Pre Brands appoints new CEO, Hain Celestial names North American president, and more executive changes
Stop Foodborne Illness, Chicago
Mitzi Baum was appointed new chief executive officer, effective immediately, succeeding Deirdre Schlunegger, who is retiring. Baum maintains an extensive career as an advocate for food safety in the non-profit sector. Previously, she spent 23 years at Feeding America, most recently as managing director of food safety, where she helped implement food safety and risk mitigation strategies pertaining to the products sourced, processed and distributed by the food bank network. She also played a key role in strengthening Feeding America’s ability to achieve significant partnerships with food donor organizations, and was a proponent of updating existing regulations to increase food donations. Prior to her career at Feeding America, she spent 10 years in restaurant management in Atlanta, Cincinnati and Chicago, including Chicago’s Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises. Baum also serves as an adjunct instructor for Michigan State University’s Online Master of Food Safety program.
The Canadian Centre for Food Integrity, Canada
John Jamieson was hired as new president and CEO, succeeding outgoing president Crystal Mackay. Jamieson maintains more than 25 years of senior leadership within Canada’s agri-food sector. Previously, she served as deputy minister of agriculture and fisheries and the deputy minister of rural and regional development in Prince Edward Island. He also previously served as executive director of the Prince Edward Island Federation of Agriculture, and maintains a wealth of knowledge working with various commodity organizations. Jamieson is also a professional agrologist and certified nutrient management planner, and sits on both the board of directors for the Farm and Food Care Foundation and the Dalhousie University's Faculty of Agriculture Advisory Committee.
Produce Alliance, LLC, Buffalo Grove, Ill.
Mike Bradley was elected chief operating officer. Bradley maintains more than 20 years of produce experience. He began his career as part of a family-owned trucking corporation that was later sold to a national-scale, market leading logistics company. Hired by the acquiring company, he continued his hands-on produce education, buying and selling produce and assuming additional leadership roles along the way. From there, he was named chief operating office of a large produce processor and distributor.
American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), Arlington, Va.
Clifton Parker, president and general manager of G&P Trucking Co., Inc., and John Smith, president and CEO of FedEx Freight, joined the board of directors. Parker has served as president and general manager of G&P Trucking since 1986, where he grew the company from $5 million to over $150 million in sales in 2017. He also served as chairman of the South Carolina Trucking Association (SCTA) for two years, and currently serves as SCTA’s representative to the American Trucking Associations. Smith maintains 32 years of experience in the transportation industry. He has been with FedEx since 2000, where he provides strategic direction for the less-than-truckload (LTL) FedEx companies throughout North America. He also serves on the Strategic Management Committee of FedEx Corp. His experience spans every area of the business, including operations, sales, transportation, fleet maintenance, facility services and safety. He currently serves on the boards of the Arkansas Trucking Association and the Automotive Service Excellence Education Foundation.
The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, Long Beach, Calif.
Wei Chi was selected as director of finance, effective May 14, responsible for ensuring effective implementation of fiscal policies at the Port of Long Beach, sound oversight of Harbor Department income, expenses, capital projects and debt issuance and service and budget alignment with the port’s Strategic Plan. Chi returns to the Port of Long Beach after working for several years as deputy executive director, comptroller for Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), where he oversaw the implementation of a $14 billion overhaul of LAX, including the expansion of the airport’s international terminal, the modernization of three domestic terminals and several airfield improvements. Before landing at LAWA, Chi was an assistant chief financial officer for the Port of Long Beach from 2007-2008, where he was part of the executive team that spearheaded the San Pedro Bay Ports’ Clean Trucks Program financial initiatives. Prior to that, Chi was a senior executive with BP and ARCO, serving in a variety of roles touching on retail, diversity, business development, marketing, treasury and financial planning.
The California Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA), Fresno, Calif.
Barry Bedwell, who has been president since 2003, is transitioning from the organization to serve as president of the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation (CALF), effective Aug. 1. As a result, former 8-term U.S. Congressman George Radanovich was elected president. Radanovich served in Congress from 1995-2011, representing California’s 19th district. While in the House of Representatives, he served as Water Caucus co-chair, Wine Caucus co-chair and co-chair for the Congressional Croatian Caucus, and was considered an agricultural expert in areas related to water supply and immigration reform. Radanovich is also a farmer who began growing premium wine grapes in 1982, after observing a micro climate in the area suitable for their growth. He was a member of the Mariposa County board of supervisors from 1988-1992, serving as chairman in 1991.
Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, Maitland, Fla.
New industry leaders to the 9th class of the Emerging Leader Development Program include Ethan Basore, harvest manager of TKM Bengard; Kim Burman, administrative for Glades Crop Care; Anthony Cannon, district manager for Syngenta Seeds; Timothy Cuellar, grove supervisor at Duda Ranches; Luke Davis, grove manager at Southern Gardens Citrus; Jeffrey Hancock, technology manager for Peace River Packing; Jay Johnston, Deseret Farms of Ruskin; Tony Kalogridis, farm manager at Lipman Family Farms; Johnny Lunsford, sales specialist for L& M Farms; Perry Mason, property manager for Maury L. Carter & Associates; and Taylor Sewell, sales agronomist for Yara North America.
