Boston Market names COO, AIB International appoints chairman of trustees, and more personnel announcements
United Fresh Produce Association, Washington, D.C.
Sarah Grady, U.S. strategic supply chain manager for produce, fruit, potato and beverage categories at McDonald’s Corp., was elected to the board of directors, replacing Shannon Mikulskis, program lead, distribution at Chick-fil-A, who resigned due to a change in her time availability. Grady is a current member of the Retail-Foodservice Board at United Fresh, and will take on the vice chairmanship of that board as well.
Feeding America, Chicago
Claire Babineaux-Fontenot was appointed chief executive officer, effective Oct. 1. Previously, Babineaux-Fontenot worked as a partner and partner-in-charge at Adams and Reese LLP. She also held various posts at PwC, including dispute resolution practice group leader for the Southwest and for the State of Louisiana, which included assistant secretary for the Office of Legal Affairs and administrative law judge for the Louisiana Department of Civil Service. Babineaux-Fontenot has also sat on the board of trustees for National Urban League and served on the national board of directors for Court Appointed Special Advocates and the board for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. She sat on the corporate advisory board for the Association of Latino Professionals for America and the board of directors for the National Association of Black Accountants. She also served on the executive committee of the global board of directors for the Walmart Foundation, as well as on the audit committee for Walmart Chile S.A.
Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, Maitland, Fla.
Mike Joyner was named new president, effective Oct. 15, taking over for outgoing president Mike Stuart, who is retiring. Most recently, he served as assistant commissioner of agriculture and chief of staff for Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, helping to lead the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for almost eight years. Before that, Joyner represented clients throughout Florida and the United States before the Florida Legislature and state regulatory agencies. He also served in public affairs and environmental affairs positions for The St. Joe Co. and Progress Energy (now Duke Energy), and worked as chief of staff for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
AIB International, Manhattan, Kan.
Brad Allen, vice president of operations of Ardent Mills, will serve as the next chairman of the board of trustees, effective Oct. 26. Allen’s career in the milling industry spans more than two decades. Prior to joining Ardent Mills, he served 18 years with ConAgra Foods, where he gained experience in wheat, corn and oat milling, vegetable processing/dehydration, spice milling, blending, flavor manufacturing and crop production. Allen was also recently appointed to the board of directors for the American Bakers Association. Also new to the board of trustees for a 3-year term are Mahirwan Bhagia, senior director of global governance and compliance at PepsiCo, and Jorge Zarate, global senior vice president of operations for Grupo Bimbo. Bhagia has worked for PepsiCo for more than 22 years, and currently leads global initiatives to deliver safe, high-quality product across more than 1,080 manufacturing plants. Zarate has worked for Bimbo for more than 30 years.
BRF S.A., Brazil
Elcio Ito will become the new chief financial and investor relations officer, taking over for Lorival Luz, global executive vice president, who held this position on an interim basis. Elcio joined BRF in 2011, and as led the company through challenges in the treasury, financial planning, investment, market risk and investor relations areas. In 2017, he served as chief financial officer for 6 months, and in October 2017, became chief integrated planning officer, responsible for the integrated planning, commodity, international logistics and market intelligence areas. Leonardo Dallorto, who since March has served as chief industrial operations officer, will become new chief integrated planning officer. He joined the company in 2011 as director and led the procurement, integrated planning and logistics areas for the South region. Rubens Pereira was named new strategy, management and innovation officer, effective Oct. 1. Pereira has served as global strategy and innovation officer of Cargill’s vegetable oil division since 2004. He maintains over 20 years of experience at Booz-Allen & Hamilton and Boston Consulting Group.
Grimmway Farms, Bakersfield, Calif.
Dana Culhane Brennan was named director of corporate and government affairs to oversee the development and implementation of policies involving local, state and government affairs and functioning as the official spokesperson for Grimmway’s global operations. Most recently, Brennan served as chief of staff for California’s 16th State Senate District, and has worked under Senate Republication Leader Emeritus Jean Fuller since 2007. During her tenure at the State Capitol, she oversaw the development and execution of the Senator’s legislative agenda, directed operations and duties of staff in both Capitol and District offices and supervised all district-specific communications. Brennan maintains extensive knowledge of political processes and more than a decade’s worth of experience cultivating partnerships across community, government and business sectors.
True World Group, Rockleigh, N.J.
Veteran food safety specialist Neil Checketts was appointed to serve as vice president of food safety and compliance. Checketts is the organization’s first group-wide food safety executive, responsible for overseeing food safety personnel and programs across the group’s seafood, grocery and restaurant companies. Checketts is a registered environmental health scientist who most recently held executive positions at Kneaders Bakery and Café. He joined the company as vice president of food safety and quality assurance in 2015, and was promoted to chief operating officer a year later. He also spent six years with Walmart in various food safety roles, including senior director of food safety; four years as vice president of food safety, quality assurance, quality control and regulatory affairs for Sobeys Inc.; and supervisory positions with several local health departments in Utah.
Brothers Produce, Houston, Texas
James Brock joined in the newly created position of marketing and media director, tasked with guiding and developing the company’s overall marketing agenda, including media relations, social media and community relations. In addition, he will help strengthen overall brand development and messaging in the marketplace. Brock has held editorial positions with print and broadcast news organizations around the world, including writing and editing roles in New York, Paris, Dubai and Houston. In addition to his journalism career, Brock has worked in the kitchens of restaurants in Brooklyn, Spain, Germany and Paris. In 2014, he founded The Brockhaus. Previously, he served as director of advancement for Recipe for Success Foundation.
