Natural Foods Merchandiser

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Kohnstamm Communications, based in St. Paul, Minn., has hired three new staff members and promoted two. Rachel Gutierrez and Natalie Auger (right) were hired as account executives. Brian Flynn (right) was hired as an assistant account executive. The firm has also promoted Kristen Lunsford from assistant account executive to account executive and Brianna Gallett from account administrator to assistant account executive.

Chemi Nutra of White Bear Lake, Minn., hired Blake Kraemer as sales manager. Chemi Nutra is the U.S. business unit of parent company Chemi S.p.A, a pharmaceutical and nutraceutical company based in Milan, Italy.

Steven Meredith has been hired by Eagan, Minn.-based Biothera as vice president of North American sales and marketing of the Healthcare Group. Meredith brings more than 12 years of experience in the sale and development of bulk ingredients for healthcare products, most recently as sales director of TSI Health Sciences.

United Natural Foods Inc. of Dayville, Conn., promoted Mark Shamber to vice president and chief financial officer and treasurer. Shamber was formerly chief accounting officer. UNFI also promoted Lisa N'Chonon to the position of corporate controller. N'Chonon was previously assistant corporate controller.

Natural ingredient manufacturer Embria Health Sciences of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, appointed international biotechnology scientist Stuart Reeves, Ph.D., as director of research and development. Reeves' papers have run in publications such as the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, Biochemica et Biophysica Acta and Food and Agriculture Immunology.

Salt Lake City-based Integrated Marketing Group appointed Natalie Harris as assistant marketing manager. She was formerly assistant brand coordinator at Mrs. Field's, also in Salt Lake City.

Alacer Corp., Foothill Ranch, Calif.-based maker of Emergen-C, promoted Bruce Sweyd to vice president and general manager of its newly created Tablet and Water Division. In his seven years with Alacer, Sweyd led the sales and marketing team.

Lacey, Wash.-based Univera LifeSciences hired Wesley Huff as executive vice president of operations. He brings 28 years of experience to the position, including two with XanGo, three with Evince and six with the Pharmanex division of NuSkin.

Wild Oats Markets Inc., based in Boulder, Colo., hired Roger Davidson as senior vice president of merchandising and marketing, replacing Steve Kaczynski, who left the company in April 2006. Davidson has more than 37 years of operations and management experience in the food retail industry.

NSF International, the public health and safety company based in Ann Arbor, Mich., made three executive promotions in fall of 2006. Kristen Holt, formerly chief financial officer and senior vice president was promoted to senior vice president of NSF's Food Safety and Dietary Supplement Programs and president of NSF International Strategic Registrations Ltd. Michael Walsh, CPA, was promoted to vice president and chief financial officer and Tom Chestnut was appointed vice president of NSF's Supply Chain Food Safety and Quality Programs.

Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, based in Boulder, Colo., inducted Tom Stemberg of Lexington, Mass.-based Highland Capital Partners, to Pharmaca's board of directors. Stemberg is the founder and former chief operating officer of Staples Inc. This came in conjunction with a financing round, led by Highland, which raised $18 million of convertible preferred stock, which will be used to accelerate Pharmaca's new-store expansion plans, as well as augment the company's management team and operational infrastructure. Pharmaca also hired Heather Willison as communications director. Willison was most recently director of public relations for IZZE Beverage Co.

Lucini Italia, based in Miami, hired Cory Kirlan as national sales manager. Kirlan was responsible for Nature's Path Foods' Southwest/Rocky Mountain territories for the past two and a half years.

Portland, Ore.-based hemp protein producer Living Harvest added Neil Blomquist to its executive team as board member and strategic adviser. Blomquist was formerly president and chief operating officer for Spectrum Organic Products.

Mangosteen supplement manufacturer XanGo, of Lehi, Utah, named Aaron Garrity president and chief executive officer. Former CEO Gary Hollister will remain chairman of the board. Kent Wood was named president of operations, and Joe Morton was named president of international development and distributor relations.

The Food Co-op 500, a program aiming to increase the number of retail grocery cooperatives from the current 300 to 500 in 10 years, hired the first national food cooperative development specialist, Stuart Reid. Reid will be focused on creating new food co-ops in the United States. Reid has a background working with cooperative and investor-owned businesses, most recently as general manager of Just Food: Northfield Community Co-op in Northfield, Minn.

The National Nutritional Foods Association East Region inducted Andrew Fox, president and chief operating officer of NEEDS Inc., as president of NNFA East. Fox appointed Paul Kushner of Marlton, N.J., as the new executive director.

Are you hiring a new employee, expanding your facilities or do you just want brag about an award? Submit items for Company & People News to Hilary Oliver at [email protected].

At its annual meeting, the Organic Center named Anthony Zolezzi board chairman. The Organic Center is committed to the conversion to organic agriculture and generation and communication of credible, peer-reviewed scientific information about the benefits of organic farming. Zolezzi specializes in marketing with socially responsible companies, and has worked with Nestle, Horizon Organic Dairy, Cascadian Farms and Wild Oats Markets.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVII/number 12/p. 48

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