Chobani, Walmart Canada, Papa John’s select new presidents, and more executive changes
The U.S. Apple Association, Chicago
Jeff Colombini was named a chair of the board of directors for the 2019-20 term, succeeding 2018-19 chair Kaari Stannard, owner of New York Apple Sales, Inc. Colombini is president of Lodi Farming, Inc., and previous to that position, worked as operations analyst for Stanislaus Food Products and as a loan officer for the Farm Credit System. He has been active in the apple industry for years, including three years of service as a USApple officer. His immediate past role was vice chair of USApple. Aside from his leadership with USApple, Colombini serves as chairman of the California Apple Commission and past chair of the California Cherry Advisory Board and the Olive Oil Commission of California. He currently serves as Secretary for the Olive Oil Commission, and is active in the Linden Lions Club, serving as president from 2012-13.
Association of Rotational Molders (ARM), Arlington Heights, Ill.
Kathy Gorey, project engineer in Pelican Products’ manufacturing engineering department, will serve on the board of directors. Gorey started with Hardigg Industries (acquired by Pelican in 2009) in the engineering department as a drafter.
Category Partners, LLC (CP), Idaho Falls, Idaho
Fresh foods industry veteran Steve Lutz joined as senior vice president of insights and innovation. Lutz most recently served as vice president of member engagement with the Produce Marketing Association. Before that, he was chief strategist and vice president of marketing for CMI Orchards. Prior to joining CMI Orchards, Lutz was one of the three founding partners of the Perishables Group, serving as executive vice president. He co-led the firm for 13 years, including selling it to Nielsen to form the Nielsen Perishables Group. Before that, Lutz served as president and CEO of the Washington Apple Commission.
Walmart, Bentonville, Ark.
Barbara Messing announced plans to resign from the company as senior vice president and chief marketing officer, effective Aug. 30. Since joining the company last year, Messing has led creative campaigns, been an advocate for customers, encouraged teams to think differently about traditional advertising avenues and more. She also was on a path to creating a new retail marketing team within the marketing organization to better support the company’s merchandising and e-commerce business. David Echegoyen will oversee marketing for grocery, pickup and delivery, services and digital acceleration. Brittney Duke, vice president, marketing operations, joined as vice president, general merchandise marketing. Ciara Anfield, senior director, store experience marketing, was promoted to vice president, responsible for consumables marketing. Karissa Price, senior director, health and wellness marketing, was promoted to vice president, overseeing health and wellness marketing. Alvis Washington, vice president, store experience marketing, will join the retail marketing team. In the meantime, Michael Francis, who has served as a strategic consultant to the marketing team, will join the company full-time to guide the retail marketing team.
Darigold, Seattle, Wash.
Richard Scheitler was hired as new chief information officer, effective Sept. 3. Scheitler most recently served as chief information officer at The Wonderful Co., and prior to that, joined The Wonderful Co.’s POM Wonderful division, where he held roles in consulting organizations such as KPMG. Monica Johnson was named new general counsel, effective Sept. 17. Johnson has worked in similar food and beverage industries directly relevant to Darigold’s business, including branded consumer products, cyclical agricultural commodities and global ingredients. For example, she most recently served as general counsel for Bonduelle Americas, and prior to that, held legal roles at Ventura Foods, LLC, Western Digital Technology, Inc. and Deutsche Bahn/DB Logistics/Bax Global.
Wanderport Corp., Santa Monica, Calif.
Miki Takeuchi was appointed new interim CEO. Takeuchi has been working at Wanderport since 2014, most recently as chief operating officer, where she’s been instrumental in planning and executing the company’s initiatives. Liliana Vo will remain as president, in charge of the pain management product line.
NaturalShrimp, Inc., Dallas, Texas
Bill Williams announced his retirement as chairman of the board and CEO, effective Aug. 31, a position he’s held for the past 18 years.
