CEBA elects new board members, Sysco & Albertsons name new execs, and more personnel changes
Controlled Environment Building Association (CEBA), the arm of Global Cold Chain Association, Alexandria, Va.
Vince Free, founder of FREEZ Construction, transitioned into the chairman role; Marko Dzeletovich, president of Coldbox Builders, moved into the vice chairman position; Sam Tippmann, president of Tippmann Innovation, was named treasurer; and Tim Nguyen, senior vice president of ESI Group, is now immediate past chairman. Board members re-elected to 3-year terms include Peter Bartell, vice president of RHH Foam Systems Inc.; Brian King, president of A M King; Jay Smith, director of sales for Metl-Span LLC; and Chuck Zimmermann, director of sales with Entrematic. Nick Dakouras, project manager for Delta T Construction Co., and Vince Humphreys with Ahern Fire Protection, were elected as new board members.
The National Pork Board, Des Moines, Iowa
Bryan Humphreys was named the vice president of producer, state and industry relations. Earlier in his career, Humphreys organized grassroots efforts and managed multiple political campaigns nationwide. In 2009, he joined the National Pork Producers Council as director of grassroots, where he encouraged pork producers to tell their stories and interact with influencers and key decision makers. As part of this role, Humphreys also spent time in more urban areas helping educate elected officials and other influential decision makers on modern pork production practices. In 2014, Humphreys became the executive vice president of the Ohio Pork Council, where he led efforts around pressing social and environmental issues of the day. And, Jacque Matsen was named vice president of strategic communications. Both will assume their new roles Dec. 16. Matsen previously served as administrator of Iowa Economic Development Authority’s (IEDA) marketing and communications division, where she oversaw strategic marketing and communication efforts to strengthen economic and community vitality across the state. Before joining IEDA, Matsen was senior vice president of FleishmanHillard, where she counseled clients on building markets for new products, crisis response and media engagement. Prior to her agency experience, Matsen oversaw global public affairs for DuPont Pioneer (now Corteva Agriscience), where she managed issues such as biotech/GMO acceptance, and was responsible for executive communications, thought leadership and traditional/social media efforts. Matsen joined Pioneer after spending more than 10 years at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, where she led beef industry responses to animal welfare videos, bovine spongiform encephalopathy and the use of lean, finely textured beef.
The National Grocers Association (NGA), Arlington, Va.
Amy Kirtland, appointed executive vice president independents, fresh and exclusive brands at KeHE Distributors, and Lori Raya, chief merchandising and marketing officer at SpartanNash, joined the board of directors. Kirtland’s areas of expertise include bakery, culinary, cheese and bulk business. Before joining KeHE, Kirtland was executive director of Unified Grocers’ Naturally division, where she focused on natural and organic categories in independent grocery stores. Raya is responsible for the development and execution of SpartanNash’s merchandising and marketing strategy, studying consumer trends and sales performance and increasing sales and market share. She began her career in grocery with Safeway, starting as a store associate, then moving through the ranks to become store manager, district manager, vice president of retail operations, group vice president of strategic initiatives, and eventually becoming the first female divisional president in Vons’ history in 2012. In 2015, she was named division president for the Albertsons/Safeway company. Terence Huie joined as manager of PAC and grassroots, effective Oct. 30, tasked with managing NGA’s Political Action Committee, Grocers PAC and its grassroots advocacy efforts. Huie most recently worked as associate vice president of client relations at DDC Public Affairs, where he managed PAC and grassroots accounts for several Fortune 500 companies, trade associations and non-profits.
AIB International, Manhattan, Kan.
New members of the AIB board of trustees include Thomas Benner, president and CEO, Lasaffre Corp./Red Star Yeast Co.; Michael Connolly, senior director – snacks R&D, Campbell Snacks; Jo Anne Gabbert, president, JAG Portfolio Services; and Gary Mawby, vice president supply chain, The Bama Cos. Inc.
