Smashburger, T. Marzetti name new president, General Mills announces several exec changes and more
Lancaster Colony Corp., Westerville, Ohio
Kristin Bird was named president of T. Marzetti Co.’s foodservice division, responsible for the overall management of the development and implementation of all strategic initiatives for the company’s foodservice operations and all sales to national chain restaurant accounts and national foodservice distributors. Bird’s professional background includes 21 years in the food industry with leadership roles in marketing, brand management, sales and foodservice channel development. Most recently, Bird served as general manager of Basic American Foods, where she was accountable for the sales, marketing and profit of its foodservice division, which encompassed a broad portfolio of branded products and national chain restaurant accounts in addition to divisions for global foodservice sales and industrial sales and partnerships. Prior to that, Bird spent 10 years with Tyson Foods, serving as senior vice president of foodservice channel development, responsible for leading strategy, marketing and category/portfolio management across foodservice. Meanwhile, Timothy Tate announced his retirement, after 41 years of service with the company, including the past 8 years as senior vice president of foodservice.
Titan Frozen Fruit, Santa Maria, Calif.
Doug Bye joined as director of technical sales. Bye maintains over 30 years of experience in thermal processed fruit ingredients. Bye previously served as technical account manager of ingredient sales for Tree Top, Inc.
Figure8, New York
Andrew Lumsden joined as senior vice president of operations for the new experience-first development company created by the Museum of Ice Cream. Lumsden maintains over 20 years of experience working with food, beverage and hospitality brands, including Zuma, The Ace Hotel, The Spotted Pig, Noho Hospitality and Stephen Starr. Peter Sun joined as vice president, brand and marketing. He maintains over a decade of experience building global brands, including P&G, Unilever, Hilton, LVMH, HSBC, Volvo and more.
General Mills, Minneapolis
Chief financial officer Don Mulligan will transition to an advisory capacity, effective Feb. 1, 2020, and will retire, effective June 1, 2020. Kofi Bruce, currently controller, will be promoted to vice president, financial operations, effective Sept. 1, succeeding Mulligan as CFO, a position he’s held since 2007, responsibile for worldwide finance, mergers and acquisitions, strategy, investor relations, external reporting, internal audit, tax and treasury. Mulligan has been with General Mills for 21 years in various finance leadership roles, including responsibilities for the international division, technical community and treasurer. Bruce joined General Mills in 2009, following 10 years of experience in various finance leadership roles at Ford Motor Co. and Ecolab. During his tenure at General Mills, he has served as treasurer; vice president, finance for the U.S. yogurt operating unit; vice president, finance for the convenience stores and foodservice segment and global revenue development; and his most recent role as controller. Over his 10 years at General Mills, his leadership helped to deliver significant profit improvement through operating cost savings, lower financing costs and dramatic increases in the convenience stores and foodservice segment’s profitability. Billy Bishop, group president, pet segment, will assume the role of founder and brand advisor for the pet segment, effective Jan. 1, 2020. Bishop co-founded Blue Buffalo in 2002. He will step back from day-to-day management, but will maintain an ongoing role providing input on brand strategy and innovation pipeline. Bethany Quam, group president, Europe and Australia segment, will be appointed group president, pet segment, effective Oct. 1. Quam has held her current role since 2016. Since joining General Mills in 1993, she has held positions with increasing responsibility across sales, finance and strategy, and served as group president, convenience stores and foodservice segment. Dana McNabb, president, U.S. cereal, will be promoted to group president, Europe and Australia segment, effective Jan. 1, 2020. McNabb has been with General Mills for 20 years, and has served in a variety of marketing leadership roles across multiple categories. Before her role in U.S. cereal, she was vice president of global marketing for Cereal Partners Worldwide, the General Mills joint venture with Nestlé. McNabb has been in her current role since 2016. Under her leadership, Big G cereals achieved category leadership in the United States for the first time in more than 10 years, led category pricing, modernized the company’s marketing approach and delivered the top new products in the category.