Greenleaf Foods, SPC, Chicago
Adam Grogan was named chief operating officer, effective Sept. 9. Grogan currently serves as senior vice president of marketing, innovation, research and development at Greenleaf's parent company Maple Leaf Foods, Inc. During his 20 years at Maple Leaf Foods, Grogan has been involved in business functions, including supply chain management, category management, brand marketing and customer business development. Prior to his current role, he was vice president and general manager, retail sales for Maple Leaf consumer foods, where he was responsible for leading the company's cross-functional retail selling and customer business development efforts for Maple Leaf's portfolio of retail branded and private label products in Canada and the United States.
Chobani, LLC, Norwich, N.Y.
Peter McGuinness was promoted to president, effective Aug. 28, where he will continue to oversee Chobani's demand function, but will also oversee supply chain, manufacturing, sustainability, and research and development functions. McGuinness has been with the company for 6 years. In addition, Federico Muyshondt was named chief customer officer. In addition to his current role of overseeing retail and international sales activity, Muyshondt's role will now include category development, shopper marketing and revenue and trade management. Jason Blaisure was named senior vice president of supply chain, responsible for overseeing manufacturing and engineering operations, procurement, logistics and customer service and contract manufacturing. Parag Agrawal was named chief information officer, charged with overseeing the company's technological infrastructure and IT operations. Grace Zuncic was named chief people and culture officer, responsible for maintaining the company's strong company culture and human resources capabilities. Michelle Brooks, currently serving as treasurer, will serve as interim CFO, taking over for Mick Beekhuizen, chief financial officer, who is resigning. Brooks joined Chobani in 2018 to serve as treasurer and lead the company's investor relations. In this interim role, she will continue to shepherd the company's investment strategy and financial strength.
Walmart Canada, Canada
Horacio (Haio) Barbeito was named president and CEO, effective in October, taking over for Lee Tappenden, who after 23 years with the company, is resigning at the end of the year. Barbeito joined Walmart nearly 25 years ago, developing his career through leadership roles in Argentina, the United States, Puerto Rico, and Chile. Barbeito started with the company nearly 25 years ago as a trainee buyer, and has developed his career through roles, including replenishment in Argentina and the United States and supply chain and store operations in Puerto Rico. In 2012, he was named chief executive officer of Walmart Argentina, and then in 2015, became chief executive officer of Walmart Argentina and Chile. Tappenden will then take on a global role as part of the international support team focusing on global sourcing and supplier leverage until his departure Jan. 31, 2020.
Pre Brands, Chicago
David Meltzer joined as chief sales officer. He maintains deep experience in consumer packaged food sales leadership, as both a broker and client company. Most recently, Meltzer was senior vice president of sales with Hometown Food Co., which acquired and managed a portfolio of brands, including Pillsbury and Funfetti, from The J.M. Smucker Co. Prior to that, he led sales at Richelieu Foods. He started his career with Daymon Worldwide.
Kraft Heinz, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Seasoned veteran Paulo Basilio will move back into the role of global chief financial officer, taking over for current CFO David Knopf, who will return to 3G Capital, where he’s been a partner since 2015. Nina Barton, currently president of the Canada Zone and digital growth, was promoted into the newly created role of chief growth officer, where she will be responsible for accelerating organic growth and developing capabilities. She will continue to lead the company’s global e-commerce business and digital businesses, while adding overall oversight for R&D, channel growth and an enterprise-wide view for innovation. Barton will also lead the company’s strategic plan initiative. Bruno Keller, current head of category development in Canada, was promoted to Canada Zone president. He previously served as managing director for South Europe.
New Harvest Foods, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Ron Carkoski was named chief executive officer of the newly created company, following the acquisition of H. Brooks and Co. and J&J Distributing. Carkoski is a 42-year veteran of the produce industry. Jason Jaynes, founder of the Dragonfly Group, parent company of New Harvest Foods, will become chairperson of board of directors.
Bland Farms and Vidalia Brands, Glenville, Ga.
Sam Burleson was hired to lead sales and marketing for the Northeast region, charged with leading client-grower relations while continuing to expand Bland’s strategic retailer partnerships from coast to coast. For over 30 years, Burleson has been a top-producing, performance-driven sales and marketing executive pioneering business strategies that increase product awareness, market share and profitability.