Sysco Corp., Houston, Texas
Stephanie Lundquist was elected to the company’s board of directors. Lundquist was named president, food and beverage of Target Corp. in January. From her nearly 14-year career with Target, together with her prior service in the retail sector, Lundquist maintains extensive experience in executive leadership and management, business operations, including both retail and in-store foodservice, strategy development, human resources and talent management, as well as distribution and supply chain, both domestically and internationally. Michael Foster will join as chief information and technology officer, effective Dec. 2, serving as Sysco’s senior technology leader with responsibility for all aspects of the company’s global technology agenda and partnering with other Sysco leaders to shape the company’s broader strategic direction and future growth agenda. Previously, Foster was executive vice president and CIO for CN Railway, where he was responsible for information technology, operational technology and information security. Prior to joining CN Railway, he spent more than 20 years at Federal Express in various technology leadership and executive roles across multiple global subsidiaries.
Sam’s Club, division of Walmart, Bentonville, Ark.
Kathryn McLay was appointed executive vice president, president and CEO, effective Nov. 15. Since February, McLay has served as executive vice president, Walmart U.S. Neighborhood Markets. She originally joined the company in April 2015 as vice president of U.S. finance and strategy, and was promoted to senior vice president, U.S. supply chain in December 2015, a role she served until February. Prior to joining the company, McLay served for 14 years in a variety of strategic, finance and supply chain roles at Woolworths Ltd., most recently as general manager for replenishment from October 2012 through March 2015.
Smart & Final, City of Commerce, Calif.
Sean Mahony was promoted to senior vice president, store operations. Mahony began his career at Smart & Final almost 27 years ago as a store associate. Since 2015, he has served as group vice president of store operations, overseeing the company’s operations team for its 255 locations. Mahoney also serves on the board for Olive Crest. Matt Reeve was named senior vice president, sales and merchandising, leading the sales and merchandising team responsible for category management and private label. Reeve maintains more than 29 years in the grocery industry. He joined Smart & Final as a category manager in 2004. In 2008, he helped transform Smart & Final through the launch of Smart & Final Extra!, which now accounts for more than 75% the company’s locations. He also serves on the board of directors for the Western Association of Food Chains.
Pacifico Aquaculture, Mexico
Guy Lott joined in the newly created role of vice president of sales. Most recently, Lott served as vice president of sales for North America with Regal Springs Tilapia, where he managed the ownership change from a family-run business to a multinational company. Previous to Regal Springs, Lott held a leadership position with Harvest Select and worked as a chef and restaurateur. In addition to his professional roles, Lott currently sits on the board of the National Fisheries Institute, is a fellow in the American Academy of Chefs and a member of the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission.
Albertsons Cos., Boise, Idaho
Chris Rupp was named executive vice president and chief customer and digital officer, effective Dec. 3, responsible for integrating and enhancing customers’ experiences across all digital touchpoints, accelerating the e-commerce business and deepening customer relationships through loyalty programs. She will also assume responsibility for the company’s enterprise data strategy and data science capabilities. Rupp most recently served as general manager of Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox business engineering team. Rupp maintains 30 years of retail, e-commerce and business innovation in consumer-oriented roles. She started her retail career at May Co., and soon after joined Sears, where she spent nearly 10 years in operations and merchandising. In 2005, Rupp worked as category manager with Amazon.com, managing the consumer-centric categories of wireless phones, computers and office electronics before being named vice president and general manager, fulfillment by Amazon Services in 2009. In 2014, Rupp was named vice president of Prime, where she was instrumental in developing the platform’s marketing, policies and member benefits across several countries. She also was part of the team that created and launched the first Prime Day in July 2015. Rupp left Amazon.com in 2016 for Microsoft, where she took on the role of general manager, Microsoft, Windows and Xbox digital store marketing, eventually being promoted to her most recent role in April 2018.
Lipari Foods, Warren, Mich.
