American Association of Port Authorities selects new president, Stop & Shop president resigns, Sprouts appoints new president and more personnel changes
Produce Marketing Association (PMA), Newark, Del.
Dr. Bob Whitaker, PMA chief science and technology officer, announced his retirement from the organization, effective January 2020. Whitaker joined the organization in 2008 as PMA’s first chief science and technology officer. Over his 11-year tenure, Whitaker provided leadership for PMA’s efforts in food safety, technology, supply chain management and sustainability. He was also highly visible in the produce industry as a volunteer leader, speaker, industry advocate and champion for a science-forward approach. Before PMA, Whitaker spent 16 years as vice president for fruit and vegetable research in with DNA Plant Technology Corp. Before that, he worked for 10 years in food safety, product development and as vice president of process operations for NewStar Fresh Foods and its subsidiary, MissionStar Processing. Whitaker has served on the Center for Produce Safety board of directors and Executive Committee since its founding in 2007, and served as the first chair of the CPS technical committee from 2008-2013.
Food Marketing Institute (FMI), Arlington, Va.
Jill Dearing, vice president of corporate brands for C&S Wholesale Grocers, joined FMI’s Private Brands Group Executive Committee, responsible for setting the strategic direction and annual objectives of the Private Brands Group Leadership Council in research, education, membership and governance.
Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI), Juneau, Alaska
Jeremy Woodrow was selected as new executive director, where he will administer all ASMI programs and operations. Woodrow has served as ASMI’s interim executive director since December 2018, and as communications director since 2017. Before joining ASMI, Woodrow served as the communications officer for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. He also worked as an intern in ASMI’s communications program and with ASMI’s former PR agency, Schiedermayer & Associates Alaska. Woodrow replaces former executive director Alexa Tonkovich, who left ASMI in December 2018 to pursue a master’s in international business.
Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA), Alexandria, Va.
Lizelle van der Berg was named director of GCCA’s new Cape Town, South Africa, regional office. Her previous experience includes customer development and client services for logistics companies.
The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), Alexandria, Va.
Christopher Connor was selected as the association’s next president and CEO, effective Sept. 23, taking over for Kurt Nagle, who in October 2018, announced plans to retire. Connor joined Wallenius Wilhemsen Logistics (WWL) in 1994, and has held several commercial and operational positions prior to being named chief executive officer in 2013. Prior to joining WWL, Connor worked for Crowley Maritime Corp. for 7 years, and United States Lines for 6 years. He maintains over 35 years’ experience in the ocean shipping and logistics industry, and has worked and lived in Asia, Europe and United States.
Kadenwood, LLC, Newport Beach, Calif.
Traci Mason joined as vice president and general manager, personal care, focused on increasing Kadenwood's personal care and performance-driven products. Mason maintains over 15 years of experience growing revenue and profit margins in the consumer packaged goods and retail industries. She has held several brand marketing leadership roles across various product categories. For example, while at Henkel Consumer Goods, Mason led a variety of personal care brands, including Right Guard, Dry Idea and Dial, where she developed product innovation and strategic marketing plans in the deodorant, body wash and lotion segments. Jason Waggoner was named vice president and general manager, food and beverage to oversee the conception, creation and launch of Kadenwood's collection of food and beverage products. Waggoner most recently served as director of marketing for King's Hawaiian, where he aided in the development of creative campaign design and the execution of a multi-million-dollar advertising budget that integrated several viewership platforms. Previous to that, Waggoner developed new marketing targets and drove incremental growth for General Mills brands such as Cascadian Farm, Larabar and Progresso Soup.
JSL Foods, Inc., Los Angeles
Jade Wong Lucas was named national accounts manager of foodservice, tasked with promoting the Twin Dragon brand, which her grandfather created 65 years ago.
United Premium Foods (UPF), Woodbridge, N.J.
William Colbert will join as an integral part of the management team, following the acquisition of the Amboy Group. Colbert maintains 20 years’ experience in the meat processing industry, covering all aspects of product development, manufacturing, marketing and distribution.
Ahold Delhaize USA, Quincy, Mass.
Mark McGowan, president, Stop & Shop, announced plans to leave the organization, effective late July. As a result, Gordon Reid will become president, Stop & Shop. Reid currently serves as president of Giant Food. He joined Giant Food, an Ahold Delhaize USA company, in 2013, and maintains more than 35 years of international retail experience, having served in a variety of management roles at Tesco, Boots, A.S. Watson Group and The Dairy Farm Group. Reid serves as a member of the USO Washington-Baltimore Executive Board, Capital Area Food Bank Board and a member of the Partnership for a Healthier America. Also, Ira Kress, senior vice president, operations for Giant Food, was appointed interim president, Giant Food.
The Allen Lund Co., La Cañada Flintridge Calif.
