business development. From 2015 onward, she led DEMAG's global business as managing director and CEO, when the company was still part of the Terex Corp. Between 2007-2014, she held several positions at Trelleborg AB, initially as director of strategic business development, and from 2011, as vice president of sales and marketing in business area industrial solutions. Prior to that, she worked in the software industry from 2000-2006 and for a global media company from 1997-1999.
Macurco Gas Detection, Sioux Falls, S.D.
Ron Unruh joined as vice president of sales. Unruh brings more than 20 years of experience as a sales leader in the detection and instrumentation industry. For the past five years, Unruh was a gas detection sales leader at Honeywell Industrial Safety and RAE Systems by Honeywell. Most recently, he served as manager, wireless business development GPP Team, and previous to that, was sales manager for the Americas Fixed Systems and MeshGuard products. Prior to Honeywell, Unruh was at Tyco-Scott Safety for 13 years, first as regional sales manager, and then as a zone manager for the fixed instrumentation business. Prior to Tyco-Scott Safety, Unruh was regional sales manager at Biosystems, Inc. (currently Honeywell) and technical instrument specialist at Orr Safety Corp.
CBRE, Saddle Brook, N.J.
Thomas Monahan was promoted to vice chairman. Monahan has been at the forefront of several market-changing transactions, including the sale between Morris Cos. and Prologis in 2015, which included eight industrial properties and 13 retail centers. More recently, he and his team handled a 923,000-sqaure-foot lease to an e-commerce company on behalf of Seagis Property Group, and a 695,000-square-foot lease to a Fortune 100 company on behalf of Prologis. Monahan and his partners also advised Bridge Development/Duke Realty on the e-port project, including site acquisition, development advisory, marketing and lease-up and portfolio disposition for the 3-building project.
Amerijet International, Inc., Miami, Fla.
Jon Olin was appointed senior vice president of corporate strategy and administration, responsible for developing and guiding strategic growth opportunities for the company and leading various administrative functions for Amerijet International Airlines. He maintains over 20 years of aviation and logistics experience in law, risk, regulation and general management. Prior to Amerijet, Olin spent 15 years as chief administrative officer with Deutsche Post-DHL, where he helped complete a corporate turnaround and strategic sale of Southern Air. Also, Derry Huff was promoted to vice president of sales and marketing, where he will oversee the overall sales, marketing and development of the Amerijet portfolio of products, including domestic and international scheduled air and RFS services, interline, charter sales, new route/market development and the management of corporate level relationships with its major forwarder accounts. Previously, Huff was vice president of strategic initiatives. Since joining Amerijet in 1989, Huff has served as second officer, first officer and captain on the Boeing 727, as well as chief pilot and director of operations. In 2008, he transitioned from operations to business development, where he supported the commercial growth of Amerijet.
JOH, Billerica, Mass.
Tracy Ann Simmonds joined the metro produce division as vendor management inventory specialist. Her career began in 1996 as an assistant produce coordinator at Pathmark, before moving on to become a produce analyst for Wakefern.
Airmaster, Clarkdale, Mich.
Michael Fisette was named digital marketing specialist, responsible for the development, implementation and measuring of marketing and communications strategies for social media, paid search, display, re-targeting and contextual campaigns. He will also develop and maintain all of Airmaster’s corporate websites, social channels and blogs. Fisette maintains more than 25 years of marketing experience. Previously, he worked as a website developer, marketing manager and a director of marketing for a number of different industries, including automotive, real estate, education, medical and industrial. Fisette also served in the United States Army in the 82nd Airborne.
Flair Flexible Packaging Corp., Appleton, Wis.
James Hartman joined the applied engineering team, where he will apply his extensive background in packaging equipment and processes to help manufacturers test new packaging films, start new packaging systems, troubleshoot packaging challenges and optimize packaging lines. Hartman has spent 15 years working in technical/mechanical roles supporting equipment installation, repair and maintenance, most recently as a field service technician with CP Packaging. He maintains expertise in building, installing and debugging form-fill-seal (FFS) machines, running factory acceptance tests and site acceptance tests and providing technical support.