The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Chicago

The academy named the following spokespersons for 2019-2022—Yasi Ansari, assistant director of performance nutrition at the University of California – Berkeley, with expertise in disease prevention, medical nutrition therapy, sports nutrition and fitness, wellness nutrition and women’s nutrition; Jerlyn Jones, a registered dietitian nutritionist, speaker, media personality and nutrition consultant, with areas of expertise in diabetes, food insecurity, food sensitivities, heart disease and obesity and weight management; Amy Kimberlain, a certified diabetes educator at Baptist Health South Florida, with areas of expertise in children’s nutrition, diabetes, disease prevention, Latino Nutrition and vegetarian nutrition; and Alicia Romano, an outpatient specialized clinical dietitian at Tufts Medical Center, with areas of expertise in cancer nutrition, celiac disease, food allergies, gastrointestinal nutrition and sports nutrition and fitness. New to the board of directors, serving from June 1 to May 31, 2020, are Catherine Christie, associate dean at the University of North Florida’s Brooks College of Health and a professor in the department of nutrition and dietetics, as treasurer; Kevin Concannon, who previously served as under secretary for food, nutrition and consumer sciences at the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 2009-2017, as public member; Sharon Cox, owner and co-founder of Cox Duncan Network, and senior consultant with Tecker International LLC, as house of delegates director; David Donnan, partner emeritus with A.T. Kearney, an consultant to the consumer products, retail and technology industries, as public member; Linda Farr, owner of Nutrition Associates of San Antonio, doing business as Nutritious Table, as president-elect; Cecilia Fileti, president of C.P. Fileti Associates Inc., as director-at-large; Diane Heller, a retired consultant at Nutrition Solutions, as speaker, house of delegates; Manju Karkare, owner of Nutritionally Yours LLC, as past treasurer; Marcy Kyle, regional director of Maine Health’s Nutrition and Diabetes Services at Pen Bay Medical Center and Waldo County General Hospital and nutrition specialist for the Pen Bay and Rockland Area YMCA, as past speaker, house of delegates; Ainsley Malone, nutrition support dietitian at Mt. Carmel Health System and a clinical practice specialist with the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, as house of delegates director; Kathleen Niedert, executive director of Western Home Services’ Madrid Home campus and network nutrition and dietetics specialist for Western Home Services, as treasurer-elect; Mary Russell, medical science liaison II, U.S. Nutrition Medical Affairs, at Baxter Healthcare and a lecturer at the Rosalind Franklin School of Medicine and Science, as past president; Kevin Sauer, associate professor in the department of food, nutrition, dietetics and health at Kansas State University and co-director of the Center for Food Safety in Child Nutrition Programs, as director-at-large; Ellen Shanley, dietetics director in allied health sciences at the University of Connecticut’s College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources, as director-at-large; D. Milton Stokes, director of global health and nutrition outreach at Bayer Crop Science, as house of delegates director; Kathy Wilson-Gold, 30-year industry veteran, as academy foundation chair; and Lauri Wright, chair of nutrition and dietetics at the University of North Florida Speaker-elect, as house of delegates. Patricia M. Babjak was named chief executive officer. She joined the academy in 1975, and previously served as executive director of the Commission on Dietetic Registration and executive vice president of the academy. And, Terri Raymond, president and owner of Dietitian Consulting Services LLC, was elected president. Previously, she worked at Food Management Corp. in positions ranging from director of clinical consultation to regional manager, vice president and president.

The U.S. Apple Association (USApple), Falls Church, Va.
Matthew Hendrickson joined in the newly created position of manager of association services, effective June 10. Hendrickson maintains a wealth of experience in association and non-profit management, including member development, program administration, business operations and board governance. Hendrickson previously served as client-facing liaison between association members, volunteers and management services for Interel Group US, where he specialized in business operations, finance and project management to enhance member value. His non-profit experience also includes financial and office management, meeting logistics and program support, including Young Apple Leaders, Capitol Hill Day, Apples4Ed and the Market News Report and congressional visit and political action committee coordination. He has also held management positions in parks as well as at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain Resort.

International Institute of Building Enclosure Consultants (IIBEC), Raleigh, N.C.
Brian Pallasch
was appointed chief executive officer, effective June 10, succeeding Lionel van der Walt, executive vice president and CEO, who announced plans to leave the organization to take on another opportunity. Pallasch has been managing director of government relations and infrastructure initiatives at the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) since 1999, where he was responsible for managing ASCE’s government relations department, including federal and state legislative affairs, regulatory affairs, grassroots initiatives and policy development. Since 2008, Pallasch has been responsible for managing ASCE’s strategic initiative regarding infrastructure, including development of the Infrastructure Report Card, as well as the Failure to Act economic studies. Prior to ASCE, Pallasch was director of government relations for the American Subcontractors Association (ASA) for 3 years, where he was responsible for all federal and state relations. He also served as president of the American League of Lobbyists in 2007-2008, after holding a seat on the board of directors from 2004-2006. Pallasch also serves on the board of advisors for the Eno Center for Transportation.

