Peter Napolitano, “Produce Pete”, Board Member
Pete Napolitano has been selling produce since the age of four through his family business, Napolitano’s Produce. As one of the nation’s favorite grocers, Pete promotes the virtues of eating fresh, local, and healthy produce. He appears as “Produce Pete” on WNBC, NBC’s Today Show, and has made appearances on The View, Discovery Channel, and other network shows. Pete is also the author of “Produce Pete’s Farmacopeia.” In addition to his role as Produce Pete, Mr. Napolitano uniquely possesses a wealth of experience in both the retail and wholesale sides of the produce business, serving as a head produce buyer and consultant to companies such as A&P, Pathmark, Whole Foods Market, Masters Touch, and others.
Art Drogue, Board Member
Arthur B. Drogue recently retired from an executive position at Unilever. Mr. Drogue served as Senior Vice President of Customer Development for the Americas. Prior to that, he led Unilever’s U.S. Customer Development organization through eight years of outstanding growth and earnings success while merging five separate companies into one of the world’s preeminent Consumer Packaged Goods companies with over $45 billion in annual sales.
Mr. Drogue’s previous experience includes tenures as Vice President of Sales at Bestfoods, Vice President of International and U.S. Sales for Nabisco, and Group Vice President for Northeastern Organization (NEO) Inc. Before that he spent twenty one years with General Mills and held various executive positions in both their sales and marketing organizations.
His professional affiliations have included Chairman of the Global Marketing Committee of the Consumer Goods Forum based in Paris, the GS 1 U.S. Board of Governors, the Grocery Manufacturers of America Sales Council, the Board of Directors of Students in Free Enterprises (S.I.F.E.) including serving on the finance committee, the Board of Directors of the NACDS Foundation, and the Board of Directors of Ruiz Foods. Mr. Drogue was awarded the prestigious William H. Albers Industry Relations Award at the 2011 FMI Midwinter Conference for his many years of exceptional leadership in the CPG industry.
Mr. Drogue also provides expert keynotes on a range of subjects from Change Management to Sustainability and he continues to provide leadership in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility.
Robert Hawthorne, Board Member
Robert Hawthorne is a thirty-year veteran of the consumer products industry who has held executive positions at leading consumer packaged goods companies. Mr. Hawthorne recently served as Chief Executive Officer and President of Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. Under Mr. Hawthorne, earnings rose from $59 million in FY 2000 to $158 million in 2002. Before Ocean Spray, he served as President and CEO of the Select Comfort Corp., a leading manufacturer of air beds and other bedding products. Mr. Hawthorne took Select Comfort public and headed the company for two years, from 1997 to 1999.
Mr. Hawthorne’s expertise in major consumer brand management and new product introductions began with fourteen years at General Mills and ten years at Pillsbury.
In his career at Pillsbury, Mr. Hawthorne headed six divisions with $3.1 billion in sales. He oversaw such major brands as Pillsbury, Green Giant, Totino’s, Gino’s, Martha White Baking Mixes, and Toaster Strudel. As President and CEO of the company’s Alpo Pet Foods division from 1990 to 1992, Mr. Hawthorne took Alpo from $30 million in losses to $35 million in earnings in a single year.
At General Mills Canada from 1972 to 1986, Mr. Hawthorne rose through the ranks to become senior vice president in charge of sales, marketing, quality assurance, and research and development.
Fred Berkheimer, Board Member
Fred Berkheimer recently retired from Unilever after a twenty nine year career. Over the last ten years, he served as the Vice President for North American Logistics with responsibility for managing both internal logistics and logistics outsourcing relationships. Along the way he worked as a process engineer in packaging, in facilities management, and as a factory manager where at one point he managed nearly half of Unilever’s factories in the United States.
As Vice President of Logistics at Unilever, Mr. Berkheimer oversaw an $8 billion division. He is a member of the Unilever Supply Chain Leadership Team with operational responsibility for warehousing, transportation, customer service, customer credit, and accounts receivable for USA and export markets.
During his tenure as Plant Manager in Raeford, NC he led the factory transformation toward an automated, world-class operation. Prior to his current role in logistics, Fred was Director of Manufacturing with responsibility for six of the ten Home and Personal Care USA factory operations where he led the integration of three previous heritage companies toward common Supply Chain systems and culture.
Fred received his Bachelor’s Degree of Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University and is a member of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals.
Jay Friedlander, Board Member
Jay Friedlander is the Sharpe-McNally Chair of Green and Socially Responsible Business at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine. Prior to joining College of the Atlantic, Mr. Friedlander co-founded O’Naturals, Inc., the world’s first natural/organic quick serve restaurant chain with Gary Hirshberg, CEO of Stonyfield Farm, and served as the Company’s COO.
Since opening its first store in 2001, O’Naturals has received numerous awards for sustainable business and has been recognized for its innovative approach by The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, and Vogue, as well as in media in Europe and Japan. Mr. Friedlander was involved in all elements of the start-up, including fundraising, concept development, daily operations, and expansion strategy. Under his leadership, O’Naturals developed a franchising relationship with the $19.5 billion Compass Group.
In addition to his start-up experience, Mr. Friedlander has worked as a strategy consultant for Fortune 100 clients. He received his MBA from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College where he specialized in new venture creation and graduated Summa Cum Laude, Valedictorian of his class.