Former Lidl CEO joins Meatless Farm, Borden appoints new supply chain officer, Johnsonville names new CEO and more
The producer of Anuga Fair Trade shows appointed Oliver Frese as chief operating officer, effective Jan. 1, 2020, responsible for the operative development of Koelnmesse's event portfolio. Frese previously served as a member of the management board of Deutsche Messe AG until 2018, a position he’s held for the past 14 years. Prior to his time with Deutsche Messe AG, he was responsible for the Hannover Messe until 2013, where he was responsible for technology, gastronomy, services, information and communication technology, digital business events and all public trade fairs.
Canadian Centre for Food Integrity, Canada
James Donaldson, chief executive officer of BC Food & Beverage, joined the board of directors. Donaldson maintains over 25 years of experience working with a broad range of businesses, from start-up ventures to multi-national corporations. He has held positions in sales, marketing and general management functions for Diageo, Yves Veggie Cuisine, BC Hot House Foods and Maple Leaf Foods. He also holds several industry leadership functions, including board positions with Food & Beverage Canada, Cannabis Standard Association and Red Dog Deli Raw Food Co. Mike Dungate, former executive director, Chicken Farmers of Canada, also joined the board of directors. Dungate maintains extensive business, human resource management and government relations expertise. In the area of public trust, he was a key contributor to the establishment of the Public Trust Steering Committee and the Poultry Sustainability Value Chain Roundtable. He is also a member of Swimming Canada’s board of directors. Also new to the board of directors is Darlene McBain, manager, industry relations, Farm Credit Canada. She has been working in the agriculture and agri-food industry for more than 20 years, and has been a member of “l’Ordre des agronomes du Québec” for 20 years as well. Shanna Munro, president and CEO of Restaurants Canada, also joined the board of directors. Munro maintains extensive experience in the foodservice, retail, entertainment and financial services industries across North America, spanning more than 25 years. Janet Riley, vice president of communications and public affairs, Maple Leaf Foods, is new to the board of directors. As the voice of the North American Meat Institute for 28 years, Riley maintains deep experience in public relations, media relations, crisis management, issues management and animal welfare. She joined Maple Leaf in 2019 and leads internal and external communications.
The Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), Brentwood, Mo.
Bill Goldfield, director of corporate communications for Dole Food Co., was elected new chairman of the board, effective Nov. 22. A produce industry executive for more than a decade, Goldfield develops positioning and key messaging around the benefits of expanding plant-based eating and leverages marketing campaigns, social media and strategic partnerships. Other 2020 members include Matt Middleton, vice president of sales for Ventura Foods, as vice chairman of the board of trustees; CarrieAnn Arias, vice president of marketing for Naturipe Farms, LLC, as secretary/treasurer; and Roger Pepperl, marketing director for Stemilt Growers LLC, serving past chair.
The American Bakers Association, Washington, D.C.
Lauren Williams was named director of government relations, acting as the liaison for both the human resources and safety and logistics professionals groups. For the past 2 years, Williams has worked as a professional staff member on the House Committee on Education and Labor, with policy expertise in workforce protections. Prior to serving on Capitol Hill, Williams worked for more than 6 years at the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), where she focused on labor and employment issues serving as labor and employment policy manager. Prior to that, she worked as ABC’s legal and regulatory affairs assistant. William’s first professional role was as human resources staff assistant at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and interned at the National Space Society and for Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia. Zack Decker was appointed government relations manager. He has served as membership engagement coordinator since November 2018, and before that, worked as a legislative affairs assistant for a commerce association.
Avocados From Mexico, wholly-owned subsidiary of the Mexican Hass Avocado Importers Association, Dallas, Texas
David Spirito was elected new senior director of culinary and foodservice, responsible for guiding strategy and execution of the organization’s foodservice department. Spirito maintains more than 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Most recently, he was senior director of global food and beverage innovation for TGI Fridays, where he oversaw the overall food and beverage innovation strategy, quality assurance and brand protection. He also led the execution of product procedures as corporate executive chef of global research and development. Spirito also served as vice president of food and beverage for Logan’s Roadhouse, where he guided beverage and culinary teams in strategy, development and operations. He worked for LM Restaurants as corporate executive chef, where he developed new menu items for numerous restaurant concepts. Earlier in his career, he worked for Hospitality USA, Hilton Hotels and Club Corp. of America.
