Industry News | April 1, 2009

Coffee Bean Interntional Adds to Exec Team

Coffee Bean International, a U.S. specialty coffee roaster and wholesaler, is announcing the addition of four experienced personnel to its executive team.

Two of the positions, director of national customer development and director of business development, are new and signal the company’s increased focus on the grocery chain segment for its private label business.

• Dave Cleveland, director of national customer development: Dave Cleveland is responsible for customer strategic planning, relationships, contracts, forecasts, budgets, and leading the development of the national accounts team. His vision for Coffee Bean International includes growing the existing national accounts business and executing innovative customer-specific strategic plans and solutions.

Passionate about coffee, he wants to ensure each customer shares the account team’s commitment to quality, execution, creativity and growth.

Cleveland has 20 years of consumer packaged goods management experience with diverse companies such as Gardenburger, Quaker Oats, Nestle Foods, Mission Foods, and ACNielsen. He also has extensive experience in multiple channels such as grocery, mass, drug, club, natural, convenience store, dollar, vending, and foodservice.

Additionally, he has developed, delivered, and executed successful strategic plans with customers such as Wal-Mart, Kroger, Supervalu, Albertsons, Safeway, Costco, WinCo Foods, Whole Foods, Dollar General, 7-Eleven, and many more.

• Steve Lehto, director of business development: Steve Lehto is director of business development for the Supermarket Channel at Coffee Bean International. He comes to the company with more than 40 years of experience in the supermarket business. Lehto joined Coffee Bean International with the goal of helping retailers see specialty private label coffee as a destination category that will grow sales and profits.

Lehto started his supermarket career in 1967 as a Safeway “box boy.” In 1982, Safeway chose him to attend University of Southern California’s Food Industry Management class. This led to many opportunities in the food industry, including HEB, Harris Teeter and Fleming Foods and Albertsons Super Saver. In 1996 he became President of a Fleming’s Retail Group in South Florida.

• Carrie Carlson, national account manager: Carrie Carlson joins Coffee Bean International as national account manager. She is responsible for cultivating and maintaining relationships with her grocery and food service accounts and helping them grow through the marketing of new products and programs.

At Coffee Bean International, Carlson is focused on raising the national profile of both the company and specialty coffee. By taking the time to educate her accounts and their customers about specialty coffee, she aims to help elevate coffee to the level of wine, making it a destination category.

Prior to joining Coffee Bean International, Carlson was Field Marketing Manager for Grocery Outlet, Inc.

• Joe Prewett, vice president of marketing. Joe Prewett is responsible for setting the company’s marketing strategy as well as providing business direction for the company’s key accounts.

At Coffee Bean International, Prewett is able to combine two of his passions: great coffee and creative, company-building marketing. Leveraging his brand-building experience, Joe is repositioning Coffee Bean International within the coffee trade. He also plans to emphasize the company’s coffeehouse business, a segment of the coffee business where Coffee Bean International has unique strategic advantages.

Prewett brings years of innovative marketing experience to Coffee Bean International. He was formerly Vice President of Marketing at Medical Research Institute (MRI), a high growth supplement and beverage company. During his tenure, he introduced 15 new individual brands and extensions and grew sales by $18 million through integrated marketing planning, packaging innovation, strategic channel relationships, brand awareness campaigns and international expansion.

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