Global Dairy Platform (GDP), Rosemont, Ill.
Mike Durkin, president and CEO of Leprino Foods, and Lino Saputo, Jr., chairman and CEO of Saputo Inc., joined the board of directors.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Washington, D.C.
Commissioner Scott Gottlieb unexpectedly resigned March 5 to spend more time with his family, but will remain in position until the end of the month. The regulator took office May 11, 2017, and supported food safety and labeling initiatives already in place. He also pushed forward with regulatory issues dealing with standards of identity, food technology and CBD.
The Golden State Foods (GSF) Foundation, Irvine, Calif.
Tess McAnena was appointed new executive director, responsible for the oversight of several core programs, including the effort to combat childhood hunger. McAnena will also oversee all operations for the foundation, including strategic planning, fundraising, organizational management and collaborate with internal and external partners. McAnena has been a GSF associate since February 2016. An attorney by trade, she has served in a number of legal and marketing positions.
American Bakers Association (ABA), Washington, D.C.
Hailey Blumenreich was named marketing and communications coordinator, effective Feb. 25. Most recently, Blumenreich worked as a project assistant at Lincoln Park Strategies, focused on client communications. She also founded Podluck, a monthly potluck group where students gathered to break bread and discuss podcasts.
PepsiCo, Inc., Purchase, N.Y.
Laxman Narasimhan, currently chief executive officer, Latin America (LATAM), Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa (ESSA), was appointed to the newly created position of global chief commercial officer, tasked with shaping the company’s integrated long-term growth strategy and leading the development of commercial and marketing capabilities. Narasimhan will oversee PepsiCo's global category groups, insights, commercialization, design, global R&D, e-commerce and strategy. Narasimhan has held several senior leadership positions with increasing responsibility during his tenure at PepsiCo. In his most recent role, he oversaw the company's food and beverage businesses across LATAM and ESSA, with a focus on unlocking new growth opportunities for the two organizations, harmonizing commercial strategies and operating practices, developing talent and evolving culture. Prior to that, he served as chief executive officer of LATAM, where he grew the business, transformed its operating model, strengthened relationships with franchise bottlers and forged new collaborations with governments and NGOs. Narasimhan joined PepsiCo in 2012 from McKinsey & Co., where he served almost 20 years in a variety of positions, including as a senior partner and co-leader of the global consumer and shopper insights practice, as well as overseeing the firm's research on emerging market consumers. Silviu Popovici, who has led ESSA, will now be chief executive officer, ESSA. Meanwhile, Dr. Mehmood Khan, vice chairman and chief scientific officer, global research and development, announced plans to retire, after being with the company for over a decade. During his tenure, Khan led research and development efforts, driving innovation with new products, packaging and processes and ensuring that PepsiCo upheld the highest standards of quality. He was also instrumental in defining PepsiCo's sustainability goals. Rene Lammers, currently senior vice president of category R&D, was appointed to the role of chief science officer, responsible for building R&D capabilities. In his most recent role, Lammers was responsible for driving an integrated agenda across product, process, equipment and packaging technologies. Since joining PepsiCo in 2010, Lammers has held leadership roles across long-term research, global functions, governance and compliance and the global beverage category. Prior to PepsiCo, Lammers spent 15 years as an R&D leader, delivering differentiated consumer innovations across the CPG industry in a number of global roles. Meanwhile, Michelle Gass was elected an independent member of the board of directors, effective March 6. Gass has served as chief executive officer of Kohl's Corp. since 2018. Before that, she served as the company's chief merchandising and customer officer. She joined Kohl's in 2013 as chief customer officer. Previously, Gass served in a variety of management positions with Starbucks Corp. from 1996-2013, including most recently as president, Starbucks Coffee EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) from 2011-2013; president, Seattle's Best Coffee; executive vice president, global marketing and category and various leadership roles in other brand, creative, marketing and strategy functions. Prior to Starbucks, Gass was with The Procter & Gamble Co. She previously served on the boards of Ann Inc. from 2008-2013 and Cigna Corp. from 2014-2017.
Foundation Food Group, Inc., Gainesville, Fla.
Charles Hill Sr. was named senior vice president of sales, responsible for driving increases in new business, volume and profitability. Hill Sr. maintains over 25 years of sales and marketing experience in the food industry, having previously worked at OK Foods, Albertville Quality Foods, Pilgrim’s Pride, Keystone Foods and more. Nicholas Ancrum was appointed director of human resources. Ancrum maintains years of comprehensive HR experience in attracting and retaining high-potential talent, including developing HR strategies that increase productivity through greater employee buy-in and loyalty, reducing turnover and absenteeism and increasing compliance.
California Giant, Watsonville, Calif.
Helena Beckett was named retail sales account manager. Beckett maintains 15 years of sales and category management experience servicing top retailers in the United States.