California League of Food Producers (CLFP), Sacramento, Calif.
Ross Siragusa
, head of global agriculture and seed for The Kraft Heinz Co., was elected chair of 2019-2020. Siragusa has been in his current position with Kraft Heinz since 2008, and before that, was director of global agriculture for the then HJ Heinz from 2008-2013. He also previously served as president of the California Tomato Growers Association from 2004-2008. Other 2019-2020 CLFP officers elected were Michael Mariani, chief executive officer of Mariani Packing Co., Inc., as first vice chair; and Patrick Ricchiuti, co-founder of ENZO Olive Oil Co., as second vice chair. Nick Kastle, vice president of sales and marketing for J.G. Boswell Tomato Co. LLC, will continue as immediate past chair. Nominated for 2019-2021 terms were Tim Hamilton, procurement manager for ConAgra Brands, Inc.; Chris Rufer, founder of The Morning Star Packing Co.; Lily Chiem, senior director of quality and regulatory for Kagome, Inc.; P.J. Mecozzi, president of Del Mar Food Products Corp.; and Jim Lipman, vice president of production for California Olive Ranch.

National Pork Board, Washington, D.C.
Appointed members to serve 5-year terms are Russell Nugent III, director of technical services for The Pork Group, Inc.; Gene Noem, director, North American supply chain for Genus PLC; Bill Luckey, fourth-generation pig farmer from Columbus, Neb.; Alicia Pedemonti, executive director of the Northeast Pork Association; and Michael Skahill, vice president of global affairs for Smithfield Foods.

Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), Washington, D.C.
Jeff Harmening
, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of General Mills, was elected new chairman of the board of directors. Harmening, who has served on the board since 2017, succeeds Vivek Sankaran, who was appointed chief executive officer of Albertsons. Harmening joined General Mills in 1994, and has worked for the company in the United States and Europe. Benno Dorer, chair and chief executive officer of The Clorox Co., was elected vice chairman.


Ben E. Keith Foods, Fort Worth, Texas
W. Elliott Stephenson
, who has served as vice president, human resources since 2005, is taking on a new role as vice president, employee development and engagement, where he will lead the strategic development and execution of programs and services in talent management, learning and development, employee engagement, organizational culture, diversity and inclusion and workforce development. Stephenson maintains 39 years of experience in the development of employee systems for performance and productivity improvement. Meanwhile, Monica Martin joins as senior human resources business partner, food division, where she will serve as the company’s primary human resources business consultant, as well as the main point of contact for food division leaders. She will also facilitate several key HR management roles in employee relations, compensation and HR policy guidance, change management and talent acquisition.

Grupo LALA S.A.B. de CV, Mexico
Andrés Gutiérrez Fernández
was appointed vice president of legal and corporate affairs, effective June 1. Fernández maintains more than 15 years of experience as an associate lawyer in Galicia Abogados, S.C., Ritch, Mueller, Heather and Nicolau and in Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, as well as legal director, corporate affairs director and vice president of legal and corporate affairs of Grupo Modelo/Anheuser-Busch InBev. His legal practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, financing projects, capital markets and corporate restructuring, among others. In corporate affairs, maintains extensive experience in corporate communication, crisis management, reputation, risk management and public affairs, among others. Daniel Ignacio del Rio Benítez was named vice president of operations, also effective June 1. del Rio Benítez maintains more than 26 years of experience in supply chain, logistics and manufacturing. During his time at Grupo Modelo/Anheuser-Busch InBev, he was responsible for planning, logistics and brewing operations, glass packaging, aluminum packaging, plastic caps and malting facilities. As head of operations, he achieved an increase in the production capacity of the breweries, both through the construction and startup of new plants, as well as through the better utilization of existing capacity. He also achieved relevant optimizations in production and logistic costs, and implemented management systems that led to the optimization of safety, quality and sustainability KPIs, among others. He was also responsible for the integration between Grupo Modelo and Anheuser-Busch InBev.

