Pilgrim’s Pride CEO resigns, Sabra appoints new CMO, and other personnel shifts
Tauber Institute for Global Operations Industry Advisory Board, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Robert Noack, senior director of worldwide research and development for Pfizer, joined the joint venture between the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and College of Engineering. Noack maintains over 27 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry at Perrigo, Pharmacia and Pfizer. His professional background includes leadership roles in product development, process development, manufacturing and advanced manufacturing technology implementation. He currently works as senior director in the drug product supply organization at Pfizer Worldwide R&D, responsible for drug product manufacturing in support of clinical trials conducted globally by Pfizer. Noack also manages all R&D drug product manufacturing assets in the United States, and supports clinical supplies needs across all therapeutic areas and phases of development, including pre-registration programs in Phase I-III, as well as scale-up, technology transfer and commercialization efforts across Pfizer.
The Flexible Packaging Association (FPA), Annapolis, Md.
Curt Begle, president of the health, hygiene and specialties division of Berry Global, was elected new chairperson of the FPA board of directors, succeeding David Staker, president and CEO, Plastic Packaging Technologies, LLC, who served as chairperson from March 2018 to March. Newly appointed Directors include Jarred Carter, business unit head-flexible packaging, United States and Canada, for Siegwerk USA Co.; and Mark Forman, regional manager, Chicago, for Belmark inc. David Staker, president and CEO of Plastic Packaging Technologies, LLC, was elected immediate past chairperson, and Guenther Hering, vice president, flexible packaging North America for Henkel Corp., was elected treasurer.
The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, Long Beach, Calif.
Kimberley Holtz was hired to lead the survey division, effective March 16. Holtz has been a geologist with the City of Long Beach’s Energy Resources Department for the past 11 years, where she measured and monitored elevations in the Wilmington Oil Field and oversaw land surveying work. She also administered the City's GPS network. Before that, Holtz was a senior surveyor for the Long Beach Public Works Department, and served in variety of public sector and government positions, including 12 years with Orange County, where she helped establish the county’s GPS network.
Produce Alliance, Chicago
Melissa Ackerman was elected president. Ackerman, the daughter of CEO George Melshenker, previously served as the firm’s associate general counsel, vice president of sales and executive vice president of sales since 2012, and has been instrumental in growing the business, adding more than 100 employees to the team. Meanwhile, Joe Collier, vice president, distribution and business development, announced plans to retire. Collier joined in 1996.
Technology Maintenance Council (TMC), Arlington, Va.
Bruce Purkey, founder of Purkeys, will retire from TMC this year. Purkey maintains more than 40 years of experience servicing fleet-based electrical needs, has provided electrical services to some of the largest fleets in North America and invented many patented solutions.
United Fresh Produce Association, Washington, D.C.
Greg Corrigan, senior director of produce and floral, Raley's Family of Fine Stores, was elected chairman of the board. Corrigan began his career in the grocery industry in 1984 working for Bel Air Markets. He served as a produce manager at store level for 9 years, and in 1998, was promoted to district produce and floral supervisor overseeing the store level operations for produce and floral in the South Division. In 2000, Corrigan was promoted to director of produce and floral, where his responsibilities included overseeing all procurement and merchandising for the Raley’s, Bel Air, Nob Hill and Food Source banner companies. He also served on many boards and committees for the produce and floral industry, including the United Fresh’s board from 2012-2016, Produce Manufacturing Association’s retail board, the Fresh Produce and Floral Council Board and the United Fresh Retail-Foodservice Board. Today, Corrigan oversees all the procurement and merchandising for the 128-store chain operating in Northern California and Northern Nevada. Michael Muzyk, president, Baldor Specialty Foods, Inc., was