Smart Balance names new senior management team

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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CRESSKILL, N.J. — Smart Balance Inc. has completed the hiring of its senior management team, which includes nine new hires.

The new management officials include Peter Dray, executive vice-president of operations and product development; Terry Schulke, executive vice-president and chief and chief customer officer; Greg Venner, executive vice-president and chief consumer officer; Chris Appel, vice-president of quality control, quality assurance and new product commercialization; Al Gever, vice-president of financial planning and analysis; Austin Jacobus, vice-president of food service, industrial and international; Jack Konzelmann, vice-president, controller and principal accounting officer; Jeff Scroggins, vice-president and general manager mass-club channel; and Rick Werner, vice-president and general manager of Earth Balance.

"I am pleased to report we have completed our hiring process and quite simply have assembled one of the most accomplished and proven senior management teams in the North American food and beverage industry," said Steve Hughes, chairman and chief executive officer for Smart Balance.

Mr. Dray has 19 years of experience with GFA Brands as well as experience in food manufacturing, sales and marketing and senior operations. In addition, he helped build the Weight Watchers and Smart Balance brands.

Mr. Schulke comes to Smart Balance from Schick-Wilkinson Sword where he was vice-president North America and was previously a senior vice-president of U.S. sales at Tropicana Products.

Mr. Venner has held various management positions at Tropicana Products, ConAgra’s Healthy Choice, Lance and Nestle and is coming to the company from Mead Johnson Nutritionals where he held the position of senior vice-president and general manager for North America.

Mr. Appel was vice-president of quality assurance for WhiteWave Foods, and Mr. Jacobus was vice-president of international chain accounts for Unilever and has significant experience working with large international restaurant companies.

Mr. Gever was chief financial officer and general manager of Nabisco Refrigerated Foods Group and has experience in achieving revenue, profit and business group objectives in start-up, turnaround and Fortune 500 companies.

Mr. Konzelmann was vice-president, controller and chief accounting officer at Alpharma, Inc. Mr. Scroggins has been vice-president and director of the customer team for Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club at WhiteWave Foods, a subsidiary of Dean Foods, and Mr. Werner was the director of dry grocery for Wild Oat Markets, Inc.

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