Seafood Nutrition Partnership (SNP), Arlington, Va.
Dan Murphy was elected a new member of the board of directors. Murphy is executive vice president for North American sales at Trident Seafoods, and maintains more than 25 years of experience in the seafood industry. He joined Trident Seafoods in 2012, and has been instrumental in the growth of the company. He also currently serves as an Executive Committee Member of the National Fisheries Institute.
Impossible Foods, Redwood City, Calif.
Tech industry veteran Sheetal Shah was named senior vice president, product and operations, effective immediately, tasked with overseeing product, operations, manufacturing, supply chain and logistics. Shah was previously chief operations officer at Verifone, where he oversaw global operations, including supply chain, customer care, quality and program management for customers in more than 150 countries. Before that, Shah served in numerous leadership roles at Motorola Mobility, including chief procurement officer, where he was responsible for end-to-end global supplier management, including all commercial and operational aspects such as supplier new technology readiness. Shah started his career at Motorola as a software engineer, where he designed and shipped automatic speech recognition and voice annotation technology for Motorola handsets. He holds multiple patents.
The Hain Celestial Group, Inc., Lake Success, N.Y.
Kevin McGahren was appointed president, North America, responsible for leading Hain Celestial's North America teams, including marketing and research and development, and simplifying the portfolio, strengthening capabilities, reinvigorating top-line growth and expanding margins and cash flow. McGahren is an accomplished consumer packaged goods executive with over 30 years of industry experience in driving value creation at both public companies and in private equity backed ventures. He was most recently the chief executive officer of Dancing Deer Baking Co., and served as president of the American Beverage Corp. as well as president and founder of PANOS brands. Earlier in his career, he held a series of leadership roles across multiple brands at Kraft Foods, including vice president of marketing for Nabisco Cookies, in which he was responsible for Kraft's snack foods business.
Pre Brands, Chicago
Kevin Ponticelli joined as chief executive officer, succeeding Lenny Lebovich, the company's founder and original CEO. Ponticelli maintains more than 30 years of diverse consumer packaged goods (CPG) experience across sales, marketing and strategy. Most recently, he was president and COO of Mizkan American Inc., an operating subsidiary of Mizkan Group. Prior to that, he served as chief executive officer for Discovery Foods, senior executive vice president for Dairy Management Inc. and group vice president and president of Kraft’s North American cheese and dairy sector.
Sollio Agriculture, Canada
Sébastien Léveillé was named chief executive officer, tasked with leading a group of 1,100 employees in facilities nationwide. He will also continue his duties as executive vice president of the agri-business division of La Coop fédérée. In 2002, Léveillé joined La Coop fédérée's network as general manager of La Coop Pont-Rouge, where he achieved a financial turnaround and a return to profitability. In 2008, he was named director of marketing, followed by vice president, business development and communications, and then executive vice president, agri-business in 2014.
Raley’s, West Sacramento, Calif.
Brian Lim was named associate general counsel, charged with providing strategic counsel and support on legal matters, including HIPAA compliance, regulatory permits, contract disputes, employment law and more. Lim most recently served as senior corporate counsel, advising Raley’s on various legal issues, including employment matters and contracts. Lim is an experienced lawyer with over 10 years of practice. He started his career as a law clerk for the United States Department of Justice before joining Downey Brand LLP as an employment law attorney. After a move to Shaw Valenza LLP as an employment litigation attorney, Lim joined Raley’s in 2014 as associate corporate counsel. He was previously promoted within the Raley’s legal team to senior corporate counsel in 2016.
North Shore Living, Thermal, Calif.
Milas Russell joined in a newly formed role of general manager. Russell’s experience in the produce industry spans the spectrum from sales and marketing to food safety and accounting. Most recently, he served as the president of Savor Fresh Farms, where he oversaw all operations, developed new programs from the ground up, introduced organic offerings, grew revenue and cut costs with high-efficiency initiatives and innovative solutions.
KFC Corp., Louisville, Ky.
Monica Rothgery was named chief operating officer of KFC U.S., effective immediately, following the retirement of KFC's former COO Phil Klezmer. Rothgery is charged with overseeing operational strategy and execution and leading franchise and equity field operations for the brand's 4,100-plus restaurants nationwide. In August 2018, Rothgery joined KFC U.S. as chief restaurant productivity officer, taking on the responsibility of developing new operations processes to deliver on improved restaurant productivity. She spent her first several months in the field, immersing herself in restaurant operations and working closely with franchisees and restaurant teams across the United States to identify opportunities to simplify operations and improve brand compliance initiatives. Rothgery joined Taco Bell in 1992 as a restaurant general manager. After 17 years in various human resources and operations roles with the U.S. divisions, Rothgery joined KFC Thailand in 2014, where she served as chief operations and people officer. During her tenure in Thailand, the brand grew from 350 restaurants to 700 restaurants. Rothgery also modernized the operating system, step-changed operational performance and standards by improving food safety and provided operations support for more than 200 new restaurants. Prior to joining Yum! Brands, KFC’s parent company, Rothgery was an officer in the United States Army.