elected chairman-elect. Muzyk spent the first part of his career as a CIA-trained chef, where he worked in the kitchen of a children’s camp and as a chef in various businesses nationwide. In 1991, he made a career change to the supply side of the foodservice business. Four years later, he joined Baldor, quickly advancing through various positions until his present role as president. Muzyk previously served on United Fresh’s Wholesaler Distributor board. He will assume the chairmanship in 2020. Continuing service as secretary-treasurer is Danny Dumas, vice president N.A. sales and product management, Del Monte Fresh Produce, N.A., Inc. Current board chair Cindy Jewell, vice president, marketing, California Giant Berry Farms, will move to the position of immediate past chair. The following industry leaders were nominated to serve as new members of the board for a 2-year term beginning March: Jim Bair, president and CEO of the U.S. Apple Association; Jeff Church, vice president of sales for Church Brothers Farms; Dave Donat, president of ProducePro, Inc.; Cheryl Enlow, vice president of quality assurance and food safety for Renaissance Food Group; CJ Given, senior vice president, sales and marketing for Taylor Farms Retail; Roger Harkrider, director of produce for Meijer, Inc.; Jason Hollinger, president and CEO of Four Seasons Family of Cos.; Zak Laffite, chief sales officer for Wonderful Citrus; Paul Lightfoot, founder and CEO, BrightFarms; Sparky Locke, vice president of Western operations for Curation Foods; Hector Lujan, chief executive officer of Reiter Affiliated Cos.; Mike McGee, vice president, finance for L & M Cos.; Dave Murray, vice president of berry operations and business development, Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce/Good Farms; Jim Schallman, co-founder and CEO of Danaco Solutions, LLC; Kim St. George, director of sales and marketing for Mann Packing Co.; Rob Strube III, president of Strube Celery & Vegetable Co.; and Allie Wainer is executive vice president and chief customer officer for Sid Wainer & Son Hospitality.
American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), Washington, D.C.
Gary Nelson, executive director of Port of Grays Harbor, was elected to serve as the chairman of the board for the 2019-20 activity year, assume the role from William Friedman, president and CEO of Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, who began his 1-year term on Oct. 10, 2018. Nelson joined the Port of Grays Harbor in April 2000, bringing with him a strong background of private sector management, particularly in trading wood products throughout the Pacific Rim. Nelson maintains experience working for large publicly-held forest product companies and a small family-held sawmill. As executive director, Nelson works with port customers, staff, state and federal agencies and the local community to position Grays Harbor as a major hub for international trade and economic development. During his tenure, the Port of Grays Harbor has experienced exponential growth in cargo shipments, private investments and business activity. Since joining the port, he’s been active in developing Grays Harbor’s sustainable industry corridor by networking with local business owners to cooperatively address efficiency improvements within the community. He’s also worked to develop the Grays Harbor Jobs Team.
The Gulf Seafood Foundation
The new slate of officers for 2019 include Jim Gossen as president. Gossen previously served as chairman of Sysco Louisiana Seafood, and will remain president of the organization. Raz Halili, vice president of Prestige Oysters, will assume the position of vice president; Jennifer Jenkins, facility manager of Crystal Seas Oysters, will become treasurer; and Frank Randol, a seafood processer and owner of Randol’s Restaurant, will take over as secretary.
Sabra, White Plains, N.Y.
Jason Levine was appointed chief marketing officer, where he will oversee global marketing and communications, including driving Sabra's growth strategy and developing new offerings and managing marketing for Sabra and Obela, the joint venture between PepsiCo and the Strauss Group. Previously, Levine served as North America CMO for Mondelēz International, where he worked on the Oreo and Ritz brands and helped introduce belVita and Good Thins brands. In addition, he was responsible for breakthrough innovations such as belVita Breakfast Biscuits, Triscuit Non-GMO & Organic, Good Thins and Baked Ritz Crisp & Thins.
PepsiCo, Inc., Purchase, N.Y.
