People on the Move: Acosta, Mondelēz, Nouria Energy, NYACS, Parker's & VP Racing

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People on the Move: Acosta, Mondelēz, Nouria Energy, NYACS, Parker's & VP Racing

Eric Jones joined Parker's as chief innovation officer
Eric Jones joined Parker's as chief innovation officer.

NATIONAL REPORT — Retailers, wholesalers and suppliers in the convenience store industry are only as good as their management teams and employees. In this special roundup, Convenience Store News runs down the most recent executive changes at the top in the industry. 


Ashley Taylor has joined Acosta, sales and marketing agency in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, as chief customer officer. The position was created as a result of the promotion of Darian Pickett to chief client officer.

Both Taylor and Pickett will report directly to President and CEO Steve Matthesen in their new roles dedicated solely to better serving Acosta’s customers and clients, respectively.

Taylor comes to Acosta with more than 20 years of industry experience and leadership in CPG, fresh food and merchandising operations. In this new position, she will lead the Customer-Focus Team and be responsible for all U.S. sales operations supporting all retail channels.

Prior to joining Acosta, Taylor most recently served as vice president at Walmart International overseeing operations in their Activity Management Office.

Pickett, who has been with Acosta for more than 25 years and most recently served in a position leading both the customer- and client-focused teams, is being promoted into another newly created, but similar, role in which he will solely lead the Client-Focus Team and serve as a key connection point to Acosta’s clients. He will be responsible for total client experience across all Acosta lines of business, delivering exceptional sales execution.

In addition, Brian Christensen joined the company as senior vice president of Digital Strategy and e-commerce. In this newly created position, he will lead the recently implemented e-commerce division at Acosta, including account teams, business analytics and partnerships.

Christensen has more than two decades of experience. He most recently served as customer vice president, e-commerce at Kimberly-Clark North America. His time at the company also included three other positions dating back to 2007, one of which was serving as the director of customer development for the Safeway business.

He will report directly to Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer Steve Kremser.

Richard Hall also came on board at Acosta in the newly created role of chief technology officer. He brings more than 30 years of experience in analytics, big data and business systems to the position.

He most recently served as global practice executive of Sales Effectiveness at Nielsen, where he created an end-to-end selling model for consumer goods companies and launched the Nielsen Retail Execution product, which standardized big data infrastructure for retail and built predictive analytics into in-store execution.

Hall's tenure at Nielsen included two additional positions dating back to 2013, when the company purchased G4 Analytics, where Hall had served as founder and CEO for more than a decade.

Advanced Digital Data Inc.

Advanced Digital Data Inc. (ADD Systems) promoted of John Coyle to vice president of sales. He joined ADD Systems as sales manager in October 2013, and has used his 20-plus years of sales and managerial experience to work with ADD Systems' sales team and senior management to streamline the sales process.

"John has done a phenomenal job as sales manager. It was a natural and easy decision to promote him to vice president. He shares senior managements' commitment to growth and research and development to ensure we continue to be the leading provider of software solutions to the industry. Our company and our clients are in good hands," said Bruce C. Bott, president of ADD Systems.

In addition, ADD Systems said goodbye to long-term employee and industry veteran Frank  Chamberlin, who retired in mid-September. He joined the company's sales team more than 20 years ago, serving in a number of roles, including New England sales representative and sales training consultant.


Several new executives have joined Alto-Shaam, a foodservice equipment manufacturer.

Paul Demczak came on board as director of product management. He is responsible for strategic development of the new Vector Series Multi-Cook Ovens and will lead other product development projects for the company.

John Gruver joined as a senior regional culinary manager in the Northeast. Gruver is responsible for supporting the company’s demand creation efforts through education, solution development, and specification of Alto-Shaam products, which includes support of A Taste of Alto-Shaam demonstrations.

Kari Fulton rejoined Alto-Shaam as vice president of national accounts-retail. She is responsible for the development and implementation of strategies that will increase sales and profits from retail customers. Fulton will evaluate market opportunities, develop account strategies, and communicate and implement sales plans while working to meet both national account growth objectives and customer expectations.  

Tim Murphy took the positon of product specialist. He is responsible for supporting the commercialization of the new Vector Multi-Cook Ovens. In addition, Murphy assists with startups and conducts rep group trainings as the new product category is introduced to the market. He also assists in demand creation initiatives.

Bob Dellert joined the company as vice president of national accounts-foodservice. Dellert is responsible for the strategic development for chain account growth, focusing on the new Vector Multi-Cook Oven the company acquired from Appliance Innovation in January.

Dunkin' Brands Group Inc.

Katy Latimer has assumed the role of vice president, Culinary Innovation at the Dunkin' Brands Group Inc. With more than 25 years of experience in food science and culinary innovation, she will head Dunkin' Brands' culinary team, planning and managing the strategic development of new and enhanced menu choices

She will report to Tony Weisman, chief marketing officer, Dunkin' Donuts U.S.

Latimer joins Dunkin' Brands after nearly two decades in leadership positions at PepsiCo Inc., most recently as vice president of Research & Development, Global Beverage Category. She also held positions at Joseph E. Seagram & Sons and Kraft Foods, and served on the board of governors of the Flavor Extract Manufacturers Association.

Mondelēz International

Glen Walter joined Mondelēz International as executive vice president and president, North America. In this role, he will be responsible for leading the company's $7-billion business in the United States and Canada, which includes brands such as Oreo and belVita biscuits; Triscuit and Good Thins crackers; Trident gum; and Halls cough drops.

Walter succeeds Tim Cofer, who stepped into the North American leadership role on an interim basis in April. Cofer will now return full time to his responsibilities as chief growth officer.