Progressive Produce, Los Angeles
Howard Nager was hired as vice president of business development and marketing. Nager maintains more than 36 years of produce industry experience, most recently as vice president of business development for Sun Pacific since November 2016. Prior to that, he was vice president of marketing for Domex Superfresh Growers from February 2008 to June 2016, and before that, was vice president of sales and marketing for Maui Pineapple Co. from 2003-2007. He served in other marketing positions at Sunsweet Growers, Pacific Fruit, Del Monte Fresh Produce and Dole Fresh Fruit Co.
Honeybear Brands, Elgin, Minn.
Craig Arneson was named business development director. Arneson most recently served as strategic category manager and general manager of North region sourcing for C.H. Robinson. Before that, he was senior group manager of produce sourcing at Target for 4.5 years, preceded by 12 years at C.H. Robinson, starting in sales, then category manager, senior category manager and in business development.
Pacific Organic Produce, San Francisco
Gerry Chua was hired as a sales account representative. Chua maintains 30 years of industry experience in commodity management in conventional and organic produce. He most recently worked in sales at Cuyama Orchards. He also spent 16 years with RB Sandrini Farms as sales manager, specializing in table grapes. He also worked in sales capacities at Sunfresh Marketing Inc. and Hemphill & Wilson Enterprises. Manuel Pinon was appointed new commodity sales specialist. He maintains a 30-year background in sales, including working with growers and setting up contract, commodity management and sales desk experience. Tina Barnes joined as new sales representative. She boasts 25 years of experience in sales, marketing and distributing fresh produce, and has been an organic farmer since 1991, where she created an organic grower network to sell and distribute produce.
Integrated Fresh Solutions, Swedesboro, N.J.
Gina Harlan was hired as new vice president of finance, tasked with directing all aspects of accounting and financial reporting for the company, including its subsidiaries Fresh-Link Produce, LLC and Kool Logistics, LLC. She will also oversee IT and human resources and support strategic plans in place, including merger and acquisition opportunities. Harlan maintains more than 15 years of accounting, information systems and executive finance experience. Previously, she served as chief financial officer of Daimler AG/Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America, and before that, was corporate controller for Magnetic Metals Corp.
Danone North America, White Plains, N.Y.
Nigyar Makhmudova was named executive vice president, growth and innovation, effective immediately, responsible for overseeing the company’s global marketing, innovation, R&D, digital and sales functions. Makhmudova maintains 25-plus years of experience in pharmaceutical and fast-moving consumer goods companies across many countries. She has spent the past 21 years with Mars Inc., more specifically, as global president of Mars Pet Nutrition for the last 10 years. Before that, she was regional president for Europe, Russia and South Africa for Mars, and served as global chief marketing officer for Petcare, establishing the function, turbo-charging the innovation pipeline and kicking off digitalization.
Albertsons Cos., Boise, Idaho
Shane Sampson, executive vice president and chief marketing and merchandising officer, announced plans to leave the company, effective Sept. 7.
Bowery Farming, New York City
Katie Seawell joined as chief marketing officer, tasked with leading the company’s marketing team, spearheading initiatives to build Bowery’s brand and consumer reach in existing and new markets and partnering with the agriculture science team to lead Bowery’s innovation strategy. Seawell spent more than a decade at Starbucks Coffee Co., where she held a variety of leadership roles within the marketing and product organizations, including driving brand campaigns, developing go-to-market strategies and integrated marketing campaigns and product innovation. Most recently, she was senior vice president of siren retail operations, where she led the launches of the Starbucks Reserve Global Roasteries, including Starbucks market entry into Italy. And, Carmela Cugini joined as executive vice president of sales, where she will take the lead on growing its network of retail partners and distribution channels, while educating grocers on the benefits of indoor-grown, pesticide-free produce. Cugini maintains experience across e-commerce retail, consumer packaged goods, financial planning and sales with organizations such as Walmart, Jet.com, PepsiCo and Merrill Lynch. Over the last three years, she was vice president and general manager of Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce team, where she led online grocery and focused on accelerating growth strategies across Walmart’s e-commerce and Jet.com. Previous to that, Cugini spent 13-plus years at PepsiCo and four years at Merrill Lynch, holding key leadership positions across various functions, including sales management, sales operations, key account sales, business development, revenue management strategy, marketing and brand development.
Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC), Denver, Colo.
Carl Bachmann was named president of Smashburger, which the company acquired earlier this year. Bachmann joined Smashburger 2.5 ago as vice president of operations for the East, and was then appointed chief operating officer in August 2017. He also maintains three decades of experience in managing restaurant chains such as Bertucci's and Ruby Tuesday, resulting in increased revenues and efficiencies. Scott Johnson joined as vice president and head of marketing. He maintains over 20 years of experience in restaurants such as Arby's, Outback Steakhouse, Bravo Restaurant Group, and most recently, BurgerFi, where he delivered sales growth and business turnarounds. Charlie Sayre, who joined Smashburger in July 2016, was appointed vice president and head of finance, responsible for ensuring the brand's sustainable profit model in the years to come. Prior to joining Smashburger, Sayre worked as a financial and investment analyst for different companies and played a crucial role in the international go-to-market strategies of World Wrestling Entertainment and the mergers and acquisitions valuation of Mooreland Partners. Rowel Vijandre was named president and country business group head of JFC North America. Rowel previously served as president of Chowking, where he delivered double-digit growth for the past 3 years, making it what is said to be the fastest growing brand in the Philippines. Prior to JFC, Rowel led fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies such as Johnson & Johnson Vietnam, where he tripled its business in 3 years, dubbing it the fastest growing FMCG company in Vietnam. He then turned around L'Oreal Philippines from double-digit negative to double-digit positive sales on top of re-engineering its cost structure, achieving sustainable profit gain coming from profit loss.
PathSpot, New York
Marc Lapides joined to lead sales and marketing for the company, effective Aug. 1, following the company closing its $4 million seed round. Lapides most recently served as vice president, marketing for National Restaurant Association and Winsight Media.
BluePrint Automation (BPA), South Chesterfield, Va.
Michael Cothran was named North Central regional sales manager, effective Aug. 5, responsible for North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Northern Illinois. Cothran has worked at BPA for nearly 2 years, most recently in the applications department. Prior to joining BPA, he worked for a plastic extrusion manufacturer.
IQS, a Cority company, Cleveland, Ohio
Eric Morris was appointed head of product management to lead the strategic vision, design and development of the IQS Trubox platform. Morris maintains more than 10 years of product strategy and development experience. Morris previously served as head of product management for Limelight, where he was responsible for design direction and platform vision. Prior to that, Morris spent over 10 years holding various senior positions across product management, strategy and professional services with several EHS and quality management software providers.
CCG Equipment Finance Ltd., Canada
Anthony Zambon was hired as vice president and Canadian division leader, to oversee multiple origination channels as well as developing the Canadian sales team. Zambon maintains over 25 years of experience in the equipment financing industry, including roles at CIT, GE Capital, and most recently, Wells Fargo Equipment Finance.
CBRE, Los Angeles
Nathan Schnefke joined as senior vice president to lead the company’s retail specialty leasing and alternative revenue practice in the Americas. Schnefke maintains 14 years’ experience in retail real estate, including leasing expertise with kiosks, pop-up stores and other short-term inline stores. He also specializes in alternative revenue opportunities such as sponsorships, vending, food trucks and on-site advertising. Schnefke spent more than a decade with retail investors and brokerage firms. From 2011 to this year, he handled specialty leasing for a portfolio of 39 malls owned by the former General Growth Properties, which then spun off as Rouse Properties, as was then acquired by Brookfield Properties Retail. Prior to that, he worked in retail brokerage for Red Brokerage LLC and Block & Co. Realtors.
IN MEMORIUM: JOHN FOWLER, FOWLER FARMS
John Fowler, one of the fifth-generation owners of Fowler Farms, Wolcott, N.Y., passed away Aug. 18 from cancer.
Fowler introduced what is said to be one of the first “super high-density” orchard planting systems to a commercial operation in the United States. This led to the development of multi-row tree planters and custom orchard sprayers to care for the new systems.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Pines of Peace, 2378 Ridge Rd., Ontario, NY, 14519.