Dean Foods, California Dairies appoint new president, and other personnel news
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), Arlington, Va.
Bryan Zumwalt will join as executive vice president of public affairs, leading all advocacy activities, including government relations, communications, research and ally development. Zumwalt previously served as vice president of federal affairs for the American Chemistry Council (ACC), where he led federal affairs for the leading representative of the plastics and chemical industry. As chief lobbyist for ACC, Zumwalt led comprehensive advocacy campaigns facing the chemical industry. Prior to joining ACC, Zumwalt spent 10 years on Capitol Hill, serving as chief counsel on two Senate committees — the Committee on Environment and Public Works and the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. He has also served as senior energy and environment advisor to Sen. David Vitter, and maintains experience in bipartisan congressional efforts to modernize the Toxic Substances Control Act. And, Stacy Papadopoulos will join as general counsel and senior vice president of operations and special initiatives, to oversee GMA’s operations and initiatives, including SmartLabel. Papadopoulos previously served as general counsel and interim CEO of the American Gaming Association for 5 years, where she oversaw the organization’s legal operations, member engagement, strategic partnerships and events, grew its tradeshow revenue by more than 50% and launched new business initiatives to diversify revenue. Prior to joining AGA, Papadopoulos was a partner at the Potomac Law Group and associate general counsel at Freddie Mac.
The International Association for Food Protection, Des Moines, Iowa
Dr. Kali Kniel assumed the president role. Kniel has been a professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at the University of Delaware since 2004. Her teaching responsibilities include courses on epidemiology and foodborne disease; controversial and social issues of food science; and food security. Kniel also leads an active research program studying issues related to food safety education, produce safety and environmental transmission and persistence of bacteria, viruses and protozoa. She is also active with local growers and food producers in the Delmarva, Del., area and abroad. An IAFP member since 1999, Kniel is also a member of several professional development groups, and has served on numerous committees throughout her membership, including the Program Committee for both IAFP’s Annual Meeting and the IAFP European Symposium, the Black Pearl Award Selection Committee, Food Protection Trends’ Editorial Board and Management Committee and Journal of Food Protection’s Management Committee, and currently serves on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Food Protection.
JD Events, Shelton, Conn.
The owner of the Plant Based World Conference & Expo named Chris Nemchek as general manager to oversee the future growth of the event. Nemchek worked on the launch of Plant Based World in 2019 in a consulting capacity. Nemchek is a 25-year veteran of the International Exhibition and Global Commerce Industries. He also spent the last 20-plus years at the Specialty Food Association (SFA), helping to develop the Fancy Food Shows into North America’s specialty food marketplace. HE also oversaw the departments responsible for the strategic direction of the Fancy Food Shows, revenue generation for the SFA enterprise and member success. His work includes strategy development and execution of sponsorship programs and membership growth and advancement plans. He also maintains experience building partnerships with domestic and international trade associations, governmental agencies and tradeshow organizers worldwide. Nemchek’s industry leadership includes board of directors of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) and their NY Chapter (NYIAEE). He is also past chairman of IAEE’s MATSO Council advancing the interests of U.S. tradeshows.
Dean Foods Co., Dallas, Texas
Eric Beringause was appointed president and CEO, effective July 29, succeeding Ralph Scozzafava, who stepped down as CEO. Beringause maintains more than 30 years of transformational leadership and operational experience at a broad range of blue-chip brands in the food, beverage and consumer products industries, including expertise in food processing and branded and contract manufacturing. Most recently, he served as chief executive officer of Gehl Foods, LLC, and prior to that, served as chief executive officer of Advanced Refreshment LLC and as chief executive officer of Sturm Foods, Inc. Earlier in his career, Beringause held various business development, finance and sales and marketing roles at Alcoa Consumer Products, Gerber Infant & Baby Products, ConAgra, Inc./Grist Mill, Nestlé, Inc., Nabisco Brands and The Pillsbury Co. Scozzafava joined Dean Foods in October 2014, and was promoted to chief executive officer in September 2016.
Tops Friendly Markets, Williamsville, N.Y.
Kelly Quigley was named general manager of Tops’ grocery distribution center. Quigley most recently served as operations manager for Sumitomo Rubber. He also maintains a wealth of experience working within a distribution environment and improving associate engagement while consistently hitting key performance metrics.
