The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR), Washington, D.C.
Dr. Ann Beaulieu, vice president of R&D and regulatory at AgroFresh Solutions, Inc., joined FFAR’s advisory council, leveraging her decades of experience and knowledge of agriculture, chemistry and food supply chain systems.
Board of Harbor Commissioners, Long Beach, Calif.
Steven Neal was appointed harbor commissioner, effective Aug. 26, to oversee the Port of Long Beach and the city’s harbor department. Neal is a former City Council member who represented the 9th District from 2010-2014. He replaces Lori Ann Guzmán, whose term began in December 2013, to become city manager of Costa Mesa, Calif. Neal is the senior pastor for LIFE Gospel Ministries, has served on the Long Beach Transit board and the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network board and was chairman of the Measure A Citizens’ Oversight Committee. He is also co-founder of the Economic and Policy Impact Center.
Stater Bros. Markets, San Bernardino, Calif.
George Frahm announced plans to retire as president Oct. 31, after more than 47 years of service. Frahm’s extensive career with Stater Bros. Markets began in 1973 as a clerks helper and lanitor. He progressed through a range of store-level, retail supervision and executive management roles to include vice president labor relations, executive vice president retail operations/administration, executive vice president administration/distribution before being named president. Industry veteran Greg McNiff will succeed Frahm as president, effective Nov. 1. McNiff’s grocery career spans 38 years, with 27 of those years in the Southern California marketplace. His grocery career began in 1981 as a courtesy clerk at a former Albertsons location. He worked his way up to several leadership and executive management roles across the organization before being named to his most recent role of division president of the company’s Portland, Ore.
Albertsons Cos., Boise, Idaho
Mike Theilmann was named executive vice president and chief human resources officer, effective Aug. 19. Theilmann previously served as global practice managing partner, human resources officers practice for Heidrick & Struggles. Andy Scoggin, who has served as executive vice president of human resources, public affairs, government relations and labor relations since its founding in 2006, announced his plans to leave the company at the end of the calendar year. Thielmann maintains a nearly 30-year career in human resources. For instance, he previously worked at Yum Brands!, where he served as vice president of people services; vice president of human resources for Europe operations; and senior vice president of chief people officer for the international business. He also served as chief human resources and administration officer of J.C. Penney from 2005-2009. He was promoted to group executive vice president in 2010, where he led store operations, supply chain management, human resources and administration. He’s also worked at Diageo and PepsiCo.
FreshEdge, Indianapolis, Ind.
Industry veterans Steve Grinstead will become chief executive officer, and Greg Corsaro will become president and COO of the newly formed company created by IF&P Foods and Get Fresh Produce. Grinstead maintains 40 years of experience in the food distribution industry, most recently as chief executive officer of The Grinstead Group, following 8 years as chief executive officer of Pro*Act. Prior to Pro*Act, Steve was chief operating officer of Standard Fruit and Vegetable and president of Fresh America. He’s active in industry-wide organizations, serving as chairman of United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association and the United Fresh Foundation. Grinstead is also a long-time member of the Produce Marketing Association, National Restaurant Association and the Food Marketing Institute. Corsaro has been in the produce industry for 27 years, most recently as chief executive officer of IF&P Foods. Prior to his produce career, Corsaro worked as a CPA for a public accounting firm, and later, in the private practice of law. He is an attorney and a CPA.
Marfrig Global Foods, Brazil
Gustavo Kahl was named chief executive officer of Quickfood, which will be integrated into Marfrig’s South American operational portfolio following its acquisition from earlier this year. Kahl maintains 29 years of experience in the beef industry.
Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc. Coral Gables, Fla.
Scott Owens was appointed vice president of sales and product management, North America, tasked with leading the banana, pineapple and melon programs, and overseeing a strong internal team focused on the company’s core products. Owens maintains a vast breadth of experience in fresh produce and consumer packaged goods. Previously, he’s worked at Wonderful Citrus, Chiquita Brands International and General Mills.
