November 5, 2021 – After a global search, Seattle, WA-based Reffett Associates has helped to place Elizabeth Strydom as vice president of private label and purchasing at Good Food Holdings. It took a team effort to find a qualified candidate for this unique role. Sam Mayberry, principal and lead on the search, was supported by William Reffett, managing partner, and Marshall Reffett, managing director at Reffett Associates. “The search was fascinating in that it combined every aspect of private label, including experience in product development, sourcing, merchandising and technical knowledge,” said Mr. Mayberry. “It’s very difficult to find someone who has all those talents plus a global perspective. Elizabeth has such great experience, that when combined with her global knowledge, curiosity and innovative drive, we knew she was an instant fit for the position.”
“Good Food Holdings has such great retail brands that we knew we had to find someone who could meet the high standards set for this position,” Mr. Mayberry said. “We looked for someone with a depth of experience, in every aspect of private label management, and after a global search, found the perfect candidate in Elizabeth.”
Good Food Holdings is the holding company for five preeminent and enduring food retailing brands: Bristol Farms, Lazy Acres Natural Market, Metropolitan Market, New Seasons Market and New Leaf Community Markets. Each retail brand has its own leadership team, company culture, operating philosophy and go-to-market strategy. The position is new for Good Food Holdings and Ms. Strydom will be responsible for developing, sourcing, procuring and merchandising private label products for all five companies.
Ms. Strydom is an industry veteran starting with Woolworths, South Africa, as a product developer and food technologist in the meat and seafood department. She later joined Loblaw’s as product developer for meat, seafood and frozen meat before being promoted to director of product development for private label. Her first opportunity to work in the U.S. came with the Kroger Co. where she developed fresh private label products before joining Daymon as an account manager, calling on global customers where she captured product concepts and flavors that assisted her in developing new items. She has held executive positions at Giant Eagle, as director of private brands; Woolworths, South Africa, as EVP of new product development, innovation and strategy; and as principal of EAJS Consulting, where she was involved in projects that ranged from product innovation, sourcing, M&A opportunities and corporate structuring, and governance.
Ms. Strydom is joining Good Food Holdings after holding the GVP of innovation, product development and regulatory affairs position at Albertson’s where she oversaw the state-of-the-art Innovation Center and was a key part of the Own Brands leadership team that received Store Brands’ Retailer of the Year award in 2018 and 2020.
Reffett Associates is a nationally recognized executive search firm. The boutique talent provider has extensive experience in retail and consumer packaged goods, private equity, commercial and federal services, government sectors, and associations and non-profits. Its team is made up of executives with tangible industry experience, possessing real world, relatable knowledge about the challenges executives face in managing talent in a competitive marketplace.
Mr. Mayberry leads Reffett Associate’s supply chain and co-leads the non-profit practice. He is an experienced senior executive that has focused his executive search practice on retail, consumer products, logistics and non-profits. He has spent more than 35 years building and leading teams to develop cutting edge business strategies in the retail, wholesale and E-commerce channels. Mr. Mayberry has held executive positions in merchandising, operations and private label at Supervalu, Albertson’s, Amazon, Food Lifeline and most recently at Sam Mayberry Consulting, where he provides management consulting services for brand, product, sourcing and staffing strategy development.
William Reffett has identified and placed key executive leaders for major companies across the U.S. Previously, he was a vice president and partner with Korn Ferry, where he was responsible for initiating the firm’s national supermarket practice. Additionally, he was a member of the firm’s national specialty retail practice, where he focused on companies along the West Coast.
Marshall Reffett joined the search firm after having worked for former U.S. Rep. David G. Reichert of Washington State. He served as a legislative assistant to the congressman, advising him on legislation relating to financial services, small business, housing, consumer affairs, government oversight and reform, defense, veterans, foreign affairs and transportation. He helped to position the congressman as a leader on global health issues, working with organizations such as UNICEF, Save the Children and the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media