Blue Apron names new CEO, BPI shifts around execs, Cargill promotes agricultural supply chain execs and more
Food Marketing Institute (FMI), Arlington, Va.
Gigi Vita was appointed vice president of sales for the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI), responsible for managing the entire sales division of SQFI. Vita most recently led strategic business development and innovation for Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), driving alignment and interactions with customers, strategic partners and industry associations. She also established a “culture of innovation” through a marketing focus and new product development company-wide. Prior to DFA, Vita served as the president and COO for Fonterra North America, responsible for a $1 billion premium ingredients and commodity business for the United States, Canada, Caribbean and Central America, where she improved operational effectiveness through business-to-business and business-to-consumer insights and sales teams, as well as supply chain, manufacturing and globally sourced customer offerings. Vita also spent more than eight years with PepsiCo, serving in several leadership roles, including directing anchor bottler brand marketing, customer marketing, sales capability, revenue management and category management teams. In addition, Vita led the customer alignment effort, partnering with external consultants to orchestrate the reorganization of the domestic sales and marketing structure for Pepsi Americas. She’s also held senior leadership roles at other major consumer packaged goods companies, including Coca-Cola, Kraft/Nabisco, Campbell Soup, Nestlé and Procter & Gamble.
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), UK
David Lock, chairman of Mareterram Ltd., and Giles Bolton, responsible sourcing director for Tesco plc, joined the board of directors. Maria Damanaki, global managing director for Oceans from The Nature Conservancy and former European Union Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, will join the board of directors in July. These new appointees will also be joined by two new co-chairs of MSC’s Stakeholder Advisory Council—Stefanie Moreland, vice president of government relations, seafood sustainability and corporate social sustainability for Trident Seafoods Corp.; and Amanda Nickson, international fisheries director for The Pew Charitable Trusts.
The Urban School Food Alliance, New York
Dr. Katie Wilson was named the organization’s first executive director. Wilson previously served as Deputy Under Secretary of food, nutrition and consumer services at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), where she oversaw school food funding and regulations and worked closely with many of the alliance foodservice directors. She also served as executive director of the Institute of Child Nutrition, where she learned the challenges of school foodservice.
The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C.
Matt Herrick was appointed senior vice president, executive and strategic communications, responsible for leading communications and reputation management activities, with a particular focus on promoting and extending the IDFA brand to support the growth of dairy in the United States and around the world. Herrick will also integrate a broad range of activities to position the association and its executives as thought leaders in the dairy industry and the broader food and beverage sector. He maintains experience in food and agricultural trade, navigating regulatory and legislative issues in Washington and leading brand-building efforts for large global organizations. Previously, he served as managing director, communications for The Rockefeller Foundation, where he led media relations, digital communications, brand and reputation, issues management and internal communications. Prior to that, he was senior vice president of public affairs for Story Partners, where he founded and managed the agency’s food, nutrition and trade practice, and worked with trade associations, food companies and foundations. He also served in the Obama Administration, first as press director and spokesperson for the U.S. Agency for International Development, and then as communications director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Herrick also led communications and media relations for Oxfam America, and served as speechwriter and spokesperson for USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.
NatureFresh Farms, Canada
Conor Chilvers was named retail sales account manager.
Saval Foodservice, Elkridge, Md.
Brian Saval was appointed vice president, responsible for training the sales force, creating new partnerships and executing the company’s strategic vision. Saval joined the family business in 2009 as a sales representative. In 2013, he changed roles to work in national sales for Deli Brands of America, a manufacturing subsidiary of Saval Foods. In 2015, he transitioned back over to Saval Foodservice to manage the Baltimore regional sales team, delivering record-breaking growth year after year.
Ventura Foods, Brea, Calif.
Andy Euser was named to the newly created role of chief administrative officer, effective April 1, where he will drive alignment and collaboration between information technology, human resources and corporate communications. Euser has served as the company’s chief human resources officer and executive vice president for the past 9 years. During his tenure, Euser advanced the organization's HR and corporate communications functions and developed a corporate social responsibility program. He also built Ventura Foods' performance management, talent planning and learning and development platforms, and served as an architect of The Ventura Edge, the company's signature identity. Also, Erika Noonburg-Morgan joined as chief financial officer, effective March 11. She previously served as a senior member of the leadership team for Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, where she was responsible for starting the business and driving the organization's financial, commercial and operations strategy.
