Industry News | January 6, 2016

Women's Foodservice Forum Announces New Chairs

image used with permission.

The Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF), the industry’s premier leadership development organization, announced its 2016 board chair, treasurer, and incoming executive committee and board members who all represent global brands committed to supporting the advancement of women and providing a platform that paves the way for the next generation.

Wendy Davidson, president of U.S. Specialty Channels at the Kellogg Company, has been elected WFF Board Chair to lead the organization’s board of directors and help the organization achieve its 2016 strategic goals. Davidson has been an active supporter of WFF and passionate advocate for professional development throughout her career. Since joining WFF in 1995, she has served on a variety of program and planning committees and in 2011 joined the WFF board of directors and became a member of the executive committee. At McCormick, Davidson was a founding executive sponsor of the Women’s International Network (WIN) and was a part of the company’s global diversity and inclusion steering team. During her tenure at Tyson, she was a founding sponsor for the company’s business resource groups and served on the executive diversity council. Now at the Kellogg Company, Davidson is a member of the Women of Kellogg (WOK) network and is an executive sponsor for the global talent management advisory team.

“I am honored to be a part of the leadership working to elevate women leaders and create a pipeline of ready talent for our industry,” Davidson says. “WFF is the premier resource for developing the next generation of leaders that will fuel growth for both companies and the industry as a whole. I feel fortunate to work alongside some of the most talented and influential men and women in the industry and look forward to continuing to drive the mission and vision of the organization during my term as chair.”

A board member since 2011, Susan Adzick will serve as the 2016 treasurer, putting her in succession to serve as chair in 2018.  She is the vice president of sales and marketing for the $7 billion foodservice division of McLane Company Inc., a $46 billion wholly owned business unit of Berkshire Hathaway.

Adzick started her career in foodservice at PepsiCo, but prior to that, she worked at Occidental Chemical Company, Rhone-Poulenc, and DuPont de Nemours Inc. In addition to WFF, she serves on the boards of the National Restaurant Association (NRA), the Arby’s Foundation and the Restaurant Leadership Conference Advisory.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of such an incredibly talented and passionate group of leaders who work tirelessly to advance women,” Adzick says. “The possibilities are endless when I think of what we can all do collectively.”

About the new board members:

  • Kathleen Ciaramello is president of national foodservice and on-premise for Coca-Cola North America, one of its original and legacy divisions. She is responsible for all global, national and regional customers operating within the foodservice and on-premise channels of the company’s business headquartered in the U.S. Ciaramello is one of 12 inaugural members of the Coca-Cola Women’s Leadership Council, sponsored by CEO Muhtar Kent, which is helping the company meet its global leadership demands in a rapidly changing marketplace by increasing the focus on the development and movement of women into leadership roles.
  • Mike Hickey is executive vice president and president of Global Institutional for Ecolab, the global leader in water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services that protect people and vital resources. He is a member of several industry organizations including the NRA and is chair of the board of trustees of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF).
  • Julie Juvera is vice president of people and field operations for California Pizza Kitchen (CPK). With 24 years of experience in the foodservice industry and a background in operations and experience building best-in-class employment brands, Juvera works alongside operational leadership to support the company’s 200 domestic restaurants on all people-related matters. In this role, she leads development and execution of CPK’s employment brand and retention strategies and diversity and inclusion initiatives. Julie is also the president and chairperson of The Kindness Fund, CPK’s employee giving and financial assistance program. In 2013, Juvera won the WFF’s Committee Contributor Award for her work chairing the Success Talks Committee and also made the inaugural Women Making Their Mark list.
  • Denny Marie Post is executive vice president and chief concept officer for Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews. With 35 years of achievement in creating consumer-driven marketing success and product innovation, she is responsible for the development and execution of Red Robin’s brand strategies and product innovation. She leads the company’s menu and marketing, implementation, enterprise transformation, franchise operations, and Burger Works & Alternative Platforms teams. Post also oversees the company’s Canada operations. She completed the Board Leadership for Executive Women program at the Kellogg School of Management and Certificate in Finance from Wharton.
  • Sandy Romoser is senior vice president of sales and the chief customer officer for PepsiCo Foodservice. She is responsible for the strategic business development for PepsiCo’s largest national and multinational foodservice and on-premise chain customers.  She has a reputation for being highly committed to the development and success of her team, believing that true leaders stay focused on developing and empowering their people, while removing the obstacles that prevent them from achieving their goals.
  • Salli Setta is the president of Red Lobster Seafood Company, the world’s largest casual dining seafood restaurant. She leads all restaurant operations, marketing, and culinary and beverage for the brand, which operates more than 700 restaurants in North America and has more than 58,000 employees. She was part of the leadership team that helped Red Lobster become an independent, privately held company. Setta is the recipient of multiple industry awards and is an alumna of the Women’s Leadership Program at the Kellogg School of Management.

All new Board members will serve two successive, three-year terms beginning January 1, 2016 and ending December 31, 2021. These new board members will join the following executive committee and returning Board members:

Executive Committee

  • Wendy Davidson, president of U.S. Specialty Channels, Kellogg North America – Chair
  • Hattie Hill, president and chief executive officer, WFF
  • Marie Perry, senior vice president, controller and treasurer, Brinker International - Chair-Elect
  • Susan Adzick, vice president of sales and marketing for the Foodservice division of McLane Company – Treasurer
  • Thomas L. Bené, president and chief operating officer, Sysco Corporation
  • Debbie Stroud, vice president and general manager, Raleigh Region, McDonald’s USA, LLC.
  • Dawn Sweeney, president and chief executive officer, National Restaurant Association
  • Rebecca Walsh, executive vice president and chief legal and compliance officer, Ventura Foods


  • Kat Cole, group president, Focus Brands – Immediate Past Chair
  • Karen Bailey, vice president, National Accounts, Georgia Pacific
  • Jill Bond, senior vice president and chief legal officer, Rich Products Corporation
  • Karen Bowman, principal, Human Capital, Deloitte Consulting, LLP
  • Beverly Carmichael, senior vice president, chief people officer, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc.
  • Gary Crompton, president, Healthcare Hospitality, Aramark
  • Stephen Dunmore, president, Sodexo Education – Schools, Sodexo, Inc.
  • Fred Paglia, retired, Kraft Foods
  • Bethany Quam, president, Convenience and Foodservice, General Mills, Inc.
  • Anne Varano, retired, Carlson Restaurants
  • Rossann Williams, senior vice president and president Canada, Starbucks Coffee Company

“WFF is on a mission to grow and cultivate leaders of today and tomorrow,” says Hattie Hill, president and CEO of WFF. “We are excited and confident that our board members have the global mindset, talent, passion, and creativity to help us be the recognized authority on leadership in the foodservice industry.”

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by QSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.

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