The California Senate has confirmed the nomination of Val Dolcini as director of the Department of Pesticide Regulation. CalEPA hired Dolcini in 2019 for the new ag liaison position, but he soon took over as DPR acting director following the resignation of acting director Teresa Marks. Before joining CalEPA, Dolcini served as president and CEO of the Pollinator Partnership. From 2009 to 2017, Dolcini served in leadership positions at the USDA, first as the state executive director of the USDA Farm Service Agency in California and then as the Administrator of the Farm Service Agency in Washington, D.C.
The Kraft Heinz Company has named three individuals to its U.S. leadership team. Cory Onell has been hired as the new president of U.S. sales, Sanjiv Gajiwala is now the U.S. chief growth officer, and Stephanie Peterson has been tapped as the head of U.S. communications. Onell comes to Kraft Heinz after most recently serving as senior vice president of sales and the head of U.S. retail and customer and commercial teams for the J.M. Smucker Company. Before that, he worked for Campbell Soup Company, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Mondelēz International and Kraft Foods. Gajiwala most recently served as senior vice president of marketing for Mike's Hard Lemonade Co. Before joining Kraft Heinz, Peterson served in senior-level communications roles at PepsiCo, KIND Snacks, and, most recently, IHOP Restaurants.
Terramera has added Dr. Santa Ono, president and vice-chancellor of the University of British Columbia (UBC), to its Strategic Advisory Board. Ono is a molecular biologist and has advised many startups and Fortune 500 companies. On the board, Ono will advise on short and long-term business strategies alongside Greg D'Avignon, Stewart Beck and Nancy Roman. Before his appointment at UBC, Ono served as president of the University of Cincinnati and senior vice-provost and deputy to the provost at Emory University.
Calavo Growers has promoted Robert Wedin to executive vice president of fresh sales and Mark Lodge to chief operations officer with the responsibilities of overseeing all of Calavo’s production facilities in the U.S. and Mexico. Wedin joined Calavo in 1973 and has served as vice president of sales and fresh marketing since 1993. Lodge joined Calavo in 2019 as executive vice president of RFG business operations. Before that, he had over 25 years of experience leading large scale manufacturing and logistics businesses. Before joining Calavo Growers, Lodge was president at True Fresh HPP and True Food Innovations.
The World Food Program USA has named Gabriella Morris as the new chief philanthropy officer, effective Sept. 8. Morris currently serves as senior vice president of strategic partnerships and interim chief development officer at UNICEF USA. Before that, she served as senior vice president of the UNICEF USA Bridge Fund, an investment fund which fast-tracks lifesaving assistance to children in need.
The Board of Directors of Mercy Corps has selected Tjada D’Oyen McKenna as the new chief executive officer, effective Oct. 15. McKenna previously served as the chief operating officer for two international nonprofits: CARE and Habitat for Humanity International. McKenna has also served in roles with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.S. government, specializing in food security.
Martha Stewart, Impossible Foods chief financial officer David Lee and J.D. Vance have been added to AppHarvest’s board of directors. These additions were made as the company prepares to open a 2.76-million-square-foot indoor farm in Morehead, Ky., this fall. AppHarvest has also hired Marcella Butler as chief people officer, formerly at Impossible Foods and Google; Jackie Roberts as chief sustainability officer, most recently working at The Carlyle Group and the Environmental Defense Fund; and Geof Rochester as chief marketing officer, previously working at The Nature Conservancy, WWE, Showtime, Comcast and Procter & Gamble.
Awe Sum Organics has brought on Jon Kiley as a sales account manager. Bringing over 25 years of experience in retail and food service, Kiley previously was the director of value-added sales and business development for the Ippolito Group and also served over 20 years of experience as senior manager of customer service at Earthbound Farm.
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