Trade Associations, Shows & Conferences

New Board Leadership for American Frozen Food Institute

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The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) installed officers and the newest members of its board of directors at the trade association’s annual convention in Anaheim, California, which concluded on February 25. The newly elected officers are: Paul Bakus of Nestlé USA, chairman; Larry Cope of Clear Springs Foods, vice chairman; and Dave Yanda of Lakeside Foods, immediate past chairman.

Paul BakusPaul Bakus, Nestlé USA’s president of corporate affairs, has been elected as the new chairman of the American Frozen Food Institute.Based in Washington, DC, Bakus is president of corporate affairs for Nestlé USA, named one of “The World’s Most Admired Food Companies” by Fortune magazine for 17 consecutive years. Among its frozen food brands in North America are Stouffer’s, Lean Cuisine, Hot Pockets and DiGiorno Pizza.

Cope is the president, chief executive officer and executive chairman of Clear Springs Foods, a Buhl, Idaho-based, employee-owned company that produces more than 20 million pounds of farm-raised rainbow trout annually.

Yanda is president and chief executive officer of Lakeside Foods, an international private label food maker headquartered in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, with 15 plants and eight distribution centers in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Ohio.

The eight board members elected to three-year terms are: Rick Anderson of Little Lady Foods, Inc.; Larry Cope of Clear Springs Foods; Wesley Eubanks of The Pictsweet Co.; Greg Evans of McCain Foods Ltd.; Ed Flanagan of Jasper Wyman & Son, Inc.; Steve Lezman of Tropicana Products Inc.; Sara Lilygren of Tyson Foods; and Mike McEvoy of Sargento Foods Inc.

More than 1,300 members of the frozen food and beverage industry attended the five-day convention, known as AFFI-CON, at the Anaheim Hilton. This year’s theme was Don’t Stop Believin!

Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team co-owner and media mogul Peter Guber entertained and informed delegates as the featured speaker at the Institute’s annual meeting and keynote breakfast. The founder, chairman and chief executive officer of the multimedia Mandalay Entertainment Group, has produced five films that were nominated for Best Picture by the Academy of Motion Pictures, among them Rain Man, The Color Purple, Midnight Express and Batman. He shared with delegates the importance of telling purposeful stories to propel their business success.

AFFI unveiled its new logo and brand during the annual meeting, which is highlighted in its 2014 year-in-review video (which can be viewed by clicking here) and annual report (available for download here).

AFFI-CON 2016 will be held Feb. 20-24, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, California.  For more information, visit