Myrtle Consulting Group, Houston, Texas
Michael Neff was named vice president and sector lead for food and beverage (F&B) and consumer packaged goods (CPG). Neff maintains over 25 years of experience in the CPG industry. Previously, Neff served as managing director at Accenture and partner at CSC in the consumer, fashion and retail segments. Neff also spent time at Proctor & Gamble, where he was instrumental in Pringles reaching profitability and $300 million in revenue after three consecutive years of loss.
Canadian Centre for Food Integrity (CCFI), Canada
President Crystal Mackay announced plans to step down end of April.
The Organic Center, Washington, D.C.
Dr. Amber Sciligo joined as manager of science programs, tasked with working with researchers, industry, farmers and policymakers to identify organic research needs, facilitate project implementation and communicate scientific results across the organic sector. She also will lead the center's reports that compile current science on critical issues affecting organic food and farming, and head the center's grant-writing program. Sciligo maintains extensive post-doctoral experience in interdisciplinary projects that focus on population structure and health of honeybees and bumblebees in California. It also included participatory research in land access for Latino farmers in the California Central Coast, native bee pollination services to strawberry crops and the costs/benefits to diversified farming within the organic sector using an integrated environmental, social and economic framework. Sciligo most recently conducted sustainability consulting in Ag and Food Production & Research.
The Hain Celestial Group, Inc., Lake Success, N.Y.
Chris Boever was appointed chief customer officer, effective immediately, taking over for Gary Tickle, chief executive officer of Hain Celestial North America, who will leave the company after a brief transition. Mark Schiller, president and CEO, will remain president, as Hain Celestial eliminates the CEO role. Boever will be responsible for driving the U.S. sales and customer agenda and helping ensure Hain Celestial transforms its innovation capabilities. Boever maintains more than 20 years of consumer packaged foods industry experience, where he served in executive roles at Pinnacle Foods, Inc., Conagra Brands, Inc. and Hormel Foods Corp. Most recently, Boever served as executive vice president, chief customer officer and president of foodservice for Pinnacle Foods, where he was responsible for overseeing its multi-billion dollar businesses to re-shape and reinvigorate growth. And, Robert Gulliver was named chief human resources officer. Gulliver maintains 25 years of human resources leadership experience from multi-billion dollar organizations, including The National Football League, Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup Global Investment Management, Price Waterhouse Coopers and General Electric Capital Corp. He joins Hain Celestial from The National Football League, where he was responsible for developing and ensuring world-class human resources for the leagues, owners and clubs. Over his career, Gulliver has partnered with executive leadership teams to create robust talent management processes and programs both in the United States and internationally.
Fresh-Link Produce, Monterey, Calif.
Aaron Aliotti was promoted to assistant general manager for the tomato division, responsible for streamlining department efficiencies and generating customer programs surrounding field, re-pack and Hot House tomato programs. Aliotti first joined Fresh-Link Tomato in 2011 as sales account manager, where he was responsible for growing sales and maintaining strategic partnerships with customers and suppliers alike. During this time, he served as a point person for the division, spearheading both local and national programs.
The Nunes Co., Salinas, Calif.
Tom Nunes was elected president, taking over for Tom Nunes, Jr., who has served as president since 2006 and will remain as executive vice president. Nunes began working for the company over 20 years ago.
California Giant Berry Farms, Watsonville, Calif.
Eric Valenzuela was hired as food safety manager and founder of the company’s internal “Green Team,” tasked with managing the company’s new sustainability initiatives.
Ahold Delhaize, The Netherlands
Farhan Siddiqi was named chief digital officer, effective Jan. 28, tasked with driving digital transformation and innovation across Ahold Delhaize's local brands. Farhan previously served as chief digital officer for McDonald's, where he led the restaurant chain's digital transformation, including the launch of mobile commerce in 20,000 restaurants, a new mobile app and the upgrade of self-service ordering kiosks. He was also responsible for data analytics and extending customer relationship management capabilities. Prior to this, Farhan held several key leadership positions within Bank of America, Target and General Electric, where he implemented customer loyalty programs, digital payment solutions and strategic partnerships.
Jacobs Farm Del Cabo, Santa Cruz, Calif.
David Arana was hired as strategic sourcing manager, responsible for supply chain fortification across the company’s top commodities. He will also lead the strategic sourcing and growth of the company’s vetted partner grower base. Previously, Arana served as director of supply chain development for DiMare International. He maintains over 20 years of experience in agriculture, with a focus on supply chain management, logistics and sourcing.
Raley’s, West Sacramento, Calif.
Laura Croff was promoted to vice president of people, charged with leading the company’s human resources strategy , including labor relations, team member relations, compensation, benefits and talent acquisition. Croff most recently served as senior director of human resources, where she led HR business partners and team member relations groups. Croff maintains more than 20 years in human resources. She worked for Raley’s from 2005-2011 and returned to the organization in 2016. Prior to Raley’s, Croff worked as director of human resources and labor relations for Farmers’ Rice Cooperative.
