Former Tetra Pak CEO passes away, Red Robin appoints president, and other personnel news announcements
California Food Expo, San Francisco
Brandon Leong, vice president of marketing and growth for RangeMe, joined the Retail Advisory Council. Leong maintains a deep understanding of how retailers and suppliers can develop and strengthen the organization.
HC Private Investments (HCPI), Chicago
Tony Engel, who has held executive roles at Wild Oats, Whole Foods and Agrium, will join as chief financial officer, following the investment of Epicurean Butter Co. And, Tom Maddi, who has held executive roles with Barilla Pasta and Dawn Foods, will join the company’s board of directors.
Wholesum, Amado, Ariz.
Tina Federico was promoted to business development representative, tasked with executing a growth strategy focused on sales goals, new customer acquisition and introducing new products. Her new responsibilities also include conducting research to identify customer needs and consumer trends, new customer onboarding and working with the sales and marketing departments to develop and execute marketing campaigns. Federico started her career at Wholesum in November 2013 as a sales coordinator, and was then promoted to national sales representative.
Rich Products, Buffalo, N.Y.
Ted Rich joined the board of directors. Rich currently serves as executive vice president of organizational excellence, charged with building the organization’s strategic capabilities and associate competencies, as well as driving associate and leadership development to strengthen company culture overall. Rich also leads the digital workplace advancement efforts. He joined the family business in 1995 working for the Buffalo Bisons, a Rich’s-owned minor league baseball team. In 1998, he moved to the food side of the business, working in U.S. foodservice sales. He went on to build a diverse career serving in progressive marketing and leadership roles throughout the company’s global footprint, including managing director of Rich’s Europe/Middle East business from 2009-2012. In his most recent role as senior vice president, customer experience officer, Rich had roles in the global sales, brand marketing and culinary functions, and managed critical demand-creation activities across the world. Under his leadership, the company introduced a refreshed Rich’s brand identity in 2018. Rich also serves as vice chair of the advancement committee on the Culinary Institute of America’s board of directors.
Black Gold Farms, Grand Forks, N.D.
Doug Kling joined the board of directors. Kling is currently president and CEO of Kling Strategic Partners LLC, and his past work includes senior strategic leadership positions at Village Farms International, Cadbury Schweppes, Johanna Foods, Life Savers Inc. and other Fortune 500 consumer product companies.
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc., Greenwood Village, Colo.
Paul J.B. Murphy III was appointed president and CEO, effective Oct. 3, succeeding Pattye Moore, who has served as interim chief executive officer since April. Murphy served as executive chairman of Noodles & Co. from 2017-2019, where he was responsible for 459 restaurants across 29 states. In this role, he led a business turnaround that delivered four consecutive quarters of positive comparable restaurant sales growth on revenues of $457 million. Previous to that, he served as chief executive officer of Del Taco Restaurants, Inc. from 2009-2017, where he was responsible for the financial and operational performance of 543 company-operated and franchised restaurants with revenues of $470 million. During his tenure, he led a brand repositioning that resulted in 17 consecutive quarters of company-operated comparable restaurant sales growth and 11 consecutive quarters of system-wide comparable restaurant sales growth. Murphy also took the company public in 2015. Murphy also served in leadership positions at Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc. for 11 years, including as president, CEO and board director from 2003-2008, where he was responsible for 593 company-operated and franchised restaurants with revenues of $390 million. He was previously chief operating officer and also held other senior operating roles. Likewise, Aylwin Lewis will retire from the board, and Stuart Oran will not stand for re-election in 2020.
UniCarriers Americas (UCA), Marengo, Ill.
Mark Manninen was promoted to vice president, sales and marketing, charged with focusing on key areas of company performance, including dealer engagement, customer satisfaction, channel management and marketing strategies. He will also oversee an expanding range of sales and marketing initiatives, including the company’s move into advanced automated guided vehicle systems. Manninen, a 28-year company veteran, previously served as senior director, retail operations and acquisitions, and before that, was president of New England Industrial Truck and Capital Equipment & Handling.
AIT Worldwide Logistics, Itasca, Ill.