BPI (Beef Products, Inc.), Dakota Dunes, S.D.
Nick Roth, the founders’ son, was named president of empirical innovations, inc. and empirical technology, inc., following a corporate name change to empirical foods. Craig Letch, the founders’ son-in-law, will serve as president of empirical foods, inc., while his wife and founders’ daughter Jennifer Letch will serve as an executive officer in each of the newly named empirical companies.
Verde Farms, Woburn, Mass.
Marc Broccoli was appointed vice president of operations. Broccoli has spent the entirety of his career in the meat industry, starting work as a teen in his grandfather's business as a third-generation meat processor. He maintains more than 30 years of experience, leading teams at ConAgra and Sara Lee, and holding key executive positions at Allied Specialty Foods, Rastelli Food Group and Lorenzo Food Group. He also maintains experience in processing, R&D and category management in global retail and foodservice sales, spanning across single-ingredient, ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat sectors. And, Matthew Landis joined as vice president of sales. Landis is an experienced CPG sales professional with grass-fed category expertise. Most recently, he served as president and COO at Pasture One, and prior to that, was a founding member and vice president of sales at Teton Waters Ranch, where his sales efforts helped secure placement at several retailers.
Blue Apron Holdings Inc., New York
Linda Findley Kozlowski was named new chief executive officer, effective March 1, taking over for chief executive Bradley Dickerson, who resigned. Kozlowski previously served as chief operating officer of Etsy Inc. from May 2016 to December 2018, and has also held positions at Evernote Corp. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. In addition, Ilia Papas will resign from his chief technology officer post, effective May 3.
Renaissance Food Group (RFG), Ranco Cordova, Calif.
Phil Fendyan, senior vice president of produce sales, announced plans to retire April 5, after more than 15 years with the company. During his tenure with RFG, Fendyan worked as vice president of sales and marketing before being promoted to his most recent position. He was also instrumental in establishing and growing RFG’s customer base and creating new product lines. Fendyan’s career began more than 40 years ago in the produce department at Safeway, before he was promoted to produce manager. He continued to grow with the company, holding titles of buyer, senior buyer, supply and category manager, as well as various other management positions. After 24 years with Safeway, Fendyan joined Webvan as the national produce director, where he launched and executed national programs. Following his tenure at Webvan, Fendyan worked as vice president of sales at Club Fresh, before joining RFG is 2004.
Naturipe Farms, Salinas, Calif.
Janis McIntosh was appointed director of marketing innovation and sustainability, responsible for overseeing Naturipe’s ongoing and future sustainability initiatives, including its Cultivate with Care program, which she helped develop. A 14-year Naturipe veteran, McIntosh maintains expertise in the design and development of innovative and sustainable packaging.
Texas Meat Packers (TMP), Fort Worth, Texas
Nikkie Vazquez was hired as new director of quality control. Vazquez maintains nearly two decades of experience, and is PCQI and ISO 9001 Quality Certified.
Mars Petcare, McLean, Va.
Paulo de Castro will join the global management team as leader of the finance function, effective in June. De Castro maintains over 25 years of experience in finance, mergers and acquisitions and business leadership, including a background in consumer goods and services. De Castro has served as chief financial officer of GrandVision since 2012. Prior to GrandVision, de Castro spent 10 years with Unilever in a number of finance positions, including personal assistant to Unilever chairman; chief financial officer for Canada; and chief financial officer of the Unilever Supply Chain Co.
J&J Family of Farms, Westlake, Fla.
Clayton Amestoy was promoted to director of farming, responsible for directing all farming operations and managing farm food safety and communications with the sales and commodity management teams. Amestoy is a fourth-generation farmer with over 15 years of farming leadership.