Fresh-Link Produce, LLC, Hamilton, Mich.
Randy Bolhuis was named sales agent for Sandy View Farms, responsible for sales to current and future Fresh-Link customers and for strengthening relationships between Michigan growers, packers and shippers. Bolhuis maintains more than 30 years of produce industry experience.
Homegrown Organic Farms, Porterville, Calif.
Parker Anderson was named sales category manager for the company’s homegrown team. Andersen maintains 8 years of industry experience, and most recently worked as a sales account manager with a San Joaquin Valley grower/shipper.
Eco Farms, Temecula, Calif.
Emily Noble was promoted to marketing manager and sales associate, responsible for the company’s 2019 marketing plan, public relations, digital marketing, affiliate marketing, tradeshow marketing, website design and management, email marketing and a smaller sales role. In the short time Noble has been with the company, she’s been instrumental in the development and deployment of company promotions, digital marketing, graphic design and strategic planning. Some of her achievements include the development of the company’s new website, the development and management of six social media accounts in two languages, client presentations and a company video.
Butterball, LLC, Garner, N.C.
Peter Brown was hired as chief operating officer, charged with driving results across Butterball’s six turkey processing facilities and all operational support functions. He will also focus on aligning Butterball’s operations strategy with strategic company priorities, and be an executive champion in driving Butterball’s culture of continuous improvement. Brown maintains more than 30 years of executive leadership experience from many different levels of procurement, manufacturing, commercial distribution and customer support, within varying protein types in both the retail and foodservice marketplaces. Most recently, he’s been president and COO of High Liner Foods since May 2014. In addition, he is a member of various industry boards and organizations supporting sustainability, regulatory and legislative initiatives.
Bonduelle Fresh Americas, formerly Ready Pac Foods, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bonduelle, Irwindale, Calif.
Monica Johnson was appointed general counsel, responsible for providing professional legal advice and representation for all legal, regulatory and government matters, and providing legal advice and support to Bonduelle Americas Long Life, the company’s North American canned and frozen business unit. Johnson joined the company in October 2018. She maintains more than 15 years of legal experience in a broad range of industries, including foodservice, technology, manufacturing and supply chain/logistics. Prior to joining Bonduelle, she was assistant general counsel and assistant corporate secretary at Ventura Foods, LLC, and before that, was senior counsel at Western Digital, served as corporate counsel of BAX Global and was an associate at Theodora Oringher and Yoka & Smith. Johnson also maintains government affairs experience, having served in the administrations of three California governors. Most recently, she served for 8 years on the California Board of Optometry as an appointee of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, as vice chair partnering with board members to protect the public and regulate the profession of Optometry.
Crystal Valley Foods, Miami, Fla.
Anthony Leombruno was hired as retail sales associate, tasked with expanding and developing the company’s national retail sales. Leombruno maintains over 18 years of experience in the produce industry. Most recently, he was East coast sales manager at Altar Produce.
Keyport LLC, Edmonds, Wash.
Joanne Kennedy was appointed director of marketing, tasked with maintaining the company’s market leadership in king crab, snow crab and Dungeness crab while supporting its expansion into prepared seafood meals. Kennedy maintains over a decade of experience in consumer marketing, having led marketing teams at La Panzanella Artisanal Foods, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Winebow and Click Wine Group. And, Audrey Ryan was named director of sales, focusing on expanding Keyport’s distribution in national grocery store chains. Ryan maintains 19 years of experience in the seafood industry, leading sales and distribution for top companies nationwide. Most recently, Ryan served as vice president of sales for an East coast seafood company, where she led the expansion of its fresh and frozen consumer packed goods into top national accounts.
Saputo Inc., Canada
Carl Colizza was appointed president and COO, North America, effective April 1, responsible for the dairy divisions in Canada and Argentina. As such, Frank Guido was appointed president and COO, dairy division Canada, also effective April 1. Guido has been with the company since 2015, and has held several senior management positions in operations and logistics.
Blount Fine Foods, Fall River, Mass.
Michelli Heber was appointed retail and foodservice business development specialist for Northern California. Heber maintains 30 years of industry experience as a catering and sales leader, and has held positions and built a network of contacts across her new territory. Domenic Imbordino was named foodservice business development specialist for the Midwest territory. Imbordino previously served as a sales consultant for Breakthru Beverage Group’s office of procurement and grants management division. And, Ashley Jones was appointed foodservice business development specialist for the Northwest territory. Previously, Jones served as a business manager for Intermountain Sales & Marketing, where she was responsible for overseeing all aspects of perimeter grocery store sales. New foodservice promotions entail Estelle Goulart as New England foodservice business development; Jim Canale, Northeast foodservice business development; Matt Yusen, East Coast business development manager – foodservice; and Mike Maher, Southwest business development. Meanwhile, Kristin Woodward was promoted to Southwest retail business development, and Kara Domann was promoted to market business development manager for Southern California and Arizona retail and foodservice. Mike Palmer will assume the responsibility of national accounts sales director for the western half of the United States, responsible for growing the company’s national account chains. Also, Rachael Girard was promoted to national accounts marketing manager. Girard’s marketing experience includes digital, program development and location marketing. All appointments and promotions are effective immediately.
