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JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- Michael Keown joined Farmer Bros. Co. as its president and CEO on March 23 and was also appointed as a Class I Director by its board. With a seasoned consumer product and foodservice industry background, Keown is expected to lead Farmer Bros. toward expanded growth in its milestone centennial, focusing on high-quality, innovative products and exceptional service.
Keown previously served as president, Indulgent Brands, at WhiteWave Foods Co., a subsidiary of Dean Foods Co., which includes International Delight and Land O'Lakes. Keown also garnered extensive marketing and sales experience over the years from his work at major consumer products and food industry players such as Procter & Gamble, E.&.J Gallo Winery and The Minute Maid Co.
Also at Farmer Brothers, the board of directors promoted Thomas Mortensen to the executive position of senior vice president of Route Sales, where he will oversee the company's entire route-sales organization and report directly to Keown. Mortensen has more than 33 years of service with Farmer Bros., including his role as the company's vice president of sales, West, for the past three years.
As the company enters its second 100 years in business, Mortensen called this "an exciting time to work at Farmer Brothers."
In 2007, Farmer Brothers acquired Portland-based Coffee Bean International, one of North America's first roasters of specialty coffees. In 2009, the company acquired Sara Lee's Direct-Store Delivery Foodservice coffee business to become the nation's largest direct-store delivery business for coffee and allied products.
In other people news:
S. Abraham & Sons Inc. (SAS)
Midwest regional distributor S. Abraham & Sons Inc. (SAS) promoted George Abdoo to vice president of Business Development. In this new role, Abdoo will be responsible for fostering new business within the 10-state geographic foot print of SAS. He will also serve as the liaison to numerous state convenience store and petroleum marketer trade associations.
Abdoo joined SAS in 1983 as a merchandiser. He was later promoted to a sales representative. In his most recent position, Abdoo served as vice president of sales for western and northern Michigan.
Heineken USA appointed Aaron Shaket as senior director, Sales Finance, where he is responsible for strategically influencing the Sales Leadership Team on business evaluation and resource allocation decisions.
Shaket joins Heineken USA from PepsiCo Inc., where he gained both strong sales leadership and commercial strategy experience in his roles as senior manager, Retail Finance, North America Beverages, and associate manager, PepsiCo Global Corporate Strategy Group.
Emerson Climate Technologies Inc.
Emerson Climate Technologies Inc. named John Rhodes as president of its Refrigeration business. Rhodes joined Emerson Climate Technologies from Emerson Appliance Solutions, where he served as president of the Therm-O-Disc business.
Rhodes began his career with Emerson in 1991 as an engineer for Emerson Motor Co. where he held a number of positions with increasing responsibility in sales and marketing. He has also served as Emerson's director of investor relations and president of Emerson Heating Products.
The Emerson Climate Technologies Refrigeration business serves the supermarket, convenience store and restaurant industries as a provider of compressor technology for commercial refrigeration.
Tanknology Inc., the world's largest Underground Storage Tank (UST) environmental compliance services company, promoted Ignacio Allende to vice president of International Operations and Intellectual Property.
Allendale previously held the position of director of International Operations, where he was responsible for all aspects of Tanknology's international presence. Under his leadership, Tanknology gained licensees in countries including Turkey, Mexico, South Africa and Nigeria. As a direct result of Allendale's success, Tanknology now has a presence in more than 25 countries in six continents.
Prior to joining Tanknology nearly nine years ago, Allendale worked for several global telecommunication companies, including AT&T and Telefonica Spain.
Schwan's Food Service Inc.
Mary O'Broin has joined Schwan's Food Service Inc. as vice president of marketing. In this position, she will oversee category management, innovation, marketing communications, research and culinary responsibilities, as part of the senior management team.
O'Broin was most recently Board Chair for the Women's Foodservice Forum. In this role, she focused on the professional development of the organization's members and the elevation of women leaders in the foodservice industry. Prior to this, she served in marketing leadership roles with Unilever Food Solutions, Kraft Foods, MasterFoods and Nabisco.