Always Fresh Farms, Winter Haven, Fla.
Keith Mixon joined as a senior advisor to the executive team, responsible for professional growth through mentoring sales and marketing employees, working to improve administrative systems and processes and overall strategies with customers and suppliers.
Boston Market, Golden, Colo.
Eric Wyatt was named chief operating officer, tasked with developing and executing the company’s strategic plan. Wyatt maintains more than 20 years of restaurant operations experience. Previously, he served as vice president of operations for a large Panera Bread franchisee, where he was responsible for all aspects of the company’s day-to-day operations, including retail, marketing, recruiting, human resources, catering, facilities and bakery. Prior to Panera Bread, he held senior operational leadership roles with Starbucks, Taco Bell, Bath & Body Works and Mobil Oil.
Four Foods Group (FFG), American Fork, Utah
Shauna Smith was named president, where she will lead a team of more than 5,500 FFG employees running 154 restaurants in locations across the United States. In addition to co-founding FFG, Smith served as the company’s chief merchandising officer for 10 years. Since co-founding FFG in 2008, Smith was directly involved with day-to-day operations of the company’s first Kneaders Bakery and Café restaurant. After operating in every capacity of the restaurant on a day-to-day basis for the first year, she began directing all of FFG’s buying and merchandising of the retail operations inside the company’s 50 Kneaders restaurants. As FFG broadened its scope through the acquisition of 71 Little Caesar’s restaurants in the Southeast, plus acquisitions of R&R Barbeque, Swig, Mo‘Bettahs and the Soda Shop brands, Shauna played a pivotal role in welcoming new employees into the FFG culture.
Yum! Brands, Inc., Louisville, Ky.
Tony Lowings was promoted to division chief executive officer of KFC, effective Jan. 1, 2019, succeeding Roger Eaton, who is retiring at the end of the year. Lowings, a 24-year veteran of the company, currently serves as KFC division president and COO. In his new role, Lowings will assume global responsibility for driving the brand strategy and performance of KFC. Lowings has held a variety of leadership positions at Yum! Brands across finance, operations and general management in several international business units. Prior to becoming president and COO of KFC earlier this year, Lowings was managing director of Asia-Pacific, representing 23 markets and comprising more than 50% of all KFC restaurants. During this time, Lowings provided coaching and support to the KFC business units in India, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and the Asia franchise business unit. He previously served as managing director of KFC SOPAC (Australia and New Zealand), where he was instrumental in growing the business. Lowings’ career at the company includes roles as chief operations officer of Yum! Restaurants International, managing director of Latin America and the Caribbean for KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell and general manager of KFC and Pizza Hut in Australia and New Zealand. Eaton has been with Yum! Brands and KFC for more than 20 years, leading the KFC brand globally since 2014. Throughout his career with the company, he has held a number of leadership positions, including chief operations officer of Yum! Brands, chief executive officer of KFC U.S., chief operating and development officer of Yum! Brands and senior vice president and managing director of Yum! Restaurants International South Pacific (SOPAC), among others.
Allen Lund Co., La Cañada Flintridge Calif.
Wendy Adan was promoted to assistant manager of the company’s San Francisco office. Adan has been with Allen Lund Co. for 11 years, and was promoted to her current position of operations manager in 2015. She maintains over 18 years of experience in transportation and logistics. Morgan Underwood was promoted to operations manager of the company’s San Francisco office. Underwood has been with Allen Lund Co. for 10 years, and was promoted to her current position of senior transportation broker in 2017.
CBRE, Los Angeles
Ken Stern joined as the company’s first vice president to work nationally with retail-center owners seeking to place restaurants, bars and other uses around their centers. Stern maintains 31 years in retail real estate. Previously, Stern was senior vice president of peripheral development at DDR Corp., where he was responsible for managing, supervising and strategically planning the entire U.S. platform of DDR’s peripheral land opportunities. His primary focus was on leasing, land sales and development to national and regional restaurants. Stern is active in the International Council of Shopping Centers, where he currently sits on the executive board for the Food for Thought Committee.
A.P. Moller – Maersk, Denmark
Vincent Clerc, chief commercial officer of Maersk, will lead the new integrated commercial organization with Damco. Klaus Rud Sejling, chief executive officer of Damco, will take on a new position as head of Maersk’s logistics and services products. Saskia Groen In’t Woud will be chief executive officer of Damco Freight Forwarding; she is currently chief operating officer of Damco.
Northrop Grumman Corp., Falls Church, Va.
Ann Addison was elected corporate vice president and chief human resources officer, effective Jan. 1, 2019, succeeding Denise Peppard, who announced her intention to retire in March 2019. Addison previously served as executive vice president and chief human resources officer of Leidos.
REGI U.S., Inc., Spokane, Wash.
Jeff White, chief financial officer of the company’s wholly owned subsidiary, RadMax Technologies, Inc., announced plans to leave the company, effective Sept. 30, to become chief executive officer of a technology-focused business accelerator. As a result, Paul Chute, chairman of the board, will also become chief financial officer. During his tenure at RadMax, Chute has been involved in debt, equity and M&A transactions while leading the company’s investor relations activities.