Papa John's International, Inc., Louisville, Ky.
Rob Lynch was appointed president and CEO, effective immediately, where he will focus on the company and its franchisees. Lynch has been president of Arby’s since 2017, where he transformed Arby’s into a “fast-crafted” quick-service restaurant (QSR) brand, delivering 16 consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth and achieving record sales and profits for the brand last year. He also led the company’s operations, marketing, culinary, development and digital transformation. Lynch joined Arby’s in 2013 as chief marketing officer, during which time he created the “We Have the Meats” campaign. As president of the Arby’s Franchisee Association since 2013, he rebuilt strong franchisor/franchisee relations, driving the first new restaurant growth in 10 years. Lynch has also held leadership positions at Taco Bell, HJ Heinz Co. and Procter & Gamble, and maintains 20 years’ combined experience in QSR and consumer packaged goods.
Ali Group North America, Vernon Hills, Ill.
Tim Garbett announced plans to retire as president of ACP, Inc., effective Sept. 1, a position he’s served since 2006. He will remain chairman until Dec. 31, 2019. Garbett started his career in the home appliance industry in the late 1970s, and transitioned to Amana Commercial as vice president of sales in 1998. Kevin Clark will assume Garbett’s position as president of ACP, Inc. Clark is a 35-year veteran of the foodservice equipment industry, having started his career with The Wasserstrom Co. in 1984. He has held various sales and marketing executive roles with a number of major foodservice equipment manufacturers. He has served as president of Scotsman Ice Systems since 2015, where he oversaw many new and successful initiatives. Erik Nommsen was named president of Scotsman Ice Systems, replacing Clark. Nommsen returned to Champion for his second appointment as president in January 2016. His first tenure lasted from 2008-2014, during which he played an integral part to Champion’s growth. In 2017, Nommsen was named chief executive officer of the Ali Group North America, refrigeration division (Beverage-Air and Victory Refrigeration) and the Champion Group (Champion, Moyer Diebel, Bi-Line and Trisys), where he managed both groups, including oversight of sales, administration, product development and production. Oscar Villa will assume the role of president of the Ali Group North America, refrigeration division. Villa joined the Ali Group North America, refrigeration division as chief financial officer in 2016 after serving as corporate controller for Ali Group North America from 2014-2016. During his tenure with the refrigeration division, Villa was active in working with operations, engineering and sales to identify areas of improvement. Will Means was appointed president of Champion Industries (Champion, Bi-Line and Trisys). Means joined Champion Industries in June 2007 in a sales quoting role. Over the past 12 years, he has advanced from regional sales manager to vice president of sales, and since September 2017, has served as general manager of Champion Industries. Means and his team were instrumental in bringing Champion to the forefront of technology innovation. And, Scott Cherevaty was named president of Champion Moyer Diebel Canada. Cherevaty originally joined Champion Industries as national sales manager in April 2004, and moved to director of sales in January 2008. In October 2010, he returned to Canada and took on the role of vice president of sales. Cherevaty was promoted to general manager of Champion Moyer Diebel Canada in November 2015, where he has been an integral part of the overall growth of Champion Moyer Diebel Canada, achieving record production output for the company in FY2019.
Carpigiani Group, Winston-Salem, N.C.
Penny Klingler was named president of the Ali Group division, effective Sept. 1, responsible for driving strategic growth while strengthening the foundation of the North American platform. Klingler has served as executive vice president of sales and marketing since 2017, and prior to that, served as senior vice president of key accounts. Klingler maintains an extensive background in the commercial foodservice equipment industry, including 25 years with H.C. Duke & Son/Electro Freeze, where she served as vice president of sales, overseeing international sales expansion. She spent 3 years as vice president of customer services with Sweden Freezer, and 4 years leading the beverage support teams for Alco Standard Corp.’s dispensing division.
