Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI), Fall Church, Va.
Natha Dempsey was appointed new president. Dempsey has served as FPI’s vice president since joining the association in 2010. During the last decade, Dempsey has led the industry’s efforts to expand recycling and composting of foodservice packaging, and has worked in communications, technical and research. For seven years, she was administrator for the Crumbine Award. Prior to joining FPI, Dempsey held various positions at SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association (now called Plastics Industry Association).
American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), Arlington, Va.
Hugh Ekberg, president and CEO of CRST International, was appointed to the board of directors. Ekberg became president and CEO of CRST International in October 2018, and before that, served as group president and COO of the Western region of operating companies when he joined the company in 2016. Prior to CRST, he served as president – kitchen and bath Americas for Kohler Co. Ekberg also served as division president and a board member at Weitz Co., and maintains various progressive roles, including executive vice president of operations, president and COO for Hirsh Industries.
National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), Alexandria, Va.
Drew Mize, executive vice president of global ERP solutions at PDI, was named 2019-20 chairman of the supplier board. Mize began his career in retail convenience technology in 1995 as a business analyst for TMI Services, holding the position of vice president. In 2005, he joined The Pinnacle Corp. as vice president of retail solutions, gaining responsibilities during the following 12 years, including his most recent role as president. Mize started working for PDI following its acquisition of Pinnacle’s retail and wholesale fuel technology assets in December 2016, where he oversaw PDI’s convenience retail and petroleum wholesale technology solutions divisions globally. Rick Brindle, vice president, industry development at Mondelēz International, was named chairman-elect. He has served in his current position since 2012, and previously worked at Safeway Stores, Proctor & Gamble, Nabisco and Kraft Foods. Three vice chairmen also were elected to the Supplier Board leadership team, including Brent Cotten, senior director, customer and industry affairs, The Hershey Co.; Frank Squilla, executive vice president, industry and trade relations, InComm; and Tim Blair, vice president, national accounts, MillerCoors. In addition, three new members were elected to the NACS Supplier Board, including Alicia Cleary, director, industry relations, Anheuser-Busch InBev; Dave Jeffco, vice president of national accounts, Krispy Krunchy Foods LLC; and Bryan Morrow, national convenience and gas and field sales lead, PepsiCo Inc.
ARYZTA North America, Los Angeles
Alejandro Legarda Zaragüeta joined the board of directors as an independent non-executive director, effective Nov. 14. Zaragüeta maintains management and non-executive director experience within various sectors, including transport, gas and the food industry. From 1994- 2014, he served as managing director of Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles S.A. (CAF), where he subsequently stayed on as a director of the board until 2019. He was also an independent director from 2006-2018 of Viscofan S.A., and served as audit committee member and later chair of the Audit Committee. From 2013-2017, he was independent director for Pescanova, served as chair of audit committee in 2014 and non-executive director of Nueva Pescanova from 2016-2017. Zaragüeta also served as executive chairman of the board of Nortegas Energía y Distribución S.A. from 2017-2019. Until recently, he also served as director of Duro Felguera S.A. Christine Prociv joined as vice president of marketing and innovation to lead the La Brea Bakery brand and overall innovation for ARYZTA North America. Prociv maintains over 20 years of experience in senior positions at Kraft Foods and ConAgra. For the last 8 years, she has served as president of innovation station, which she co-founded. Tuan Nguyen re-joined as vice president of procurement. Nguyen held the same position from 2016-2018. He maintains close to 20 years of experience in procurement and risk management, having worked at Procter & Gamble, Booz & Co. and Coca Cola.
Publix Super Markets, Lakeland, Fla.
After more than 44 years of service, Joe DiBenedetto, vice president of the Atlanta division, announced plans to retire at the end of the year. DiBenedetto began his Publix career in 1975 as a front service clerk. After working in different capacities at several stores in southwest Florida and Orlando, he was promoted to store manager in 1986 and district manager in 1992. He was also Publix’s first district manager in South Carolina, was promoted to regional director in the Atlanta division in 1995 and then to his current position in 2011. With this retirement, Kris Jonczyk will be named vice president of Atlanta division, effective Jan. 1, 2020. Jonczyk began his Publix career in 1986 as a front service clerk. He became a store manager in 2000, and district manager in 2012. He was promoted to regional director in the Atlanta division in 2016.
