Yasso, FoodMaven name new CEO, ATRI promotes V-P., and more executive changes
Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA), Arlington, Va.
Jason Troendle was hired as director of market intelligence and research, to help develop additional resources that can advance the industry. Troendle previously served as a senior business analyst for Context Network, where he provided strategic, market and financial analysis around the agriculture, biotechnology and food industries.
American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), Arlington, Va.
Jeffrey Short was promoted to vice president. Short joined ATRI in 2003, and most recently served as a senior research associate, responsible for the day-to-day management of ATRI’s Freight Performance Measures program. Short also led a number of ATRI’s research studies on highway funding and industry impacts from the hours-of-service rules. Alexandra Shirk was promoted to research associate. Shirk joined ATRI in 2014, and most recently served as a research analyst, focusing on truck parking analyses and GIS analyses of freight mobility and bottleneck identification.
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), Denver, Colo.
Colin Woodall will serve as new chief executive officer. Since joining NCBA in 2004, Woodall has been instrumental in ensuring the interests of NCBA members and the beef community are well represented in the nation’s capital. Following college graduation, he worked as a grain elevator manager and sales manager for Cargill at several locations in Kansas and Oklahoma panhandle before moving to Washington, D.C., to work on Capitol Hill. Ethan Lane was named vice president, government affairs, charged with guiding NCBA’s policy efforts in Washington, D.C. Lane has been serving as executive director of the Public Lands Council and NCBA Federal Lands, where’s he’s been a driving force in many of NCBA’s policy wins. He also maintains extensive experience advocating on behalf of cattle producers, including 18 years of experience in natural resource and land use issues. Prior to his tenure with PLC and NCBA, he owned and operated a consulting firm specializing in natural resource issues.
North Dakota State University Extension, North Dakota State University, Fargo, N.D.
Yuri Montanholi joined as beef cattle specialist, responsible for developing statewide beef cattle extension programming materials, and conducting meetings and offering in-service training for beef cattle producers, county extension personnel and other professionals involved in the beef industry. He also holds an adjunct professor position at the University of the Uruguay Republic.
Vision Produce Co., Los Angeles
Dan Lawton was promoted to president/managing partner, taking over the day-to-day operations of the company. Bill Vogel will remain chairman and CEO. Lawton started his career with Dole Fresh Fruit Co. in 1994, and has been with Vision Produce since 1999. He has worked on the sales and procurement desk for a number of years, as moved into managing the tropical department before becoming vice president.
Crystal Valley Foods, Miami
James Paul joined the sales team, in charge of handling sales for the entire product line, including asparagus. Previously, he was senior category director for the asparagus category at Grower Direct Marketing.
FoodMaven, Denver, Colo.
Ben Deda was named new chief executive officer, as Patrick Bultema moves to become chairman of the board. Deda has held senior and executive leadership roles in operations, sales, marketing and support at Vertafore, Galvanize, FullContact and TruStile. Deda is also a co-founder and board member for Denver Startup Week.
Dawn Foods, Jackson, Mich.
Bob Howland, chief digital officer, will be in charge of the company’s new Digital Innovation Hub. Howland joined Dawn Foods in February to build Dawn’s digital capabilities and drive business model transformation. Prior to Dawn, he worked for Blueport Commerce, and has held positions focused on digital, e-commerce and marketing at companies such as GSI Commerce, The Vanguard Group, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson and American Express. Meanwhile, Kristin Pados was hired as senior director of product management, charged with leading the day-to-day operations of Dawn’s digital sites. She will play a critical role as a thought leader for Dawn’s digital journey, bringing expertise to key stakeholders, field leadership and external partners. Pados has worked on the business side of the technology sector for 20 years, most recently as a consultant. She also previously worked for Nara Logics, TripAdvisor and Apple. Gireesh Sahukar was appointed senior director of digital technology, providing technology architecture expertise, guidance and governance to ensure platform stability, risk management and mitigation, adherence to standards and optimization. He will also lead Dawn’s digital software development efforts by building and mentoring an internal team of developers and manage third-party external development teams. He previously served as director of digital enterprise architecture for Keurig Dr. Pepper.
Kalera, Orlando, Fla.