Tyson Foods, Inc., Springdale, Ark.
Doug Foreman was named director, engineering of the company’s new Tyson Manufacturing Automation Center. Foreman will manage the day-to-day operations, with assistance from Marty Linn, who spent 34 years at General Motors, 18 of those as the principal engineer of robotics and the manager of advanced automation.
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc., Greenwood Village, Colo.
Tom Conforti, G.J. Hart and David Pace were named new independent directors, effective immediately. Conforti maintains more than three decades of experience in financial, strategic and operational roles across multiple industries, including restaurant, retail, consumer and hospitality. He most recently served as executive vice president and CFO for Wyndham Worldwide from 2009-2017, where he had direct responsibility for all finance, technology, real estate and purchasing functions. During that time, he helped lead changes to the company’s capital allocation strategy, and the company delivered a total shareholder return of over 700%. Prior to that, he served as chief financial officer for IHOP/Dinequity from 2002-2008, where he led the purchase of Applebee’s and a change in IHOP’s franchising model. Earlier in his career, Conforti held leadership positions at The Walt Disney Co. and KB Home, as well as a number of roles at PepsiCo. Hart is a seasoned food and beverage executive with nearly 35 years of industry experience. Since 2018, he has served as chief executive officer of Torchy’s Tacos, and before that, served as executive chairman and CEO of California Pizza Kitchen, where he was responsible for its “Next Chapter” of growth. From 2000-2011, Hart served as president of Texas Roadhouse Holdings, LLC and as chief executive officer from 2004-2011, where he oversaw unprecedented growth and expanded the business from 60 locations to over 450 restaurants in 49 states and two international markets, while increasing revenues from $63 million to over $1 billion. Earlier in his career, Hart held leadership positions at TriFoods International, New Zealand Lamb Co.and Shenandoah Valley Poultry, among others. Pace maintains more than 30 years of leadership experience in a range of industries, including food and beverage retail, consumer products, entertainment and e-commerce. From 2016-2018, he served as chief executive officer of Jamba Juice, Inc., where he led the brand through a repositioning and tripled profit performance. Prior to that, he served as president of Carrabba’s Italian Grill, from 2014-2016, where he oversaw significant margin improvement and record profits. From 2010-2014, Pace served as executive vice president and chief resource officer at Bloomin’ Brands, the parent company of Carraba’s Italian Grill, where he was responsible for real estate development and human capital deployment across approximately 1,500 restaurants, 100,000 team members and five brands. Earlier in his career, Pace held various leadership positions at Starbucks and YUM! Brands, among others. Pattye Moore, board chair and interim CEO, will retire from the board after a CEO transition, and Stuart Oran will not stand for re-election.
Flexicon, Bethlehem, Pa.
Emmanuel Decoeur was named regional sales manager of the company’s new office in France, responsible for building relationships with plant managers, engineers and other decision-makers in facilities that handle bulk solid materials across the food, pharmaceutical, mineral and general chemical industries. Decoeur has served in various technical engineering positions since 2001. He most recently served as technical sales engineer for a major beverage company, where he managed the development, costing and installation of industrial process systems. He’s also trained on-site at Flexicon's European headquarters in Kent, England.
Key Technology, a member of the Duravant family of operating companies, Walla Walla, Wash.
Jeff Nielsen was named area sales manager for the Southeast and South Central United States, replacing Bob Freeman, who is retiring from Key after 19 years. Nielsen maintains 17 years of experience in food processing equipment sales. Most recently, he was Southeast sales manager with Industrial Ventilation, Inc. Previously, he was the Southeast regional sales manager with Tomra Sorting Solutions.
Specright, Inc., Irvine, Calif.
