People on the Move

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NATIONAL REPORT -– Kathleen Guion joined the board of directors at The Pantry Inc. this month. She most recently served as Dollar General’s division president of store operation and development from 2005 until her retirement in 2012.

Guion played a leading role in the Dollar General’s sales growth from $6.8 billion in 2003 to more than $14 billion in 2011. At the same time, she increased the number of stores from 6,500 to 9,900-plus. She also championed supply chain overhauls by implementing new store technologies and corporate-wide merchandising strategies. Those efforts led to double-digit comp store sales during the 2007-2009 recession, more than $160 million in shrink savings and a 40-percent reduction in staff turnover.

In 1979, Guion began her career with 7-Eleven Corp. (at the time, known as Southland Corp.).

Headquartered in Cary, N.C., The Pantry operates 1,568 stores in 13 states under select banners, including Kangaroo Express, its primary operating banner.

In other people news:

Alto-Shaam promoted Todd Griffith to vice president of sales and marketing. Previously the vice president of sales, Griffith will now assume leadership responsibility for the marketing, culinary and corporate communications functions within the company.

Alto-Shaam also named Brian Zornes as its new vice president of national accounts, retail. Zornes will be responsible for the strategic development and tactical execution of targeted regional/national chain and multi-unit account growth within the retail market segment.

blu eCigs
blu eCigs appointed Jim Raporte as its new president. With more than 30 years of experience across the tobacco, food and business services industries, Raporte will work closely with blu eCigs founder and previous president Jason Healy.

Healy has chosen to step down as president and hand over the reins of the company he created in 2009 to Raporte so he can instead focus on the company's creative marketing and product development efforts.

In April 2012, blu eCigs was acquired by Lorillard Inc. Today, it holds over 40 percent of the retail market share.

Crossmark appointed Jim Rose as president, marketing services. CEO Joe Crafton previously led this growth area.

Prior to joining Crossmark, Rose served as chairman and CEO of Mosaic Sales Solutions based in Irving, Texas, where he significantly grew the business by implementing value-added solutions for clients. He also held leadership positions at The Nielsen Co., both in the United States and Europe, and at MPG (Media Planning Group), a part of global advertising and communications company Havas Worldwide.

Kretek International Inc.
Kretek International named Patrick Hurd as vice president of sales. He will report to Kretek CEO Mark Cassar and retain his current duties as general manager of Ventura Cigar Co., Kretek’s premium cigar group. Now, Hurd will additionally supervise Kretek’s sales department structure and oversee new retail business development.

Prior to this new role, Hurd was general manager of Kretek Canada for 10 years.

Kretek also appointed Albert José as Djarum brand trade marketing manager, and Jerry Yalowitz as trade marketing manager for EZ Cig electronic cigarettes.

Linda Gregory was recently promoted to director of strategic accounts for Ice-O-Matic. She most recently served as national accounts manager for the company, where she contributed numerous key wins and spearheaded the brand’s success at several large key accounts for more than 11 years.

Her previous foodservice industry experience included sales roles at Coca-Cola Los Angeles, SerVend International and Norm’s Refrigeration of Anaheim, Calif. In her new role, Gregory’s focus will be driving chain account business.

Meanwhile, Jeff Mote joined Ice-O-Matic as national accounts manager, with a proven track record of success in both foodservice and retail accounts. Most recently, Mote spent more than 10 years as the director of retail national accounts at the Standex Cooking Solutions Group. Mote will work directly for Gregory to drive chain account sales globally.