Maple Leaf Foods Inc., Canada
Honourable David Emerson, chair of the board, announced plans to retire, effective May 2. Emerson was appointed chair of Maple Leaf Foods immediately after he was first elected to the board of directors in May 2012, bringing with him extensive experience in Canada's public and private sectors, including his roles with the Government of Canada as minister of foreign affairs, minister of international trade and minister of industry. Emerson led the completion of Maple Leaf's prepared meats business supply chain transformation, as well as the reorganization of business operations, including the divestiture of rendering operations and bakery industry investments. As a result, W. Geoffrey Beattie will be appointed chair of the board. Beattie, who has served on the board for the last 10 years, is chief executive officer of Generation Capital and Chair of Relay Ventures. He is also a director of the General Electric Co., Baker Hughes, a GE Co., and Fiera Capital Corp., and was previously a director of Royal Bank of Canada and Acasta Enterprises Inc. Beattie previously served as chief executive officer of The Woodbridge Co. Ltd. from 1998-2012, and prior to that, was a partner in Torys LLP and vice president at Wood Gundy from 1987-1990.
Joe Stone, currently enterprise leader for Cargill Animal Nutrition, was promoted to lead the company’s global agricultural supply chain, while David Webster will assume the Cargill Animal Nutrition leadership role vacated by Stone, effective June 1. Both announcements follow GJ van den Akker’s announcement to retire as enterprise lead for Cargill’s agricultural supply chain in 2020 after 30 years with the company. Stone maintains extensive risk management, trading and grains and oilseeds experience. He began his career in Cargill’s grain and oilseeds business in 1985, before moving to the company’s world trading unit in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2001. Most recently, he served as enterprise lead of Cargill Animal Nutrition. Webster is skilled in executing an animal nutrition growth strategy. He joined Cargill in 1992, working in production, sales, purchasing and finance, before becoming a leader in Cargill pre-mix business during the acquisition of Provimi. Most recently, he led Cargill’s global edible oils business.
Little Caesars, Detroit, Mich.
Jeff Klein will take on the role of senior vice president of global marketing. Klein has served nearly 20 years in progressive marketing leadership positions, most recently spending the last 2 years at PepsiCo as chief marketing officer for global foodservice. Prior to that, Klein spent 10 years at Frito-Lay North America in various marketing roles, including vice president of core brands, where he led the growth agenda for Doritos, Lays, Cheetos and Tostitos.
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc., Greenwood Village, Colo.
Denny Marie Post announced plans to retire as president and CEO, effective April 3. Pattye Moore, board chair, was elected as interim CEO. Moore has been a director of Red Robin since 2007 and board chair since 2010. She previously served as a board member and president at Sonic Corp., among other executive positions during her 12-year career with the brand.
RMH Franchise Corp., Atlanta, Ga.
Mitch Blocher was named president, yet will retain his chief financial officer responsibilities, a role he’s held since joining the company in January 2018. Before joining RMH, Blocher worked for FOCUS Brands, serving for four years as vice president of finance and three years as chief financial officer for Auntie Anne's Pretzels. Prior to joining FOCUS, he was vice president of finance for Church's Chicken, and from 1996-2005, worked with Avado Brands. He began his career in public accounting with Deloitte & Touche, and has spent the last 20-plus years in the restaurant industry.
Akro-Mils, Akron, Ohio
Chad Collins was named president of Akro-Mils and Jamco. Collins has spent the past 10 years with Parker Hannifin within the aerospace, filtration, automation and motion systems groups. Most recently, he was general manager in Europe with operating sites in United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Czech Republic. He also worked as vice president, head of global operations for Royal Philips, where he led the computed topography and nuclear medicine businesses. Prior to that, he was at IDEX Health and Science, where he held various roles of increasing responsibility, including general management and global operations.
Charlie Grieco was named vice president of sales, tasked with overseeing North American sales activities. Grieco maintains more than 20 years of experience, and has held management positions at AetherPal, SOTI, Dell and more.
JLS Automation, York, Pa.
Mike Newcome was promoted to vice president of sales, charged with managing a number of selected major accounts and developing targeted business opportunities with new markets and technologies. In addition, he will oversee all sales operations and strategy, including current sales staff and growing the team overall. Newcome was previously director of sales, Central U.S. and Canada, and maintains several years of experience in packaging sales and management, including experience in food, beverage and personal care with a strong focus on case packing and robotic automation systems. Prior to JLS, Newcome was director of sales for the Central U.S. and Canada region for Hartness International.
