International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C.
Danielle Quist was named senior director of regulatory affairs and counsel, responsible for working with members and government agencies on environmental, worker safety, bioengineered foods labeling and sustainability issues. She also will serve as the association’s legal counsel on issues involving contracts, antitrust and statutory and regulatory interpretation. Quist has served as senior counsel for public policy for the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) for the past 14 years, where she worked with lobbyists and coalitions to develop advocacy strategies and draft legislation and regulatory comments to secure positive policy outcomes for the nation’s farmers. She was also the co-lead for AFBF’s legal advocacy program, winning cases, resolving issues and securing policy outcomes for farms, ranches and the entire agricultural community. Before that, Quist worked on Capitol Hill, serving as a counsel on the House Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Natural Resources and Regulatory Affairs. She is also a former associate of Howrey Simon Arnold & White, LLP, and served as a law clerk in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.
Short Line Safety Institute (SLSI), Washington, D.C.
Sam Cotton was appointed senior manager - safety and operations, replacing Mike Long, who recently accepted a position with the Federal Railroad Administration. Cotton will be responsible for the management of the Safety Culture Assessment program. Cotton has served as safety culture assessor for the SLSI since 2015, where he helped develop and test protocols and processes. For the past two years, he has served as team lead. Cotton maintains over 18 years of railroad safety operations experience, having spent 12 years working in law enforcement, followed by a second career in railroading, where he held a variety of operations roles with Omnitrax, including conductor, engineer, trainmaster, superintendent of operations and general manager. He also served on the Omnitrax Safety Audit Team and audited multiple railroads across the United States and Canada.
Renaissance Food Group, Rancho Cordova, Calif.
Daniel Klausner joined as director of produce sales, East, tasked with maintaining existing customer relationships and developing new business. With 25 years in the produce industry, Klausner brings a wealth of sales experience, including understanding of complex logistics and production operations and capturing long-term opportunities through understanding of customer needs. Raina Nelson was named senior vice president supply chain, responsible for continuing to streamline operations.
PepsiCo, Inc., Purchase, N.Y.
Ramon Laguarta will succeed Indra Nooyi as chief executive officer, effective Oct. 3, a position Nooyi has served for 12 years. Nooyi has been with the company for 24 years, and will remain chairman until early 2019. Laguarta has held a number of executive and general management roles in his 22 years at PepsiCo. Since September 2017, Laguarta has served as president of PepsiCo, overseeing global operations, corporate strategy, public policy and government affairs. Previously, Laguarta served as chief executive officer, Europe Sub-Saharan Africa, and prior to that, served as president, PepsiCo Eastern Europe region. He also served in a variety of sales, marketing and other commercial roles across Europe. Prior to PepsiCo, Laguarta worked for Chupa Chups, S.A., where he held a number of international roles in Europe and the United States.
The Castellini Group of Cos., Cincinnati
Brian Jenny joins CC Kitchens, LLC, Sharonville, Ohio, as vice president and general manager in charge of the Sharonville and Atlanta plant locations, including operations and sales. Previously, Jenny served in sales, business development, operations and marketing for Naturally Fresh, Monterey Mushrooms Inc., and most recently, Naturipe Farms, where he led the sales, operations and P&L for a fresh processing business serving convenient, on-the-go produce. Jenny is also chairman of United Fresh Produce Associations Fresh-cut Processor Segment Board. Greg Kurkjian joins Crosset Co., LLC as vice president and general manager, replacing Tim Shepard, who is retiring. Kurkjian served as retail sales director for Club Chef from 1995-1998. He also maintains a broad experience base leading sales efforts with Fresh Express, Mann Packing, Ready Pac Produce, and most recently, IFCO Systems.
Sanderson Farms, Inc., Laurel, Miss.
David Barksdale was elected to the company's board of directors, effective Aug. 7, serving as a Class A director. Barksdale currently serves as managing member of Alluvian Capital, LLC. He was also co-chairman from 2014-2018 and chief executive officer of Spread Networks, LLC from 2009-2014. He serves on the board of Servato Corp. Barksdale previously worked as an attorney at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, handling primarily private equity, mergers and acquisitions and non-profit matters. He has also served on the board of the National World War II Museum and the Advisory Board of the New Orleans BioInnovation Center.