Paula Santilli, currently president of PepsiCo Mexico Foods (PMF), was appointed chief executive officer, LatAm (Latin America), assuming the role from Laxman Narasimhan, who was recently named global chief commercial officer. Santilli previously served as chief operating officer of all business units of PepsiCo Mexico Foods, providing leadership for sales, marketing and operations. Before that, she was vice president and general manager for PepsiCo’s savory business in Mexico, responsible for Sabritas, Doritos, Cheetos, Ruffles and other snack brands. Her experience also encompasses leadership roles in beverages in Mexico and Argentina, as well as in foods and snacks in the Latin America Southern Cone region comprising Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile. Santilli joined PepsiCo through the acquisition of the Quaker Oats Co., where she had served in various leadership roles since 1992. Earlier in her career, Santilli worked for Campbell Soup and Kellogg in Argentina. Roberto Martinez, currently chief commercial officer for LatAm, was appointed president, PepsiCo Mexico Foods, responsible for driving PepsiCo's commercial agenda in LatAm, delivering new transformation capabilities across the sector and leading the nutrition and cookies categories. Previously, he was vice president and general manager for PepsiCo's Central and South America operating unit; senior vice president, national sales for PMF and general manager for biscuits in PMF. Before moving to Mexico, Martinez spent 11 years working for PepsiCo in Argentina, serving in a number of senior roles looking after brand management, marketing and R&D. He also served as marketing director for the Latin America Southern Cone region. Martinez joined PepsiCo in 1996. Prior to PepsiCo, he worked for Gillette, Kraft Foods, Philip Morris and Molinos in Argentina, where he served in the brand management space. All appointments are effective May 1.
BakeMark, Pico Rivera, Calif.
Steve Byrnes was named national accounts director, effective Feb. 28, accountable for volume and profit growth, in particular within the foodservice segment, expanding the company’s national accounts opportunities and developing strategic relationships with broadline foodservice distribution partners. Byrnes maintains over 20 years of experience, with a background in leadership at Nestlé, Sara Lee, Saputo, WhiteWave Foods and GoldWest Industries.
Handy Seafood Inc., Salisbury, Md.
Dave Pearce joined as executive vice president. Pearce most recently served as president and CEO of Tampa Maid Foods, and also served as chairman of the National Fisheries Institute in 2017.
Wayne Farms LLC, Oakwood, Ga.
Kevin McDaniel was named vice president and general manager of the company’s fresh business unit, assuming responsibility for all fresh processing business unit operations, including oversight of sales, production and live operations for assets across 10 complex facilities in five states. Most recently, he served as senior director of fresh operations for Wayne Farms. Before that, he served as president of Aviagen North America, and has held senior roles with OK Foods, Pilgrim’s Pride and the Poultry Federation, as chairman, vice chairman, treasurer, secretary and board member.
The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta
Lisa Chang was named chief people officer, overseeing the company’s global human resources operations, effective March 1. Chang most recently served as senior vice president and chief human resources officer for AMB Group LLC, where she led HR strategy for all AMB businesses and was instrumental in the creation and execution of the people and talent strategies that launched Atlanta United’s Major League Soccer team and the 2018 opening of Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Prior to joining AMB Group in 2014, Chang served as vice president of human resources for international at Equifax, where she led human resources for all of Equifax’s global locations. Before joining Equifax, she was senior vice president of human resources at Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., where she led HR strategy for the technology, strategy and operations division and the international division. Prior to Turner, her career included human resources roles of increasing responsibility at The Weather Channel Cos., where she ultimately served as executive vice president of human resources. Chang replaces Jennifer Mann, who now serves as president of global ventures for the company.
Cooks Venture, New York
The team of experts to the newly created company include Richard Udale as director of genetics. Udale previously served as president of the Poultry Breeders of America and is former chairman of the Poultry Breeders Roundtable Symposium. Blake Evans, founder of Crystal Lake Farms, joins as executive vice president. Evans spent his career cultivating breeding and building a better farming system to produce a different class of chickens. Mark Fisher was appointed vice president of operations, tasked with running Cooks Venture's facility operations and its two plants. Fisher is a US Army veteran with 26 years in the poultry industry.
Misionero, Gonzales, Calif.
Jeff Cook was tapped new chief financial officer. Cook maintains more than three decades of industry experience in financial management, sales forecasting and risk management, including streamlining financial processes, creating valuable sales forecasting systems and implementing company initiatives. Previously, he’s served as chief financial officer of Mann Packing, Del Monte and Earthbound Farm. Prior to these positions, he was vice president of finance for Fresh Express.
Raley’s Food For Families, West Sacramento, Calif.