Lundberg Family Farms, Richvale, Calif.
George Orosz was named to the newly created role of vice president of sales, charged with overseeing the company’s sales operation. Orosz maintains extensive experience in consumer packaged goods, national and regional sales, marketing, category management, business development and leadership roles with Nabisco, Gillette, Coca Cola, Mother’s Cookies and Schwan’s. Todd Kluger, past vice president of sales and marketing, was named vice president of marketing, in charge of marketing operations.
Fonterra Co-operative Group (FCG), New Zealand
Miles Hurrell was named chief executive officer, effective immediately. Hurrell has been the co-operative’s interim CEO since August 2018. Hurrell first joined Fonterra in 2000. He maintains 19 years of experience in the dairy industry, spanning four continents, including Europe, the United States, Middle East, Africa and Russia. Previously, Hurrell was chief operating officer of the co-operative’s Farm Source unit. Meanwhile, Judith Swales was named chief operating officer, global consumer and foodservice. Swales has worked in Fonterra since 2013, and maintains extensive leadership experience in consumer businesses and transformation, across multiple industries. Previously, she served as managing director of the co-op’s Oceania business and chief operating officer of Fonterra’s transformation and innovation function.
Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc., Coral Gables, Fla.
Emanuel Lazopoulos, senior vice president, sales, marketing and product management, announced plans to retire, effective April 19, after more than 15 years with Del Monte. Lazopoulos started working for Del Monte in June 2003 as vice president of North America fresh cut. He was promoted to senior vice president, sales, marketing and product management North America in June 2005, where he was instrumental in growing the Del Monte North American business, including the expansion of the company’s fresh cut operations across the region. Meanwhile, Danny Dumas was promoted to senior vice president, sales, marketing and product management North America, effective April 19. Dumas maintains over 20 years of experience in the sales and marketing area. He has served as vice president North America sales and product management (banana and pineapple programs) since 2014, and before that, served as vice president Europe and Africa from 2010-2013 as well as district sales manager Canada.
Publix, Lakeland, Fla.
John Attaway, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary, announced plans to retire, effective May 31, after 21 years of service. Attaway began his Publix career in 1997 as corporate counsel, and became general counsel and secretary in 2000. He was promoted to his current position in 2005. Upon Attaway’s retirement, Merriann Metz will be promoted to vice president, general counsel and secretary. Metz began her Publix career in 2006 as an attorney in the corporate legal department, and was promoted to senior attorney in 2010. She was promoted to assistant general counsel in 2011, and to her current position of assistant general counsel and assistant secretary in 2016. Prior to joining Publix, she was an attorney with the Lowndes Drosdick law firm.
Stoner's Pizza Joint, Charleston, S.C.
Glenn Cybulski joined as president and chief culinary officer, overseeing culinary operations, recipe and product development, operational systems and menu design. Cybulski maintains more than 25 years of experience, and has owned and operated numerous restaurants in Northern California. He’s also a founding member of Chefs Feeding Kids.
Church's Chicken, Atlanta
Brian Gies was named executive vice president and global chief marketing officer, responsible for implementing Church's new global brand positioning and its new domestic marketing approach focused on Bringin' That Down Home Flavor. Gies maintains nearly 20 years of top-level restaurant marketing experience. His tenure includes leading the marketing efforts at brands like TGI Fridays, where he modernized the brand's marketing, launched an e-commerce platform, contemporized product approach with a comprehensively overhauled handcrafted menu, optimized its loyalty program and implemented a core promotional platforms. He also spent time at Burger King, where he led the U.S. marketing activation team, designed to help reinvigorate the business, establish the King as a brand icon and drive a resurgence in the brand's flagship product. Gies began his business career as a senior associate at KPMG, leading financial assurance engagements in a variety of industries, including hospitality and retailing.
KFC Corp., Louisville, Ky.