Tim Walls was named president and COO, effective immediately, where he will oversee all company operations. Walls has spent the last 20 years with Schreiber Foods, where he led company-wide projects, including supply chain optimizations such as the launch of Lean Six Sigma. Walls started out as production manager, and worked his way up to executive vice president and a member of the board of
Colabor Group Inc., Canada
Louis Frenette was named president and CEO, effective Nov. 25. Frenette was president and CEO of Parmalat Canada, Bonduelle North America and Danone Canada. Previously, he served as vice president of sales and logistics at Danone Canada; executive director and vice president of marketing at Johnson & Johnson Canada; and director of sales at Procter and Gamble Canada, where he started his career in 1987. During this period, he implemented operational productivity and management programs, achieved market share gains and created profitable growth while improving customer satisfaction, service rates and employee engagement. He is also actively involved in various boards and financing activities, including for the Breakfast Club of Canada and the McGill Center for the Convergence of Health and Economics.
RAVE Restaurant Group, Inc., Dallas, Texas
Mike Burns was named chief operations officer, charged with leading operations for Pizza Inn and Pie Five Pizza as well as operations services for all brands. He maintains over 10 years’ experience in company and franchise operations, including 8 years at Bojangles' Famous Chicken n Biscuits as director of operations support and as regional vice president, where he oversaw over 175 restaurants. Most recently, Burns directed operations at over 80 Pei Wei Asian Kitchen restaurants. Douglas Kwong was appointed vice president of marketing, tasked with direct marketing for all RAVE brands. He most recently served as director of e-commerce and digital marketing at Pei Wei Asian Kitchen, where he managed e-commerce, media and the loyalty program. Kwong led the team at Pei Wei that took overall digital sales from 8% of company revenue to 30% by implementing new technology and launching delivery partnerships. Bob Bafundo will be departing his role as president at RAVE. Additional new hires include Justin Smith as senior director of operations for Pizza Inn, and Aaron Archuleta as director of operations for Pie Five.
Blaze Pizza, Los Angeles
Mandy Shaw was promoted to president and CEO. Shaw has been with Blaze Pizza since 2018 as chief financial officer, and has served as interim CEO since August. Shaw has played a critical role in the company’s rapid growth over the past two years. Shaw previously worked in a number of roles at Bloomin’ Brands for over 12 years, including serving as chief information officer and chief accounting officer.
Wingstop Inc., Dallas, Texas
Christina Clarke was named chief marketing officer. Since joining Wingstop in 2018, Clarke has made significant contributions to Wingstop’s national advertising strategy. In February, she helped spearhead the brand’s new campaign, Where Flavor Gets Its Wings. This campaign, which contributed to domestic same-store sales growth of 10.7% through the first three quarters of 2019. She previously served as interim chief marketing officer. Meanwhile, Donnie Upshaw was appointed senior vice president of people, charged with building the company’s talent and culture by anchoring the company’s people strategy. Upshaw joined Wingstop in 2018 as vice president of human resources.
CBRE, Los Angeles
Brian Fiumara was appointed vice chairman. Fiumara maintains more than 20 years of experience in commercial real estate, representing institutional and private equity clients in the acquisition as well as the disposition of income-producing properties and development opportunities. Fiumara is also a member of CBRE National Partners.
SUN Automation Group, Glen Arm, Md.
Frank Reynolds was promoted to director of sales, tasked with leading the direct external sales team to drive growth and profitability across the North American market. Reynold’s expanded responsibilities will also include managing the product development cycle and collaborating cross-functionally across the SUN organization. Reynolds maintains 34 years’ experience, with 28 of those years with SUN, serving in many roles in both the engineering and sales sectors.
The Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT), Jacksonville, Fla.
Foreign trade zone expert Deborah Lofberg joined as manager of foreign trade zone, responsible for managing JAXPORT’s Foreign Trade Zone No. 64, serving existing customers and attracting new businesses and tracking trends and issues related to maximizing the port’s business potential. Lofberg maintains more than four decades of experience working in senior level corporate positions, including more than 30 years in the transportation and logistics industry. Most recently, she served as executive administrator for Monroe County, Fla., Fire Rescue, overseeing the administration of a $30 million operating budget. Prior to that, Lofberg served in business development roles of increasing responsibility at JAXPORT, including as zone administrator for FTZ No. 64, where she assisted customers with all aspects of international trade policies and regulations. She has also served in business development roles at Crowley Maritime Corp. and Trailer Bridge.
