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Pioneering moves in finance and ops

Pioneering Foods Group, owner of Icefresh Foods and Heaven Made Foods, is expanding its management team with two new senior executives.

Patrick Hilliard​ joins as head of finance while John Scanlon​ joins Heaven Made Foods as general site manager. This is a new position for the company which produces hand-made desserts for national retailers and foodservice companies. In his new role, Scanlon will oversee all elements of production, quality control, packaging, waste and warehousing.

Pioneering Foods Group saved Heaven Made Foods from receivership a year ago so Scanlon is tasked with building the business and delivering orders on time and on budget.

He brings over 20 years' experience in the industry during which he has worked in a number of posts from factory floor to senior management.

Managing director Simon Spence says: "We are confident that John can help achieve our ambitions for Heaven Made Foods while Patrick will be integral to identifying our growth strategies to ensure both our companies maintain their position as industry leaders."

Hill Station Directors

Following the acquisitions of Loseley and Granelli, the board of ice cream business Hill Station believes the group is now of a size to warrant the appointment of a full time group finance director and a group operations director at board level.

Gavin Nicholas Morgan​ is now group finance director replacing part time finance director Peter Salter who becomes non-executive director. Taking on the group operations director role is Steven Jones who joined Hill Station in February last year as operations director.

Prior to joining Hill Station, Jones spent two years as operations director of Loseley during which time he was responsible for commissioning Loseley's new factory at Cwmbran. Previously, he worked for Birds Eye Walls where he held various ice cream manufacturing positions.

NPD at Ilchester Cheese

Linda Lewis-Williams​ has joined The Ilchester Cheese Company as new product development manager to grow the business and NPD portfolio in retail, wholesale and export markets. Previously with Long Clawson, Lewis-Williams was responsible for the development of a host of new blended cheeses and this experience of nurturing brands and of the blended cheese market will be a great asset in her new role.

Loxton's Team Expands

Recipe dish company Loxton Foods has made two new appointments to support its on-going growth in the foodservice market.

Matteo Sassanelli​ joins the company as development chef to create and develop new, innovative dishes. He comes from a family of restaurateurs having worked extensively with all styles of modern cooking.

At the same time, Liz Brown​ has joined the company as human resources (HR) manager. She has previously worked for many years in the industry in both HR and technical roles and consequently brings substantial experience to the management team.

Museum of Brewing

More than a quarter of a century after moving to Burton-on-Trent as a young brewer, Peter Orgill​ has taken over as director of the town's Museum of Brewing at the Coors Visitor Centre (CVC). The CVC is Burton's biggest tourist attraction, welcoming 250,000 visitors a year. It employs some 65 full and part-time workers as well as being supported by dozens of volunteers. Orgill first joined Bass - which later became Coors Brewers - in 1978 and some of the equipment he used in the brewery then is now on display in the museum.

Export Promotion

Market development and export consultancy for British food and drink companies Food from Britain (FfB) has promoted Jane Wakeling​ to the position of head of client development . FfB has also appointed Kirsty Grieve​ as regional food and drink manager for the organisation.

Grieve will now be responsible for continuing Wakeling's work to drive FfB's campaign to promote the UK's regional food and drink industry. This programme has recently received funding for a further two years, made possible by an additional £2m from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Wakeling was eager to become involved in the export side of the business and now leads the organisation's consulting arm. She will have responsibility for providing clients with various strategic and practical support offered by the FfB international network.

In her new role, Wakeling will report to marketing and international management director Simon Waring.

Other movers

East Anglian grain co-operative Fengrain has appointed Ian Douglas​, who formerly held the position of group md of Allied Grain Group, as a non-executive director. At the same time, chief executive Mark Isaacson has also joined the Fengrain main board.

Two new appointments are set to help transform the international image and reputation of Northern Ireland's food sector. Michelle Gibson​ and Robin Barnett​ bring over 40 years of industry experience to their new marketing advisor roles at Invest Northern Ireland. They will form part of a unique sales team to strengthen the market presence of local food and drinks companies in Great Britain. The initiative represents the first time Invest NI has directly retained full-time sales and marketing support resources to assist an industry sector.

A new communications manager has been appointed by the English Beef and Lamb Executive (EBLEX) bringing a wealth of experience with her. Anna Farrell​ joins EBLEX from the strategic agrifood communications consultancy Chamberlain, where she was responsible for a wide range of national farming and food chain clients. A former National Farmers Union chief press office, Farrell will join EBLEX next month.

Mexican and regional American food supplier Discovery Foods has appointed Robert Powell​ to the position of group human resources manager. He is based at the group's Sonora Foods plant in Daventry and is responsible for 350 employees across three sites: two Sonora plants at Daventry and the Discovery Foods' site in High Wycombe, Bucks.

Dickinson & Morris has appointed Lucy Iddison​ as brand manager concentrating primarily on brand penetration in the multiples.

Related topics: People & Skills