Stora Enso, Finland
Karl-Henrik Sundström announced plans to leave his position as chief executive officer during the first quarter of 2020. Sundström joined Stora Enso in 2012 as chief financial officer, and took on the role as divisional head of the paper and wood products businesses in 2013. He assumed the role of chief executive officer in August 2014.
Norfolk Southern Corp., Norfolk, Va.
Mark George was appointed executive vice president and CFO, effective Nov. 1, succeeding Cynthia Earhart, who will retire from the company Nov. 1. George maintains more than 30 years of experience in financial management, strategy and business development across multiple commercial business segments of United Technologies Corp. (UTC), including as vice president finance and chief financial officer for the past 11 years at Otis Elevator Co., and most recently, Carrier Corp. Since joining UTC through its Otis Elevator subsidiary in 1989, George has served in positions of increasing responsibility in finance, planning, analysis and treasury for several UTC entities in the United States and Asia.
LSI Industries Inc., Cincinnati
Erin Nichols was named new national accounts sales manager, working with distributors to expand lighting product sales, manage customer satisfaction and provide first-class service. Nichols will also be instrumental in creating direct relationships with a range of national retailers, including hypermarket, warehouse, discount and retail-banking formats. Previously, Nichols achieved revenue-generation, customer-acquisition and customer-retention metrics in account management and business development roles for the medical and pharmaceutical industries.
The Greenbrier Co., Inc., Lake Oswego, Ore.
Executive vice president and COO Lorie Tekorius was promoted to president and COO, leading the company’s strategic planning, the wheels, repair and parts business unit and accounting, finance, human resources and global corporate health, safety and security functions. Tekorius has been with Greenbrier for 24 years in various operating and financial capacities. Prior to this most recent appointment, she served as chief financial officer, and has held various responsibilities at Greenbrier and its affiliates, including manufacturing scheduling, strategic planning and other roles interfacing with the commercial and manufacturing units. Tekorius was appointed chief financial officer in 2016; executive vice president and chair of the executive committee in 2017; and chief operating officer in 2018. William Furman, chairman and CEO, will retain oversight of the commercial, manufacturing and international business units, along with the corporate legal, communications and public affairs functions.
Modality Solutions, Houston, Texas
Consulting engineer Robert Battista was promoted to senior consulting engineer, tasked with onboarding and mentoring new engineers and creating additional business opportunities and cutting-edge research into cold chain hazards and solutions. Battista continues to work directly with clients to strategically create the proper validation of their cold chain systems. He then creates standard operating procedures, qualification of critical equipment, validation of processes and in-person training for essential personnel. He also conducts in-person training to ensure proper cold chain integration. Since joining Modality Solutions in 2016, Battista has assisted in three overseas Ebola clinical trial operations in challenging environments. Most recently, he served as a subject matter expert in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Before joining Modality Solutions, his chemical engineering experience and research included reclamation of energy from pollutant bodies of water, operating characteristics of fuel cells, the reaction kinetics of acetic anhydride, operating characteristics of a CO2 absorption column and desalination of water through reverse osmosis. His research ranges from determining the statistical significance of trace heavy metal concentrations in a watershed in northern Peru to using chemical characteristics of water to determine the sourcing to a watershed in Great Basin National Park in northeastern Nevada.
Key Technology, a member of the Duravant family of operating companies, Walla Walla, Wash.
Shayla Wentz was named marketing communications manager, responsible for managing advertising, public relations, tradeshow exhibits and other marketing initiatives. Wentz joined Key in 2010 as a marketing specialist, and prior to her recent promotion, served as senior marketing automation specialist, where she’s been an integral part of several large marketing initiatives such as the integration of Visys after its merger with Key in 2013, followed by corporate rebranding and then the launch of Key’s VERYX digital sorters in 2015.
Roll-Kraft, Mentor, Ohio
Jacqueline Kato joined as chief financial officer, responsible for operational activities, cost-cutting measures and overseeing the accounting departments. She maintains experience managing human resources, IT and purchasing departments. Kato previously served as director of finance and administration at Concord Biosciences.