Fristam Pumps USA, Middleton, Wis.
Dan Johnson was promoted to application engineer, responsible for providing in-house and in-field technical support and customer service. Johnson has been with the company for a year, having previously served as technical inside sales representative. He maintains over 10 years of experience in the machinery manufacturing industry.
Emerge, Scottsdale, Ariz.
John Hess was appointed as new chief technology officer. Hess maintains more than 20 years of experience in technology, development and engineering. Previously, he served as former vice president and CTO of GlobalTranz, and chief technology officer of FRONTSTEPS.
Fulham Co., Inc., Hawthorne, Calif.
Edwin Reyes was appointed director of OEM sales and business development, charged with overseeing all OEM sales activities. He maintains over 14 years of experience, having started his career in Fulham’s engineering department before recently serving as product manager for LED drivers and modules. Meanwhile, Todd Hughes was named new OEM regional sales manager for the Northwest United States and Canada. Hughes maintains over 20 years of account management experience in the lighting industry with both OEM and distribution customers. He will oversee OEM sales in Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and all of Canada. Stephen Flemings joined as new OEM account development manager. Flemings will work with customers nationwide to develop and drive new business. Previously, he was an account executive at Harvard Engineering, where he helped to establish and grow new territory for the business.
Meritech, Golden, Colo.
Paul Barnhill was appointed chief technology officer, responsible for driving product development, research and training programs designed to improve employee hygiene and sanitation standard operating procedures. Barnhill is a human hygiene expert and sanitation engineer with over 28 years of experience in developing innovative automated hygiene technology. Barnhill has served as the company's chief operations officer and vice president of engineering for the past 13 years, and prior to that, served in various roles in the company for 15 years. Before his career at Meritech, Barnhill served as senior designer at MedTronic for five years. Troy Hale was named vice president of operations, responsible for ensuring an excellent customer experience and driving efficiencies in manufacturing and order fulfillment. Hale maintains over 20 years of experience in driving sales and service teams. Hale previously served as Meritech's vice president of field services for six years, responsible for managing customer service and equipment repair operations. Prior to working at Meritech, Hale worked as director of sales and customer service for Lincare Holdings, Inc., Marsden, OpenWorks and Sprint.
Ward Transport and Logistics, Altoona, Pa.
Bill Ward, current president and CEO, named his son Bill Ward, Jr. as president, while retaining the CEO position.
Apeel Sciences, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Jason De Turris was named vice president of brand, tasked with establishing Apeel’s consumer brand and retail activation strategy worldwide. De Turris maintains 20 years of marketing experience, having previously worked with brands like Rolex, Jell-O, Xbox, American Express and Naked Juice. Viviane Schappo was appointed director of supplier relations, Latin America, focusing on driving the business development pipeline in Latin America and supporting Apeel’s partners and in-country implementation processes. She previously worked at C.H. Robinson. Megan Opp was appointed chief people officer to ensure that Apeel’s culture seamlessly scales as the company grows. She will also work to continue attracting and retaining top talent in the business, technology and science communities. Bill Strong was named chief financial officer after helping the company raise $110 million to-date. He will also oversee the growth of the business from 30 to nearly 200 employees. And, Erich Klawuhn joined as vice president of product, chartered with bringing Apeel products to market and helping identify the opportunity for Apeel’s technology in new verticals. Previously, he was vice president at View Inc.
Transportation Insight, Hickory, N.C.
