People News: January 2022

Elevated View Of A Male Manager Shaking Hands With Female Applicant At Workplace

Vori, the digital B2B operating system optimizing the grocery supply chain, has expanded its Black-owned, women-led team with the appointment of Jennifer Shawgo as Head of Sales. With 20+ years of experience in the grocery industry working with natural CPG brands, Shawgo will lead Vori’s sales initiatives and drive adoption of the company’s supply chain management platform to empower grocery retailers and suppliers. She comes to Vori from KeHE Distributors, and previously held sales and leadership roles at Mountain People’s Warehouse, UNFI, and Nature’s Best.

INFRA has appointed Angela Bozo as Director of Member Programs, where she will lead and develop the vision and strategy for the expansion of member opportunities in education, events, and new programs.

Ryan Imgrund has joined the scientific advisory board of dicentra, a clinical research organization and consulting firm. A biostatistician who has done COVID-19 modeling and risk analysis for public health institutions, several Fortune 500 companies, and Government officials, Imgrund will help expedite recruitment for trials related to COVID-19.

Former Beyond Meat scientist Gilad Kaufman has been hired as Vice President of Research and Development by Tofurky. Kaufman will refresh and accelerate the innovation pipeline, build a progressive R&D team, and deliver improvements for core Tofurky and Moocho products.

ePallet has hired Joe Gozzi as Chief Executive Officer. His prior experience includes being Co-founder and COO of Transform Health, and includes time working in leadership roles in Sales and Global Procurement for Roland Foods.

Taking the Director of Sales APAC & EMEA role, David Mharakurwa is joining Clasado Biosciences. He will continue the business’s global expansion, supplying its prebiotic ingredient Bimuno to brands and formulators across the Asian, Middle East, and African markets. Mharakurwa brings over 12 years of experience in the dairy ingredient industry, having held senior sales roles with companies including Agropur and Milk Specialties Global.

Award-winning PR strategist Craig M. Muckle has joined the Council of Responsible Nutrition (CRN) as Director of Communications, bringing with him experience handling media relations programs for retailers including Safeway and Rite Aid. In 2015, Muckle was awarded the Minority Business Leader Award by the Washington Business Journal.

Melissa Do has joined the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) as Director of Communications, reporting to Amber Bennett, Vice President of Marketing & Engagement at AHPA. Do will improve engagement and communications with media and publicize the work being done by AHPA and its members to ensure the accessibility of safe herbal goods to informed consumers. Prior to joining AHPA, Do held education, marketing and communications roles at CV Sciences.

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) announced the election of new members to the CHPA Board of Directors: Chris Tedesco, Senior Vice President, North America Health, Reckitt, and Sujay Wasan, Senior Vice President, North America Personal Health Care, The Procter & Gamble Company. Wasan and Janick Boudazin, President & CEO, Boiron, were elected to serve on the CHPA board’s executive committee as well. Also, two new members were elected to the CHPA Educational Foundation Board: Annette Reichel, Communications and Public Affairs Lead, U.S. Self Care, Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc., and Aileen Stocks, President of Wellness Brands, Nestlé Health Science.

Alvinesa Natural Ingredients has appointed Jordi Ferre to the position of Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors. Ferre was most recently CEO of
AgroFresh Solutions, and has worked at PureCircle and Tate & Lyle.

Unilever announced that Ritva Sotamaa, Chief Legal Officer & Group Secretary, will retire from the company at the end of March 2022. She will be succeeded by Maria
Varsellona
, General Counsel & Company Secretary for global technology company ABB Ltd. In addition, Marc Engel, Chief Supply Chain Officer, who will be leaving Unilever in April 2022, will be succeeded by Reginaldo Ecclissato, currently Executive Vice President Mexico, Central America and Greater Caribbean.

The Plant Based Foods Association announced that founding Board member Jaime Athos of PBFA member The Tofurky Company has been re-elected as Secretary, and Bill Glaser, Co-Founder and CEO of Outstanding Foods, has joined the PBFA Board of Directors. He assumes the seat that was until recently held by founding Board member Martin Kruger of Follow Your Heart.

In Memoriam: Jack Speer

Jack Speer, a beloved member of the natural products community who served as General Manager at Essential Formulas Incorporated (EFI) for 13 years, passed away on November 22, 2021 at the age of 70. The company shared a tribute to Speer, recognizing his significant contribution to the on-going growth and success of the company, and his impact on the industry: “For those of you that had the privilege of meeting or working closely with Jack over the years, we hope you will remember his hearty handshake, friendly hugs, and generous smile for everyone. We will all miss his dedication, keen insights, humor and the sound of his cowboy boots echoing in the hallways.”

Speer was born on October 14, 1951, and raised in Albuquerque, NM, later moving to Lake Dallas, TX. Brian Craig, CEO of Essential Formulas, recalled Speer as a colorful person and a real representative of the Southwest, embodying the cowboy spirit. “He was quick to welcome anyone and everyone, eager to help in any situation and had a heart as ‘big as the outdoors.’ We will truly miss that spirit here at the company.”

“Jack Speer will be deeply missed,” said William Schoor, President, Essential Formulas. “His loss and passing was untimely and most unexpected. Jack was a kind man who would not hesitate to help any and all he encountered. Jack was an invaluable member of the EFI family and his work on our behalf touched thousands of lives in his tenure with us. I personally cannot fathom what my life will be like with Jack’s presence in it any longer.”

Industry members took to social media to share their love for Speer and recall memories of times spent together at trade shows or exchanging greetings on LinkedIn. Heather Wainer,
Publisher/VP of Media at WholeFoods Magazine, remembers Jack as the nicest of people. “He will sorely be missed by all, they do not come any nicer and he was such a charmer. His memory will definitely be a blessing to all of us.”