JACKSONVILLE, FLA. — Stellar, a design, engineering, construction and mechanical services firm, has promoted Mike Santarone to chief executive officer and Brian Kappele to president and chief operating officer.
Joining the company as a field engineer in 1986, Mr. Santarone has worked in a variety of roles during his tenure at Stellar. He was made division vice-president of the Food & Beverage group in 2000, promoted to executive vice-president in 2005 and became Stellar’s president in 2012. Mr. Santarone succeeds Ron Foster Jr., who will continue in his role as the company’s board of directors’ chairman.
;Mr. Santarone has boldly led Stellar into a new era of growth and innovation,” Mr. Foster said. “He was responsible for the creation and execution of our strategic vision for 2020 as well as our new strategic plan for 2025, as we continue to set the bar as an industry-leading company. His efforts and experiences over his long career at Stellar have positioned him to be an effective chief executive.
Prior to his promotion, Mr. Kappele was executive vice-president of Stellar.
He began his career at the firm as an intern in its Food & Beverage division and accepted a full-time position as an on-site assistant project manager following his graduation from the University of Florida in 1998. In the following years, he held various roles within the company, including division vice-president.
Mr. Kappele successfully managed Stellar’s Food & Beverage, Distribution and Thermal divisions before taking responsibility for the Refrigeration Contracting and Refrigeration Services groups,” Mr. Foster said. “In support of our goals and objectives for 2025, he will now have responsibility for the Commercial group as well, placing him in charge of all of Stellar’s operations divisions.”
Stellar works across a wide range of industries offering planning, design, construction, refrigeration and maintenance services. The company specializes in food processing design-build and has worked with manufacturers such as General Mills, Rich Products and H-E-B.