Subway names new CEO, also in the news are Good Foods, Golden State Foods, Sunkist Growers and more
The Grocery Manufacturers Association, Arlington, Va.
Roberta Wagner will join as vice president of regulatory and technical affairs, effective Dec. 2. Wagner spent 33 years in public service, most recently as assistant administrator of the Office of Policy and Program Development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Previously, Wagner served as deputy assistant administrator for the Office of Field Operations at FSIS, where she oversaw a workforce of 7,800 inspection program personnel, including consumer safety officers and inspectors, public health veterinarians and food inspectors. Wagner spent 20 years with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, working in a variety of roles from analytical chemist to associate director for Food Safety Modernization Act operations. Meanwhile, Spencer Pederson was named vice president of federal affairs. Previously, he served as director of federal affairs for the American Chemistry Council (ACC), where he ran the organization’s Rail Customer Coalition. Previously, Pederson spent 12 years on Capitol Hill, most recently working for Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) as senior policy advisor for the senator’s work on the Senate’s Energy and National Resources and Finance Committees.
Alberta Milk, Canada
Freda Molenkamp-Oudman will become the new general manager, effective Dec. 1, replacing Mike Southwood, who is retiring after 19 years with the company. Molenkamp-Oudman maintains over 20 years of experience and agriculture knowledge. Previously, she served as assistant deputy minister – strategy, planning and governance division for Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. She also served as general manager of the Alberta Agriculture Products Marketing Council, where she exceled in governance, strategic planning and leadership.
World Food Logistics Organization (WFLO), a core partner of the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA), Arlington, Va.
Dr. Brian Fugate, chair of the department of supply chain management and Oren Harris Endowed Chair in Transportation at the University of Arkansas Sam M. Walton College of Business, joined the Scientific Advisory Council. Previously, Fugate worked in worldwide transportation and logistics, supplier development and industrial engineering in the airline, consumer packaged goods and automotive industries, and has worked with over 60 companies to advance world-class demand and supply chain management.
Western Growers, Irvine, Calif.
Ryan Talley, co-owner and farm manager of Talley Farms, was elected chairman of the board of directors, succeeding outgoing chairman Ron Ratto, president of Ratto Bros. Inc.
Church Brothers Farms, Salinas, Calif.
Grace Ho was hired as vice president of food safety and quality. Ho maintains more than 18 years of experience, most recently as senior vice president of food safety and quality at the Castellini Group of Cos. She also served as director of food safety and technical services for Misionero Vegetables LLC, and senior principal scientist for Chiquita Brands International/Fresh Express. Ho is a lead instructor for Preventive Controls Qualified Individuals and Foreign Supplier Verification, which are parts of the Food Safety Modernization Act. She maintains expertise in validating and commercializing new technologies, including the invention of Fresh Rinse, which is a produce wash Fresh Express started using in 2011.
Good Foods, Pleasant Prairie, Wis.
Malin Benicek was named vice president of technical services, tasked with leading the global food safety initiatives as well as the quality management strategies, programs and standards. Benicek maintains more than 30 years of experience, having previously served as executive vice president of quality assurance, food safety and regulatory affairs for Schuman Cheese Inc. and Wayne Farms LLC. He’s also worked in various industry segments, including prepared foods, food ingredient manufacturing, cultures and enzymes.
Sirna & Sons Produce, Ravenna, Ohio
Allie Sirna was named business solutions coordinator. Sirna is the second fourth-generation family member to join the business, is the granddaughter of current chief executive officer and the daughter of the company president. Sirna has worked for Produce Alliance for the past 4 years.
The Oppenheimer Group, Canada
Steve Roosdahl was promoted to vice president of operations. Roosdahl has been with the company for 24 years, starting as an application developer in the IT department, before adding responsibilities in transportation, manufacturing, quality control and operations, warehouse and inventory administration, and most recently, sustainability, food safety and government relations and facilities. Roosdahl was one of the original developers of Oppy’s state-of-the-art supply chain software, and was on the forefront of Oppy Transport, the company’s 3PL service. Roosdahl spent many years as chair of the Produce Traceability Initiative’s implementation committee, Canadian Produce Marketing Association’s (CPMA) Council of Food Processing and Consumer Products (CTAC) and in his current CPMA director role.