Albertsons Cos., Boise, Idaho
Jonathan Gardner was named new group vice president of strategic sourcing. Gardner has spent the last 9 years with Starbucks, where he began his tenure as director of sourcing for IT and digital. Most recently, he served as vice president, global sourcing and supplier relations, responsible for beverage, dairy, packaging, print production, and supply development teams. Additionally, he set strategic and cultural priorities for 200-plus sourcing professionals in a matrix organization linking sourcing offices in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Tokyo, Toronto, and Seattle. As a result, David Nelsen was promoted to group vice president of manufacturing. Nelsen has been with Albertsons since 2001, where he has led the team in expanding manufacturing’s capabilities and product offering to retail, including extended shelf-life dairy and plant-based products, Icelandic and Greek yogurt and expanded ice cream products. Nelsen was also instrumental in opening the company’s Hatfield, Pa., milk plant. Gineal Davidson was named president of the company’s Portland, Ore., division. Davidson started with Albertsons 30 years ago as a courtesy clerk, and was soon after, promoted to the service deli department. Since then, she has held positions of increasing responsibility, including service deli sales manager, store director, Six Sigma Black Belt, district manager and director of sales support. She was named division vice president, marketing and merchandising of the company’s Shaw’s division in 2016, and returned to the intermountain division in 2017, when she was named vice president, strategic initiatives. Davidson was named to her most recent role of intermountain division vice president, marketing and merchandising in October 2017.
California Dairies, Inc. (CDI), Visalia, Calif.
Brad Anderson was selected president and CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2020, succeeding Andrei Mikhalevsky, who has served as president and CEO since 2012, and announced his retirement from CDI. Anderson currently serves as the cooperative’s chief operating officer, where he’s supported the implementation of the Federal Milk Marketing Order, led the due diligence and integration of CDI’s newly acquired Turlock North milk powder facility and created a cross-functional team to lead innovation and growth-focused capital investments. Anderson maintains 28 years of experience in the food and beverage industry. Prior to joining CDI, Anderson was senior vice president and chief sales officer at Dean Foods, and has held positions of increasing responsibility at Sara Lee Corp., Pepsi Bottling Group and Earthgrains Co.
Innovative Food Holdings, Inc., Bonita Springs, Fla.
David Polinsky, Esq was elected to the board of directors as an independent director. Polinsky has served as chief financial officer of Rafael Holdings, Inc. since December 2017. Polinsky co-founded Rafael Pharmaceuticals, where he served as its vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary and president, general counsel and secretary through March 2018. He also served on Rafael Pharmaceutical’s board of directors from 2002-2014. In addition, Polinsky serves as chairman of the board of TheGiftBox, a company he co-founded. Prior to joining Rafael Pharmaceuticals, he served as vice president and general counsel for a Square Management Corp., where he led the investment analysis in, and management of, residential, office, retail and development properties. He also co-founded and served as CEO of a company that licensed and developed TheLaw.com.
Good Foods, Pleasant Prairie, Wis.
Maria Nakasone was named brand manager, tasked with helping shape and advance Good Foods’ brand growth with suppliers, retailers and consumers. She will also work closely with the marketing team to create and promote new ideas and concepts for the brand in addition to working on new launches and media opportunities. Nakasone maintains more than 15 years of experience in brand and category management, product and brand development, launch strategy, marketing and merchandising.
The Kroger Co., Cincinnati
Sonya Hostetler was named president of the Nashville division, effective Aug. 1, succeeding Zane Day, who announced his plans to retire from the company after nearly 45 years of service. Hostetler spent the previous 30 years with Walmart Inc., where she began as an hourly associate and excelled to hold key leadership positions in retail, asset protection, human resources and operations. Most recently, Hostetler served as vice president, regional general manager, where she led 13 markets, 122 stores and 45,000 associates. She also served as corporate vice president of asset protection and safety; vice president, regional general manager; senior director, divisional loss prevention; senior people director, health and wellness human resources; and store manager. Hostetler has served on the boards for the Arkansas Rice Depot and North Texas Food Bank.
Verus International, Inc., Gaithersburg, Md.
James Wheeler, founder of Big League Foods, will continue to lead the company’s new wholly-owned subsidiary as president, following the acquisition.
Humm Kombucha, Bend, Ore.