Veteran foodservice and grocery industry executive Daniel Malechuk was tapped as chief executive officer, taking over for Cristian Toma, Kalera’s co-founder and current CEO, who will move to the role of chief technical officer. Malechuk began his career as district manager at ALDI, where he helped the company expand into new markets. He was subsequently promoted to director of corporate purchasing at ALDI’s U.S. headquarters, where he spearheaded several of the company’s perishable programs and focused on global sourcing, purchasing, marketing and product development. In addition, he developed and led the company’s corporate seafood sustainability policy. After his tenure at ALDI, Malechuk served as an executive in both sales and supply chain for several leading food and produce companies. For instance, while at Shamrock Foods, he led the retail division and drove explosive revenue, profitability growth and expansion across the Southwest. He also served as vice president at Keysource Foods, where he led company strategy and sales operations and negotiated contracts with top executives for ConAgra, Carnival Corp., PF Chang’s, ALDI and Sysco. Meanwhile, J. Michael Carr joined as vice president of sales. Carr previously served as director of national sales planning and retail operations at Village Farms International.
Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt, Boulder Colo.
Craig Shiesley was named chief executive officer, taking over the reigns from co-founders and former co-CEOs Drew Harrington and Amanda Klane. Previously, Shiesley was an existing independent member of the board of directors. Shiesley maintains more than 25 years of experience building brands and businesses in the consumer packaged goods industry. Most recently, Shiesley served as president and COO of Amplify Snacks, preceded by president roles at the WhiteWave Food Co., where he was responsible for leading the plant-based business platform, which included the Silk, So Delicious and Vega brands. Harrington and Klane will remain on the board of the directors and investors, and will continue to manage the company’s charitable organization, Game On! Foundation.
Freight Farms, Boston, Mass.
Sam White was appointed chief innovation officer, tasked with guiding corporate partnerships and strategic investment. White is co-founder of Greentown Labs and Promethean Power.
Which Wich Superior Sandwiches, Dallas, Texas
Cherry Hearn was promoted to president, tasked with evaluating efficiencies and operations at the corporate level, enhancing corporate support for franchisees, strengthening relationships with third-party delivery service providers and improving the company’s training program, marketing efforts and menu innovation. Hearn began her career as a CPA with her own firm, practicing for 14 years before going back to law school and entering the legal field. After working for a commercial litigation firm, Hearn became the first intellectual property attorney for Travelocity. Following that role, she set up her own practice, where she represented and won a trademark infringement case for Which Wich Superior Sandwiches. Hearn also owned a franchise location before joining the company full-time in 2012 as general counsel.
BJ’s Wholesale Club, Westborough, Mass.
Lee Delaney was named President, effective immediately. Delaney, currently executive vice president and chief commercial officer, will lead the company’s retail, e-commerce and membership operations in addition to his current responsibilities in merchandising, supply chain and marketing. Prior to joining BJ’s in 2016, Delaney was a partner at Bain & Co., and a leader in the firm’s consumer products practice, where he advised clients on corporate strategy, created new market entry plans, supported client acquisitions and advised on efficiency programs. Prior to joining Bain in 1996, Delaney worked for Electronic Data Systems and Deloitte Consulting advising clients on a variety of engagements.
Yum! Brands, Inc., Louisville, Ky.
Clay Johnson was hired to the newly created position of chief digital and technology officer, effective Oct. 15, where he will oversee the company’s global technology strategy, and partner with the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell divisions to ensure the company provides a best-in-class digital journey across mobile, online, delivery and restaurant operations. He will also lead a cross-brand effort to accelerate the company’s digital commerce strategy, use of data and advanced analytics and emerging technologies. Previously, Johnson served as executive vice president and enterprise chief information officer for Walmart. He maintains more than 20 years of technology leadership across FORTUNE 50 companies and industries, driving digital transformation initiatives into all aspects of business. Johnson most recently served as chief information officer and head of global business services for Walmart, where he was responsible for leading the company’s enterprise information technology strategy, services, operations and cyber security. Under his leadership, Johnson built innovation hubs in Dallas and Austin, Texas, to focus on emerging technologies. Prior to Walmart, Johnson served as chief information officer at General Electric Power, where he had end-to-end responsibility for information technology, cyber security, data and digital transformation. Johnson previously held leadership roles at The Boeing Co. and Dell. He started his career at FedEx as a software engineer, and served 5 years in the United States Coast Guard, where he held numerous leadership positions. Gavin Felder was promoted to the newly created role of chief strategy officer, effective Dec. 1, responsible for developing the company’s long-term corporate strategies and partnering with the global brand divisions to implement initiatives to unlock new sources of growth and disruptive innovation. Felder has served as KFC division chief financial officer for the last 5 years, overseeing strategy, digital and technology, financial planning, supply chain and IT security for the KFC business spanning over 23,000 restaurants across 135 countries. There, he delivered three consecutive years of positive same-store sales growth and increased KFC’s global restaurant footprint by more than 2,500 net-new units as of year-end 2018. Felder also accelerated KFC’s omnichannel strategy execution, providing multiple ordering channels and customer access points including delivery, Click & Collect mobile ordering and kiosks. Since Felder joined the KFC business in 2008, he has held various leadership positions across finance, including chief financial officer of KFC Africa and commercial director of KFC U.K. and Ireland. Prior to his time at Yum! Brands, Felder spent time at Ernst & Young and Grant Thornton.
