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Management shake-up at Signet Jewelers; Zale CEO Killion resigns

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hamilton, Bermuda — Signet Jewelers Ltd. on Tuesday announced that Theo Killion, CEO and president of its newly acquired Zale division, has resigned, effective July 31.

Killion had been tapped to lead Zale as a separate division within the company, Signet said when the deal closed in late May. George Murray, Signet’s current chief integration management officer, has been promoted to president of the Zale division and will succeed Killion upon his departure.

In other changes, Signet said Ronald Ristau resigned from his position as CFO, effective July 31, 2014. Michele Santana, currently Signet’s senior VP and controller, has been promoted to CFO designate, effective immediately. Santana will succeed Ristau as CFO of Signet following his departure.

In other changes, Ed Hrabak has been promoted to president of the Sterling division.

No official reason was given for the departure of Ristau or Killion.

Signet completed a $1.46 billion acquisition of rival Zale Corp. in May 2014.

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ConAgra completes plant expansion

BY CSA STAFF

ConAgra Foods has completed expansion of its Lamb Weston frozen potato facility in Boardman, Oregon. The $200 million investment announced in 2012 adds a new processing line to the plant, increasing capacity for making french fries and other frozen potato products, and also adds more than 100 jobs to the local economy.

During a special grand opening ceremony held last week, Lamb Weston employees were joined by representatives from Columbia River Enterprise Zone, Port of Morrow, city of Boardman, Morrow County and state of Oregon.

“We appreciate the efforts and support of all our community partners,” said Greg Schlafer, president, Lamb Weston. “The completion of our new production line allows us to expand the outstanding work our employees do every day to make great tasting french fries from the high-quality potatoes grown throughout the region. We can continue to build upon the strong relationships we have with our customers while meeting their growing needs. And, we can expand the reach of foods grown and prepared in the Columbia River Basin beyond our shores.”

The 192,000-sq.-ft., state-of-the-art addition further enhances Lamb Weston’s flexibility to make many different varieties of frozen potato and other vegetable products. The addition gives Lamb Weston five production lines in two plants in Boardman and increases capacity by an estimated 300 million pounds annually. Additionally, easy access to Port of Morrow supports Lamb Weston’s domestic and international growth plans.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with ConAgra Foods’ investment and commitment to Boardman and the entire Columbia River Basin,” said Gary Neal, GM, Port of Morrow. “Our work together is an excellent example of what can happen when members of a thriving community come together.”

ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston is one of the largest employers in the Columbia River Basin. The company operates seven facilities in the region employing nearly 4,500 people, including 750 employees in Boardman and 500 in Hermiston, Oregon.

The existing Boardman facility is EPA Energy Star certified as a result of employee efforts to reduce energy, reuse water and increase recycling. The expansion was built with technology and sustainable construction techniques pioneered at Lamb Weston’s Delhi, La., sweet potato operation, which is LEED platinum certified.

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Dole announces 2014 California Cook-Off contest winner

BY CSA STAFF

With the help of Chrystal Baker from DuoDishes.com, Naylet LaRochelle from Miami has won the sixth annual Dole California Cook-Off grilling competition and a grand prize of $25,000 for her winning recipe, Breezy Indian-Spiced Chicken with Mango-Peanut Sauce, Dates and Grilled Mango.

LaRochelle was one of three finalists flown out to Los Angeles Saturday late last week to participate in the 2014 Dole California Cook-Off, along with runner-up Roxanne Chan of Albany, California, with her Singapore Scallop Stacks and Barbara Estabrook of Rhinelander, Wisconsin, with her Grilled Tropical Fruit ‘n Shrimp Crostini with Prosciutto Crackles.

The three finalists faced one another in the center plaza of the high-trafficked Santa Monica Place outdoor mall to prep, cook and plate a recipe in 60 minutes or less using at least one Dole packaged food product, up to 10 additional ingredients and a Weber gas grill. Giveaways included signed copies of “Taming the Feast” by Chef Ben Ford and several Weber grills.

"I am so excited and honored to have won the 2014 Dole California Cook-Off using one of my go-to kitchen staples, Dole Frozen Mango chunks!" said LaRochelle, who has also won numerous other national cooking competitions in the past several years.

Chef Ford led the panel of judges and demonstrated a variety of grilled dishes on stage featuring Dole. The judging panel also included Dole packaged foods president Brad Bartlett, local TV personality and lifestyle reporter Mar Yvette and Carly Reynolds, the Dole.com sweepstakes winner from Lexington, Kentucky. The finalists’ recipes were judged on the best use of Dole Packaged Foods products, creativity, flavor and taste, ease of preparation and presentation.

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