KANSAS CITY — Promotions at Flowers Foods, Inc., Conagra Brands and Bloomer Chocolate headline key personnel moves taking place across the food industry. The moves include:
Benjamin Stanley and Andrew Petrou have been promoted to new roles at Bell Flavors & Fragrances. Mr. Stanley has been named senior corporate chef and manager of sweet applications at the company’s headquarters in Northbrook, Ill. In his new position he will continue managing the company’s sweet applications team and will promote innovative flavors for Bell’s Spark Trends and other programs. Mr. Petrou has been named flavorist II at the company’s headquarters. In his new role he will develop cutting-edge savory flavors for use in a variety of food and beverage applications.
Zachary Freed has joined Chicago-based Blommer Chocolate Co. as R&D manager – product development. He was previously senior innovation manager – cocoa and confections at Olam Food Ingredients (ofi). Mr. Freed started out as an intern at International Flavors & Beverages before eventually joining Uncle Dave’s Homemade Ice Cream, LLC. He later worked at Barry Callebaut in a wide variety of roles, including R&D lab technologist, R&D innovation project leader and R&D specialty innovations project manager. Mr. Freed was also at AAK where he worked as a customer innovations application specialist and a senior application specialist—confections. He received his bachelor's degree in food science from Delaware Valley University.
Brad Wright has been promoted to packaging R&D innovation manager at Cargill, Inc., Wayzata, Minn. Mr. Wright has been part of the ingredient manufacturing company since May 2017, working in several positions, including innovation portfolio manager, adjacent and transformational innovation manager and global R&D lead for packaging and long-term innovation. Mr. Wright was previously at General Mills where he started out as a scientist before being promoted to a senior scientist and finally an R&D manager. Mr. Wright received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Fayetteville State University and a doctorate in food science from North Carolina State University.
Matt Nirmaier has been promoted to retail sales associate at Philadelphia Macaroni Co. Mr. Nirmaier first joined the company as a logistics intern before becoming a customer operations representative. He received his bachelor’s degree in advertising and public relations from Penn State University.
Joe Alvarez has been named vice president of regional sales at Flowers Foods & Subsidiaries, Thomasville, Ga. Mr. Alvarez has been part of the packaged baked foods company since August 2000, holding several roles such as sales manager, national accounts, director at large, vice president of sales, executive vice president, and general manager.
Emily Muth has been named director of sustainability-supply chain at Conagra Brands, Omaha, Neb. Ms. Muth received both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in biology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Christine Shearer has been promoted to senior director of R&D at the Berkeley, Calif.-based Once Upon A Farm. She has been a director of R&D at the baby food manufacturer since October 2021. Ms. Shearer began working in the food industry as a QA intern at Nestle. She later became a R&D intern at General Mills and stayed with the company for almost nine years, holding a wide variety of positions, including R&D scientist, innovation manager and senior R&D scientist. Ms. Shearer then became a beverage scientist at LifeFuels before being promoted to a principal scientist and operations business manager at the company. She received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in food science from Brigham Young University and her master’s degree in business administration from the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business.
Reimund Kurz has been named senior technical service manager at the Canadian yeast manufacturer Lallemand. He was previously the director of product development and innovation at Baldinger Bakery LP. Other positions that Mr. Kurz has held in the food industry include baking director at Tortuga Rum Co., product manager R&D at Fiera Foods Co., director of research and development at Furlani’s Food Corp., culinary research and innovation manager at Aryzta Canada (Maidstone Bakeries), product design and innovation project leader at The Original Cakerie and director product development and commercialization at Baldinger Bakery LP / Sons Bakery. Mr. Kurz received his pastry chef and baker diploma at the Johannes Guttenberg School in Heidelberg, Germany and his baker master diploma from the Justus V. Liebig School in Mannheim, Germany.
Anne Almagro has been named director of procurement at Heartland Foods Products Group, Carmel, Ind. She previously worked at Keurig Dr. Pepper Inc. where she held several positions, including strategic souring manager, indirect, procurement director, ingredients and procurement director, sourcing activation. Ms. Almagro began her career in the food industry as a purchasing agent at 7-Eleven. She received a bachelor’s degree in business process management and marketing from Indiana University Bloomington and master’s degrees in both business administration and strategic management from University of North Texas.