Grafton Village Cheese, Grafton, Vt.
Mariano Gonzalez joined as head cheesemaker, effective Feb. 1, tasked with supervising all aspects of cheesemaking, including production, development, aging and procurement. Gonzalez maintains over 30 years of experience. His career began at Shelburne Farms, where he developed a traditional clothbound English-style cheddar. In 2001, he became head cheesemaker at Fiscalini Cheese Co., where he developed the company’s bandage-wrapped cheddar, San Joaquin Gold and Lionza. He has also worked for USAID as part of its Farmer to Farmer program, helping develop the cheese industry in Central and South America.
4Front Holdings, LLC, Phoenix, Ariz.
Glenn Backus was tapped to serve as president of Mission, the company's network of branded retail operations. Previously, he served as vice president of buying at Trader Joe's, where he led buying teams across national and regional categories and worked with category leaders to create, develop and bring to market 600 new items a year. He also previously served as vice president of store operations for Trader Joe’s New York, New Jersey and Ohio locations. Previous to Trader Joe's, Backus was appointed president of Sunflower Markets (a subsidiary of Supervalu), where he grew the company's profitability by increasing sales, right-sizing underlying cost structures, optimizing product mix, driving innovation, building the brand and increasing customer and employee engagement. Following Sunflower's acquisition by Albertson's, Backus served as director of marketing and strategy at H-E-B, and then as senior vice president of brand, innovation and retail strategy. Most recently, Backus served as principle for a boutique consulting company that provides innovative solutions to persistent problems in customer experience, product, merchandising and marketing. He's also founder of Revolution Brands, and a faculty member at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management in Chicago, where he teaches MBA-level classes on innovation, business strategy and leadership.
Brooks Tropicals Holding, Inc., Homestead, Fla.
Javier Gonzalez Ebra joined as sales manager. Ebra maintains a 2-decade career in the produce business, having worked with Del Monte, Frontera and Freedom Fresh.
Target Corp., Minneapolis
Chief financial officer Cathy Smith announced plans to retire from the company, and then move to an advisory role until May 2020. Meanwhile, Stephanie Lundquist was named president of food and beverage, charged with overseeing the full spectrum of all merchandising and operations for food and beverage, including strategy development and implementation. She will also focus on accelerating progress, strengthening cross-functional alignment and driving operational excellence throughout the enterprise. Lundquist joined Target in 2005, and has served as chief HR officer since 2016. Melissa Kremer, senior vice president HR, was promoted to chief HR officer, taking on leadership of the enterprise-wide human resources strategy for Target’s 350,000 team members globally. Kremer, who has been with the company since 2004, has led HR strategy and operations; HR business partnership, including support of Target’s largest commercial businesses; and the talent management functions of recruiting, learning, leadership development and strategic workforce planning. Katie Boylan, senior vice president, communications, was chief communications officer, with oversight of internal communication, corporate and brand communication, public affairs and crisis and issues management. Boylan joined Target in 2011, and maintains 20 years of experience with multiple national consumer brands. Mike McNamara, chief information officer, will now lead the Enterprise Data Analytics and Business Intelligence team, in addition to his leadership of Target’s Technology Services. Under McNamara’s leadership, the team will continue to provide data-driven counsel and expertise to enterprise business partners. McNamara joined Target in 2015 after serving in various roles with Tesco. Rick Gomez was named chief marketing and digital officer and will now lead Target’s digital team, focusing on personalization, loyalty and the overall shopping experience. Gomez joined Target in 2013, and was named chief marketing officer in 2017, with a focus on strengthening Target’s brand positioning and driving the business. Prior to Target, Gomez held various positions at MillerCoors, PepsiCo and the Quaker Oats Co.
Rego Restaurant Group, Denver, Colo.
The parent company of Quiznos and Taco Del Mar Restaurant named restaurant industry veteran Tim Casey as president and CEO, succeeding Gerry Lopez, who served as CEO and chairman on behalf of parent company High Bluff Capital Partners to set up its two initial investments. Casey previously served as president and CEO of PepperJax Grill and as president of QDOBA Mexican Grill. Earlier in his career, he was vice president at Starbucks Coffee Co.
Domino's Pizza, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Stu Levy was named executive vice president of supply chain, effective Jan. 21. Levy most recently served as executive vice president, chief transformation officer for Republic Services, Inc. Prior to joining Republic, Levy spent 13 years with Bain & Co., serving as a partner from 2008-2014, where he advised clients on strategy, marketing, organization, operations, technology and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to Bain & Co., Levy had leadership roles at McMaster-Carr Supply Co., Utility Management Services Group and Andersen Consulting.
