People on the Move: CITGO Petroleum Corp., Flavorman & The Indiana Food & Fuel Association

Insite AI, The Renewable Fuels Association, Rich Products and VP Racing Fuels Inc. are among other industry companies also making personnel news.
Amanda Koprowski
Associate Editor
Amanda Koprowski profile picture

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.

[Read more: People on the Move: Brother Mobile Solutions Inc., Delek US & Electrolux Professional Group]


CITGO Petroleum Corp.

Carlos Jordá, president and CEO of CITGO Petroleum Corp., was recently honored by the Department of Chemical Engineering at Michigan Technological University. Jordá, a 1971 graduate of Michigan Tech, was one of six alumni named to the department's Distinguished Academy.

"I was honored to receive this recognition from my alma mater," said Jordá. "My background in chemical engineering has proven highly valuable throughout my career, and I'm proud to join the academy alongside such a distinguished group of fellow inductees."

With more than 50 years' of experience in the international oil and gas industry, Jordá has served as president and CEO of CITGO since 2019. He started his career with Creole Petroleum in 1971 at the Amuay refinery in Venezuela and continued working with affiliates of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) through 2002 in the areas of refining operations and corporate planning, international businesses of PDVSA, and in the development and financing of the Strategic Associations of the Orinoco Belt joint ventures. From 2003 to 2019, he worked as an independent consultant, primarily through Gaffney, Cline & Associates. 

According to the company, Jordá successfully guided CITGO through the COVID-19 pandemic and several severe weather events affecting the company's Gulf Coast operations. Under his leadership, CITGO achieved record-setting financial and operational performance in 2022.

David Dafoe headshot
David Dafoe


The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) named David Dafoe, the founder and CEO of custom beverage development company Flavorman and Moonshine University, its 2023 Kentucky Small Business Person of the Year.  

Dafoe began his career as a chemical technician and beverage alcohol applications specialist at Fries & Fries (now Givaudan) in Cincinnati. He later joined spirits giant Brown-Forman in Louisville, Ky., where he earned a reputation for developing new, unique alcoholic beverages, including Jack Daniel's Country Cocktails. 

In 1992, Dafoe started Pro-Liquitech, which would evolve into Flavorman. Over the past 30 years, the Louisville-based company has worked with entrepreneurs, small businesses and large corporations to help create more than 80,000 original beverage formulations. Notable clients include Chiquita Brands, Ocean Spray, Kellogg's and Jones Soda.  

After seeing a need for education and training within the distilling and spirits industry, Dafoe created Moonshine University in 2012. The artisan distillery and education center were part of several expansions to Flavorman's Beverage Campus, which were partially financed via the SBA 7(a) and 504 loan programs and other SBA loans.

Flavorman currently employs 66 team members, 38 of which were hired post-COVID.

Scot Imus
Scot Imus

Indiana Food & Fuel Association

The 2023 M-PACT Fuel & Convenience Tradeshow named Scot Imus, executive director of the Indiana Food & Fuel Association (IFFA), as the recipient of the 2023 M-PACT Award. 

Imus, who retired at the end of April, was presented the award during the show's General Session at the Indianapolis Convention Center. He was recognized for his 21-year leadership at the IFFA and for serving as one of the key leaders of M-PACT. 

"While I look forward to a new chapter of my life, my work at IFFA has been a dream job," said Imus. "I have been blessed to be able to represent such a great group of entrepreneurs. It will be bittersweet to say goodbye."

An Auburn, Ind., native, Imus joined the IFFA in 2003 after a successful career in Washington, D.C., where he served as a staff director of a congressional subcommittee. After leaving Capitol Hill, he served as vice president of NATSO before moving back to Indiana. 

The M-PACT Awards were introduced last year in honor of the organization's 20th anniversary to recognize individuals who have contributed significantly to M-PACT and the industry in the four-state region of the show: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. 

[Read more: 2023 M-PACT Show to Highlight Latest Trends & Insights]

Brooke Hodierne plus text
Brooke Hodierne

Insite AI

Brooke Hodierne joined consumer brand strategic partner Insite AI as executive vice president of strategy consulting.

Hodierne brings to the company a long history of convenience and grocery leadership experience. She most recently served as senior vice president of merchandising at 7-Eleven Inc., where she led the merchandising strategies for all packaged goods and developed growth plans at more than 14,000 stores across the U.S. in addition to leading the acquisition of Speedway. The $21 billion transaction was considered one of the largest acquisitions in the convenience vertical's history. 

Prior to 7-Eleven, she served more than 12 years in leadership roles at Giant Eagle, where she notably helped lead a transformation of the company's own brands program.

Jackson's Chips

Sweet potato chip snack company Jackson's Chips brought on three new hires to the sales and marketing team: Andy Malloy as president, Dan Wilfand as director of natural channel sales and Todd Tolis as director of alternative channel sales.

As president of sales and marketing, Malloy will oversee the sales and marketing team, as well as the sales and marketing agencies that partner with the brand. He has more than 20 years of high-level sales leadership experience in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) space, having served in a variety of roles at major brand organizations, including PepsiCo's Frito-Lay and Materne North America's GoGo squeeZ.

Wilfand joins Jackson's from potato chip brand Spudlove, where he directed western regional sales. Past account management within the natural food industry include roles with Bragg Live Food Products and Tasty Bite. In his new role, Wilfand will manage the Whole Foods and Sprouts Farmers Market relationships, as well as oversee all natural and specialty retailers nationally.