London Fruit Inc., Pharr, Texas
Amanda Horney was appointed new sales representative in the Midwest region. Horney maintains experience working for both grower-shippers and wholesalers in the produce trade.
Jennie-O Turkey Store, Willmar, Minn.
Nicole Behne was named vice president of marketing, responsible for managing all facets of innovation and marketing for retail, foodservice and the broader Jennie-O Turkey Store organization. Behne joined Hormel Foods’ sales organization in 2000, and has had increasing responsibilities in sales and marketing through her nearly 20-year career. Since 2013, Behne has led the marketing teams in the grocery products segment at Hormel Foods, including leading record growth for the SPAM brand. Paul Peil will also be joining as vice president of retail sales, leading all retail sales, trade promotion and business development initiatives for the retail business unit. Peil has been instrumental in igniting the retail fresh meat sales organization at Hormel Foods, and maintains more than 30 years of sales experience to Jennie-O Turkey Store. Peil joined Hormel Foods in 1989, with a career focus on meat products sales. He most recently served as a director of fresh meat sales.
Target Corp., Minneapolis
Michael Fiddelke was named executive vice president and CFO, effective Nov. 1, responsible for financial planning and analysis, financial operations, internal audit, accounting, investor relations, treasury, tax and risk. He will also oversee Target’s financial and retail services, which includes guest relations and management of its financial products, including Target RedCard. In more than 15 years at Target, Fiddelke has served in a variety of roles across finance, merchandising, human resources and operations. Most recently, he served as senior vice president of operations, leading numerous cross-functional enterprise initiatives spanning merchandising, supply chain, stores and guest experience. Prior to Target, Fiddelke worked at Deloitte Consulting, LLP. To ensure a smooth transition, Cathy Smith will begin serving as a strategic advisor, effective Nov. 1. She will remain in that capacity until May 1, 2020. Chief merchant Mark Tritton announced his plans to leave the company. With this departure, Christina Hennington and Jill Sando, two Target executives with nearly 40 years of combined experience with the company, will assume interim leadership of the retailer’s merchandising organization. Hennington joined Target in 2003, and currently serves as senior vice president and general merchandising manager of essentials, beauty, hardlines and services. In her interim position, Hennington will assume responsibility for the merchandising planning and capabilities teams. Sando joined Target in 1997, and currently serves as senior vice president and general merchandising manager of apparel, accessories and home. In her interim position, Sando will assume responsibility for owned brand sourcing, design and brand management.
Johnsonville, LLC, Sheboygan Falls, Wis.
Shelly Stayer was appointed chairwoman, succeeding Ralph Stayer as board chair, who has served in that role since 1995. Shelly is Ralph’s wife and co-owner of the company, and will lead the company’s board of directors and growth strategy. During her two decades at Johnsonville, Shelly led several new product introductions, with the most recent developments, including a branded mustard line and the indoor Sizzling Sausage Grill. She also led Johnsonville’s multi-year marketing sponsorship efforts with the Tailgate Village at Lambeau Field starting in 2017 and the Milwaukee Brewers sponsorship last year. Outside her work at Johnsonville, Shelly has been an active philanthropist, entrepreneur and author. She’s served as a board member with the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Edgewood College and Marian University. Her board experience also includes service on the boards of Artis-Naples, Shelter for Abused Women & Children and the Golisano Children’s Museum. Shelly also founded the Reilly’s Ranch of Recovery.
Walmart, Bentonville, Ark.
John Furner will become president and CEO of Walmart U.S., effective Nov. 1, succeeding Greg Foran, who is taking a role as chief executive officer of Air New Zealand Ltd. Furner started with Walmart as an hourly associate in 1993, working part-time in the garden center. He worked his way up through a number of frontline leadership roles, later becoming a store manager, district manager and buyer. He has held leadership roles in operations, merchandising and sourcing in Walmart U.S., Sam’s Club and Walmart International, where he served as chief merchandising and marketing officer for Walmart China. Prior to becoming Sam’s Club CEO in 2017, he was chief merchandising officer for Sam’s Club. Foran has served as chief executive officer of Walmart U.S. since August 2014, and first joined Walmart in October 2011.