Raley’s non-profit organization’s 2019 slate of officers includes the founders’ granddaughters Jennie Teel-Wolter as board president and Heather Dubinetskiy as vice president of the board. Since 2017, Teel-Wolter has served as president for two terms, and led the board to restructure the non-profit to increase impact and efficiencies.
G&C Foods, Syracuse, N.Y.
John Stevens joined as new director of purchasing, effective Feb. 11, tasked with helping to grow the purchasing department, building and expanding vendor relationships and implementing programs to drive the company. Stevens maintains 23 years in foodservice, most recently as regional vice president of sales for UniPro, which included managing the Northeast territory and driving participation between UniPro and its membership.
Paine Schwartz Partners, LLC, San Mateo, Calif.
Lindsey Pownall joined as an operating director. Pownall maintains substantial executive and leadership experience across the global food and agribusiness value chain. She has spent the last 20-plus years with Samworth Brothers, and currently serves on the board of directors of Tesco PLC, Story Contracting Ltd. and Story Homes Ltd. She previously served as a non-executive director on the board of directors of Meadow Foods, a former Paine Schwartz portfolio company.
Central Co-op, Seattle, Wash.
Catherine Willis Cleveland was named chief executive officer, replacing long-term interim CEO Garland McQueen, who announced plans to return to Georgia to spend time with his family. Cleveland has spent the last 13 years as a store director and community relations manager at PCC Community Markets, and 10 years in non-profit organizations. In addition, Cleveland has managed annual budgets of $23 million, overseen staff teams of over 100 employees and pursued extensive public relations and community outreach strategies.
Perdue Farms, Salisbury, Md.
Steve Evans, president of prepared foods, resigned to pursue other opportunities. In the interim, Randy Day, chief executive officer, will assume additional responsibility for the prepared foods business.
Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., Greeley, Colo.
Jayson Penn, president of Pilgrim’s USA, will succeed Bill Lovette, who is retiring from the position of president and CEO of Pilgrim’s Pride, effective immediately. Penn maintains more than 30 years of experience, beginning in his family’s poultry company. He joined Pilgrim’s in March 2011, and has served as senior vice president of the commercial business group; executive vice president of sales and operations, and most recently, as president of Pilgrim’s USA. Prior to Pilgrim’s, Penn served in management positions at several leading poultry companies. He has also served on the board of directors and the executive committee of the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council, and currently serves on the board and executive committee of the National Chicken Council and the board of directors of The World Poultry Foundation. Lovette was appointed president and CEO in January 2011, and during his tenure, led a period of unprecedented value creation, growing the business from $6.9 billion to $10.9 billion in annual net revenue. Over the last eight years, Lovette built a diversified portfolio of brands and on-trend products, extended the company’s footprint to the UK and Europe, expanded its presence in Mexico, invested in operations and increased margins and bottom-line profitability by partnering with key customers to create shared success.
Walmart, Bentonville, Ark.
Jeremy King, executive vice president and CTO, Walmart U.S. and U.S. e-commerce, announced plans to leave the company for a new adventure, effective March 29. King joined Walmart 8 years ago during the inception of Walmart Labs. During his first few years at Walmart, he built out an engineering and product organization focused on reimagining the platform for the company’s e-commerce engine, while leading Walmart Labs through 10-plus acquisitions, the opening of four new tech offices and establishing the organization as a user of, and contributor to, the open source community. Over the last two years, his role expanded to include Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce platform, where he created technology partnerships with Microsoft, Google, NVIDIA and others to help carry out a digital transformation. Fiona Tan, senior vice president of customer technology, Walmart Labs, will take over in the interim.
Agrios Global Holdings Ltd., Canada
Michael Hammer was named strategic advisor, tasked with exploring potential strategic partnerships that will optimize the company's vertical expansion and diversification into new market segments both nationally and internationally. Hammer is the founding partner and CEO of Atomic Brand Lab, and he’s provided strategic planning expertise for PepsiCo, Starbucks, Ford and McDonald's. He also collaborated in developing many strategic partnerships, including a $1 billion-plus joint venture between Starbucks and Unilever, and a $25 million venture capital fund for PepsiCo.
