The American Lamb Board, Denver, Colo.
Newly appointed members to the board are Jeff Ebert, owner of Ebert Sheep Farm, Saint George, Kan.; Gary Visintainer, co-operator of Visintainer Sheep Co., County, Colo.; Donald Hawk, co-owner of Skyline Turkey Farm, Danville, Ohio; and Travis Anderson, co-owner of Kalapooia Valley Grass Fed Processing LLC, Brownsville, Ore.
Sanderson Farms, Inc., Laurel, Miss.
Robert Khayat announced plans to retire from the board of directors, effective Dec. 31, a role he’s held since 2007. Khayat is a retired chancellor of the University of Mississippi, a role he held from 1995-2009, where he presided over a period of extensive growth and significant transformation for the university. He previously served as professor of Law, University of Mississippi School of Law from 1982-1995.
Weis Markets, Sunbury, Pa.
Kevin Weaver joined as director of produce, where he will oversee the company’s day-to-day produce merchandising, pricing and procurement, as well as the company’s produce field staff. Previously, Weaver worked for Southeastern Grocers as director of produce and floral. Earlier in his career, he worked in produce management positions at The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. and Marsh Supermarkets, Inc.
Grupo LALA, S.A.B. de C.V., Mexico
Mauricio Leyva announced plans to step down as chief executive officer, effective Dec. 31. Arquímedes Celis Ordaz will assume the role of chief executive officer supported by members of the operations team. Celis, who retired as LALA’s chief executive officer in 2015, first joined the company in 2001. During his tenure, Grupo LALA grew sales organically by 11.6% and EBITDA by 11.2% annually, and executed an initial public offering in 2013. Celis maintains more than 37 years of experience in related senior management roles with extensive experience in sales, marketing and operations. He has served on the board of directors of Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. since 2019, among other relevant senior management roles.
Sun Valley Farms Inc., Loveland, Colo.
Dave Fahrenbruch is retiring as chief executive officer, a position he’s held since 2015 when the company was acquired by Houweling’s Group. In 1993, Fahrenbruch began his career as vice president of sales and marketing for Colorado Greenhouse, and then after that, co-founded SunBlest Farms, which he left in 2004 to join Sun Valley Farms. Craig Olson, vice president of sales, was tapped to succeed Fahrenbruch, and was named general manager of Houweling’s Colorado, an updated name for Sun Valley Inc.
IN MEMORIUM: ALEX KO, GROBEST NORTH AMERICA
Alex Ko, president of Grobest North America, Los Angeles, passed away suddenly Dec. 24.
In addition to his duties at Grobest, Ko served on the board of the Global Aquaculture Alliance and helped form the Global Seafood Sustainability Initiative.
“Alex was a true partner with his customers and the seafood community at large,” says John Connelly, president of the National Fisheries Institute, McLean, VA. “On key questions from production data to culture, we relied on Alex for insight and perspective we could find nowhere else. We will deeply miss his steady hand, personable nature, expertise and personal decency. The seafood community has lost a discerning voice far too soon.”
“Alex’s leadership at Grobest North America helped ensure the family company remained a valued global pioneer in feeds and a technological leader that brought innovative products to markets,” Connelly says. “A business with a focus on simple animal nutrition became a trailblazer with a passion for disease control, enhanced efficiency, increased yields and doing the right thing.”