Rosina Food Products, Buffalo, N.Y.
Tom Finn was promoted to vice president of business development, tasked with overseeing all sales and business development for the consumer products and foodservice sales divisions. Finn previously served as vice president of sales and marketing for the consumer products division. Jim Whitford was also promoted to consumer products division sales manager. Whitford previously served as Southeast regional sales manager. Marcelle Smalley was named new Southeast regional sales manager for the consumer products division. And, David Masse was appointed new Canadian regional sales manager.
Fresh Farms (dba MJ International Marketing LLC), Rico Rico, Ariz.
Scott Rossi was appointed director of sales and marketing, tasked with leading and developing the company’s sales and marketing strategy. Rossi maintains executive sales experience, having worked for Four Star Sales and Pandol Bros. He started his career with Castle & Cook/Dole.
Inspire Brands, Sandy Springs, Ga.
Christopher Fuller was named chief communications officer, responsible for overseeing communications initiatives related to brand reputation, government affairs, community relations and mergers and acquisitions, as well as key organizational initiatives such as marquee conventions, townhalls and cultural events. Additionally, Fuller will oversee philanthropy for Inspire and its brands. He currently serves as co-chair of the Dine for No Kid Hungry advisory board. Previously, Fuller served as senior vice president of communications for Arby’s, where he led public relations efforts such as the brand’s engagement with “frenemy” Jon Stewart, the launch of the Vegetarian Support Hotline, as well as the signing of British golf pro Andrew “Beef” Johnston and partnership with the PGA TOUR. Additionally, Fuller oversaw communications for the Buffalo Wild Wings acquisition as well the creation of Arby’s first corporate social responsibility report. Fuller previously worked for Yum! Brands, where he led global public affairs and corporate social responsibility. He also held positions with Ketchum and Publicis, and served as a press secretary in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Subway Restaurants, Milford, Conn.
Carrie Walsh was named chief marketing officer, North America, responsible for driving the brand’s North America marketing and advertising strategy, as well as defining global brand standards and marketing strategies throughout the company’s international markets. Walsh maintains 15 years of experience building brands across the restaurant, retail and consumer packaged goods industries. Most recently, she led marketing for Michaels Stores, and before that, was chief marketing officer for Yum Brands! Pizza Hut, where she led teams across marketing disciplines, including calendar planning, menu insights and innovation, creative and advertising deployment, digital marketing and media. Walsh also spent 8 years at PepsiCo, leading marketing for various brands, including SunChips and Cheetos. Meanwhile, Robin Seward was named senior vice president of marketing strategy and planning, tasked with overseeing all marketing planning for the United States, including sponsorships, partnerships and menu architecture and design as well as the marketing calendar to executive business goals. Seward maintains extensive experience in quick-service restaurants and casual dining, having served as chief marketing officer for Schlotzsky’s Austin Eatery and Rita’s Italian Ice, where she led marketing and product innovation teams to launch new brands across all marketing channels. Aidan Hay was appointed vice president of operations, North America, responsible for developing strategic company initiatives. Hay previously served as general manager and vice president of global operations for Yum! Brands leading Pizza Hut’s delivery platform, where he focused on international markets and led strategic initiatives to deliver business growth. Hay also served as senior vice president of U.S. company operations for The Coffee & Tea Leaf. Lastly, Bill McCane was named vice president of global development, where he will spearhead development strategies, including overseeing the execution of company programs to cultivate new corporate partnerships. McCane maintains extensive franchise experience, having held senior leadership positions at Burger King, Tim Hortons, MAACO Auto Body, and most recently, as chief operations officer for For Eyes at Grandvision.
JAXPORT, Jacksonville, Fla.
John Baker II was elected chairman of the board. Baker is executive chairman and chief executive officer of FRP Holdings, Inc., a successor to Patriot Transportation Holding, Inc., where he served as president and CEO from 2008-2010 and executive chairman from 2010-2015. Prior to joining Patriot, Baker was president and CEO of Florida Rock Industries, Inc. He also serves on the board of directors for Wells Fargo, and maintains volunteer leadership roles in several community educational organizations, including Tiger Academy, KIPP School Jacksonville, Edward Waters College and the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast. Meanwhile, Jamie Shelton, president of bestbet Jacksonville, was elected vice chairman; Wendy Hamilton, president, Eventide Investments of Florida, Inc., was elected treasurer; and J. Palmer Clarkson, founder, president and CEO of Bridgestone HosePower, LLC was elected secretary.