BrightFarms, Irvington, N.Y.
Brian Jenny was hired as vice president of sales, tasked with leading business development and overseeing existing retail accounts. Jenny has led produce companies and industry boards for over 15 years. He most recently served as vice president and general manager of CC Kitchens, a division of the Castellini Group. Prior to that, Jenny spent 8 years with Naturipe Farms, rising to vice president and general manager of the value-added division. Prior to working with Naturipe, he spent 7 years with Monterey Mushrooms, where he rose up the ranks to director of sales for the Eastern region. Jenny also served as a fellow in the United Fresh Produce Industry Leadership Program, and has since served as chairman of the United Fresh Produce Association Fresh Cut Processor Board and as a member of the Executive Committee of its board of directors.

Mastronardi Produce, Canada
Remco Beekman
will lead sales and marketing of SUNSET of Holland, the company’s the new venture with Soho Produce. Paul Schockman will lead operations. He maintains over 15 years’ experience in the fresh produce sector in both the Dutch and Canadian markets.

Walmart, Bentonville, Ark.
Suresh Kumar was elevated to chief technology officer and chief development officer. Kumar maintains more than 25 years of technology leadership experience. Kumar was most recently at Google, serving as vice president and general manager of display, video, app ads and analytics. Prior to Google, he was the corporate vice president of Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure and operations. Kumar spent 15 years at Amazon in various leadership roles, including vice president of technology for retail systems and operations, and led Amazon’s retail supply chain and inventory management systems. Before Amazon, he was a research staff member at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center.

GreenSpace Brands, Canada
Aaron Skelton
, chief operating officer, announced his departure to pursue other opportunities in the industry. As a result, Chris Renner was appointed president of the Central Roast brand to oversee all day-to-day operating activities, in addition to his current role as the head of Canadian sales. He will also find new distribution in alternative channels, including private label, and improve the operations at the Central Roast manufacturing facility. Renner maintains extensive general manager experience in previous roles with Burts Bees and Glad food storage, as well as senior sales and marketing roles with Clorox, Ultima Foods and Maple Leaf Foods. C. Scott Riddle was appointed president of Galaxy Nutritionals, the owners of the Go Veggie and Riot brands. Riddle is a natural foods industry veteran of 15 years, having served as vice president of sales and marketing for Organic Bistro, Artisan Bistro and Bounce Energy Balls. He will focus on launching GreenSpace's new entry into the plant-based cheese category, as well as completing the re-brand of Go Veggie and improving distribution for both brands in the United States and Canada.

The Giumarra Cos., Los Angeles
Hillary Brick announced her retirement as senior vice president marketing after 27 years with the company. In 1992, Brick was hired to spearhead the company’s trade and consumer marketing efforts. What began as a 1-woman marketing department has since expanded to a dynamic marketing and business development team under her strategic vision and leadership. Brick began her professional career teaching Japanese, and soon after worked for the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which included 4 years in Tokyo. Her foreign affairs and marketing experience eventually led to an opportunity with the New Zealand Kiwifruit Marketing Board, when then led to her introduction to The Giumarra Cos. During her tenure, she developed the company’s tagline, “Feeding the world in a healthy way,” created the Nature’s Partner brand identity and unified the company’s product lines and service offerings.

Charlie’s Produce, Seattle, Wash.
Bill McCoy
and German Ruiz will join the team following Charlie’s Produce’s acquisition of Better Life Organics (BLO). McCoy, who co-founded BLO and currently serves as chief executive officer, will join Charlie’s Produce in a sales development capacity to further strengthen customer programs. Ruiz, who co-founded BLO and serves as president, will join the Irwindale, Calif., distribution facility and focus on expanding partnerships within the organic grower community.

Harrison Poultry, Bethlehem, Ga.
James Vincent
joined as executive vice president and CFO. Vincent maintains an extensive background in finance, treasury, financial planning and analysis, tax, strategic planning and risk management. Previously, he was the controller for Wayne Farms LLC, where he was responsible for the company’s accounting and finance reporting, including financial compliance, payroll, treasury, credit and collections as well as maintaining the company’s internal controls and playing a critical role in the company’s capital transactions. Before joining Wayne Farms, Vincent spent 10 years at ChoicePoint, Inc. in positions of increasing responsibility, including serving as vice president and CFO of the company’s government services segment and of its public records group. Before joining ChoicePoint, Vincent was with Equifax, Inc. for 5 years, and before that spent 5 years with Arther Andersen LLP.

Tyson Foods, Inc., Springdale, Ark.
Noelle O’Mara
was appointed to the newly created role of chief marketing officer, responsible for innovation and brand building across the enterprise, including overseeing consumer insights and analytics, research and development, innovation and marketing effectiveness. O’Mara, who maintains more than 17 years of food marketing experience, joined Tyson Foods in April 2016 as vice president, new business models. She most recently served as general manager and senior vice president of the Jimmy Dean and Tyson brands. Before joining Tyson Foods, O’Mara held senior level marketing positions with Kraft Heinz, where she led marketing and innovation.