AIT Worldwide Logistics, Itasca, Ill.
Michael Jeannotte was named station manager of the company’s newly relocated Chelsea, Mass., office. Jeannotte maintains more than 16 years of logistics experience.
Joseph Battoe was named new president and CEO. Battoe maintains more than 30 years’ executive experience driving growth for a diverse mix of startups and publicly held companies. He most recently served as an adviser to multiple growth stage companies in the MarTech and business services sectors. He also previously served in senior management roles such as executive vice president, solutions at Mobeam; senior vice president of corporate development at DS-IQ; co-founder and CEO of Concept Shopping; chief executive officer of Intelledge; chairman of LogicNet; and division president at Information Resources Inc. Likewise, Dr. Gian Fulgoni was elected executive chairman, effective immediately. Fulgoni is former chairman and CEO of ComScore, and previously served as chairman and CEO of Information Resources Inc. He also serves on the boards of directors at PetMed Express, Inc. Mitch Singer was also appointed as a board member. Singer currently serves as chief executive officer of PL Developments. He maintains more than 30 years of industry expertise and leadership.
Liftrucks, Etc., West Valley City, Utah
Francisco Alarcon was promoted to sales manager, to oversee sales and special project management, including creating 3D models and Autocad designs as well as leading the sales team, ensuring customer satisfaction and hiring and developing staff. Shawn Hardy and Hank Cahoon were hired as outside sales representatives to manage ongoing projects from start to finish. And, Markus Deller was named sales coordinator, tasked with providing operational and administrative assistance to the sales manager. He will also help design projects and manage the company’s digital communications via the website and social media programs. These appointments come on the heels of Liftrucks expanding its corporate office and warehouse space.
Universal Forest Products, Inc. (UFPI), Grand Rapids, Mich.
Bruce Church, president and CEO of Pallet USA, will remain with the operation as general manager of operations through 2019, then transition into a consulting role, following the acquisition by UFPI.
Beckhoff Automation LLC, Savage, Minn.
Mark Ruberg was hired as packaging industry manager to further strengthen the company’s presence among U.S. packaging and processing OEMs and manufacturers of consumer packaged goods (CPGs). Ruberg will oversee sales efforts and application support for new and existing customers. Ruberg most recently served as regional sales manager for Conair Group, Inc. His resume also includes 7 years at ProMach, Inc., first as director of corporate business collaboration, then as vice president of ProMach business process, and finally overseeing business development of ProMach’s productivity software, ZPI. Ruberg previously spent 15 years at Milacron, where he started as a sales engineer and ended as managing director for the Americas. Ruberg also founded and serves as director of O2 Urban Farms. This appointment allows Joe Martin, packaging industry manager, to focus exclusively on his role as West region manager. Also, Wayne Schmeichel was named director of operations, responsible for multiple teams, including customer service, logistics and inventory/supply chain. He will also help direct, plan and coordinate operational activities. Schmeichel has spent the last 18 years in several key positions, including most recently as director of operations for Digi International Inc. Schmeichel also served for 7 years in the South Dakota National Guard.
Advanced Dynamics Ltd., UK
The company announced new hires following the investment in its Bradford, UK-based facility to help meet filling and labelling demand. Molly Smith was named accounts support; Finola O'Driscoll was appointed sales and marketing coordinator; Katie McIlvenny was named financial controller; Daniel Cunningham was hired as technical support engineer; Mark Green joined as principal engineer; and Ian Parkin was named production and planning manager.
Idelic, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Scott Stern, vice president of Origin Ventures, and Matt Bressler, principal of TDF Ventures, joined the company's board of directors following an $8 million Series A financing round led by Origin Ventures, with participation from TDF Ventures.
IN MEMORIUM: FRANK CAPONE, DOMINICK’S FINER FOODS
Frank Capone, who spent some of his 30 years at Dominick’s Finer Foods, Oak Brook, Ill., as a buyer of imported produce passed away Sept. 11.
Capone worked at the South Water Market and for La Mantia Bros. Arrigo Co. until 1959.
That same year, he joined Dominick’s Finer Foods, where he eventually became the company’s first vice presidents of produce operations.
Accomplishments include organizing a buying team of more than six buyers, and starting a marketing campaign to promote items at aggressive prices. He added a floral shop as a produce partner in 1975, and added a salad bar in 1980.
In 2005, he returned to Green Valley, and he briefly worked for Ciruli Bros.