The Kroger Co., Cincinnati
Valerie Jabbar, currently president of the Ralphs division, was appointed group vice president of merchandising, effective Sept. 1. Jabbar began her Kroger career in 1987 as a clerk in the Fry's division. She has held several leadership roles, including assistant store director, category manager, drug/general merchandise coordinator, corporate seasonal manager and director of drug/general merchandise, as well as district manager in the Fry's division. In 2012, she moved to the Mid-Atlantic division to serve as vice president of merchandising before joining the Ralphs division in 2013 as vice president of merchandising. Jabbar was promoted to division president in July 2016. She serves as president of the Food Industries Circle and is a board member for the Western Association of Food Chains, as well as the food industry executive in residence for the USC Marshall School of Business. Mike Murphy, vice president of operations for the Columbus division, will succeed Jabbar as president of the Ralphs division. Murphy joined Kroger in 1999 as an accountant in the company's auditing department. He moved to finance in 2001 and then to drug/general merchandise to manage financial reporting and analysis. In 2004, he completed the management development program in the Cincinnati/Dayton division, and in 2005, was named a category manager for drug/general merchandise and personal care. In 2007, he moved to the Central division in Indiana and served as assistant merchandiser for both drug/general merchandise and grocery. In 2011, Murphy moved to the Louisville division as a grocery merchandiser, and was promoted to district manager in 2014. He was promoted to vice president of merchandising in the Columbus division in 2016, and then to his current role in 2017. And, Gil Phipps, currently vice president of Our Brands, was promoted to vice president of branding, marketing and Our Brands, effective Aug. 15. Phipps joined the company in 2012, and led the transformation of Our Brands by elevating recipes and product formulations, inserting personality into packaging, increasing customer loyalty, driving record sales growth and more. Phipps was also instrumental in introducing the Simple Truth brand. Phipps started his grocery career in 1987 as a store director for Fresh Plus Grocery. Following that role, he became brand manager for Guiltless Gourmet, before moving into brand marketing positions at both Michael Angelo's Gourmet Foods and Hormel Foods. In 2001, Phipps joined H-E-B as a brand manager before earning a series of promotions that placed him as the leader of H-E-B's store brands program.
Borden, Dallas, Texas
Craig Musgrove was appointed to the newly created position of chief sales officer, effective immediately. Musgrove maintains more than 27 years of experience in sales and the food industry. He most recently served as senior vice president of sales for PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay unit, where he was responsible for Frito-Lay’s business with Walmart, supermarkets, e-commerce, club and natural customers.
Sara Lee Frozen Bakery, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.
Carson Funderburk was hired as chief supply chain officer, responsible for ensuring the company’s end-to-end supply chain is efficient, sustainable and provides seamless resources and support to the manufacturing facilities. Prior to Sara Lee, Funderburk spent 17 years at General Mills, and worked at Procter & Gamble immediately prior. Matt Beliveau joined as chief human resources officer, responsible for helping build the corporate leadership team at the Oakbrook Terrace headquarters and engaging the company’s 1,300 employees across all sites. Beliveau spent the past 4 years at Morton Salt, and prior to that, spent 13 years at General Mills. He also served for four years on active duty in the U.S. military as a logistics officer. And, Colin Schneid joined as chief information officer, leading technology innovation and support systems. Previously, he worked at OSI Group, and before that, spent 17 years in technology roles at Georgia Pacific.
Fresh Market, Inc., Greensboro, N.C.
Oded Shein was appointed chief financial officer, providing leadership and direction to profitably execute on the corporate growth strategy. Shein maintains more than 25 years of financial experience from a variety of retail stores, including serving as executive vice president and CFO at Stage Stores, Inc. In addition, he has held senior financial leadership positions at Belk, Inc. and Charming Shoppes, Inc.
