CHICAGO, November 16, 2023 — The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) has announced the election of officers and directors to its 2024 Board of Directors, including the appointment of Board Chair Ben Wexler, President of Custom Culinary.


“Next year, IFMA’s Board of Directors will guide us in the launch and implementation of our new strategic plan: Level Up 2027,” said Phil Kafarakis, IFMA President and CEO. “Ben Wexler has been instrumental in helping create this plan and setting its transformational direction for our association. The IFMA team looks forward to building our membership and enhancing our industry-serving benefits under his leadership.”


Wexler has been a member of IFMA’s Board of Directors since 2017. His experience includes chairing IFMA’s Consumer Planning Program Committee, Membership Committee, and Awards Committee. He has provided invaluable input and perspective into the Level Up plan as a member of the IFMA Executive Committee.


“I am honored to be serving as 2024 Chair of the IFMA Board as our association transforms to bring the food-away-from-home community together,” said Wexler. “As a 70+ year-old organization, IFMA has a long legacy of focusing on food manufacturers and we will continue to hold manufacturers at the heart of all that we do. Beginning in January, for their benefit and the benefit of everyone working in food-away-from-home, we will be opening membership to the full industry. 2024 promises to be a very exciting year for us.”


2024 Executive Committee

In addition to Wexler, the following IFMA Board members will be serving on the Association’s Executive Committee:

  • First Vice-Chair: Teri Trullinger, Group Vice President Field Sales at Cargill Foodservice
  • Vice-Chair: David Rizley, Vice President Foodservice Distribution at Essity Professional Hygiene
  • Vice-Chair: Nanette Luningham, Vice President Foodservice Marketing and Channel Development at Tyson Foods
  • Treasurer: Greg Cocchiarella, Vice President, Industry Relations at Ecolab
  • Membership Chair: Oliver Kelly, President & Chief Executive Officer, North America at Kerry
  • Education Foundation Chair: Tim Wayne, Senior Vice President & General Manager – Away-From-Home & International at the J.M. Smucker Company
  • Past Chairs:
    • Herb Ring, National Foodservice Director, The Hershey Company
    • Hugh Roth, SVP, Chief Customer & Business Development Officer at PepsiCo Global Foodservice


At-Large Executives:

  • Gold & Silver Plate Society Liaison: Eric Blumenthal, Sr. Vice President, North America Operating Unit at the Coca-Cola Company
  • Next Gen Execs Liaison: Kristin Bird, President Foodservice at T. Marzetti
  • Foodservice Leadership Councils' Liaison: Fleur Veldhoven, Vice President of Food at Nestlé Professional


These directors will be new to the board starting in January 2024:

  • Reilly Berk, Chief Executive Officer, Berk Enterprises
  • Cristin Illes, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Owner, Illes Foods
  • Adam LeDonne, Senior Vice President Foodservice, Ventura Foods
  • Stephanie Luros-Gilbert, Executive Vice President, BSI
  • Nichole Montgomery, SVP & GM Foodservice, North America, Lamb Weston
  • Bryan Smith, Vice President, P&G Professional


IFMA is pleased to announce that the following board directors will continue to serve the association and the industry in 2024:

  • Tom Bell – Wayne-Sanderson Farms
  • Erin Buntin – Schreiber Foods
  • Kelly Crouse – C.H. Guenther & Son
  • Joe Cusick – ofi
  • Don Davis – Kellanova
  • Christos Dinopoulos – Unilever Food Solutions
  • Lauren Lopez – Rich Products
  • Art Michaels – Smithfield Foods
  • Beau Netzer – Aspire Bakeries
  • Mark Ourada – Hormel Foods
  • Ashley Peeples – Royal Cup Coffee
  • Barbara Powell – Mount Franklin Foods
  • Ian Roberts – Conagra
  • Tom Rupkey – High Liner Foods
  • Tom Ruszkowski – Red Diamond

Service for IFMA board members runs on the calendar year. The call for nominations for the 2025 board will take place in September 2024. 

See the complete list of IFMA Board members >>