Walter joins Mondelēz International from The Coca-Cola Co., where he has held a variety of leadership positions over the past decade. Since 2014, he has served as CEO of Coca-Cola Industries China. Previously, Walter was president and chief operating officer for Coca-Cola in North America.

In addition, Valerie Oswalt has been named president, NA Confectionery at Mondelēz International. As Oswalt takes on her new role, she will be transitioning from her position as president, North America Sales by year-end 2017.

Since joining the company in 1996 as a sales finance analyst, Oswalt has progressed through a broad range of cross-functional roles including vice president, West Area Sales. Prior to that, she was customer vice president for Business Development.

As Oswalt switches roles, Matthew Eckard has been named president, North America Sales, effective Jan. 1. Eckard joined the company in 1992 and has held a broad range of sales roles, including customer teams, retail, new business development and strategy, spanning in-field positions as well as regional headquarter and international assignments.

Most recently, since 2015, he served as vice president, Sales, West Area, leading the Customer and Retail DSD Teams for the Western half of the U.S.

Prior to assuming that role, Matt spent three years as customer vice president for Sales Strategy & Operations in the U.S.

New York Association of Convenience Stores

Don Neugebauer, owner-operator of Pompey Mall, is the newest member of the New York Association of Convenience Stores (NYACS). Pompey Mall is a single-store enterprise located in Pompey, N.Y. He previously worked for Alaskan Oil, a now defunct NYACS-member retail chain operating in upstate New York. In 2003, Neugebauer purchased the store he currently operates.

Nouria Energy Corp.

Natalya Fater, vice president of Human Resources at Nouria Energy Corp., was nominated for the Bob Gatti HR Leadership Excellence Award, showcasing exemplary human resource work and individuals who are role models for all HR practitioners.

The inaugural award from the Human Resource Leadership Forum (HRLF) and Gatti & Associates recognizes best in class human resources leaders across New England with its nominations of 23 candidates.

Fater joined Nouria Energy leadership team in January 2015 and has more than 20 years of diverse human resources, management, and leadership experience that spans large and small well established organizations.  


Parkers hired business intelligence expert Eric Jones as the company's new chief innovation officer. In his new position, Jones is responsible for developing a new business intelligence platform at Parker's that delivers actionable insights across all business units, analyzing trends to identify emerging new market opportunities and driving core process improvements through business intelligence and innovative technology solutions.

Before joining Parker's, he served as president and co-founder of Datalyst LLC and as director of Practice Management at Zotec Partners LLC.

He previously served as a senior associate with Ernst & Young, where he worked with a number of Fortune 100 clients, and as a Global Banking research fellow, where he coordinated efforts with lead researchers at the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and Federal Reserve Bank.  

"Eric is a stellar addition to the Parker's team who brings a unique combination of strong technology expertise, highly creative thinking and solid financial knowledge to his new position," said Parker's President and CEO Greg Parker. "He is going to help us take our technology to the next level, making even smarter data-driven decisions that support and encourage growth."

Petroleum Equipment Institute

Association executive Melinda Whitney has taken on the new director of operations role at the Petroleum Equipment Institute (PEI). Whitney will be responsible for providing organizational leadership, building and maintaining organizational effectiveness and overseeing PEI finances.

Whitney's experience includes 14 years at the International Liquid Terminals Association (ILTA) in Washington, where she assumed roles of increasing responsibilities and was named president in 2014. Many PEI members hold concurrent ILTA memberships.

The Pinnacle Corp.

The Pinnacle Corp. promoted Melissa Fox Hadley to vice president of marketing and innovation, and welcomed Manuel Arechiga as national sales manager.

In her new role, Hadley is responsible for planning and executing the company's marketing and product development planning efforts. She joined Pinnacle in 1996 and was most recently director of product management.

She was name a 2016 Top Woman in Convenience by Convenience Store News

Arechiga brings more than 32 years of experience in the petroleum industry. He began his career as a retailer, operating eight retail outlets in South Texas under five different banners. In 1991, he became a Chevron fuel and jobber, while operating stores spreading into Mexico, in the form of a Chevron International Lube Oil Distribution in Monterrey, Nuevo León

He joined Empire Petroleum Partners in 2014.  

In addition, the company promoted Sam Davis to vice president of Global Operations.

Davis has more than 35 years of software technology experience, and since 1995 he has been in senior management and executive positions in the convenience retail and petroleum distribution industries. He joined Pinnacle in 2005, developed the strategy and business plan for a nearshore software development office, before moving to Argentina to execute that plan.

He continues to reside in Argentina and oversees Pinnacle's Central and South America operations.

VP Racing Fuels 

VP Racing Fuels promoted Bruce Hendel to vice president North America Sales, Race Fuel and Consumer Products. In this newly formed position, Hendel is responsible for all North America Sales efforts in support of both VP Consumer Products and Race Fuel business divisions. 

Hendel is a 25-year veteran at VP Racing Fuels and opened the company's sales channels to big box retailers and top tier customers like Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Tractor Supply and AutoZone.

The West Virginia Oil Marketers & Grocers Association

The West Virginia Oil Marketers & Grocers Association (OMEGA) appointed Traci Nelson president of the organization.

Nelson has worked for OMEGA since 1995 and has held the role of member services coordinator since 2006, when OMEGA took over management of the West Virginia Trucking Association (WVTA). OMEGA took over management of the West Virginia Wholesalers Association (WVWA) in 2013 and the Independent Insurance Agents of West Virginia (IIAWV) in 2014.

As president of OMEGA, Nelson also manages the day-to-day operations of the WVTA, the WVWA and the IIAWV. Nelson is also serving her third term as president of the West Virginia Society of Association Executives.

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