People on the Move: RJRT and TravelCenters of America

NATIONAL REPORT -- Ray Gomez, senior director of wholesale strategy and program development at R J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (RJR), will retire effective March 31. Gomez has more than 42 years of experience within the tobacco industry, both on the manufacturing and wholesale distribution side.

"Ray has been the face of wholesale for R. J. Reynolds Tobacco for the past 17 years, and we thank him for his leadership and dedicated service. We are proud of Ray and his many accomplishments, and wish him the very best in retirement," said Rob Stowe, executive vice president of trade marketing for RJR.

Gomez has been a central figure in the tobacco industry representing RJR on many distribution initiatives, as well as representing the company on industry boards, including the American Wholesale Marketers Association (AWMA).

"Ray has been a great supporter of AWMA and the industry. We are sad to see him go, but wish him all the best in his retirement," said AWMA President and CEO Scott Ramminger.

RJR also announced Doug Hynek, senior director of trade marketing operations, will assume the position of senior director of wholesale strategy and development. Hynek brings many years of experience in the tobacco industry with senior roles at both R J. Reynolds and American Snuff Co. He will now serve on the AWMA board of directors.

In other people news:

Cash Depot Inc.

Cash Depot Inc., based in Green Bay, Wis., announced that Scott Hill accepted the newly created role of senior vice president of sales and marketing. Hill was the vice president of Jack Link's Convenience and World Kitchen Sales for Link Snacks Inc., dba Jack Link's Beef Jerky, where he gained experience in multiple classes of trade, including club, convenience, dollar, drug, grocery, hardware, home, Internet and mass.

Hill is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas in St Paul, Minn., where he obtained his master’s degree in finance in 1997. He received his undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin-Stout in 1991.

Currently serving on the supplier board for NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing as a past chairman, Scott is also a member of the Warehouse Delivered Snack Committee of the American Wholesaler Marketers Association. He had also obtained the designation of certified credit executive from the National Association of Credit Managers.

Heineken USA

Heineken USA appointed Nuno Teles as the company's new chief marketing officer. In March, Teles will join the company's management team and will report to chief executive officer Dolf van den Brink.

Teles joins Heineken USA from Heineken Brazil, where he served as chief marketing officer and successfully grew the Heineken brand by 500 percent over his four-year tenure, helping it achieve the top market share position among all premium imported brands in the country. As a result of these achievements, Nuno was recently named the 2012 "Best Marketing Professional" by LIDE, a group of the top 100 companies in Brazil.

Prior to his role in Brazil, Nuno held various marketing roles at Heineken in Lisbon and Amsterdam. He originally joined the business through the acquisition of Scottish & Newcastle.

Teles began his career at Unilever, spending eight years in a variety of marketing and innovation roles across Europe. He later led marketing for a mobile phone start-up and ran his own successful fashion retail and wholesale business.

S&D Coffee and Tea

S&D Coffee and Tea appointed Wendy Redmond director of sales, c-store. Redmond will be responsible for sales strategy and overseeing sales operations for the company's growing North American c-store division, the company reported.

As a former director of sales with Snyder's-Lance Inc. and a key account manager with Frito-Lay Inc., Redmond spent more than 18 years in the retail channels of c-store, grocery and military. She has been very involved in the c-store industry serving on various NACS committees, most recently the NACS supplier board as vice chair. She holds a Master's of Business Administration from Elon University and a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing management from Virginia Tech.

TravelCenters of America LLC

TravelCenters of America LLC announced that executive vice president-truck service, Ara Bagdasarian, will be retiring in 2014, after 36 years of service to TravelCenters and its predecessors.

Bagdasarian intends to assist TravelCenters in transitioning his substantial duties during the course of 2014. After his departure, he plans to spend more time improving the services to individuals with developmental disabilities in his role as president of the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

"Ara has our respect and admiration for his many years of service to TravelCenters, its team members and its customers," said Thomas M. O'Brien, CEO of TravelCenters. "Over the course of his career, he has made numerous valuable contributions to our success, especially to TravelCenters' industry-leading truck service in recent years."

Bagdasarian's duties will be assumed by John "Skip" McGary, TravelCenters' senior vice president-stores, who will take on the title of senior vice president-truck service. McGary has been with TravelCenters for 32 years and will continue to report to Barry Richards, executive vice president.

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