Natural Foods Merchandiser

Natural Products Industry People News

Lucini Italia, Italian food producer with offices in Miami, appointed Lakisha Ridley as marketing manager. Ridley worked with the World Trade Organization's Dispute Settlement Body at the U.S. Trade Representative Office in Geneva, and also has worked for five years in the television industry, including working on the launch of an Italian satellite channel.

Organic Partners International, based in Portland, Ore., formed a new source for certified organic products and ingredients, composed of organic industry leaders and two former organic-focused business-to-business companies, M.J. Davis & Co. and George's Organics. Organic Partners International's new president is Jeffrey Vinson, previously an international trading house's top executive. The company also hired Rachel Spencer, formerly of JP Schmid and Multiple Organics.

Manitoba Hemp Foods & Oils, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, hired Robb Wagg as U.S. national sales manager. Wagg has worked in the naturals industry since 1978, including sales positions with WhiteWave and Cloud Nine.

Ogden, Utah-based ear-candle company White Egret appointed Steve Reeves as general manager. Reeves has been with White Egret for the past four years, most recently as manager.

Dean Foods Co., based in Dallas, announced Blaine McPeak will join Dean Foods' WhiteWave Division as president of Horizon Organic. McPeak has marketing and general management experience including 16 years of brand and business building at Kellogg Co. and Sara Lee Corp.

The Organic Trade Association and Diversified Business Communications, based in Portland, Maine, announced that former Vice President Al Gore will be keynote speaker at the All Things Organic Conference and Trade Show, May 5-8 at Chicago's McCormick Place.

Schaumburg, Ill.-based naturals market research company SPINS appointed Steven Hankin as executive vice president. Hankin has nearly 30 years of experience in the food retail and consumer packaged goods industries, including 17 years with Ahold USA. Most recently he was vice president of analytical support for Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. Inc.

The Natural Products Association, based in Washington, D.C., announced Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, will be the keynote speaker at Natural MarketPlace 2007, July 20-22 in Las Vegas.

Richvale, Calif.-based Lundberg Family Farms, grower and manufacturer of natural and organic rice and rice products, named Tom Kroha regional sales manager for the Rocky Mountains, Northwest and Canada. Kroha has more than 25 years of experience in the grocery and natural foods fields, as a broker, distributor and manufacturer. Kroha's hire coincides with the retirement of Dana Tracy-Gibbens, who held the position for the past 12 years and had a 30-year career in the food industry.

B&D Nutritional Ingredients, based in Vista, Calif., named Rebecca Niehus senior product manager. Niehus joined B&D in 2004 and was most recently account manager for the Western United States.

Neptune Technologies and Bioresources, based in Laval, Quebec, appointed Thierry Houillon vice president of business development, functional foods. Houillon was recently appointed to the company's board of directors and was previously chief executive officer of Danone Canada.

Natural Products Association West honored supplements manufacturer Jarrow Formulas for exceptional support of and contributions to the regional association. The company's president, Jarrow Rogovin, has been a platinum member of the NPA West Advocacy Council for the last two years.

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