Spring Global, Denver, Colo.
Karl Davis will lead the organization and daily business operations of the new Dublin, Ireland, office. Davis maintains over 20 years’ experience in the software industry dealing with a range of industries, including retail, manufacturing, public sector and financial services for companies such as SAS, Microsoft, IBM and Fujitsu. His responsibilities included launching SaaS and cloud applications for clients across EMEA, United States and Australia. Meanwhile, Sean Osborne will assume responsibility for managing and growing key Europe-based accounts. Osborne is an experienced, multilingual technology executive. Before joining Spring Global, he was director of sales for a global healthcare software company, where he managed their key accounts across EMEA, Asia and Australia. He also maintains extensive professional experience in Russia, having spent 3 years working as an export advisor for the Irish government in Moscow.
Inpixon, Palo Alto, Calif.
Andrew Chapman was hired as vice president sales, retail and entertainment to spearhead further penetration into large accounts, including traditional retailers, big box stores, shopping malls and more. He will also evaluate potential reseller partners for inclusion in the Inpixon Authorized Partner Program. Chapman maintains more than 30 years’ experience within the security and retail industry. Previously, he served as senior vice president sales and marketing for 3VR, where he led sales and marketing initiatives and managed relations with numerous marquee customers. Chapman also served as president of I.K. Systems and director of business development for Tyco/ADT. He also held senior positions with Pelco and Ultrak Corp.
Lineage Logistics, Novi, Mich.
Michael McClendon was named president of Lineage Europe, where he will oversee Lineage’s European operations and identify strategic growth opportunities overseas. He will also continue to serve as executive vice president, network optimization. McClendon maintains nearly 25 years of leadership experience in the global cold chain industry. He served as president of Richmond Cold Storage until it was acquired by Lineage in 2011, in which he continued to lead the company’s East Area operations. McClendon was named executive vice president, network optimization in 2016 to focus on Lineage’s strategic growth through acquisition, expansion and capital deployment.
Port Manatee, Palmetto, Fla.
Abby Lindecamp has joined in the newly created position of deputy director of business administration and finance. Lindecamp has served as senior budget manager in Manatee County’s Financial Management Department since January 2018. She joined Manatee County government in 2000 as an accountant in the office of the Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court, following three years in accounting positions with the Florida Department of Corrections in Tampa.
Tetra Pak, Denton, Texas
Tatiana Liceti joined as vice president of Tetra Pak North, Central and South America, effective April 1. Liceti has held various financial and leadership roles with Tetra Pak, including managing director of Andina; managing director of Peru; and financial controller, Peru.
Leo Wild was appointed sales manager of the company’s new Canada sales and distribution center. Wild previously worked at the company’s head office in the UK, and maintains experience in the food safety industry.
MgO Systems Ltd., Canada
Patricia (Trish) Josephs was named global business development manager, focused on supporting the company’s growing list of clients in the cannabis, life science and healthcare industries. Josephs maintains extensive experience in both technical and business development roles with high-growth technology companies and across the healthcare sector. Previously, she was vice president of Terra Life Sciences, where she was responsible for the creation of neuroscience partnerships with world-renowned researchers. She was also instrumental in catalyzing the Alberta Cannabis Research and Innovation Network. Over the past few years, Josephs has worked with the Government of Alberta, Calgary Economic Development, Rainforest Alberta and the Calgary Chamber in helping to shape an innovation and cannabis strategy for Alberta. Meanwhile, John Selby was appointed senior business development manager, with a focus on the industrial space, including cold storage, food processing and related temperature-controlled environments. Selby maintains extensive experience with instrumentation firms, and has helped develop open path safety monitoring equipment throughout North America for large industrial clients. Most recently, he worked with companies focused on the conversion of waste to energy and wind power generation.
Shurtape Technologies, LLC, Hickory, N.C.
Ed Aguilar was promoted to national sales manager – Central, tasked with managing the industrial/construction and electrical markets for the central states, including managing buying groups and independent rep agencies. He will also be tasked with achieving sales growth and continuing to drive brand recognition in newer markets, particularly in the electrical channel.
