Natural Foods Merchandiser

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SPINS announced that current CEO Tony Olson and SPINS board member Jeffrey Ubben have purchased a majority of shares in the company from existing shareholders. The transaction will result in the departure of founder and Chairman Paddy Spence from the company. Olson will continue as CEO for San Francisco-based SPINS and will assume the additional title of chairman. Spence will devote his energies to Binda, a new company he has founded to bring yoga instruction and lifestyle elements to Generation Y consumers.

Marc Rosenthal has joined Racconto Foods, based in Melrose Park, Ill., as the new vice president of business development. Rosenthal was formerly the director of natural foods for Kehe Food Distributors before assuming his position at Racconto, a company specializing in imported organic Italian products.

Garden of Life Inc. of West Palm Beach, Fla., has appointed Joseph Brasco vice president of medical affairs. Brasco, a gastroenterologist and internist, will be responsible for developing a medical review board that will conduct research and education about traditional and alternative medicines.

Torben Wetche has been appointed senior vice president of finance and chief financial officer at St. Augustine, Fla.-based Tree of Life. Wetche joins Tree of Life, which distributes natural, organic and specialty foods, from Heidelberg Americas, where he was the senior vice president and CFO. In addition, Rick Moller was named senior vice president of merchandising. Moller, who has worked at Tree of Life since 1986, will now be responsible for category management and buying activities.

Alternecare Health Products, a supplements manufacturer based in Orlando, Fla., has named Alan Kristowski national sales manager. Kristowski has more than 20 years of experience in the natural foods industry.

Thomas P. Briggs, former senior vice president and CFO of Horizon Organic Holding Corp., has joined the board of directors at Chicago-based Dakota Beef LLC, producers of private-label certified organic beef.

nSpired Natural Foods of San Leandro, Calif., has hired Marsha Davidoff as its new national sales manager of industrial sales. She will specialize in organic and natural ingredients, especially chocolate and nut butters.

Good Health Natural Foods of Northport, N.Y., has appointed Rick Williams, a former sales manager at Thai Kitchen, as the new Western regional sales manager. Randy Markle, who has worked with Good Health since 2003 as director of private label, has assumed the additional position of Midwest regional sales manager. In addition, Vice President Justin Desiderio will manage the Eastern sales region and oversee national sales.

Middleborough, Mass.-based Cirelli Foods, a broadline foodservice distributor, has appointed Ray LeBlanc president and chief executive officer and Jay Cirelli executive vice president. LeBlanc was formerly executive vice president and CFO at Cirelli, where he has worked for six years. Jay Cirelli has been with the family business for 37 years.

David Chance has been named sales and marketing manager at Sanmark LLC, a manufacturer of nutritional oils based in Greensboro, N.C. Chance has spent the last 10 years in the food, nutrition and pharmaceutical industries.

Larry Batina has been appointed CFO of Alacer Corp., the Foothill Ranch, Calif.-based manufacturer of Emer?gen-C vitamins. Batina has more than 25 years experience in financial management.

Michael Dupee has joined Green Mountain Coffee Roasters as vice president. He will work on increasing understanding and recognition of the Waterbury, Vt.-based company?s social responsibility and environmental affairs programs. In addition, Liam Brody has been named Green Mountain?s director of sustainable coffee.

Naturade, an Irvine, Calif.-based marketer of heart health and weight management products, has named Marwan Zreik executive vice president of sales and Stephen Kasprisin chief operating officer.

Jennifer Ogden has joined Lipid Nutrition, a lipid-based health ingredients company and division of Loders Croklaan headquartered in Channahon, Ill., as East Coast account manager. Ogden will focus on the food and supplements markets, including development of specific products.

Rick Robinette is the new vice president of retail sales at Brea, Calif.-based Window Rock Health Enterprises, makers of CortiSlim. Robinette has 20 years of experience in consumer products retail.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXV/number 9/p. 72-73

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