Ryan Carter was named to the newly created role of vice president Americas operations, responsible for overseeing operations across all company-owned locations in Canada, Mexico and the United States. Carter has served as AIT’s director of operations: East region since joining the company in 2015, where he spearheaded effective growth strategies, improved revenue yield and drove cost optimization. He maintains nearly 25 years of experience in the logistics industry.
Park City Group, Inc., the parent company of ReposiTrak, Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah
Peter Larkin was elected to the board of directors, effective Aug. 29, replacing Austin Noll, Jr., who retired from the board of directors, also effective Aug. 29. Larkin has been a leader in the foodservice industry, serving in roles of progressive responsibility, for more than 40 years. He joined The Kroger Co. in 1982 as director of public affairs, after leaving the tobacco industry. In 1989, he was named vice president, state government relations and environmental affairs for the Food Marketing Institute. In 1996, he was named president and CEO of the California Grocers Association. Subsequently, Larkin established Larkin Public Affairs, where he provided a full range of services, including government relations, internal and external communications, community affairs, issues management and food industry strategic planning. In 2010, Larkin was named president and CEO of the National Grocers Association, where he was responsible for directing and managing all aspects of the trade association, until his retirement, effective Sept. 1. Simultaneously, he served as president and CEO of the NGA Foundation.
Master-Bilt, New Albany, Miss.
Steve Gill was named vice president of sales, effective Sept. 3, charged with developing and implementing strategies for sales growth and working with core leaders to help drive group level initiatives. He will also be instrumental in sales funnel management and key account planning. For the past 7 years, Gill has served as vice president of sales and marketing for Everidge, where he managed sales, marketing, field service and customer service. Prior to that, he was vice president of sales for Alto Shaam.
Acuity Brands, Inc., Atlanta
Richard Reece was appointed president, effective Sept. 1, assuming responsibility for the commercial operations of the company, including all product creation activities. Reece previously served as executive vice president and CFO of Acuity Brands. Also, Karen Holcom was promoted to senior vice president and CFO, taking over Reece’s former position, effective Sept. 1. She has been with the company for 21 years, and has held various positions during her tenure, including controller and interim CFO. Holcom most recently served as senior vice president, leading finance and associate engagement. Meanwhile, Laurent Vernerey stepped down from his position as executive vice president of Acuity Brands and president of Acuity Technology Group. Going forward, he will serve in the newly created position of strategic business development executive.
Ice-O-Matic, Denver, Colo.
Scott Meyer was promoted to director of sales, responsible for running Ice-O-Matic's business in Asia and other international markets. He previously served as regional manager for Colorado, and will continue to manage national accounts development. Prior to Ice-O-Matic, Meyer served in a key strategic role with the global sales division at Pentair. Dolly Fiedelman is moving from Ice-O-Matic's finance department to the newly created position of regional manager for the lower Midwest markets, covering Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Memphis, Tenn., markets. Fiedelman will also help the development of Ice-O-Matic's national accounts and chain business. And, Brittany Stanley will assume the role of regional manager for Colorado, responsible for developing business in Colorado. Stanley will continue to support Ice-O-Matic's buying group partners and manage Ice-O-Matic's Logistics Partner program.
The Montague Co., Hayward, Calif.
Dede Kramer was named regional sales manager for the Central U.S. Dede spent the last 30 years with Doyon & NU-VU, where she developed a reputation for sales performance. When Doyon was purchased by Middleby, Dede was promoted to regional sales manager/chain accounts, where she boosted revenue with dealers and chain accounts 25-45% annually in her territory. In 2017, she added the Carter-Hoffman product line to her portfolio.
IN MEMORIUM: HANS RAUSING, TETRA PAK
Hans Rausing, former chief executive officer of the Tetra Pak Group, Switzerland, passed away Aug. 30. Rausing served as chief executive officer from 1954-1985 and chairman of the Tetra Pak/Tetra Laval Group Board from 1985-1993. In 1995, he and his family divested their interest in the Tetra Laval Group.
IN MEMORIUM: CURTIS PRUETT, HARRISON POULTRY
Curtis Pruett, former chief financial officer of Harrison Poultry, Bethlehem, Ga., passed away Aug. 30.
Pruett became Harrison Poultry’s first employee in July 1959, and served as the company’s chief financial officer for more than 50 years until he retired in February 2010.