Prepared Foods November 28, 2005 e-newsletter

Duane Martin, CEO and chairman of Universal Food & Beverage Company, announced the appointment, effective immediately, of Ralph Passino as senior vice president of Mergers, Acquisitions & Joint Ventures, a new executive division of Universal.

The company believes, “There currently exists significant opportunity to accelerate growth through the acquisition and/or joint venture with a number of smaller but highly successful regional beverage bottling and distribution companies. As a public entity, Universal believes that it is ideally positioned to build upon its current business base and development strategy.”

Passino, who resigned as CFO concurrent with the recent new appointment is “ideally suited for the role ahead.” Passino holds a BS in Chemistry from Duke University and an M.B.A. from the University of Cincinnati and has held senior financial and operational positions with a variety of public and private companies over a period of 26 years. Beginning with Rockwell International, Passino moved to Signal Companies, where he rose to vice president of Finance with full financial responsibilities for the company's 6,000 employees generating $500 million in sales. In 1985, upon the merger of Signal Companies with Allied, Passino and other executives spun off what became the $750 million General Chemical Group Inc. In 1998, Passino became the vice president and general manager of Gen Tek Inc, with full P&L responsibility for five separate business units generating $270 million. In 2002, Passino was hired as the CFO of American Household Inc., formerly Sunbeam Corporation, to restructure this $2 billion consumer products company emerging from Chapter 11.