Sunkist Growers, Valencia, Calif.
Matt Shekoyan joined in the newly created position of vice president of strategy, responsible for working closely with both Sunkist and its sister company, Fruit Growers Supply (FGS), to optimize the companies’ strategic direction. Shekoyan maintains more than 20 years of diverse leadership experience in the agriculture industry. He spent much of his career at The Wonderful Co., serving in various operational and executive capacities, including chief financial officer of Wonderful Citrus, both in the United States and abroad. He worked several years in Mexico promoting California agricultural exports.
Acosta, Jacksonville, Fla.
Colin Stewart was promoted to executive vice president, business intelligence, effective immediately. Stewart joined Acosta in 1999 as part of its acquisition of the Kelley-Clarke organization. Stewart was instrumental in forming Acosta’s insights team, known today as Acosta Strategic Advisors. He also established analytics centers of excellence and initiated The Why? Behind The BuyÔ report.
Golden State Foods (GSF), Irvine, Calif.
Brian Dick was promoted to corporate executive vice president and COO, tasked with overseeing all global operations, including food manufacturing and logistics groups. He will also provide strategic leadership and direction for all worldwide activities. A GSF leader for 20 years, Dick previously served as senior corporate vice president and president of global manufacturing, where he led strategy and oversight of all global liquid products, dairy, protein and produce operations worldwide. He joined GSF in 1999 as business development manager for GSF Egypt, and helped diversify the company’s liquid products and protein businesses domestically and overseas. Based in the United States since 2002, he served in multiple business development roles and led the U.S. sales force beginning in 2006 as group vice president of sales and marketing. Meanwhile, Campbell Cooper was promoted to president, international business group, where he will oversee operations in Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East. He previously served as group vice president, GSF Fresh! After joining GSF in 2018, he played a key role in the company’s introduction into the Taiwanese market through a joint venture partnership. Campbell also spearheaded GSF’s expansion in China and Australia. Prior to GSF, Campbell served as general manager, functional foods for Royal Cosun, where he developed a 5-year global strategy, research and development platform and investment plan to encompass markets in Europe, the United States and Asia. Previously, Campbell held tenures at Fronterra, Nestlé Purina Europe and Zespri International.
Subway Restaurants, Milford, Conn.
John Chidsey was named chief executive officer, effective Nov. 18. Previously, he served as chairman and CEO of Burger King Holdings, Inc., and before that, was president and CFO. Before joining Burger King, Chidsey served as chairman and CEO for Cendant Corp.’s vehicle services division and financial services division. Chidsey has also served in key international leadership roles with PepsiCo.
Anchor Packaging LLC, St. Louis
Bruce Stein was named director, circular economy. Stein maintains over 30 years’ experience in food and medical packaging, a broad spectrum of manufacturing technologies and product innovation with companies such as Pepperidge Farm and Mitsui Chemicals of America. Most recently, he served as research and development manager for Anchor, focusing on emerging technologies in sustainability and carbon footprint reduction. He also spent 6 years in the U.S. Army Reserves specializing in Small Arms Repair and Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Warfare Defense.
Stertil-Koni USA, Stevensville, Md.
Jim Sylvester, vice president of sales, retired after 21 years with the company. Sylvester joined Stertil-Koni USA in 1998, where he’s leveraged his knowledge of the vehicle lift industry to achieve account development and sales activities.
Omnichain Solutions, Los Angeles
Gary González was appointed vice president of enterprise sales and strategy, responsible for managing the enterprise sales team, guiding the team’s strategy and increasing its size and coverage for target accounts, including Fortune 500 companies and other global organizations. González’s career started with a stint at Maersk Line, where he helped secure key contracts with apparel brands and pharmaceutical companies shipping products internationally. Since then, González has continued to work in the supply chain technology space, covering solutions such as enterprise resource planning, supply chain management, Big Data and software-as-a-service (SaaS).