Mike Gaffney was named chief operating officer. Gaffney maintains more than 20 years of experience in leading and scaling successful enterprise software organizations. Gaffney began his enterprise software career at Oracle, where he sold database and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to the public sector. He then joined Salesforce, where he spent 7 years in leadership positions. Before that, he was chief revenue officer and vice president of sales for Auditude and Right Media, which was acquired by Yahoo!. And, Ayman Shoukry was appointed chief technology officer. Shoukry is a 20-year tech industry veteran. Shoukry was most recently part of the e-commerce platform team at Amazon. Before Amazon, he was chief technology officer of HireRight, where he was part of the executive team that drove the company's exit. He began his career in the Microsoft developer division, where he spent over 15 years in various leadership positions.
LINKFRESH Inc., Ventura, Calif.
Bryan Barsness was appointed vice president of sales for North America. Barsness maintains 12 years’ fresh produce industry experience in software and technology sales, as well as a thorough knowledge of the fresh produce sector and enterprise resource planning technology and software.
The Allen Lund Co., La Cañada Flintridge Calif.
Leonora Winegar was named manager of the ALC Grand Rapids, Mich., office. Winegar maintains over 37 years of brokerage experience LTL, TL and managerial involvement. She has worked in every department, and has held several roles within the brokerage office. Jeff Kleyn was appointed operations manager of the ALC Grand Rapids, Mich., office. Kleyn started with ALC in November 2012, and has been in the brokerage industry since 1995.
MULTIVAC, Kansas City, Mo.
Following the FRITSCH Group acquisition, Andreas Eyd joined as sales management, while Frank Gabriel will work in technical leadership. Eyd previously worked in various management functions, including chief executive officer, within the printing industry and refrigeration sector. Since July 2017, he has occupied the position of vice president of sales and operations for Central Europe, Africa and the Middle East as well as for Australia and New Zealand. Gabriel has been at MULTIVAC since September 2011, most recently as chief executive officer of MULTIVAC’s Spanish production company. Prior to this, he was responsible for international production projects at the headquarters. Txus Baquero will take over Gabriel’s position in Spain, effective Aug. 1. Baquero has been production manager at MULTIVAC Spain since 2011.
PSSI, Kieler, Wis.
Tom “Tiny” Eckmann was promoted to vice president of operations, tasked with overseeing the company’s customer relationships and operational initiatives with food processors across the Southeast region, including Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Eckmann maintains more than 22 years of experience working in sanitation. He joined PSSI as a supervisor, and worked his way up through the company, most recently leading the North region as a division manager. Eckmann has served as the Mayor of Trimont, Minn., for the last 15 years; as vice president of the Trimont Chamber of Commerce; and president of the local Economic Development Association. He is also a former member of the Trimont fire department and trained as a first responder.
BioLogiQ, Inc., Idaho Falls, Idaho
Steven Sherman was appointed president and COO, NuPlastiQ, responsible for the global commercialization and production scale-up of the company’s NuPlastiQ BioPolymers and BioBlend Resins. Sherman’s prior experience includes C-Suite stints with high-technology startups, including Coactive, Inc. and HZO, Inc. He also spent 18 years in executive management with Hirata Corp. of America, where he ran corporate operations as well as the light assembly division.
FREEZ Construction, Trabuco Canyon, Calif.
Industry veteran Vince Free formed this thermal contracting firm. Free has worked in the cold storage construction industry since 2005, and served as thermal vice president for an industry-leading contractor. Free has also been a member of the Controlled Environment Building Association (CEBA) since 2006, and currently sits on the board as vice chairman.
InfinityQS International, Inc., Fairfax, Va.
Andrew McDaniel was named director of sales, responsible for the strategic planning and guidance of the sales team in support of ongoing business development and client success. Previously, McDaniel has held numerous other sales leadership positions, helping organizations in a variety of markets see consistent year-over-year growth in overall sales revenue, lead development and customer engagement. He’s also held sales management roles at Cloudistics, RainKing Solutions (now DiscoverOrg) and K12 Inc., where he led sales and business development teams and oversaw training and quality assurance initiatives.