BoxLogix Automation, LLC, Prairie du Chien, Wis.
Stephen Cwiak was appointed head of the company’s new BoxLogix Parcel unit. Over the past 15 years, Cwiak has held various key positions at Interroll, including engineering management, general manager of automation, vice president of sales, and ultimately, senior vice president and head of subsystems, tasked with designing, selling and implementing conveyor and sortation subsystems. Cwiak also maintains experience working with end users and integrators to develop solutions for 90-plus cross-belt sorter applications and large conveyor programs for postal and parcel organizations.
Welbilt, Inc., New Port Richey, Fla.
Martin Agard was appointed executive vice president and CFO, effective April 8, taking over for Haresh Shah, who is leaving to pursue external opportunities. Agard has been chief financial officer of Lumber Liquidators Holdings, Inc. since September 2016. From 2013-2015, he served as senior vice president and CFO of Kohler Co. And, prior to Kohler, he has held various financial roles, including vice president and treasurer with Georgia Pacific Corp. since 2001. Earlier in his career, he spent time in financial roles at Homebanc Mortgage Corp., The Eastman Kodak Co. and The Proctor and Gamble Co. Also, Jamie Palm was promoted to vice president corporate controller and CAO. Palm joined Welbilt in 2017 as vice president corporate controller. She has served as assistant controller at Quality Distribution, Inc. since 2017. Before that, she held financial reporting and finance roles of increasing responsibility with Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. from 2012-2017 and was the finance director at Syniverse Technologies LLC from 2009-2012. She began her career in public accounting as an audit manager for Ernst & Young LLP.
Muller Martini North America, Hauppauge, N.Y.
Thomas Krischke was named new president and CEO, succeeding Werner Naegeli, who is retiring after nearly 30 years, 19 of which he spearheaded efforts in the United States and Canada. Krischke has worked within the graphic arts industry for more than 20 years. He joined Eastman Kodak in Germany in 1990 as a strategic and financial planner with the global equipment manufacturing community. About 10 years later, he became chief financial officer of Heidelberg Printing Presses’ post-press division. He joined Muller Martini in 2017, and played an active role in the acquisition of the Kolbus bookbinding technology. After closing this acquisition, he became managing director of the Rahden, Germany, facility, where he was responsible for the post-merger integration of Kolbus business into the Muller Martini Group.
IN MEMORIUM: STEVEN CERNAK, PORT EVERGLADES
Steven Cernak, chief executive and director of Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., passed away after a long battle with cancer. Cernak is immediate past chairman of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), Alexandria, Va., and immediate past chairman of the Florida Ports Council, Tallahassee, Fla.
“As chairman of AAPA last year, [Steve] dedicated all of his energy to promoting our industry. Even during his long illness, his zeal for this industry was unsurpassed. Whether it was attending the AAPA leadership summit or flying to Valparaiso, Chile, for the association's annual convention, he never wavered in his love of ports and AAPA,” says Kurt Nagle, president and CEO of AAPA.
“Port Everglades achieved many important, historical milestones under Steve’s leadership over the past seven years. Most notably, he developed progressive solutions to advance the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Port Everglades Navigation Improvement Project to deepen and widen the harbor after two decades of study. This achievement was celebrated throughout the local community, and Steve received accolades from leadership at all levels of government and throughout the maritime industry,” Glenn Wiltshire, deputy port director for Port Everglades said in a statement. “He also grew the operating revenue at Port Everglades by 17.5% and oversaw the construction of new cruise facilities and the start of the Southport Turning Notch Extension. Just last month, AAPA recognized Steve as the recipient of its 2019 Cruise Award. He was also named as one of the South Florida Business Journal’s 250 Power Leaders. Steve often said how much he valued the friendships and personal relationships that he developed throughout his lifetime. Above all, Steve made it clear how much he loved his wife Cindy, his children and grandchildren. He will be greatly missed.”
Cernak’s family will be celebrating his life and his legacy privately, but welcomes memories and thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the following organizations:
The Seafarers’ House at Port Everglades: http://seafarershouse.org/donation/
The United Way of Galveston: http://uwgalv.org/get-involved/give/