Stefano Rettore will lead the project, which just received a name, as an independent advisor during its development phase, including overseeing the search for a chief executive officer. Rettore maintains more than two decades of global experience in the agribusiness industry. He served as president of ADM’s origination business, and prior to that, was the company’s chief risk officer. Before joining ADM, he held a series of leadership positions at CHS Inc.
Ardo Group, Belgium
Gabrielle Kalkwijk was appointed group CEO, effective Oct. 1, succeeding Rik Jacob, who retired earlier this summer. Kalkwijk previously served as president of global manufacturing operations for Dawn Foods. She joined the company in 2011 as vice president operations and supply chain for Europe and AMEAP (Africa, Middle East, Asia Pacific), where she was responsible for purchasing, production, supply chain, quality, regulatory and safety. Prior to 2011, she spent 20 years with FrieslandCampina, where she worked in a variety of plant manager and operations manager roles in different European countries. She was promoted to group operations director for butter in 2008.
Flowers Foods, Inc., Thomasville, Ga.
Robert Benton, Jr., currently chief supply chain officer, was named to the newly created role of executive vice president of network optimization, effective immediately, to focus solely on designing and executing capital projects that support the company’s portfolio optimization effort. Benton joined the company in 1980, responsible for manufacturing and distribution productivity and efficiency, capital projects, regulatory and quality assurance and safety and environmental affairs. He oversaw the design and construction of 10 new bakeries, the redesign and installation of more than 50 major production lines and played a vital role in the integration of numerous acquisitions. Prior to being named chief supply chain officer in 2017, Benton served as senior vice president and chief manufacturing officer, senior vice president of manufacturing and operations support, vice president of manufacturing and held local and regional manufacturing positions within the company. In addition, he has served in leadership roles with a number of industry groups, including the American Institute of Baking, the American Society of Baking and Baking Equipment Manufacturers and Allied.
Cornerstone PB Holdings LLC, Los Angeles, and Cornerstone Processing LLC, El Paso, Texas
Stacey Kesler was named plant manager and director of operations of the new Pine Bluff, Ark., facility. Kesler maintains more than 10 years of experience in the poultry processing industry, most recently as plant manager at Walter Valley Poultry.
Wholesome Wave, Bridgeport, Conn.
Joe Cahalan was named interim executive director. Cahalan spent the last four decades at Xerox Corp., where he held the positions of vice president of communications and social responsibility and president of the Xerox Foundation. Most recently, he was chief executive officer at Concern Worldwide, and worked as a consultant with Newman's Own Foundation. Over the last year, Cahalan has served as a member of Wholesome Wave's Governing Board.
Hostess Brands, Inc., Kansas City, Mo.
Tom Peterson, executive vice president and CFO, will transition to the newly created role of executive vice president, strategy and M&A. As a result, consumer packaged goods industry veteran Brian Purcell will join as executive vice president, CFO. Purcell maintains over 20 years of finance, accounting and consumer packaged goods experience. Most recently, Purcell served as chief financial officer of Rawlings Sporting Goods, where he was responsible for all finance, accounting and IT functions. During his tenure beginning in 2016, he worked with the executive team to develop turnaround strategy that revitalized profit and revenue growth over a 3-year period. Prior to this, for nearly 10 years, Purcell held both field and corporate senior and executive finance leadership roles at PepsiCo across multiple segments of its businesses, culminating in a regional CFO position for a multi-billion dollar business in North America. Earlier in his career, Purcell worked in finance at Argosy Gaming Co., before it was acquired by PENN National Gaming. Both roles are effective Jan. 6, 2020.
Tops Friendly Markets, Williamsville, N.Y.
Andrew Richard was promoted to produce/floral specialist in the East region, responsible for overseeing all aspects of operations and merchandising for the produce and floral departments within the Finger Lakes, Syracuse West, and Southern Tier districts. Richard was previously a store manager for the Walworth, N.Y., location. Andrew began his career with Tops in 2000 as an assistant produce manager. Over his 19-year career, he has held various positions, including produce manager, non-perishable operations manager, operations manager, assistant store manager and store manager.
Classic Harvest, Paramus, N.J.