Hydrite Chemical Co., Brookfield, Wis.
Kara Baldus was named food safety program manager, responsible for managing food safety and sanitation technical training, program development and adjacent technology. Baldus maintains over 20 years of training and experience in food microbiology and food manufacturing. She has a background in food microbiology training, microbiology methods, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) and food safety plans.
Spartan Motors, Inc., Charlotte, Mich.
Angela Freeman was appointed to the board of directors and to the board's Human Resources and Compensation Committee, effective Aug. 5. Freeman serves as chief human resources officer at C.H. Robinson, where she leads the company's global talent strategies, including recruiting, compensation, learning and leadership development, employee communications and diversity and inclusion. She also serves as the president of the C.H. Robinson Foundation. Freeman joined C.H. Robinson in 1998, and has since expanded her scope and responsibilities, serving in a variety of positions, including leading investor relations, marketing and public relations and government affairs. Prior to joining C.H. Robinson, Freeman was with McDermott/O'Neill & Associates. Freeman has also played an active role in numerous transportation and logistics industry organizations, including serving on committees within the National Shippers Strategic Transportation Council, the National Industrial Transportation League and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. She also serves on the board of LeadersUp and the University of North Dakota Alumni Association & Foundation.
Hanwell Solutions Ltd., UK
Patrick Hoevenaars joined as new European distribution manager. Richardson has been with Hanwell for over 30 years, and has been a key driver in the development of its current distribution network. Previously, Hoevenaars was a Dutch distributor for the firm for almost 20 years before working with a company that specializes in contamination monitoring systems. Meanwhile, Marcus Stacey-Bradbury becomes point of contact for the UK distribution network as commercial manager. Stacey-Bradbury joined the company 5 years ago as a business development manager.
IN MEMORIUM: JOSEPH CINQUE, PREMIO FOODS
Joseph Cinque, founder of Premio Foods, Fair Lawn, N.J., passed away peacefully at his home in Hallandale Beach, Fla., on July 29.
Cinque served his country in the U.S. Navy before moving back to Brooklyn, N.Y.
After various jobs, he was hired as a driver for Eatwell Foods, where he developed a passion for selling and making authentic Italian sausages. Cinque worked at Eatwell for 10 years until the owners sold the company. Then, he bought Garden State Sausage in 1977 and opened his own distribution business, which at the time, only covered foodservice customers on the first floor of a 2-story house. A year later, Cinque’s eldest son, Steven, joined him and helped to expand into selling to retail customers with King Kullen Supermarkets being their first customer. In 1986, his youngest son, Marc joined the family business, and in 1999, sold Garden State Sausage to both Steven and Marc, which is when the sausage company became Premio Foods, Inc. and expanded into retailers across the Northeast Region. Marc Cinque is currently president and CEO.
IN MEMORIUM: WILLIAM CASEY, LTI, Inc.
William Casey, chairman of the board of LTI, Inc., Jonesboro, Ga., passed away July 24. Casey has served as chairman since 2008 after leading the company as president and CEO from 1994-2007.
Upon graduating from the University of Georgia in 1963, Casey started his career at LTI (Low Temp Industries), which was co-founded in 1947 by his father William B. Casey. As vice president of sales, he spent years traveling the country selling custom foodservice equipment. He was active in various foodservice shows, including the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM), which LTI joined in 1972.
Upon the passing of his father in 1994, Casey began his tenure as president and CEO until transitioning to the role of chairman of the board.
He is preceded in death by his father William B. Casey. He is survived by his wife, Sue Wright Casey, of 55 years; daughters Barbara Casey Lane (Tim) and Audrey Casey Pearson (David) and son Ben Casey (Lori); mother Audrey Casey; sister Cheryl Brown (Owen); 11 grandchildren and one great-grandson.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to First Baptist Church of Jonesboro or Southwest Christian Care of Union City.