John Zillmer will return to the company as chief executive officer, effective immediately. Zillmer previously spent 18 years at Aramark, most recently as president of global food and support services, where the company experienced significant growth. During his time with the company, Zillmer progressed through the ranks, acting as vice president of operating systems; regional vice president; area vice president; executive vice president business dining services; president of business services group; and president of international. Following his prior tenure at the company, Zillmer served as chairman and CEO of Allied Waste Industries, and before that, chief executive officer and executive chairman of Univar, where he advanced corporate culture and drove substantial operational improvements. Zillmer maintains deep experience and expertise in the foodservices and related businesses, corporate culture, logistics and corporate governance, and is an expert in strategies for business optimization and process improvement. Zillmer currently serves as non-executive chairman of CSX Corp., as well as on the boards of Veritiv Corp., Performance Food Group Co., Inc. and Ecolab, Inc. Plus, five new independent directors will join the board, including Susan Cameron, Karen King, Art Winkleblack, Greg Creed and Greg Creed. Cameron is former chairman and CEO of Reynolds American Inc., and maintains expertise in driving transformational cultural change and organic operating performance. She also serves as a director on the boards of Tupperware Brands Corp. and nVent Electric plc., and previously served on the boards of Reynolds American and RR Donnelley & Sons Co. King, former executive vice president and chief field officer of McDonald’s Corp., is a seasoned restaurant industry executive with more than 40 years of experience in field operations and talent development, having worked her way up from a member of the McDonald’s crew to a top executive of the McDonald’s U.S. business, with responsibility for more than 14,000 restaurants. King currently serves as a trustee of the Ronald McDonald House of Durham, and previously served on the boards of the National Restaurant Association, the Bennett College for Women and the Ronald McDonald House of South Florida. Winkleblack, former executive vice president and CFO of H.J. Heinz Co., maintains significant and relevant public company board experience, a strong focus on driving a performance-oriented culture and the ability to attract top talent and align incentive metrics with performance levels. He currently serves as a director on the boards of Wendy’s, Performance Food Group Co. and Church & Dwight Inc., and previously served on the board of RTI International Metals. He is currently an investor in Residence and Economics Guest Lecturer at UCLA. Creed, current chief executive officer of Yum! Brands, Inc., is a 25-year veteran of YUM! Brands and its predecessor companies. He maintains extensive experience in the food industry as well as leadership expertise in transformation. Creed serves as a director on the boards of Yum! Brands and Whirlpool Corp., and previously served on the board of International Game Technology. Creed’s non-public company board experience includes the Fight 2 Win Foundation and the Taco Bell Foundation. Paul Hilal, founder and CEO of Mantle Ridge LP, will become vice chairman. Hilal has served as vice chairman of Mantle Ridge since 2017. Prior to forming Mantle Ridge, Hilal served for a decade as senior partner at Pershing Square Capital Management, where he played leading roles in value creation initiatives, including engagements with Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., Air Products & Chemicals Inc. and Ceridian Corp. Hilal currently serves on the board of overseers of Columbia Business School, and until 2016, served on the board of the Grameen Foundation. Stephen Sadove, current non-executive chairman, will remain as chairman of the board. Four existing Aramark directors, Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant, Lisa Bisaccia, Patricia Morrison and John Quelch, retired from the board, effective upon the appointment of the new directors.
Novolex, Hartsville, S.C.
Dr. Adrianne Tipton was promoted to senior vice president of innovation, responsible for integrating the innovation teams to ensure growth in packaging and foodservice industries. She will also continue her work driving innovation in new product development, product management and product marketing. Tipton maintains 20 years’ expertise in a wide variety of areas, including product business strategy, marketing and product development. Before joining Novolex, Tipton served as managing director of Compass New Product Consulting. Before then, she was vice president of business research for ORC International as well as vice president of new product development and marketing for Cenveo (formerly National Envelope). Previous to that, Tipton spent 6 years at Clorox, where she served in a variety of critical roles in research and development.