Morgan Underwood was promoted from operations manager to assistant manager of the ALC San Francisco office.
Next Big Thing Growers’ Cooperative, Wenatchee, Wash.
Jennifer Parkhill was tapped as executive director, effective June, responsible for developing strategic plans to advance the cooperative’s mission and objectives, promoting the co-op brand and communicating progress to grower members. She will also oversee operations and finances. Parkhill has served in a variety of marketing and category management positions over the past 19 years for US Foods, where she helped launch new and innovative products and services, led deployments of structure change and developed strategic promotional and marketing plans to communicate US Foods objectives to customers. Parkhill maintains 18 years’ experience in graphic design and computer database management in association communication and marketing environments.
Westby Cooperative Creamery, Westby, Wis.
Emily Bialkowski joined as sales and marketing manager, tasked with leading continued growth in all channels of distribution, including retail grocery and convenience stores in the Upper Midwest and foodservice, ingredients and private label product customers nationwide. Bialkowski boasts communication skills and extensive sales and marketing experience. She most recently served as North American sales and customer service manager at BAPI. Her professional background includes both B2B and B2C products and services, new product and business development, customer relations, communications and team leadership.
Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc., Phoenix, Ariz.
Jack Sinclair was appointed chief executive officer, effective June 24.Sinclair maintains over 35 years of experience in retail and grocery. He has been chief executive officer of 99 Cents Only Stores LLC since 2018, and prior to that, was its chief merchandising officer from 2015-2018. From 2007-2015, Sinclair was executive vice president of Walmart’s U.S. grocery division, where he led all aspects of Walmart’s U.S. grocery business at its more than 4,000 stores. Sinclair previously spent 14 years at Safeway PLC in London, where he was responsible for operations, merchandising and marketing for over 450 Safeway supermarket and convenience store locations throughout the United Kingdom. Sinclair has also served on the board of directors of The Hain Celestial Group since 2017. Also, Brad Lukow, interim co-chief executive officer and CFO, resigned to pursue other opportunities. Lawrence (Chip) Molloy will serve as interim CFO. Molloy has served as a member of the company’s board of directors since 2013, and maintains a long-tenured career as a senior financial executive, including serving as chief financial officer of Under Armour, Inc. from 2016-2017 and PetSmart, Inc. from 2007-2013. Molloy most recently served as interim chief executive officer of Torrid LLC during 2018. Lastly, Shon Boney will step down from the board. Boney is a founder of Sprouts, and has been a board member since 2002.
Shenandoah Valley Organic (SVO), Harrisonburg, Va.
Jefferson Heatwole was named chief sales officer, tasked with leading the sales, supply chain and customer service teams, as well as new product and business development. Heatwole started with SVO in 2014, and was the driving force behind the branded product sales strategy, Farmer Focus, and initiated the “fully-cooked” product development program. He also led the company’s move from bulk product sales to predominantly retail sales. And, Dorothy Muszynska was appointed new chief marketing officer. She maintains over 15 years of marketing experience in the food industry. Her career has been a combination of classical marketing training and large company experience, along with navigating the entrepreneurial environment in working with smaller, family-owned and private equity-backed businesses. During her career, Muszynska has created and implemented marketing plans, launched new brands into new channels and worked with CEOs and boards of directors to define strategic direction and organizational identity. She’s worked in both retail and foodservice channels, leading cross-functional teams from concept creation to execution, delivering strong, sustainable revenue and profit gains.
Whataburger, San Antonio, Texas
The fast food chain promoted new leadership, effective July 1, following investment from BDT Capital Partners. Ed Nelson, currently chief financial officer and controller, will be promoted to president. Nelson joined Whataburger in 2004 as controller. Since 2008, he has been at the helm of Whataburger’s financial department as chief financial officer, overseeing all finance, accounting, treasury and business risk and reporting operations for 828 restaurants across 10 states. Leonard Mazzocco, currently serving as vice president of business operations, will take on the role of senior vice president and chief operating officer. Mazzocco joined Whataburger in 1999 as operations services director, and has since guided efforts in brand management, marketing, human resources, supply chain, shared services and product development. He was promoted to his current role in 2014, where he leads strategic planning. Rob Rodriguez, currently serving as senior vice president of restaurants, will assume the role of senior vice president and chief restaurant operating officer. A 30-year restaurant industry veteran, Rodriguez is an experienced multi-unit leader where he’s piloted new models used in concept revitalization, opened and expanded new restaurant markets and surpassed sales forecasts. Rodriguez joined Whataburger in 2006 as director of operations and was named senior vice president in 2014. James Turcotte, currently senior vice president of the real estate segment, will continue in his role and be promoted to chief development officer. Turcotte began his Whataburger career in 1998 as director in the real estate division. He then took on the role of group director followed by vice president of franchise development. In 2004, Turcotte was named vice president of property and facilities to oversee new construction, enhancement and property management functions. Mike Sobel, currently vice president of retail, will be promoted to senior vice president of retail. Sobel joined Whataburger in 2011 as group director for supply chain solutions, before assuming his current role in 2014. Sobel maintains almost 35 years of experience in supply chain, quality assurance and product development experience in the restaurant industry. Michael Gibbs, currently senior vice president and general counsel, will continue his role as general counsel and will be promoted to executive vice president. Gibbs joined Whataburger in 2005 as the company’s first ever in-house general counsel. Prior to joining Whataburger, he practiced corporate law and served as vice president and general counsel for a restaurant chain.
