KANSAS CITY — New hires at Conagra Brands, Inc., Hearthside Food Solutions and Philadelphia Macaroni Co. headline key personnel moves taking place across the food industry. The moves include:
Jeremy Prchal has been named senior procurement specialist at Conagra Brands, Inc., Omaha, Neb. Mr. Prchal joins Conagra Brands from Wholestone Farms where he worked as a maintenance, repair and operations buyer before being promoted to a senior buyer of corporate purchasing. Prior to Wholestone Farms, Mr. Prchal spent almost 10 years working at Hormel Foods where he held a wide variety of positions, including skilled general worker, supervisor, relief production supervisor, supervisor of cured/smoked meats and supervisor of storeroom, book room and receiving. Mr. Prchal received a bachelor of business administration degree in marketing and management and a master of business administration degree in finance from Midland University.
Spencer Wise has joined the specialty baking technical service team at the Amsterdam-based Corbion. Mr. Wise began his career in the food industry as an R&D manager at Nonni’s Food Co. He then spent five years as an R&D bakery chemist at Sara Lee Frozen Bakery — two of those years were spent working at the Earthgrains subsidiary. Mr. Wise later worked at the Starbucks Corp. for 12 years where he held several positions, including product development manager of the bakery, senior product developer of warmed and chilled food, product development manager of Starbucks Retail North America (United States and Canada) and food safety and quality manager. Mr. Wise was also manager of food safety, quality and commercialization at InnovAsian, director of food and beverage business development at OmniActive Health Technologies, and a member of the advisory committee: food safety and quality milling and baking division at the American Association of Cereal Chemists International (AACCI). Mr. Wise received a bachelor of science degree in bakery science from Kansas State University.
Kellie Rausch has been named senior manager of packing procurement at Post Holdings, St. Louis. Ms. Rausch previously spent more than seven years at Post Consumer Brands, a subsidiary of Post Holdings, where she worked as a packaging engineer before being promoted to senior packaging engineer and later packaging engineering manager. Prior to Post Consumer Brands, Ms. Rausch worked at Michael Foods as a packaging engineer and later a process engineer. Ms. Rausch started her career in the food industry at Bemis Company, Inc. where she was a product development engineer before being promoted to senior product development engineer. Ms. Rausch received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota.
Goretti Hamlin has been promoted to chief people officer at Amy’s Kitchen, Petaluma, Calif. Mr. Hamlin first joined the company as a human resources manager before being promoted to senior manager of human resources and later director of plant human resources. After more than 16 years at Amy’s Kitchen, Mr. Hamlin became the director of human resources at Pisenti & Brinker LLP. He later rejoined Amy’s Kitchen as vice president of people.
Jimmy Justice has been named plant director at Hearthside Food Solutions, Michigan City, Ind. Mr. Justice began his career in the food industry at the Kellogg Co., spending almost 30 years in a wide variety of positions such as production supervisor, shift manager, business unit manager, quality and food safety manager, plant operations manager, senior operations manager and plant director.
Carlos Calderon has been named plant manager at Philadelphia Macaroni Co. He was previously an operations manager at Maestri d’Italia Inc., helping grow the company’s sales from $2 million to more than $30 million during his five-year tenure. Other companies in the food industry that Mr. Calderon has worked for include Buckhead Beef as quality supervisor, Really Cool Foods as quality supervisor and later production supervisor, Taylor Farms as production supervisor and later production manager, and Hale and Hearty Soups as assistant plant manager and later manufacturing manager. Mr. Calderon received a bachelor of science degree in small business management and entrepreneurship from DeVry University.
Dustin Bettencourt has joined St. Louis-based AB Mauri North America as quality manager. Mr. Bettencourt joins AB Mauri from PepsiCo, Inc., where he spent almost 12 years holding a variety of positions such as senior manufacturing manager, packaging department manager and quality food safety manager. While working as a senior manufacturing manager at PepsiCo, Mr. Bettencourt was also a sanitation department manager at Frito-Lay, a subsidiary of PepsiCo. Mr. Bettencourt received a bachelor of arts degree in history from California State University, Stanislaus.
Blake Woolman has been named sales channel manager at Farmer Direct Foods, Kansas City. Mr. Woolman was previously a territory manager at US Foods. He began his career in the food industry as a retail sales representative at Coca-Cola. He later joined Sara Lee Baking Co. as a route sales representative. Mr. Woolman eventually spent more than 10 years at Nestle USA, holding several positions such as route sales representative, retail sales representative and field sales representative.