The L.S. Starrett Co., Athol, Mass.
Jon-Michael Raymond was appointed director of sales, North America, industrial products, effective March 25, responsible for sales of the company’s core products, including precision measuring tools and gages, hand tools and saw blades in North America. He succeeds Tony Aspin, who announced plans to retire June 30, after serving the company for 28 years, 18 of them as vice president of sales. Raymond has worked in the Industrial marketspace for over 12 years, with the past 3 years serving as vice president of sales for PFERD Inc. He has also held various sales and finance positions for Osborn and Norton | Saint-Gobain Abrasives.
Stay Metrics, South Bend, Ind.
Bradley Fulton was named director of research and analytics, responsible for leading the company’s survey products and research team. Fulton is an expert in statistics and research methodology, and maintains a wealth of work experience in survey design, analytics, training and consulting with business clients. For more than 10 years, Fulton has worked at a leading healthcare feedback and analytics company known for developing and distributing patient satisfaction surveys.
Mérieux NutriSciences, Chicago
Tracie Sheehan joined as vice president of technical services, effective Feb. 4, tasked with leading the technical services businesses, including Mérieux NutriSciences' Certification LLC (auditing), Consulting and Training and Label Compliance & Nutrition Services (LCNS). She will be replacing Rena Pierami, who retired from this role in March. Previously, Sheehan was chief executive officer of TGS Quality Consulting, LLC, assisting food companies in food safety, quality, regulatory and sanitary design engineering. Before that, she served as chief health, quality and sustainability officer for ARYZTA for 7 years; senior vice president of food safety and scientific affairs for Sara Lee Corp. for 8 years; and global director of food safety for Kellogg Co. for 11 years.
GTI, Des Plaines, Ill.
Michael Rutkowski joined as senior vice president, research and technology development, where he will oversee the research team in leading activities in unconventional supply, energy conversion, natural gas delivery and end use. He will also provide day-to-day management of the research team and spearhead the development, communication and implementation of growth strategies and processes. And, he will represent the organization with clients and business partners, and serve as a thought leader in domestic and international energy industry and government circles. Rutkowski has spent 14-plus years as a managing director in Navigant’s energy practice, and maintains more than 25 years leading customer engagements in energy consulting with previous roles at Bearingpoint, Arthur Andersen Business Consulting and CSC Consulting. Prior to that, he worked as a senior engineer with Sargent & Lundy, and served as a power applications field engineer at GE.
Smartcool Systems Inc., Canada
Sharon Kordysz was appointed chief operating officer, charged with guiding the company’s aggressive growth strategy for worldwide operations and development. Kordysz maintains more than 20 years of leadership experience with Pitney Bowes, Oki Data Americas, and most recently, Drake International, where she managed sales and service to national and government accounts, dealers and value-added re-sellers.
MTC Logistics, Baltimore, Md.
Andrew Janson was promoted to president, effective April 1, responsible for providing strategic leadership for the company as it expands its presence. Janson has served as chief operating officer since joining the company in June 2018. He maintains 23 years’ experience in the temperature-controlled supply chain industry.
NewCold, The Netherlands
Valerie Kaminski joined as managing director, North America, responsible for NewCold’s expansion in the region. She maintains a long track record in supply chain management and operational efficiency, including positions with Starbucks and HP.
Cloverleaf Cold Storage, Sioux City, Iowa
Phil Hawkins and Richard Paradise were appointed to the board of directors. Hawkins previously served as president and CEO of DCT Industrial Trust Inc. from 2006-2018, when it was acquired by ProLogis. He continues to serve on the board of directors of ProLogis, as well as on the board of Corporate Office Properties Trust. He maintains more than 20 years of experience managing both public and private companies. Paradise previously served as chief financial officer at Dematic Group from 2014-2016. He maintains more than 20 years of finance experience in both public and private companies, and will serve as chair of Cloverleaf’s Audit Committee.
Allen Lund Co., La Cañada Flintridge Calif.
Trent Roberts joined to manage the company’s new office in Indianapolis, Ind. Roberts began his career in logistics in 2010 working for a logistics firm as director of sales.