Chris DeSana joined the newly created role of senior director of sales – deciduous, where he will lead the deciduous initiative, with an emphasis on table grapes from the southern hemisphere. Previously, DeSana worked for Sunkist, U.S. Produce Exchange, Sbrocco Int., Seald Sweet, and most recently, Pacific Trellis as East Coast import and sales manager.
Hälsa Foods, New York
Gary Hirshberg, co-founder and former chairman and CEO of Stonyfield Organic, became an investor and board member. Hirshberg is a renowned pioneer and advocate of organic, sustainably grown food. Andrew Abraham, founder and CEO of Orgain, also joined as new investor.
The Meatless Farm Co., New York
Jesper Højer was appointed new chair. Jesper previously served as global CEO for Lidl, a company he spent 16 years with.
Johnsonville Holdings, Inc., Sheboygan Falls, Wis.
The parent company of Johnsonville, LLC elected Michael Stayer-Suprick as chief executive officer, succeeding Ralph Stayer. Stayer-Suprick will help lead the overall investment strategy and direction of the family enterprise, which includes Johnsonville, LLC. Stayer-Suprick is currently president of Johnsonville’s international business.
Amanda Sourry, president, Unilever North America, announced plans to retire from the company after more than 30 years of service to pursue new opportunities. As a result, Fabian Garcia was appointed president, Unilever North America, effective Jan. 1, 2020. Fabian was president and CEO of Revlon from 2016-2018, where he initiated the transformation of Revlon and started the restoration of its brands to health. He also strengthened its portfolio through the integration of the Elizabeth Arden acquisition in 2016. From 2010-2016, he was chief operating officer global innovation and growth at Colgate Palmolive, where he also previously served as president of the Asia/Pacific division and executive vice president Latin America. Fabian began his career at Procter & Gamble, where he worked for 16 years, holding roles that included president of Max Factor Japan and general manager of the paper and beauty division, Venezuela. Fabian is also a member of the board of the Kimberly Clark Corp. Conny Braams was appointed to the new role of chief digital and marketing officer, effective Jan. 1, 2020. Braams joined Unilever in 1990, and has held a wide variety of marketing leadership and general management roles across several key European and Asian markets. In her current role as executive vice president, Unilever Middle Europe, Braams is responsible for Unilever’s business in DACH, Nordics, Italy and the Benelux, where she leads the company’s largest European unit. Braams was previously executive vice president Benelux and Home Care Europe, where she led the complete digital and marketing transformation, and prior to that, served as executive vice president for Asia, Africa and Middle East from 2010-2016.
Borden, Dallas, Texas
Yogesh Sabnis was named chief supply chain officer, effective immediately. Sabnis maintains more than 20 years of industry and internal consulting experience in consumer products and food manufacturing, and spent a significant portion of his career with different divisions of Campbell Soup Co., where he advanced as an operations and supply chain leader. After being recruited to join Pepperidge Farm right out of graduate school, Sabnis was eventually promoted to director of operations, and then director of supply chain strategy within Campbell’s manufacturing operation, ultimately leading him to serve as vice president of supply chain at Garden Fresh. Most recently, Sabnis was senior vice president of operations for CTI Foods.
Niman Ranch, Denver, Colo.
Alicja Spaulding was named vice president of marketing, tasked with determining the marketing and brand strategy to grow market share and brand awareness. Previously, Spaulding served as director of e-commerce for Diversified Foodservice Supply, where she created and implemented the digital marketing strategy for a commercial kitchen equipment, supplies and parts business. She maintains 15 years of experience merging the analytical and creative sides of marketing to drive profitability and market-share growth. She’s also served as head of marketing for SROriginals and Ticklebelly Desserts, and served as director of marketing for a restaurant group.
Tropicale Food, Ontario, Calif.
José Luis Prado will serve as board chair following an investment from Wind Capital Partners. Prado most recently served as chief executive officer of Evans Food Group, which Wind Point sold in August. Prado is a 40-year veteran of the food industry, having spent 30 years at PepsiCo with general management responsibility in the United States and Latin America.
Starr Ranch Growers, Wenatchee, Wash.
