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NATIONAL REPORT — Retailers, wholesalers and suppliers in the convenience store industry are only as good as their management teams and employees. In this special roundup, Convenience Store News runs down the most recent executive changes, new hires, promotions and people achievements happening in the industry.
BW Gas & Convenience LLC
Brian Trout joined Brookwood Financial Partners LLC as senior vice president of operations for BW Gas & Convenience LLC. BW Gas & Convenience is an affiliated Brookwood entity that was recently formed to acquire and operate a diversified portfolio of gas stations and convenience stores in select regions of the United States.
He will direct the operational strategy for the company and be responsible for forming and leading regional management teams, and establishing and implementing a consistent merchandising plan for the portfolio. He will also oversee the acquisition and due diligence process as Brookwood builds its national presence.
Trout brings extensive experience in the convenience channel. He previously served as vice president of operations for The Pantry Inc., where he was responsible for retail operations and merchandising activities for a 10-state division. Prior to The Pantry, he was a zone leader in the Midwest for 7-Eleven Inc., where he managed and had profit and loss authority for the Great Lakes region, comprised of 680 stores in seven states, with annual sales of $1.2 billion.
David Klein was promoted to executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO) of Constellation Brands. He replaces Bob Ryder, who is stepping down as CFO in early July.
Klein most recently served as CFO of the company's beer division. His previous roles at Constellation Brands include senior vice president, treasurer and controller, and CFO of the company's former European business.
Prior to joining the company in 2004, he was CFO of Montana Mills.
Getty Realty Corp.
Getty Realty promoted Mark J. Olear to chief operating officer, effective June 1.
Olear joined the company in 2014 as executive vice president and chief investment officer and has more than 18 years of real estate industry experience. As part of his new role, he is responsible for managing all of Getty's real estate activities including acquisitions, leasing and property management.
"Mark came to us with a wealth of experience and capability and has a proven track record of achievement. He has been instrumental in identifying new opportunities and executing on many repositioning and redevelopment projects in our portfolio," said David B. Driscoll, Getty's president and CEO. "I have full confidence Mark's expanded role and leadership will make him a significant contributor to the future growth of Getty."
Heineken USA announced several personnel changes. The company hired Bridget Lasda, former vice president of sales for The Coca-Cola Co., as vice president of national accounts. Lasda will join the company on July 27.
Lasda had been with Coca-Cola for 13 years, most recently as head of the Target account. Previously, she held leadership roles in operations, sales and category development, serving as vice president of category commercialization for Coca-Cola's water, tea, coffee, and venturing and emerging brands.
In addition, Heineken USA promoted Tara Rush to senior vice president of corporate relations. Rush reports to President and CEO Dolf van den Brink and joins the Heineken USA management team.
Rush has been serving as the interim corporate relations leader since March, advancing the broader corporate relations agenda while the company conducted an internal and external search to fill the position.
She joined Heineken USA in 2013 as senior director of corporate communications. In this role, she led corporate and brand public relations, employee and distributor engagement, crisis communications, reputation management, corporate events, philanthropy and consumer affairs.
The Hershey Co.
The Hershey Co. is implementing a new productivity initiative as part of its ongoing efforts to drive long-term growth and margin enhancement. As part of this initiative, Hershey announced changes to its Global Leadership Team to better deliver the company's strategy, support its core business and position Hershey to capitalize on adjacent and international growth opportunities.
The changes to the Global Leadership Team include:
- Patricia Little, senior vice president, chief financial officer, will now also be responsible for corporate development, mergers and acquisitions (M&A). M&A activity will continue to be an important driver of Hershey's future success.
- Steven Schiller, regional president, AEMEA, has been named president, China and Asia. This new position elevates the company's focus on its No. 1 international growth priority, China.
In addition, Hershey created a new Global Leadership Team role focused on growth and expansion in emerging international markets including India and those in Latin and South America, the Middle East, Europe and Africa. A candidate search including both internal and external individuals is in progress.
Hostess Brands LLC
Rich Seban, vice chairman of Hostess Brands, is retiring after two years with the company.
His career has been filled with multiple leadership roles. Seban held executive positions in many iconic companies through the years, including Rich Foods, where he served as executive vice president of consumer products and a 16-year stint with Sara Lee where he served in multiple leadership roles in sales and marketing and finished up as executive vice president of marketing.
Seban then moved on to High Liner Foods where he served as president and chief operating officer before coming to Interstate Brands (the former Hostess) in 2005. At Interstate Brands, he served as chief marketing officer, chief customer officer and COO over eight years.
He joined Hostess Brands after the acquisition where again he has provided ongoing leadership as the company's first president.
The Kraft Heinz Co.
