Chartwell Partners Recruits CFO for 8th Avenue Food & Provisions

May 15, 2019 – Executive search firm Chartwell Partners has placed Doug Kooren as the new CFO of 8th Avenue Food & Provisions. Partners Mike Magurany and Scott Cuellar conducted the assignment.

Mr. Kooren brings 25 years of experience in finance, accounting, audit, sales, marketing, M&A and business integration. Most recently, he was senior vice president and chief financial officer of Foster Poultry Farms, a $2.5 billion family owned branded and private label, vertically integrated poultry company. Prior to that, he served as vice president finance/senior financial officer for Lamb Weston, one of the world’s leading suppliers of frozen potato products. Mr. Kooren spent the bulk of his career, in a variety of finance roles, with Conagra Foods. He started his career in public accounting with Price Waterhouse before moving into audit with General Mills.

As a member of the senior management team of this new private label enterprise, Mr. Kooren will assume a strategic role in the overall financial management of the company. He will have primary day-to-day responsibility for planning, implementing, managing and controlling all financial-related activities. This will include direct responsibility for accounting, finance, treasury, financial planning and analysis, cash-flow, strategic planning, costing, deal/M&A analysis and negotiations, stakeholder relationships, and partnership compliance and capital markets activities. He will report to CEO Jim Dwyer.

8th Avenue is a private brand-centric, consumer products holding company, manufacturing and selling private brand food products primarily to retail, foodservice and ingredient customers. The businesses produce nut butter, dried fruits and nuts, pasta and granola products for top retailers, distributors and manufacturers. 8th Avenue Food & Provisions was formed last fall through the combination of Post Holdings’ private brands businesses. The company is owned by Post Holdings and funds affiliated with Thomas H. Lee Partners, a private equity firm.

Veteran Search Consultants

Chartwell Partners is a senior management and board director executive search firm serving clients in select industries across the U.S. with offices in Austin, TX; Dallas; Chicago; King of Prussia, PA; and Milwaukee. Founded in 2005 by several former Heidrick & Struggles senior partners, Chartwell is comprised of 10 partners, as well as a support staff of executive assistants and researchers. The firm specializes in consumer products, food and retail, as well as industrial and healthcare.  

Mr. Magurany has over 20 years of executive search experience, with particular expertise in recruiting C-level and other senior-level assignments in the retail and consumer industries. He conducts searches in all functional areas, including merchandising, merchandise planning and allocation, marketing, e-commerce, finance, information technology, store operations and human resources. His client experience includes assisting big-box, specialty and department stores, as well as consumer packaged goods, food, durables and B2C e-commerce companies with external hiring and executive leadership management strategies.

Mr. Cuellar, a partner in the Chicago office, serves a national base of industrial, distribution and consumer clients. Functionally, he has extensive depth in general management, finance, sales, supply chain and human resources assignments. Mr. Cuellar has been active in executive search since 1995, spending the first dozen years with Russell Reynolds and Heidrick & Struggles. In 2007, he co-founded Cavoure Advisors, a senior-level boutique that joined with Chartwell in 2014.

Finding CFOs

CFOs continue to be in high demand. Finding them is keeping many of the nation’s top recruitment operations busier than ever. In recent months, search firms of all varieties have placed CFOs at various companies. Here’s a look at a few from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:

ClearPath Solutions placed former BJ’s Restaurant executive Shea Bodet as the new CFO of restaurant chain Café Rio Mexican Grill.  Ms. Bodet is an energetic and value-add financial planning and analysis executive in the restaurant/hospitality industry with over 18 years of experience in both accounting and corporate strategic finance functions. 

Catholic liberal arts school Saint Joseph’s College has chosen higher education-focused executive recruitment Hyatt-Fennell to lead its search for a new chief business and finance officer. Saint Joseph’s College, located in Standish, ME, wants a creative, strategic, collegial and entrepreneurial administrator who values transparency and shared governance, said Hyatt-Fennell. 

Caldwell recruited Matt Hibbard as the new CFO of Lifesize, a global provider of video collaboration and meeting productivity solutions. Mr. Hibbard brings more than 20 years of financial leadership experience scaling VC-backed technology companies, including two successful IPOs, raising and structuring various financings.

The Lancer Group, a La Jolla, CA-headquartered executive search firm, recently placed John Pence as CFO of Beneplace. The assignment was led by Scott Dunklee, partner; Dashan Subramaniam, consultant; and Liliana Corona, who is in charge of marketing and business development. Most recently, Mr. Pence served as chief operating officer and CFO at Mobi.

Recently, executive search firm Polachi Inc. placed Jeff Driskill as the new CFO of Analytic Partners. Mr. Driskill has more than 20 years of experience in global finance. Over the span of his career, he has facilitated acquisitions with Serious Eats and Tapad, taken the New York Mercantile Exchange from a domestic to a global company, and has driven millions in equity & debt financing.

Greenwich, CT-based executive recruiting firm Ignite Search Partners recently recruited Angus Smith as the new CFO of NASDAQ-traded Rockwell Medical Inc. in Wixom, MI. Mr. Smith joins Rockwell Medical from Pernix Therapeutics, a specialty pharmaceutical company.

Acertitude has placed Stacie Wolf as the new CFO of Binary Tree, a worldwide leader in enterprise digital IT transformations. Senior partner Scott Carberry headed the search, recruiting Mr. Wolf in 60 days. Previously, she was CFO of 1Insurer, a software and outsourcing insurance services provider that was acquired by the Carlyle Group. 

Ontario-headquartered executive search firm the Verriez Group recently recruited Amy Butler as CFO for Farm Mutual Re, Canada’s first completely Canadian-owned reinsurance company. Brent Verriez and Paul Verriez led the search. “We engaged the Verriez Group to conduct a CFO search on…

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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