Produce industry marketing veteran Krista Beckstead joined as marketing and brand specialist, charged with working on brand strategy, product development and overall marketing activities. Previously, Beckstead has led the marketing efforts at Crunch Pak for six years, where she was responsible for product development and execution, brand strategy, advertising and public relations, social media content, retail promotional events and tradeshow participation. During that time, she managed relationships with Crunch Pak’s multiple licensing partners, including the NBA, the New York Yankees, Marvel and Disney. Beckstead also served on the marketing and merchandising executive committee for United Fresh. Most recently, she used her background in apparel marketing gained at the Nordstrom Product Group and Cutter and Buck to work for a promotional agency and an advertising firm.
Wabash National Corp., Lafayette, Ind.
Dr. Martin Jischke, chairman of the board, announced plans to retire. As a result, long-standing director Larry Magee will serve as the next chairman of the board. Jischke became the company’s chairman of the board in 2007. Before joining the company’s board in 2002, he was president of Purdue University, where he served from August 2000 until his retirement in July 2007. Jischke has served in leadership positions, including as president of four major research universities in the United States, in which he was charged with the strategic and financial leadership of each organization. He was also previously appointed as special assistant to the United States Secretary of Transportation. He continues to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Illinois Institute of Technology, and previously served as a director of Duke Realty Corp. from 2004-2016 and as a director of Vectren Corp. from 2007-2017. Meanwhile, Terry Bassett joined the board of directors’ Nominating and Corporate Governance and Compensation Committees. Bassett recently retired from Avnet, Inc. after 26 years with the company, where she most recently served as chief strategy, innovation and mergers and acquisitions officer, responsible for identifying growth opportunities to enhance the overall business portfolio, financial strength and global market value. Bassett is currently managing director of NuVentures LLC.
Greene Concepts, Inc., Marion, N.C.
Lenny Greene returned to the company as president and CEO. Greene departed his executive management role in February, following the acquisition of Mammoth Ventures.
Johnson Controls International plc, Ireland
Ganesh Ramaswamy was named vice president and president, global services and transformation, tasked with providing leadership for the global service business. Ramaswamy will also aim to improve consistency of fundamentals across the company's global direct channels, leverage infrastructure and investments and work closely with regional leaders to execute on our strategic priorities. Ramaswamy previously worked at Danaher as group executive and vice president, responsible for four operating companies in the product identification space. He started his career at Danaher as senior vice president of high-growth markets for Beckman Coulter Diagnostics. Before joining Danaher, Ramaswamy was global president for Pentax Medical. Earlier in his career, he worked at GE in a number of leadership roles across product development and general management.
RKW Group, Germany
Reinhold Franke announced plans to leave the board of directors for personal reasons, but was appointed vice president sales and business development North America, effective Feb. 1, 2020, responsible for sales and new business acquisitions in North America. Roger Chantillon will become the new board member responsible for sales and marketing, effective Dec. 1, 2019. Chantillon is an experienced sales and marketing specialist. He spent the last 10 years as vice president of global sales and vice president EMEA Performance Tapes for Avery Dennison. Dr. Alexander Wansel joined the board for operations, responsible for all production sites worldwide, effective Jan. 1, 2020. Wansel previously served as chief operating officer at TWE Group, where he was responsible for 12 non-wovens plants in Europe, Asia and North America.
Heinz Hössli joined as group chief financial officer, beginning the first semester of 2020. Hössli has served as chief financial officer and vice president advanced materials at Bühler Group since 2012, and as vice president finance and controlling advanced materials and chief financial officer of Bühler’s business area die casting from 2009-2011. From 2002-2009, Hössli held a number of leadership roles as chief financial officer of Bühler subsidiaries, and spent 8 years in the United States and Mexico. Before joining Bühler in 1999 as internal group auditor, he worked as auditor for Ernst & Young, Zurich, as well as a management member at various fiduciaries in Switzerland.
WeWork, New York
Matthew Jahansouz was promoted to chief people officer. Meanwhile, Maurice Lévy was named interim chief marketing officer and interim chief communications officer, where he will oversee marketing and communications. Ralf Wenzel was named chief of product and experience officer.
Green Rabbit, Braintree, Mass.
