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FMI elects four new members to board of directors

BY Michael Johnsen

ARLINGTON, Va. The Food Marketing Institute on Tuesday announced the election of four new members to FMI’s board as well as the election of the board chairman and four board vice chairmen.

Elected to the FMI board of directors are Mark Batenic, chairman, president and CEO, IGA;  Rudy Dory, owner, Rudy’s Markets; Jerry Garland, president and CEO, Associated Wholesale Grocers; and Dean Peterson, president and CEO, Harmon City.

Richard “Jurgens, chairman, CEO and president of Hy-Vee, was elected chairman of the FMI Board; and Steven Smith, president and CEO of K-VA-T Food Stores, is the immediate past chairman of the FMI board.

Elected as FMI vice chairmen to the board are Gregory Calhoun, presiden and CEO of Calhoun Food Markets, who will serve as chairman of the public affairs committee; William Coyne, president and CEO of Raley’s Family of Fine Stores, who will serve as chairman of the finance committee; Ed Crenshaw, chief executive officer of Publix Super Markets, who will serve as chairman of industry relations committee; and Dave Skogen, owner and chairman of the board of Festival Foods, who will serve as chairman of the member services committee.

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Purple Beverage Co. appoints new CEO

BY Allison Cerra

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. Purple Beverage Company, Inc. announced that it has appointed a new CEO to move the company forward.

Geoffrey Winters will take over the helm as the CEO and chairman of the board of directors of Purple Beverage Company, Inc.

Purple founder Ted Farnsworth, who will be stepping down as the Company’s CEO and Chairman, said, “After going through a very difficult time over the last several months, we are now re-energized. This is a positive move for the company, the brand, and the shareholders. We feel Geoff is the perfect fit to take Purple to the next level.”

Winters was managing director of Lehman Brothers Brokerage & Investment Banking in New York where he structured over $2 billion in private and public offerings. He also served as managing director for the New York firms of Paine Webber Equity & Investment Banking and Gruntal & Co. Equity & Investment Banking.

“I believe Purple was just one more victim of the current financial environment, but now the company will position itself for the future,” said Winters. “I think the brand has great value and I look forward to the challenge. We will be looking at various options for the company including joint ventures and acquisitions.”

Introduced in late 2007, Purple is a unique and tasty blend of seven antioxidant-rich fruits, including the exotic acai berry, black cherry, pomegranate, black currant, purple plum, cranberry and blueberry. The health benefits of these fruits are blended into an all-natural, no-sugar added beverage that is perfect as an on-the-go drink, as part of a healthy fruit smoothie or as a mixer for cocktails.

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Molson Coors reports Q1 earnings

BY Allison Cerra

DENVER, Colo. Brewing company Molson Coors reported its first-quarter earnings Tuesday.

The international brewer reported that its total worldwide beer volume declined 2.7% on a pro forma basis. Meanwhile, worldwide Coors Light volume grew more than 4%, compared with the year-ago period.

Net income attributable to Molson Coors increased $41.4 million, or 120.6%, to $75.7 million for the first quarter 2009.

Net income (after tax) increased $98.8 million, or $0.53 per diluted share, up from $56.4 million, or $0.31 per diluted share a year ago. This strong earnings performance was driven by increased beer pricing and substantial cost reductions across the company, which more than offset continuing commodity inflation, unfavorable currency movements, and lower worldwide volume.

The company reports results associated with its former Brazilian unit, Cervejarias Kaiser (“Kaiser”), as discontinued operations. The company reported a loss of $3.9 million from discontinued operations during the quarter primarily due to the impact of foreign exchange movements on the Kaiser indemnity estimates.

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