H-E-B, San Antonio, Texas
Mike Georgoff was appointed chief product officer, H-E-B Digital, tasked with driving H-E-B’s omnichannel growth and leading the company’s digital product strategy, design and development. Most recently, Georgoff served as chief product officer at Main Street Hub, which was acquired by GoDaddy earlier this year. Prior to Main Street Hub, he held critical leadership roles at Redbox and RetailMeNot, helping to propel each from early-stage businesses to $1 billion-plus public companies.
Potatoes USA, Denver, Colo.
Kayla Dome joined as global marketing manager for the retail sector. Dome maintains a background in merchandising and sales. She spent the last several years working in the produce industry for Grimmway Farms, where she managed sales and merchandising for the fresh produce category. Most recently, she was regional manager at Grimmway Farms, responsible for developing integrated programs in the United States and Canada and creating sales and field merchandising programs for the company’s carrots, organic vegetable and beverage product lines.
Tanimura & Antle, Salinas, Calif.
Don Klusendorf was hired as executive vice president of sales and marketing. Previously, Klusendorf served as vice president of sales and marketing at Bonipak Produce, where he has worked since 2008. He maintains over 20 years of management experience in the floral industry.
Michael Osanloo was named chief executive officer, effective Oct. 1, succeeding Keith Kinsey, who is retiring after leading the company since 2015. Osanloo has served as president and CEO of P.F. Chang’s since 2015. Osanloo maintains deep experience with consumer and retail brands, having held leadership roles at Kraft Foods Group, Caesars Entertainment Corp. and Bain & Co.
Haskell, Jacksonville, Fla.
James O’Leary was appointed chief executive officer, O’Leary was appointed president last summer. He will now hold both titles succeeding Steve Halverson, who has held the positions for the past 19 years. Halverson will continue to serve as chairman. O’Leary joined Haskell in 1989, and has held several key positions, including field engineer, project manager, senior project manager, director, vice president, senior vice president, executive vice president, chief operating officer and president.
Swisslog Logistics Automation Americas, Newport News, Va.
Rodney Clemmer was named vice president of the software and controls hub. Clemmer maintains a long track record in managing large software and controls teams in both development and implementation environments, including 8 years with IBM, and most recently, 10 years with GE.
Fleet Advantage, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Jon Keller was named senior vice president of sales. Keller is a seasoned sales veteran with extensive knowledge and experience in fleet leasing, asset management and lifecycle cost management. Previously, he served as vice president sales, East for Merchants Fleet Management, where he was responsible for managing sales representatives in over a dozen states focused on business development and customer retention strategies.
Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, Long Beach, Calif.
Casey Hehr was appointed to lead the security division, effective Aug. 4. Hehr has been with the Port of Long Beach since November 2016, serving as assistant director of security. He has been the acting director of the division since March, following the retirement of the previous director. Prior to his position at the port, Hehr served with the U.S. Coast Guard for more than 20 years, retiring as chief of operations and response for the Los Angeles-Long Beach Sector.
EROAD, Portland, Ore.
Sharon Babkes joined as vice president, finance. Babkes maintains 18 years of experience in the accounting and finance departments from The Walt Disney Co., Sony Pictures Entertainment and Princess Cruise Lines, as well as a private financial services company. Yasi Alemzadeh was named vice president, operations. Alemzadeh spent the last 18 years with AMCS Group, focusing on account management, operations and customer success. Keith Halasy was brought on to lead marketing in North America. Halasy maintains 20 years of experience, with 12 years in fleet telematics through roles at Telenav Enterprise, Fleetcor and Azuga.
IN MEMORIUM: DENNIS LEATHERBY, TYSON FOODS
Dennis Leatherby, retired chief financial officer of Tyson Foods, Springdale, Ark., passed away suddenly Aug. 6, just four months after leaving the company.
Leatherby spent 28 years working his way up from assistant treasurer to chief financial officer, a role he held from 2008 until his retirement.
Leatherby started out as a corporate banker, and after working with the company on acquisitions in the late 1980s, he helped Tyson with the acquisition of Holly Farms, before joining Tyson Foods as an employee.