The Kraft Heinz Co. announced its post-merger senior leadership team.
"Our new leadership team represents the best of the best in business with proven track records for delivering results," said Bernardo Hees, CEO of the newly formed Kraft Heinz Co. "I am thrilled that this world-class group of executives will join me to further strengthen our iconic brands with our industry-leading go-to-market strategies, innovation pipeline and global infrastructure."
Effective with the close of the merger transaction, the senior leadership team includes:
- Paulo Basilio, appointed executive vice president and chief financial officer. He joined Heinz in June 2013 as CFO.
- Matt Hill, appointed zone president of Europe. He has been zone president of Heinz Europe since June 2013.
- Emin Mammadov, appointed zone president of Russia, India and Middle East, Turkey & Africa. He joined Heinz in 2006 as marketing director for Heinz Russia and has been president of RIMEA since 2013.
- Michael Mullen, appointed senior vice president of corporate and government affairs. He joined Heinz in 1998.
- Eduardo Pelleissone, appointed executive vice president of global operations. He joined Heinz in July 2013 as head of operations.
- Marcos Romaneiro, appointed zone president of Asia Pacific. He has been zone president of Heinz Asia Pacific since June 2014.
- Francisco Sa, appointed zone president of Latin America. He joined Heinz in June 2014 as zone president of Heinz Latin America.
- Jim Savina, promoted to senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary. He joined Kraft in 2013.
- Melissa Werneck, appointed senior vice president, global human resources, performance and IT. She joined Heinz in July 2013.
- George Zoghbi, appointed chief operating officer of U.S. commercial business. He joined Kraft in 2007.
Given the size of the combined business, Canada will now become a standalone zone reporting directly to Hees. The president of Canada will be announced in August. Chris Kempczinski will remain with the company until September to assist the Kraft Canadian and Overseas Business transition.
As part of Hees' extended leadership team, the following now report to Zoghbi:
- Eduardo Luz, appointed president of the U.S. Ketchup, Condiments, Sauces, Dressings and Frozen business. He joined Heinz in June 2013.
- Joe Fragnito, promoted to president of the U.S. Beverages & Snack Nuts business. He joined Kraft in 2000.
- Howard Friedman, appointed president of the U.S. Cheese & Dairy business. He joined Kraft in 1997.
- Mark Magnesen, appointed president of the U.S. Meat business. He joined Kraft in 1991.
- Tom Lopez, promoted to president of the U.S. Meal Solutions & Desserts business. He joined Kraft in 1999.
- David Toy, promoted to president of U.S. Foodservice.He joined Heinz in 2008.
- Sergio Nahuz, promoted to head of U.S. Sales. He joined Heinz in July 2013.
- Andre Maciel, promoted to head of U.S. Commercial Finance including U.S. Budget and Business Planning, Zero Based Budgeting and Revenue Management. He joined Heinz in 2013.
- Nina Barton, promoted to senior vice president of Marketing Innovation, Research and Development. She joined Kraft in 2011.
Matrix Capital Markets Group Inc.
Matrix Capital added John D. Ellison as associate to the Media & Communications Group and John C. Duni as senior analyst to the Downstream Energy & Retail Group. In addition, the firm promoted Stephen C. Lynch to senior associate in Matrix's Downstream Energy & Retail Group.
Prior to joining Matrix, Ellison was an associate with Ewing Bemiss & Co.; equity research associate in the Engineering & Construction and Energy Infrastructure Group with BB&T Capital Markets; and a business valuation associate at Keiter, a regional accounting firm.
Duni was previously an associate equity analyst with BB&T Capital Markets and a senior associate with the Assurance & Advisory Services Group at Keiter.
Since joining the Downstream Energy & Retail Group in 2011, Lynch helped advise on more than a dozen successful transactions.
Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA)
The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) welcomes Liz Hunger as director for state government affairs. In this role, Hunger will manage RILA's relationships with state retail association partners and facilitate communications with RILA member company executives with state government affairs as part of their portfolio.
Prior to joining RILA, she served as the lead on state policy issues for the nation's largest trade association in the electronic physical security industry, the Security Industry Association.
In previous roles, Hunger provided technical assistance on various USAID-funded global public health projects as a program advisor for Futures Group Global and served as a staffer in the U.S. Senate.
Bart Johnson has taken a role on Simmons Corp.'s sales team. He brings 35 years of experience in the petroleum industry to the fuel management company.
His early experience running a petroleum distribution company included developing a pioneering automated accounting system that was eventually implemented by more than 100 other petroleum marketing companies.
In addition, Johnson was instrumental in the design, development and deployment of enterprise-level fuel management, point-of-sale, retail back office and headquarters accounting/financial systems that achieved widespread adoption.