Sodexo, Gaithersburg, Md.

Earl Guill joined as senior vice president, responsible for the Life Sciences sector in North America with a focus on growth strategy and delivering best-in-class solutions. Guill spent more than two decades with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in operations and facilities management, in addition to 5 years with the DuPont Engineering division. Rhonda Wilton joined the Canadian team as vice president of operations. She maintains more than 15 years of facilities management leadership with 8 years leading facilities management within the pharmaceutical industry in North America. Prior to joining Sodexo, she held a general manager position for BGIS - GSK Canada.

Tompkins International, Raleigh, N.C.
Jim Herman was named chief commercial officer, charged with leading all business development initiatives. Herman maintains more than 30 years of experience within the retail, distribution, manufacturing and supply chain industries. He has worked strategically in partnership with brands and retailers of all sizes to achieve accelerated growth and supply chain optimization. Meanwhile, Gene Tyndall was named chief strategy officer. Tyndall is a supply chain consultant, industry veteran and thought leader with more than 30 years of experience with more than 100 multinational corporations and domestic companies in strategy development, new process design, technology and leading practices. Tyndall will lead strategic development, marketing initiatives and strategic planning processes. And, Jeffrey Godwin was named chief technology officer, overseeing the development, procurement, integration, implementation, enhancement and maintenance of a suite of integrated applications. Godwin boasts more than 20 years of supply chain management, distribution and transportation experience. 

Big Lift, LLC, Lombard, Ill.
Mary Jo Tuohy
, parts and warranty manager, is retiring after spending nearly a quarter of a century with the company.

CBRE, Washington, D.C.
Retail industry expert Melina Cordero was named leader of the retail capital markets business for the Americas, effective July 1, tasked with leading the company’s capital markets’ team on the sale, debt and structured finance placement assistance and recapitalization of retail properties in the United States. Cordero most recently served as global head of retail research at CBRE, working closely with retail professionals and business-line leaders to generate in-depth analysis on the latest trends and influences shaping the retail and shopping-center industries. Prior to joining CBRE in 2016, Cordero’s retail experience spanned three continents, including serving as director of analytics for Path Intelligence, where she oversaw the creation of the company’s North American division, working with a large portfolio of retail clients across the continent. Prior to this, Cordero also worked as global industry analyst tracking the retail and consumer goods industries at Euromonitor International, and in urban planning and business policy research at the UK Parliament.
Faegre Baker Daniels, LLC, Minneapolis
Partner Breia Schleuss was named co-leader of the firm’s food and agribusiness industry team, where she will lead a national team of over 150 lawyers and consultants serving as advisors to food and agribusiness companies. She succeeds partner and former industry team co-leader Gretchen Miller Busch, who transitioned to FaegreBD’s management board in early 2019. Schleuss is a partner in the firm’s finance and restructuring group and a leader of the firm’s food, beverage and agribusiness finance practice, where she advises lenders and borrowers in the food and agribusiness sectors.

Pelican Products, Inc., Torrance, Calif.
George Platisa
was hired as chief financial officer, effective May 21, responsible for leading Pelican’s financial strategies worldwide and overseeing financial planning and analysis, strategic planning, accounting and reporting, budgeting, investor relations, due diligence activities associated with acquisitions and divestitures, treasury, tax and risk management. He will also help guide growth and profitability and participate in setting the financial strategy for the company. Platisa has held high-level management positions in a range of industries such as consumer electronics, media and entertainment. His career trajectory includes stints at Belkin International, Price Waterhouse, Walt Disney Co., Broadband Sports and Ascent Media Corp.

Meritech, Golden, Colo.
David Duran was appointed chief executive officer, succeeding Jim Glenn, who has served as chief executive officer since 2006. Duran maintains experience in taking environmental and safety technology companies to the next level by accelerating their innovation, revenue and bottom-line growth. Previously, Duran served as vice president and general manager at Checkers Safety Group, which was acquired by Justrite Safety Group in January 2018, where he redefined the company's strategy resulting in EBITDA growth of 37.7%. Prior to that, he was co-founder and CEO of Mineral Blue Solutions, where he secured $2.6 million in initial funding and executed a strategic plan that generated $14.7 million in revenue. Prior to his work at Mineral Blue Solutions, Duran served as director of global operations at Harrison Western Process Technologies, directing the execution of $4-30 million turnkey water treatment capital projects for mining industries across 5 countries.