The company named new independent members to its board of directors. James McCann is an investor and/or board member for 34 companies encompassing retail technology, food technology and consumer goods sectors, such as Bowery, Datasembly, Takeoff Technologies, Flashfood, Grillo’s Pickles, Fetch Rewards, Voicify, Deliv and Pensa Systems. Before becoming an early-stage investor, McCann spent more than 20 years in the grocery industry. He was chief executive officer of several Tesco businesses in Europe and Asia, Carrefour France and Ahold’s $26 billion U.S. business. In his spare time, he is a volunteer pilot for PALS, helping patients get to and from medical treatments center. Paal Gisholt maintains more than 20 years of experience scaling technology-based consumer brands. He currently serves as founder and CEO of AQ Nutrition, and previously served as chief executive officer of SmartPak Equine. He maintains extensive private equity experience, and currently sits on the board of directors of the National Animal Supplement Council. Roger McEldowney maintains more than 35 years of experience in the confectionery industry, including broker, distribution and manufacturing. He is currently a senior advisor at Chocolate Delivery Systems and manager of RMACK Candy Solutions, LLC. Throughout his career, he’s invested in and implemented significant technologies in sourcing and supply chain management to improve sourcing. He also served as president of Tzetzo, where he created a family of products under the Kids Play/Select Brands trademarks, and played an integral role in helping scale revenues to more than $150 million. He has also negotiated strategic alliances with multiple suppliers, creating better quality products and control of supply and inventory management challenges.
Filmquest Group Inc., Bolingbrook, Ill.
Mike Loesher was appointed senior account manager, supporting sales and marketing efforts primarily in the flexible packaging, proprietary value-added and thick film polyester specialty markets. Loesher maintains nearly 30 years of sales experience in the polyester film, flexible packaging, labels, papers, foils and fabrics industries. He’s held sales manager and director of sales positions for prominent companies within the PET film industry.
Loylogic, Inc., Switzerland
Gabi Kool was named new chief commercial officer, charged with leading the business development, sales, client services, insights and marketing functions. He will also provide the roadmap and vision for commercial objectives, client operations and leadership across various business units. Kool has held many chief executive officer positions in MarTech as well as in loyalty and advertising industries, and worked in Asia, Europe and North America, serving major Fortune 500 clients across the airline, hotel, fast-moving consumer goods and retail industries. Kool has also built and sold several startups, and founded another MarTech company.
The Numina Group, Woodridge, Ill.
Bob Fischer joined the system engineering and delivery team, with a focus on expanding the company’s West coast customer install base for its Real-time Distribution Software pick-by-voice and warehouse order fulfillment automation technologies. Fischer maintains more than 30 years of logistics and transportation technology experience. He began his career selling mobile computing solutions and logistics and shipping software in the mid-80s and 90s. In 1997, he founded Advanced Distribution Solutions Inc. (ADSI), which he later sold in 2017. During his career he has helped hundreds of companies solve their supply chain automation challenges by leveraging process and technology improvements.
Stora Enso, Sweden
Jari Suominen was named executive vice president, head of the company’s newly created forest division, effective Jan. 1, 2020. Suominen has led Stora Enso’s wood products division since 2014, and has held several leadership positions in the paper and wood products businesses since 1995. Seppo Toikka, currently head of strategy and business controlling in wood products, will take on the role as acting head of the division, effective Jan. 1, 2020. Hannu Kasurinen was appointed executive vice president, head of packaging materials, effective Jan. 1, 2020. Kasurinen was previously senior vice president, liquid packaging and carton board in the consumer board division. He has held several leadership positions in Stora Enso, including group treasurer, senior vice president of strategy and executive vice president of wood products division. Gilles van Nieuwenhuyzen will leave his position as executive vice president packaging solutions, effective Dec. 6, to pursue new career opportunities outside the company. David Ekberg, currently senior vice president and head of business unit corrugated Nordics, is taking on the role as acting head of packaging solutions, effective Dec. 6.
Tydrolyte LLC, Troy, Mich.
Robert Galyen joined the advisory board. Galyen recently retired from his position as chief technical officer of China Amperex Technology Ltd. (CATL), where he spent 8 years growing the company to over 25,000 employees and securing its position in the lithium ion battery market. Galyen also serves as chairman of the Battery Standards Steering Committee of the Society of Automotive Engineers, and previously served as chairman of NATTBatt International. He’s also held executive positions responsible for energy storage technologies at companies such as CATL, Magna, Delph and GM, as well as at smaller entrepreneurial businesses.
Transportation Insight, Hickory, N.C.
Chris Clever, founder of Meridian Logistics LLC (dba FreightPros), was named vice president of LTL solutions, with responsibility for all LTL brokerage activity, following the acquisition of FreightPros.