Staci Rawls was named chief communications officer of KFC U.S., effective immediately, where she will oversee the development of KFC's overall business narrative and lead all external and internal communications, including public relations, crisis and issues management, public affairs and social purpose efforts. Rawls is a 4-year veteran of KFC U.S., most recently as director of public affairs, where she oversaw major brand milestones, including removing antibiotics from the poultry supply chain. She also led the movement of pop culture meets quick-service restaurants, with fried chicken-scented sunscreen, 11 Herbs & Spices Firelogs and launching KFC's first female Colonel—Reba McEntire. She also led the transformation of KFC U.S. communications strategy, fully integrating external and internal communications functions to create a singular brand voice that resonates across functions. Prior to joining KFC, Rawls worked in a variety of senior internal and external communications positions for a number of brands, including J.C. Penny Co., Papa John's International, Inc., and most recently, Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers, where she was responsible for building a strategic communications function and communicating the company's overall mission, vision, values and product offerings
FlexXray, Arlington, Texas
Randy Jesberg was named president, tasked with leading the executive team and guiding the organization through the next phase of growth, including new advances in custom technology, expansion of service offerings and the addition of new U.S. facilities. Jesberg maintains 35 years of executive experience in sales, marketing, software engineering and analytics. Previously, he served as chief executive officer of Informatics Inc.
Andy Seidl was named new vice president sales and customer success, tasked with helping manage the company’s newly launched online service for the warehousing and freight transportation industries. Seidl previously worked as enterprise relationship manager for LinkedIn.
SpecPage, Tampa, Fla.
Brent Cutler was appointed president and COO of the Americas, effective immediately. Cutler maintains extensive management experience in domestic and international business development, food safety and strategic product, process and packaging leadership.
Decernis LLC, Washington, D.C.
Julie Holt joined as senior scientist – global food and consumer products to help expand the company’s consulting business in guiding customers through regulatory content, market access strategies and continued compliance concerns. She will also manage current key customer advisory projects. Holt maintains more than 23 years of regulatory experience in the food and food ingredients industries. She spent the last 9 years managing her advisory firm, Scientific & Regulatory Solutions LLC, where she worked with food ingredient companies developing competencies with flavors, sweeteners, colors, enzymes, probiotic blends, yeasts, beverages, alcoholic beverages, snack foods, juice, dairy and fine chemicals. She has provided regulatory coverage for over 218 countries, and boasts expertise in the consumer goods segment with experience in beverages and snack foods. Prior to this, she served as directing manager for over 40 global projects, and was a global regulatory lead at Givaudan Flavors Corp, Degussa Chemical and Sensient Flavors & Food Ingredients. Holt has also acted as lead manager in SAP product lifecycle management integration projects.
NexusFx, a Tompkins International company, Raleigh, N.C.
Mudit Rawat was named chief strategy officer, responsible for building client e-commerce strategy, technology and partnerships, setting up and optimizing new operations and tracking and measuring KPIs. Before joining NexusFx, Rawat started Urbery, what is said to be Canada’s first on-demand grocery and alcohol delivery platform. Earlier in his career, he worked in Sobeys’ corporate strategy group, and before that, worked in various business development and consulting roles with companies such as Oracle and CGI.
Paine Schwartz Partners, LLC, San Mateo, Calif.
Peter Hawthorne joined as operating director. Hawthorne maintains more than 35 years of experience, including decades of expertise in the food and agribusiness industries. He has served as vice president of corporate strategy and development for Cargill for more than 10 years, leading corporate development with an annual investment budget of more than $2 billion across operations in 70 countries. He also served as chairman of the board for three of Cargill's joint ventures in Ardent Mills, North Star BlueScope Steel and NatureWorks. He currently serves as chairman of the Advisory Board of Citrofrut S.A. He also previously worked at The Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A., the Bain & Co. and the Carlson Cos.
Manhard Consulting, Lincolnshire, Ill.
David Doran joined to serve as director of construction management services for the company’s Texas operations. Previously, Doran has served as construction manager at two leading civil engineering firms for 14 years, and maintains more than 20 years of experience. He is also a member of the Houston chapter of the Construction Management Association of America.
IN MEMORIUM: STU MONAGHAN, GIUMARRA COS.
Stu Monaghan, division sales manager for Giumarra Cos., Los Angeles, passed away Feb. 26 after an 8-month battle with brain cancer.
Monaghan spent over 30 years of his career in the fresh produce industry, working in various sales and management roles. He joined Giumarra in early 2017.
He is survived by his partner, Kristina Lorusso, regional business development director for Giumarra, and her son, Jonah; his three daughters Caitlyn, Carly and Ava Monaghan; his mother and stepfather, Mona and Relf Crissey; his father, Richard Monaghan; and his brother, Alan Monaghan.
“We will always remember Stu’s commitment to our industry, good sense of humor and ability to connect with growers and customers alike,” says John Corsaro, chief executive officer of the Giumarra Cos. “Our friend will be deeply missed. We offer our condolences to his family during this difficult time.”
Information regarding a memorial service will be available at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made to VNA Hospice House, 1110 35th Lane, Vero Beach, FL 32960.