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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.
Retail design and architecture firm api(+) promoted five employees to associate level. Earning the title are David Behrens, Ryan Martin, Christy Emery, John Scheffel and Tim Moore.
The associate title recognizes individuals who have laid roots and are making ongoing contributions to the vision, strategy and culture of api(+). Those who earn the title are presented both an opportunity and an obligation to continue contributing, growing, developing and leading.
"It's a privilege to have these five individuals contributing to our leadership and work. Each adds exceptional value and enthusiasm to our team, provides insight and creative input to spotting and resolving problems, and influences others as a role model within the firm," said Juan Romero, president and CEO.
Jodi Sutherland joined brand agency and retail design consultancy CBX as vice president, engagement group director.
In her new position, Sutherland partners with peer leaders at CBX to market the firm to key audiences and develop business-building opportunities with new and existing clients, driving core competencies more broadly, and identifying new offerings to support clients' evolving needs. She reports to Gregg S. Lipman, CEO and managing partner.
Sutherland comes to CBX from global advertising agency Publicis Worldwide, New York, where she was senior vice president, group account director. Prior to that, she was executive director, client services/business development at global brand and creative design agency Brand Union, New York.
ConAgra Foods Inc.
Darren Serrao has been appointed chief growth officer at ConAgra Foods Inc., reporting to CEO Sean Connolly.
Serrao will lead the Growth Center of Excellence at ConAgra Foods that includes insights, innovation, research and development, and marketing. The Growth Center joins multiple departments to improve connectivity and boost speed-to-market, ensuring strong insights lead to relevant and timely products with the right marketing support.
Serrao was most recently senior vice president, chief marketing and commercial officer at Campbell Soup Co., where he led the U.S. consumer business. Previously, he was vice president of innovation and business development for Campbell North America. He's also held several P&L and marketing positions during his career, including roles with PepsiCo and Unilever.
Convenience Valet appointed two new members to its board of directors: Van Tarver, former president of the Kroger Convenience Store Division, and Michael Brown, founder and former CEO of Sunstone Inc.
Tarver, who joined Kroger as president of Fremont, Calif.-based Quik Stop Markets Inc. in 1997, has more than 36 years of experience managing convenience stores and fuel operations. He served as president of the Kroger Convenience Store Division, the Supermarket Petroleum Group and its Turkey Hill Dairy. He previously served as senior vice president of Thrifty Oil Co.
Brown is an investor, business consultant and franchise owner, and also sits on multiple boards. He was the founder and former CEO of Sunstone, a company that designs, merchandises and manufactures sterling-silver jewelry for department stores and mass merchandisers. For seven years, he was an active advisor/mentor to the Kellogg Entrepreneur's Organization at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Eby-Brown Co. LLC
Mathew Mandeltort accepted the position of vice president of foodservice strategy and education at Eby-Brown Co. LLC. He is now responsible for providing the strategic direction of all Eby-Brown foodservice programs and creating a cohesive brand and marketing strategy that enhances the company's existing position as a best-in-class, national foodservice provider.
Mandeltort previously served as corporate foodservice manager at Eby-Brown. He has been with the company since January 2014, and has more than 30 years of experience in foodservice operations.
"Since he joined our team, Mat has exuded passion for the category, sharing his vast experience to make our foodservice programs second to none in the industry. Mat's extensive foodservice knowledge and enthusiasm for the category have been instrumental in creating even greater foodservice value for our customers," said Joe Roenna, executive vice president of merchandising, procurement and inventory management.
Kum & Go LC
Kum & Go appointed Krischelle Tennessen as senior vice president of human resources. In this role, she is a member of Kum & Go's senior leadership team and reports directly to CEO Kyle J. Krause.
"Krischelle has a solid background in human resources, HR analytics, policies and systems, among many other positive qualities," Krause said. "Her strong drive and people skills fit well with Kum & Go's promise to deliver more than our customers expect — which starts by ensuring the best team is in place throughout the entire organization."
Tennessen joins Kum & Go from Walmart, where she served most recently as vice president of HR in Bentonville, Ark. She was with Walmart for nine years in various human resources roles in Bentonville and Minneapolis. Prior to that, she worked at Target Corp. in Minneapolis and Salt Lake City.