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Kroger Hired 4,000 Veterans and their Family Members at November Recruitment

The Kroger Co. announced that as a result of its one-day Honoring our Heroes hiring event held on November 9, the company hired more than 4,000 military veterans and their family members.

“I’m so proud of our store teams for their outstanding efforts during our national hiring event in November,” said Tim Massa, Kroger’s Group Vice President of Human Resources and Labor Relations. “We can all be proud of hiring 4,000 veterans and family members in one day. We are delighted to welcome them to our Kroger family.”

Last month’s veteran-focused hiring event performed better than Kroger’s first one-day Honoring our Heroes hiring event, which was held on September 15, 2015 and resulted in the company hiring 2,000 military veterans and their family members.

Kroger has hired more than 35,000 veterans since 2009 as part of its commitment to active duty troops and the nation’s 23 million veterans.

Through the Honoring Our Heroes program, Kroger’s family of stores have donated more than $18 million since 2010 to help support USO programs, which represents the largest cumulative gift to the USO in its nearly 75-year history.

Hain Celestial Announces Executive Appointments

The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. has just announced recent executive team appointments for Hain Celestial United States, Hain Pure Protein Corporation and Hain Celestial United Kingdom.

“We are very pleased to announce the appointment of these seasoned consumer packaged foods industry executives. They further strengthen our worldwide leadership team and their future contributions will be invaluable as Hain Celestial grows to the next level internationally with the strength of our diversified portfolio of organic, natural and better-for-you brands,” commented Irwin D. Simon, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hain Celestial.

Hain Celestial United States
Gary W. Tickle joins Hain Celestial as Chief Operating Officer. He is a proven leader, both in the United States and internationally, having served in various executive roles driving innovation, global strategy development and execution at Nestlé Group. Gary most recently served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Nestle Infant Nutrition North America with responsibility for the Gerber and Nestle brands. Prior to this role, Gary served as the Global Head, Maternal and Infant Nutrition Strategic Business Unit in Vevey, Switzerland, as the Regional Business Head, South Asia based in New Delhi, India in Infant Nutrition and Chief Executive Officer, Auckland, New Zealand with responsibility for baking, beverages, cereals, confections and frozen food. Tickle will oversee the sales and marketing functions for Hain Celestial’s better-for-you snacking and better-for-you pantry platforms and brands in the United States.

Jerome “Jay” W. Erskin joins Hain Celestial as Chief Supply Chain Officer. He is a results oriented operations executive with strong experience in the food and beverage industries in the United States, having started his business career at Kraft Foods Inc. as a Manufacturing and Procurement Manager. Erskin also served in various capacities at The Dannon Company, Inc.; MARS Petcare, NA; Chobani, LLC and more recently as chief operating officer at SK Food Group, Inc. He will oversee the supply chain as well as productivity for Hain Celestial United States.

James “Jamie” F. G. Fay joins Hain Celestial as Chief Customer Officer with a substantial background as a senior sales and marketing executive in the natural, conventional and mass channels. Most recently Jamie served as senior vice president, global sales for Nature’s Path Foods. Previously, Fay worked in positions of increasing responsibility at Mars, Inc. ascending to a Senior Vice President, Sales role on the North America Chocolate business. Jamie also worked in various sales and marketing positions for Group Danone in the United States and Canada. Jamie will oversee the sales functions for Hain Celestial United States including Consumer and Customer Analytics and Trade Marketing along with the marketing function for Better-for-You Baby.

Additionally, Hain Celestial appointed Leah Dunmore as Vice President, Marketing, Better-for-You Pantry for Hain Celestial United States, having previously held positions at Campbell Soup Company as Vice President, U.S. Soup; and Mars Chocolate, North America as Marketing Director, M&M’s Business. Earlier in her career, Dunmore spent over a decade with SC John in various marketing leadership roles across a wide range of brands. At Celestial Seasonings, Tim Collins joined the company as Vice President, Marketing, with responsibility for the Celestial Seasonings® tea and Dream® plant-based beverage brands.

Hain Pure Protein Corporation
James R. Meiers has been appointed Chief Executive Officer, Hain Pure Protein Corporation overseeing the Empire® Kosher, Plainville Farms® and FreeBird® poultry brands and the protein business of Hain Celestial in addition to his responsibilities as Chief Operations Officer at Hain Celestial, including the company’s recently announced Project Terra worldwide cost savings initiative.

Hain Celestial United Kingdom
James Skidmore has been appointed Chief Executive Officer Hain Daniels, having joined the company with the Orchard House Foods Limited acquisition in December 2015. James is responsible for the Hain Daniels business with its grocery, fruit and chilled and frozen business units featuring the Hartley’s®, New Covent Garden Soup Co. ®, Linda McCartney’s®, Sun-Pat® and Robertson’s® brands, among others.

Hass Avocado Board Announces New Board Members

The Hass Avocado Board (HAB) has announced its new executive committee and slate of board members for 2017 as appointed by Secretary of Agriculture (USDA) Tom Vilsack.

The board will work to support the mission of HAB’s five-year strategic plan: being the catalyst of collective efforts toward market expansion in the U.S. The plan’s six strategic priorities include: building demand, nutrition research and affairs, supply and demand data collection, and quality as well as two new initiatives – sustainability and industry engagement. Sustainability efforts will concentrate on bringing together a healthy public, planet and profitable avocado stakeholder; while industry engagement will encourage growers, exporters, handlers, importers and industry associations that supply the U.S. to support the new vision and successfully execute the board’s strategic plan.

Executive committee positions have been assigned to: Chairman re-elect Chris Henry, importer; Vice Chairman re-elect Bob Schaar, producer; Treasurer Laurie Luschei, producer; and Secretary Javier Medina, importer.

“We are committed to advancing our priorities to meet HAB’s vision of becoming the number one consumed fruit in America,” said Chairman Chris Henry. “We are confident that we have the right people and plan in place to ensure growth goals are met.

Three members and three additional alternates were chosen to serve in the positions. Appointed board members include Keith Barnard, importer; Salvador Dominquez, producer; and Linda Mullins, producer. New alternate positions include Ohannes Karaoghlanian, producer; Patrick Lucy, importer; and Jim Swoboda, producer.

“We look forward to continuing to build on the tremendous success of our outgoing officers and board members,” said Emiliano Escobedo, Executive Director of the Hass Avocado Board. “With our five-year strategic plan established, we are highly motivated and excited about the future of our industry.”

HAB thanks the outgoing board members for their service and commitment to advancing the industry’s priorities. Special thanks go to Rick Greenwood, chair of corporate governance committee, which developed and implemented guidelines with the purpose of making board membership more attractive, enhancing board effectiveness and adhering to best practices; Sebastian Bulnes, nutrition liaison, who served as the link between the board and HAB on nutrition research and related affairs; and Ohannes Karaoghlanian for his unwavering contributions to the finance committee.

HAB is also grateful for the efforts of this year’s outgoing alternates that include Custodio Aguilar, producer; Faye Hall, producer; and Jimmy Lotufo, importer.

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