Trace Genomics, San Francisco
Dan Vradenburg joined as chief executive officer to help guide the company into its next phase of operations. Vradenburg spent more than 35 years at Wilbur Ellis, working his way up from field sales agronomist to president of the agribusiness division. Under his leadership, the agribusiness division tripled in size, made 50-plus acquisitions and grossed more than $2 billion in annual revenue. He was also instrumental in the establishment of Cavallo Ventures, Wilbur Ellis’ corporate venture arm.
LTI, Inc., Jonesboro, Ga.
Ben Shackelford, director of research and development, announced plans to retire. Shackelford has been an integral part of product development, helping invent and design technologies for the foodservice industry. During his tenure, Shackelford managed UL certification tests, served as LTI's in-house expert for mechanical innovation and obtained two patents. He began his career at LTI as a refrigeration technician. Prior to joining LTI, Shackelford owned a refrigeration service and installation company.
Kodiak Robotics, Mountain View, Calif.
Jamie Hoffacker joined as head of the company’s hardware division, responsible for developing the cutting-edge capabilities necessary to safely deploy self-driving trucks at scale. Hoffacker was most recently a founding engineer and director of sense and electronics at Lyft's Level 5 self-driving division. Prior to Level 5, Hoffacker spent 5 years at Google's maps division where he designed next-generation camera systems and electronics for the company's mapping applications, including Street View.
CSX, Jacksonville, Fla.
Farrukh Bezar was appointed senior vice president of marketing, tasked with leading the company’s merchandise marketing groups, in addition to continuing his corporate strategy role. Bezar joined CSX in May as senior vice president and chief strategy officer. Bezar maintains more than 25 years of experience as a transportation and logistics industry strategist. Arthur Adams was named vice president of merchandise sales, responsible for leading all sales portfolios within the industrial products, food, agriculture, fertilizers and regional sales segments. He will also continue to oversee customer engagement and TRANSFLO services. Adams has been with CSX for 12 years, and has played a critical role in strengthening the company’s market position and customer relationships. Meanwhile, Dean Piacente, vice president of industrial products, and Tim McNulty, vice president of food and agricultural products, announced their retirements from the company after more than 30 years of service.
EOS GmbH, Germany
Marie Langer, daughter of founder Dr. Hans Langer, was appointed new chief executive officer, effective immediately, tasked with focusing on strategy, marketing, communications, corporate culture, organizational and people development. Meanwhile, Dr. Adrian Keppler joined as managing director, further focusing on the development of strategic customer and partner relationships and overseeing the collaboration between EOS subsidiaries and the EOS Ecosystem. Eric Paffrath also joined as managing director, in charge of finance, business administration and information technology divisions, as well as other commercial areas. Dr. Tobias Abeln, chief technology officer, and Bertrand Humel van der Lee, chief operating officer, are leaving the company.
Structural Concepts, Muskegon, Mich.
Brad Gates joined as president and CEO, charged with evolving product lines, driving product performance efficiencies and staying at the forefront of changing consumer trends in convenience, personalization and eating well. Gates maintains more than 30 years of financial, operational, sales and marketing leadership experience. Previously, Gates was chief executive officer of Pure Safety Group and the Nautic Global Group. Gates is replacing Dave Geerts, who will retire after 25 years of leading as chief executive officer.
RightHand Robotics, Boston
Kensaburo Tamura was named regional head of Asia Pacific for the company’s new subsidiary, RightHand Robotics GK. Tamura maintains 20 years of experience introducing innovative U.S.-based technologies into the Japanese market. Previously, he served as country manager at Cloudera, Inc.
IN MEMORIUM: LOU BARIBEAU, THE STAR GROUP
Leo Baribeau, founder of The Star Group, Canada, passed away Sept. 24.
Baribeau started his career with OK Economy Stores, where he met Virginia Wiegers, his wife of 51 years. In 1989, he founded Star Produce, which is now The Star Group, and remained there until his retirement in 2006.
Throughout his career, he was chairman of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association, chairman of the Canadian Horticultural Roundtable, and sat on many national, international and provincial fruit and vegetable boards and task forces.
A Mass of Christian Burial will take place Oct. 22 at 10:30 a.m. at Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Church in Saskatoon, Canada. Memorial donations may be made to Prostate Cancer Canada.