Former Canada Bread exec to join Flowers board

by Eric Schroeder
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THOMASVILLE, GA. — The board of directors of Flowers Foods, Inc. has elected two new board members: Rhonda O. Gass, vice-president and chief information officer of Stanley Black & Decker, and Richard Lan, retired chief operating officer of Maple Leaf Food Group and chief executive officer of its former Canada Bread subsidiary. Ms. Gass and Mr. Lan will join Flowers Foods’ board of directors effective Jan. 3, 2016.

“The elections of Mrs. Gass and Mr. Lan are in keeping with Flowers’ long-term board succession plan, and their respective experiences and expertise nicely complement the current capabilities of the board,” said George E. Deese, chairman of the board of Flowers Foods.

Richard Lan, Maple Leaf
Richard Lan

Mr. Lan spent 20 years with Maple Leaf Foods/Canada Bread Ltd., Canada’s largest food processing company. He was c.o.o. of Maple Leaf Food Group, which included both Maple Leaf’s animal protein and bakery businesses. He also was c.e.o. of Canada Bread Ltd., which was publicly traded and 90% owned by Maple Leaf Foods until it was sold in 2014. Prior to his career with Maple Leaf, Mr. Lan held management positions at other food and beverage companies, including Dell Products Corp. and McCain Foods, Ltd. He received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Rhode Island.

Rhonda Gass, Stanley Black & Decker
Rhonda O. Gass

Ms. Gass has been vice-president and chief information officer for Stanley Black & Decker since 2012, and she was named an executive officer of the company the same year. She is responsible for Stanley Black & Decker’s comprehensive and cross business unit IT strategy, delivery and support, and security infrastructure. She also leads the functional transformation activities for the company, focusing on effectiveness and efficiency. Previously, she was vice-president of strategy, technology and governance for Dell, where she worked for 12 years in positions of increasing scope and responsibility. She received an undergraduate degree in computer science and a master’s in business administration from the University of South Carolina.

Commenting on the board members’ election, Allen L. Shiver, Flowers’ president and c.o.o., said, “Mr. Lan’s experience in the food and baking industries enhances the composition of our board. Mrs. Gass’ expertise in information technology and strategic planning also strengthens the board’s depth. We look forward to their contributions as the board guides Flowers Foods’ development and growth strategy.”
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