Pelican Products, Inc., Torrance, Calif.
Elizabeth Park was appointed senior director of financial planning and analysis, responsible for financial reporting and analysis on new initiatives, projects, pricing and business opportunities. Park maintains more than 15 years of financial planning and analysis experience in the areas of sales and marketing, operations, mergers and acquisition and research and development, and has held various positions with increasing levels of responsibilities with Harman International (a Samsung Co.) and Neutrogena Corp. (Johnson & Johnson). Prior to moving into financial planning and analysis, Park worked as a senior auditor for Ernst & Young LLP.
Kenna Security, San Francisco
Jason Rolleston joined as chief product officer, tasked with leading product management, including all day-to-day product activities and product direction, crafting a comprehensive plan for enabling sellers, system engineers, partners and customers, leading business development and prioritizing technology partnerships while also working to drive strategic go-to-market opportunities and leading product marketing. Previously, he served as vice president for security operations products at McAfee, where he was responsible for security operations products, including SIEM, end-point detection and response, behavioral analytics and sandboxing. Prior to that, he served as head of product management for enterprise routing at Cisco, and held several senior positions at Symantec.
Lex Group, Chicago
Scott McDonald was named vice president of operations of its Lex Central facility in Bedford Park, Chicago, responsible for supervising overall plant production and cost and performance efficiency as well as quality control, new equipment procurement, technology innovation, regulatory compliance and more. McDonald maintains almost 30 years of experience. Previously, he was vice president of North American operations for National Materials Co., vice president of the cold rolled strip division for Steel Warehouse and operations manager of Worthington Steel.
IMA DAIRY & FOOD, Leominster, Mass.
Thomas Becker was named new majority owner, following the opening of a new aseptic competence center.
DowDuPont, Wilmington, Del.
Nicholas Fanandakis announced plans to retire as executive vice president, effective July 31. Fanandakis is a 40-year DuPont veteran, who served as the company's chief financial officer through 2017, when E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. merged with The Dow Chemical Co. He continued to serve as CFO of the DuPont legal entity within DowDuPont until 2019. He has played a key role in the DowDuPont separation process into three companies, which concludes June 1. Fanandakis' career at DuPont began in 1979 in the petrochemicals department. In the years that followed, he served in a variety of positions across the company's divisions before taking on a series of key business leadership roles, focused primarily on the industrial solutions, chemical and applied biosciences markets. Fanandakis became chief financial officer in 2009. He was instrumental in DuPont's transformation, overseeing the reshaping of the business portfolio, including the acquisition of Danisco, sale of the coatings business and the spinoff of the chemical division.
Menasha Packaging Co., LLC, a subsidiary of Menasha Corp., Neenah, Wis.
Regina Bailey joined as senior director retail and category strategy for Walmart, tasked with directing Menasha's "Center of Retail Excellence" in Bentonville, Ark. Bailey maintains more than 35 years of experience in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry with an emphasis on category strategy, and has held leadership positions at organizations, including Unilever and Kimberly-Clark Corp. Bailey most recently served as director of category leadership, U.S. and Canada for Newell Brands.
The Allen Lund Co. (ALC), La Cañada Flintridge Calif.
Wendy Adan was promoted to manager of the ALC San Francisco office. Adan came to ALC in April 2007, and started as a transportation broker in training working exclusively with dry freight. Over the years, she was promoted to a broker, operations manager and assistant manager. She maintains over 18 years of experience in logistics and transportation. And, Ryan Stephenson was promoted to corporate business development team leader, working with business development specialists and their managers to drive new revenue opportunities. Stephenson began his career with ALC as a transportation broker with 10 years of experience. Stephenson has been with the ALC Charleston office since 2007, starting as a transportation broker, and has spent the last 10 years in sales. He is currently the corporate business development team leader.
IN MEMORIUM: ROBERT CHESTER KERSHAW, DOMEX SUPERFRESH GROWERS
Robert Chester Kershaw, founder of Domex Superfresh Growers, Yakima, Wash., passed away.
Kershaw’s family migrated from Philadelphia in 1880, planting apple and pear orchards in the central Washington State land.
His started working for Gilbert Orchards after graduating college.
Then, in 1969, Kershaw and his brother Ed returned to the family farm, eventually conceiving Domex Superfresh Growers in 1981. Their project to bring other grower’s fruit to market grew into a vertically integrated organization to include the Kershaw farming interest, warehousing, sales, marketing and logistical services.