Stephan Sieber was named new chief executive officer, effective Nov. 12. Sieber spent the last 13 years with SAP, most recently as managing director of SAP Switzerland. He also spent 5 years with Unit4, with three of those years as chief executive officer. During that time, Sieber was responsible for advancing service economy approaches and new service models through innovative technologies.
Glen Spry was named new president and CEO, effective immediately. Following the IPO of Genesis Energy and subsequent business restructure, Spry was appointed head of Genesis Energy’s business segment, where he was tasked with developing and executing Genesis Energy’s strategy for the New Zealand business segment, and identifying new opportunities while optimizing existing business systems and processes. Robert Platek, former chief executive officer, will continue to serve as founder, chief innovation officer and board member.
Interoll Group, Switzerland
Carlos Álvarez García-Luján was named new managing director for Interroll España S.A., succeeding Ramón Rovira Brugueras, who will retire after 18 years with the company. For more than 15 years, García-Luján has held international leadership positions in the renewable energy industry, including EAMEA sales director for Alstom Hydro and sales and business development director for Latin America for GE Renewable. Most recently, he led GlobalSist as chief executive officer.
Port of Oakland, Oakland, Calif.
Danny Wan was named port executive director. Wan has been serving as the port’s interim executive director since last summer, and was port attorney for 6 years before that. From 1996-2000, Wan represented Oakland, Alameda and San Leandro, Calif., on the EBMUD Board. He maintains more than two decades of experience in public agency law, finance and environmental policy, community relations and strategic planning. He replaces Chris Lytle, who retired in July after 6 years at the helm.
IN MEMORIUM: FRANK NUNES, NUNES CO.
Frank Nunes, co-founder of the Nunes Co., Salinas, Calif., passed away Nov. 6.
Nunes was raised on a farm in Chualar, Calif., and enjoyed culminating in a creative and determined vocation in the produce industry.
“My great-uncle Bob was a true gentleman, a visionary and a beacon in our industry,” says Tom Nunes V, president. “He had an incredible passion and love for the people that helped build our company. I am so grateful for the mentorship and guidance he blessed me with. Bob never stopped looking ahead. He was never afraid of bold moves, and he laid the foundation for the Nunes Co.’s future success. He was the light of our company -- a light that will forever shine bright for all of us.”
Following college, he became a vegetable inspector with Monterey County before joining a Salinas grower-shipper as the bookkeeper.
In the early 1960s, Nunes joined his brother Tom and handled sales and marketing for Growers Exchange. Then, in 1966, the brothers founded Nunes Bros. of California Inc., becoming what is said to be one of the first companies to film wrap lettuce. Nunes also served on the board of directors of what was then the Produce Packaging Association (today, it’s the Produce Marketing Association).
In 1968, United Fruit Co. (aka Chiquita Brands) bought Nunes Bros. as one of five Salinas Valley vegetable grower-shippers that were to become Interharvest. Nunes and his brother briefly ran that company until resigning in 1972 and taking a 5-year hiatus from the produce industry. In 1977, they re-launched The Nunes Co.
Nunes also served on the boards of Grower-Shipper Vegetable Association, American Institute of Food and Wine and Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital Foundation, and served as president of Central California Lettuce Co-op.
Nunes is survived by his son, Bob Jr., and daughter-in-law Kim; daughter Kimberly; five grandchildren; a niece, nephews, and his brother Tom.
IN MEMORIUM: ROBERT EDUARDO, RGE AGRIDEV CORP.
Robert Eduardo, founder of RGE Agridev Corp., Springfield, Va., passed away.
During his two decades at the helm of RGE Agridev, he oversaw innovation and expansion in a growing Philippine crab market.
He also helped form the Philippine Association of Crab Processors, Inc., as well as the NFI Crab Council, where he served for many years on the executive committee.