City Barbeque, Columbus, Ohio
Mike Muldoon was named president and COO. Muldoon maintains more than 25 years of experience in c-suite restaurant management. In roles ranging from executive leadership to operations management and human resources, he’s developed and implemented strategic plans, increased sales and attracted and retained top talent for restaurants worldwide for both new concepts and brand expansions.
SCS Global Services, Emeryville, Calif.
Sustainable agriculture veteran Jim Knutzon assumed oversight of the food and agriculture services division. Knutzon has been instrumental in shaping SCS’ service offerings for more than three decades. For example, he provided program development and operational leadership for 10 years before leaving SCS to become president and CEO of Farm Fresh Direct, LLC. He re-joined the SCS team in 2016 as vice president. Earlier in his career, Knutzon worked in the agricultural chemical business, then later co-founded Valley Fresh Distributing.
Kool Logistics, LLC, Omaha, Neb.
John Druckenmiller re-joined the company as director of customer sales for the company’s new Nashville, Tenn., location. Druckenmiller has been associated with Kool since 2010. He also previously worked at CFX, C.H. Robinson and Tom Lange Logistics.
Twinlode Automation, South Bend, Ind.
Richard Kooistra was named vice president of automation. He most recently led domestic and international sales with Swisslog, where he managed aspects of product development and innovation. Kooistra maintains almost 30 years of experience within the material handling industry, including managing projects that include rack, power store automation, automated storage and retrieval systems, push-back and flow-through storage systems.
OIA Global, Portland, Ore.
Keith Lovetro was named new chief executive officer. Lovetro maintains more than 35 years of experience in shipping, freight and transportation services. Previously, Lovetro was chief executive officer of TRAC Intermodal, where he doubled the company's revenue during a difficult industry transition. He’s also worked for FedEx, DHL and YRC, where he developed his finance, commercial and operating expertise.
Paine Schwartz Partners, LLC, San Mateo, Calif.
John Novak was promoted to managing director; Alex Corbacho was promoted to director; and Brian Thies was promoted to principal. In addition, Stephen Padgette was appointed managing director, technology of the company’s Portfolio Excellence Platform, focusing on technology and its application across the food and agriculture value chain and in the Paine Schwartz portfolio.
Berken Solutions, Watertown, Wis.
Brett Allard was appointed project manager, tasked with managing the company’s application engineering and project management initiatives. Allard most recently served as an industrial engineer for RGL Logistics, and has held various engineering and project management positions at other industrial and material handling companies.
Neogen Corp., Lansing, Mich.
Dr. Jason Lilly was appointed to the newly created position of vice president of international business, responsible for maximizing the revenues and profits for operations outside of the United States and Canada. Lilly joined Neogen in 2005, and has spent the past eight years as Neogen's vice president of corporate development, where he completed 20 acquisitions.
FoodLogiQ, Durham, N.C.
Sean O'Leary was appointed chief executive officer, effective Jan. 7, taking over for Jamie Duke, who has served as interim CEO since August 2018 and board member since 2014. Duke will continue as a member of the board and advisor to the company. O’Leary maintains over 25 years of experience in the technology industry. Prior to his most recent role as chief executive officer of Synthio, O'Leary served as president and CEO of KnowledgeTree Inc., which was acquired by Savo Group in 2017. Prior to KnowledgeTree, O'Leary served as president and CEO of StrikeIron, which was acquired by Informatica in 2014. O'Leary has also held senior executive-level positions at Motorola, Good Technology and Cisco Systems.
LTI, Inc., Jonesboro, Ga.
Chance Hunt was named new product manager, in position to play an integral role in product development and introducing existing products to new markets and industries. Hunt maintains over 20 years of experience in the food equipment industry, holding various roles in design engineering, sales, product line management and national account management at Unified Brands (Randell).
IN MEMORIUM: BRUCE WAREHAM, ICEWATER SEAFOODS
Bruce Wareham, a pioneer in Canada’s seafood industry, passed away Jan. 4 after a brief battle with cancer.
Wareham was a long-time senior executive with National Sea Products Ltd./High Liner Foods Inc., Canada, and ultimately founder and chairman of the Icewater Group of Cos. During his 55-year career in the seafood industry, Wareham was a leader in innovation, adaptation to change and quality-focused seafood processing.
Wareham also served as a board member of the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation, the National Seafood Sector Council, the Marine Institute of Newfoundland and Labrador and on the Advisory Board of World Wildlife Fund Canada’s Atlantic Chapter. He was also appointed to several provincial government working groups, including the Premier’s Taskforce on the Economy.
In 2004, he formed the Icewater Group of Cos. from the former Newfoundland assets of High Liner Foods Inc.
Wareham’s wife, Hilda Wareham, will become chairperson of the board of the Icewater Group of Cos., while his son, Alberto Wareham, will continue to manage the business as president and CEO. Wareham’s son, Kenneth Wareham, will continue as director.