Matt Witherell was named president, where he will oversee sales, marketing, operations, human resources and finance strategies with a focus on enhancing partnerships with retailers and distributors to accelerate growth for the thriving beverage brand. Witherell maintains more than 20 years of experience in general management, strategy, finance, sales and cross-functional team leadership for companies such as Red Bull, MillerCoors, JPMorgan Chase, Barclay’s Capital and Deloitte Consulting.
The Greenbrier Cos., Inc., Lake Oswego, Ore.
John O'Bryan, the most recent president and CEO of American Railcar Industries (ARI), joins as senior vice president of business development and integration, following Greenbrier’s acquisition of ARI. O'Bryan maintains three decades of rail industry experience in operating and financial roles. Owen Whitehall will be directly responsible for oversight of all North American manufacturing facilities.
JOH, Billerica, Mass.
Michelle Billeri joined as account executive for the New England division. Billeri maintains 26 years of experience with Acosta Sales and Marketing, where she worked on various client accounts, including Best Foods, Bush Brothers, Dole, King Arthur Flour, Nestlé Nutrition, Starbucks, Tropicana and Shaw’s.
UltraSource LLC, Kansas City, Mo.
Chris Isom was appointed chief executive officer. For the past 8 years, Isom has served as vice president and general manager of Schenck Process’ North American division. Prior to that position, he held leadership positions at John Zink Co., Sulzer Chemtech and Koch Industries.
Douglas Machines Corp., Clearwater, Fla.
Paul Claro was named new president and CEO, replacing David Ward, who is retiring. Claro possesses over 18 years of experience in industries ranging from product distribution, equipment manufacturing, industrial services and engineering. He has served as president, general manager and vice president for several large multi-million-dollar companies, including Trojan Battery, Argo Turboserve, Rexnord Industries, NUR Macroprinters and Harsco Infrastructure, where he strategically built sales, streamlined operations and executed business development initiatives, leading to year-over-year growth.
MGX Renewables Inc., Canada
Fabio Fontana was named director of European operations, responsible for setting up and leading European (EU) operations, organizing the upgrading and certification of MGXR’s Zinc-Air Fuel Cell Battery to EU Standards and negotiating manufacturing, distribution and capital relationships in Europe. Fontana has spent the early part of his career in senior positions with British Gas Plc., and served in a variety of roles in the European Energy Industry. Fontana was director of Brembio Energia Scarl; director of Spilimbergo Energia; managing director at European Power Systems Srl (JV - Carraro Group); director of Jucker SpA and Jucker Energia Srl.; managing director and COO for Lombardia Gas Trader SpA; director at COG.EST SpA; and regional business development director for British Gas Plc., where he developed the Mediterranean strategy and launched what is said to be one of the first LNG projects. He also served as director British Gas RIMI SpA, where he developed British Gas exploration and production activities in Italy. He also served as director, chief executive and president for Serene SpA (JV - Fiat Avio, BG, Sondel, SanPaolo Bank), where he led financing and development of 12 Greenfield power generation units (50MWe/unit); as well as managing director and country manager for British Gas Italia SpA and British Gas Corp., where he developed the Italian asset portfolio through project investments and acquisition and supported the liberalization process of the Italian energy market. Fontana also served as manager in various roles at Aem (Public Utility of Milan) and quality assurance at Scai Srl, Suisio for quality assurance of nuclear power plants.
RadTech International North America, Chevy Chase, Md.
Jennifer Heathcote, technical and commerical consulting advisor for Eminence UV, LLC, will serve as a consultant, providing applications expertise. Heathcote maintains 20 years in the UV+EB industry serving in applications engineering, sales, business development and general management roles.
Saf-T-Gard International, Inc., Northbrook, Ill.
Brian Long was hired as new vice president of sales. Long maintains more than 25 years’ experience in various sales, operations and executive management positions at Fortune 500 companies. He previously served as regional vice president of sales for a 10-state Midwest region for Grainger Industrial Supply. Prior to that, he held other positions within Grainger, including director of sales operations and senior government sales manager. Most recently, Long served as director of strategic customer success at Verizon Fleetmatics, where he led a team of managers focused on increasing sales revenue and contract retention from Verizon’s largest customer base.
Roll-Kraft, Mentor, Ohio
Frank Lowery joined as senior technical performance specialist, responsible for leading the roll form service and tryout departments, working with the engineering department on the upfront development and design of roll form tooling, overseeing customer requests to test their rolls at Roll-Kraft after manufacturing and helping to ensure first-time performance upon delivery to their facility.