The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) and the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) on December 6 announced that the Distinguished Order of Zerocrats looks forward to welcoming three additional food industry leaders into the Frozen Food Hall of Fame in 2023. The new inductees are:
Ed Flanagan (pictured above), former president and chief executive officer of Jasper Wyman & Son; Leslie Sarasin, president and chief executive officer of FMI – The Food Industry Association (FMI) and former AFFI president and ceo; and Dave Yanda, former president and chief executive officer of Lakeside Foods.
Retiring in 2017 after a 42-year career, Flanagan was at the helm of Jasper Wyman & Son for 24 years. The Milbridge, Maine-based frozen wild blueberry and fruit products company expanded sales and operations significantly during his tenure.
Flanagan played a pivotal role in spearheading exports to international markets, was chairman of the Wild Blueberry Association of North America, and served multiple terms on AFFI’s board of directors. He was its chairman from 2010-11 and was named Advocate of the Year in 2017.
In supporting the future of the wild blueberry business, Flanagan also served on Penn State’s Pollinator Research Advisory Board, the Sustainable Food Lab and the Pollinator Partnership.
A seasoned veteran in the food industry, Sarasin has been president and chief executive officer of FMI since 2008. The association represents the US food retail and wholesale sector, as well as companies that supply goods and services to the industry. Prior to joining FMI, she spent almost two decades at the American Frozen Food Institute, including nine years as its president and ceo.
Sarasin made great contributions to the frozen food industry during her time at AFFI in strengthening the association’s advocacy and the representation in Washington, DC. She also championed the international growth of its frozen ingredient trade show.
Yanda’s career at Manitowoc, Wisconsin-based Lakeside Foods lasted for more than 40 years, and he served as president and chief executive officer from 2008 until retiring in 2016. He helped grow the business into a leading international private label food processor.
An expert in the areas of growing, processing, marketing and the sales of frozen fruits and vegetables, Yanda was an advocate for the frozen food industry, logging multiple terms on AFFI’s board of directors and serving as chairman of the board from 2014-15. He also was on the board of the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Association, and served multiple terms on the US Department of Agriculture’s Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee.
A ceremony of induction into the Frozen Food Hall of Fame will on at AFFI-CON 2023 on February 27 in San Diego, California.