Select Restaurants, Cleveland, Ohio
Carmen Quagliata was named vice president of business development, effective July 1. Quagliata has served as executive chef of Union Square Café for the past 15 years, where he led the evolution of the restaurant, including moving the operation to a new location in 2016 and directing culinary operations. He maintains more than 30 years’ experience in hotels, restaurants and catering.
Spartan Motors, Inc., Charlotte, Mich.
Todd Heavin was appointed chief operating officer, where he will leverage and enhance the Spartan Production System. Heavin maintains over 3 years’ experience in operational improvement with lean manufacturing systems, having led multiple mergers and acquisitions through integration across companies large and small and gaining efficiencies through operational excellence. Heavin also maintains experience managing multi-site operations and lean manufacturing in a Tier 1 automotive supplier environment and automotive supply base operations management and held segment leadership roles at suppliers and final-stage manufacturers across the supply chain. He most recently served as senior vice president and COO and division president of the casting division for American Axle & Manufacturing (previously Metaldyne Performance Group, previously Grede, LLC, and before that, Citation Corp.), where he implemented world-class lean manufacturing and achieved safety, quality, delivery and financial performance. He also completed multiple acquisition integrations, consolidations, reorganizations and mergers, and received numerous environmental health and safety, lean manufacturing, supplier excellence and partnership awards from customers and government agencies. Prior to his work at American Axle, Heavin held executive positions at Formtech LLC and Intermet Corp., as well as leadership positions at Delphi Automotive and United Technologies Automotive Division.
AquaBounty Technologies, Inc., Maynard, Mass.
David Melbourne, Jr. was appointed chief commercial officer, effective June 17. Previously, Melbourne served as senior vice president of consumer marketing, government and industry relations and corporate social responsibility for Bumble Bee Foods, LLC. He’s also held senior operations and marketing positions at Castleberry/Snow’s Brands, Inc. Melbourne maintains 25 years of marketing and strategic planning experience.
AgileAssets Inc., Austin, Texas
John Perreault was appointed vice president of sales, tasked with leading the company’s U.S. sales teams. Perreault maintains over 25 years of technology sales experience, much of which has been in the public sector. He’s worked for software companies like Computer Associates, Composite Software, Novell and Software AG, where he worked his way up from a territory sales rep early in his career to running the North American public sector team for Software AG. Most recently, Perreault ran North American sales for two business units within Tyler Technologies.
Mitsubishi Electric Automation, Inc. (MEAU), Vernon Hills, Ill.
Scott Summerville was named new president, taking over for Toshio Kawai. Summerville will be responsible for expanding MEAU’s value proposition in the U.S. market by leveraging strategies to grow revenue and market share across all business segments as well as develop and deploy operational and growth strategies. He will also focus on driving revenue growth and profitability, and developing pathways for deployment of new products and solutions. Summerville has been chief executive officer of Omron Microscan since October 2017, after leading the sale of Microscan Systems, Inc. to Omron Corp. Under his leadership, the company became a more market-focused organization, instilling a customer-centric approach to its product development, manufacturing and commercial operations. Summerville maintains more than 30 years of experience in the automation industry, having spent most of his professional career at Rockwell Automation, where he held positions of increasing responsibility, including president of the Asia Pacific region from 2003-2008. Summerville is former chairman of the Integrated Systems & Controls council within the Material Handling Industry of America, and a former member of the board of governors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.
Pelican Products, Inc., Torrance, Calif.
Christopher Favreau was named vice president and general manager of operations for the South Deerfield, Mass., production plant, effective June 3. Favreau will be responsible for managing core site functions and case centers. He is also tasked with growing profitability, improving customer satisfaction and reducing operational costs for both standard and custom products.
LSI Industries Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio
Doug Cotter was named new national sales manager for retail national accounts, responsible for working with distributors’ lighting lines to expand lighting product sales, expand product offerings and focus on smart tools and digital, safety and security products. Previously, Cotter spent 12 years in sales for Revolution Lighting & Triangle Lighting Services, and 17 years with MC Sign and Federal Sign, where he focused on exterior and interior signage and digital printing and signage.