Tolis joins Jackson's with more than 15 years of sales and distribution expertise in the natural, mainstream and foodservice segments. He most recently served a lengthy tenure at Field Trip, where he finished his tenure as director of sales. At Jackson's, he will be responsible for managing relationships in verticals such as convenience stores, the travel sector and military community.

NCR Corp.

Joseph Reece, co-founder and managing partner of SilverBox Capital LLC, was elected chairman of the board of directors of enterprise technology provider NCR Corp. He took on the position effective May 2.

Reece became an NCR director and was appointed independent lead director on Nov. 4, 2022. He has more than 35 years of experience advising public and private corporations and boards.

Frank R. Martire, who was named executive chairman in April 2018, has retired. During his tenure, he enabled NCR's growth as a software-as-a-service company.

Justin Schultz headshot
Justin Schultz

The Renewable Fuels Association

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) brought on board ethanol industry veteran Justin Schultz as the organization's new director of environment, health and safety (EH&S). 

In this role, Schultz will serve as a resource to member companies on EH&S and other regulatory issues, interact with key regulatory agencies and lead RFA's member committees focused on EH&S issues.

Before joining the RFA, Schultz worked for Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy where he managed regulatory, safety and compliance issues for the company's Council Bluffs, Iowa, biorefinery. His duties included managing programs regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and other federal and state agencies, as well as handling investor relations and interacting with state and federal legislators and regulators on industry policy issues. He also served seven years on the Pottawattamie County board of supervisors and holds the rank of major in the Iowa Army National Guard. 

[Read more: Renewable Fuels Association Calls for Continued Innovation in Fuels Industry]

Schultz has also been an active member of RFA's Young Professionals Network since its inception. 

Kevin Spratt and Mary Kiener headshots
Kevin Spratt & Mary Kiener

Rich Products Corp.

Four members of the Rich Products Corp. family joined four notable boards across leading food industry and foodservice organizations, including the National Restaurant Association (NRA), the Women's Foodservice Forum (WFF), the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) and Niagara University's Food Marketing Center of Excellence.

The new board members will work in tandem with fellow industry leaders on shaping key strategies and initiatives to support and advance the food industry as a whole.

The board appointments are:

Lauren Lopez and Marie-Claude Laprade headshots
Lauren Lopez (L) & Marie-Claude Laprade
  • Kevin Spratt, president of the U.S./Canada region who joined the NRA board, the largest foodservice trade association in the world and a long-time partner of Rich's. A 22-year veteran at Rich's, Spratt currently oversees the company's go-to-market strategy for its U.S. and Canada business, driving long-term growth, innovation and organizational excellence.
  • Mary Kiener, senior vice president, global supply chain, Planning and Logistics, who was appointed to the WFF board of directors, an organization that Rich's partnered with for more than three decades. A 30-plus year Rich's veteran and mentor, Kiener has long championed women within Global Supply Chain, a function where women have been historically under-represented. 
  • Lauren Lopez, senior vice president, foodservice, who joined IFMA board. Known for her results-oriented leadership and passion for the business over her 18 years at Rich's, Lopez leads the Foodservice division across the U.S. 
  • Marie-Claude Laprade, vice president, strategy and customer marketing, who joined the board of Niagara University's Food Marketing Center of Excellence, a program Rich's played an role in developing from the ground up. A 21-year tenured Rich's associate, Marie-Claude leads the customer marketing teams, driving demand for Rich's Foodservice, f'real and In-Store Bakery businesses.


Managed network provider SageNet has tapped industry veteran IV Dickson as its new chief innovation officer (CIVO). Dickson previously served as SageNet's vice president of digital experience.

In the newly created CIVO position, Dickson will be responsible for driving innovation and fostering a culture of forward thinking and creativity that anticipates and solves customer challenges, helping both SageNet and its customers recognize emerging trends and identify opportunities for improved productivity and growth, according to the company.

He will also collaborate with the broader SageNet organization to ensure the company's innovation initiatives are aligned with their overarching business strategies. This includes investigating new product and service offerings, evaluating new business methodologies, and exploring ways to improve existing processes.

Dickson comes into his new role with more than 20 years of experience in digital engagement hardware, software, integration and solutions.

Katie Giesler headshot
Katie Giesler

Talking Rain Beverage Co.

Talking Rain Beverage Co. appointed Katie Giesler as vice president of sales, national accounts. In this role, Giesler will oversee the national account team calling on retail accounts such as Kroger, Albertsons Safeway, Walmart, Target and the Convenience Channel.

Giesler started her career in sales operations at Coca-Cola Enterprises as a district sales manager and then as sales center manager for the Carson, Calif., facility. She then went on to lead customer teams at Coca-Cola Refreshments in foodservice on-premise, convenience retail and retail sales. Giesler also led the west supers regional retail business along with headquarters teams calling on Albertsons LLC and Target while at Coca-Cola North America in the national retail sales organization. Her most recent position was leading commercialization and marketing for Swire Coca-Cola.

VP Racing Fuels Inc.

Steve Ward joined VP Racing Fuels Inc. (VP) as the company's new director of marketing. 

"The VP team prides itself in having star players leading every area," said Alan Cerwick, vice president and CEO. "With over 30 years of marketing experience across a broad range of product categories, Steve brings an ideal background for our product and channel expansions. With his years in strategic marketing, digital marketing and advertising, his disciplinary expertise will contribute significantly to our consumer product initiatives and revolutionary efforts in renewable race fuels."

[Read more: VP Racing Fuels Unveils Refreshed Brand]

Ward most recently served as director of marketing at financial services giant H&R Block, where he led the vision and strategy for H&R Block web properties. Prior to that, he led creative development and strategy for a diverse portfolio of clients at leading marketing and advertising agencies.