Carl Fowler joined as chief commercial officer, tasked with leading the company’s commercial operation, which includes client development, client solutions, solutions engineering, marketing, client services, implementations, supply chain analytics and parcel solutions. Fowler maintains more than 20 years’ experience in supply chain background, with significant leadership experience in global supply chain management. He previously served as senior vice president of business development for Americold Logistics, where he led business development, solutions and pricing resources responsible for new customer acquisition, global growth strategies in support of top-line revenue targets and account management for more than 2,500 clients. Projects during his tenure included the development of metrics to improve capacity planning, improved business development training and implementation of sales strategies that realized record success. Prior to joining Americold, Fowler spent 15 years with Menlo Worldwide Logistics, where he held a variety of operations and sales leadership roles, including global vice president of sales and solutions, where the company achieved its two highest growth years.
IN MEMORIUM: DOMINICK ROMANO, RONETCO SUPERMARKETS, INC.
Dominick Romano, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of RoNetco Supermarkets, Inc., Ledgewood, N.J., Nov. 17. He leaves behind his wife of 65 years, Kathryn Romano (Acquavella).
Romano was the second generation of the family business started by his parents. The business, which began 92 years ago, now operates eight ShopRite Supermarkets in Morris, Sussex and Warren, N.J., counties and employs over 2,000 associates. Ronetco is a member of Wakefern Food Corp., Keasbey, N.J.
Romano was a member of the Wakefern board from 1970-2007, serving as vice chairman from 1971-1985, and as treasurer from 1985-2005.
He was past chairman of ShopRite Supermarkets, and past chairman of Readington Farms Dairy, a Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based supplier of ShopRite-brand fluid fresh milk products to ShopRite Supermarkets.
Throughout his professional career and personal life, he was an active board member and supporter of a variety of local charitable organizations, including Blair Academy, Boy Scouts of America, Newton and Hackettstown Medical Center Foundations, Project Self-Sufficiency, SCARC and The Growing Stage. As part of Wakefern/ShopRite, he was influential in establishing the ShopRite Partners in Caring Program, which helps feed the hungry in local communities. He also established numerous scholarships, has been supporter of Centenary University since 1961 and served as co-chairman of the university's capital campaign from 1996-2001, during which time he helped raise $15.3 million.
He served as a member of the Warren County Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce and the Warren and Sussex County Regional Task Force. He was a member of the New Jersey Food Council, Food Marketing Institute and the President's Association of the American Management Association. He was a past-president of the Stanhope Board of Education and a past member of the New Jersey State Labor Board of Mediation.
Romano served on the Blair Academy Board of Trustees from 1988-1994 and again in 1997.
Romano is predeceased by his brother Pasquale T., and his two sisters, Estelle Guarini and Cecilia (Cissy) Laureys. He is survived by his three children, Dominick J. and his wife, Cathy, of Lafayette, along with their children; Martine and her husband, Adam Aldrich; Arielle and her husband, Colton Eaton; Drew and his partner, Cara Freda, and their daughter, Iyla Grace Freda; David P. and his wife, Alice, of Lafayette and their son, Alexander; and Nina and her husband, Tony Rizzo of Snowmass, Colo., and their children Anthony, Dominick and Kathryn Rizzo.
Visitation will be held Nov. 24 from 3-8 p.m. at the Good Shepherd Roman Catholic Church. A Christian Funeral Mass will be celebrated Nov. 25 at 10 a.m., in the Good Shepherd Roman Catholic Church, 48 Tranquility Road.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Community Foundation of NJ, c/o ShopRite Partners in Caring Fund, P.O. Box 338, Morristown, NJ 07963-0338.
IN MEMORIUM: MICHAEL ZIELINSKI, RETAIL MANAGEMENT SERVICES, INC.
Michael Zielinski passed away Nov. 21 following a fight with cancer. Zielinski was a former retailer, longtime industry supporter and a mainstay at many industry events.
For instance, he was a founding partner and former CEO of Royal Buying Group, Lisle, Ill. More recently, he led multiple consulting and supply firms, including Smart Technology Products, MEZ Enterprises Inc. and Retail Management Services Inc., all based in Orland Park, Ill.
Funeral details are not available, but plans are being made for a celebration of life.