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The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) has elected Del Monte Foods chairman, president and CEO Richard G. Wolford chairman of the Washington-based organization’s board of directors. Wolford will serve a two-year term.
“In this leadership role, GMA and the larger CPG industry will benefit greatly from Rick’s leadership, his proven business acumen and his commitment to serving the consumer,” said association president and CEO Pamela G. Bailey.
Wolford was previously the group’s vice chairman of the board of directors and chairman of its Industry Affairs Council. His food industry career began in 1967, when he joined the finance department at Dole Foods. Rising through the ranks, he became president of Dole Packaged Foods in 1982 and stayed with the company through 1987. Wolford then worked with a group of venture capital investors to identify and evaluate acquisition opportunities, and, as CEO of the acquired companies, led the strategies to maximize each company’s performance. In collaboration with a private equity partnership, Wolford headed the acquisition of San Francisco-based Del Monte Foods in 1997, became the company’s CEO and was elected chairman of the board in May 2000.
“For more than a century, GMA has been the leading advocate for its member companies, bringing the industry together as one voice, to develop innovative and responsible solutions that help us serve our consumers better than ever before,” said Wolford, who succeeds Campbell Soup Co. president and CEO Douglas R. Conant as the association’s chairman.
GMA additionally elected four new board members: Coca-Cola Co. president, North American Group J. Alexander M. “Sandy” Douglas Jr.; Bush Brothers & Co. president and CEO Tom Ferriter; Procter & Gamble group VP, North America Melanie Healey; and Diamond Foods, Inc. president, CEO and director Michael Mendes.