Natural Foods Merchandiser

People News

Alan WitcherTorrance, Calif.-based Van?s International Foods, a natural frozen waffle company, has promoted former Vice President of Sales and Marketing Alan Witcher to president. Witcher has served as vice president of sales and marketing for Van?s. Prior to his April 2003 hiring at Van?s, Witcher was with Horizon Organic, Star Fine Foods and Mauna Loa Macadamia Nuts.

John McGeough joined Old Mother Hubbard as national sales manager for the naturals channel for its Wellness line. The Lowell, Mass.-based manufacturer makes holistic and natural pet foods.

Dean Furbush has been appointed chief executive officer and Steve Michaelson has been named president of Fresh Direct. Furbush, the former president of Nasdaq Transaction Services, who joined Fresh Direct as chief operations officer last October, replaces co-founder Jason Ackerman, who will continue in his role as chief financial officer and take on the additional role of vice chairman of the board of directors.

St. Louis, Mo.-based RIBUS Inc., developer and manufacturer of certified organic rice-bran-extract ingredients, appointed Kathy Barr as managing director of traditional products. Barr brings more than 25 years of experience in food and personal care manufacturing, sales and marketing. Matt Burridge joins RIBUS Inc. as managing director for the organic and natural foods division. Burridge brings more than 15 years experience in strategic planning, organization leadership, marketing and international business expertise to the company.

Vancouver, Wash.-based Bi-O-Kleen, manufacturer of nontoxic household and commercial cleaners, appointed Barry Firth as general manager. Firth brings his experience in sales and marketing to the company?s new marketing campaign.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. appointed Scott McCreary as chief operating officer. McCreary brings more than 20 years of strategic operational and business development experience in the consumer packaged foods industry to the Waterbury, Vt.-based company.

Norway, Iowa-based Frontier Natural Products Co-op has hired marketing veteran Steve Krusie as its director of marketing. Krusie has 21 years of marketing experience.

Steve Wallace, president of Country Mart, and Bill Lancaster, who recently retired from Associated Wholesale Grocers, received Spirit of America Awards, presented by Thomas Wenning, senior vice president and general counsel of the Missouri-based National Grocers Association. The Spirit of America Award honors individuals who have provided leadership and distinction in the areas of community service and government relations in the independent retail and wholesale industry.

Dr. David McCarron, president of Academic Network LLC and visiting professor at the Department of Nutrition at the University of California, Davis, was awarded the 2004 International Prize for Modern Nutrition. The Portland, Ore.-based Federation of Swiss Milk Producers awards the prize to those making significant contributions to international research in nutrition and to further promote research work and improve publicity of major findings.

Salt Lake City-based Integrated Marketing Group, appointed Amanda D. Holty public relations coordinator. Holty comes to IMG with more than three years of corporate and nonprofit public relations experience. She will be responsible for coordinating and implementing public relations and marketing activities for several IMG clients.

Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Market promoted chief operating officers A.C. Gallo and Walter Robb to co-presidents. Lee Valkenaar, previously president of the Mid-Atlantic Region, has also been promoted the newly created position of executive vice president of retail support. Whole Foods also expanded its number of operating regions from eight to 10 by separating the Southwest region into the Southwest and Rocky Mountain regions, and the Northern Pacific region into the Northern California and Pacific Northwest regions. These new regions will be led by Will Paradise, formerly regional president of the Southwest region, and Ron Megahan, formerly regional president of the Northern Pacific region. The Northern California region will now be led by Anthony Gilmore, formerly regional president of the Midwest region.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXV/number 11/p. 60

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