On the Street: New GMA Chair

January 25/Orlando, Fla./PRNewswire-USNewswire -- The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) announced the election of Richard G. Wolford, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Del Monte Foods), as chairman of the GMA board of directors. He will serve a two-year term.

"In this leadership role, GMA and the larger CPG industry will benefit greatly from Rick's leadership, his proven business acumen and his commitment to serving the consumer," said Pamela G. Bailey, GMA president and CEO. "I look forward to working with him to advance GMA's ambitious agenda on behalf of our member companies and the entire consumer packaged goods sector."

Wolford previously served GMA as vice chairman of the board of directors and as chairman of the Industry Affairs Council. His distinguished career in the food industry began in 1967, when he joined the finance department at Dole Foods. He was eventually named president of Dole Packaged Foods in 1982 and stayed with the company through 1987. Wolford went on to join with a group of venture capital investors to identify and evaluate acquisition opportunities and, as CEO of the acquired companies, direct the strategy to maximize each company's performance. Working with a private equity partnership, Wolford led the acquisition of Del Monte Foods in 1997 and joined the company as its CEO. He was elected chairman of the board in May 2000.

"It is an honor to serve GMA and the industry, an industry in which I have had the good fortune to participate throughout my entire career," said Wolford. "For more than a century, GMA has been the leading advocate for its member companies, bringing the industry together as one voice, to develop innovative and responsible solutions that help us serve our consumers better than ever before. I look forward to working with the board, the staff and as well, our trading partners to continue that legacy."

Wolford also holds a degree in economics from Harvard University. As GMA chairman, he succeeds Campbell Soup Company president and CEO Douglas R. Conant.

In addition, GMA announced the election of four new members of the board of directors: J. Alexander M. "Sandy" Douglas, Jr., president, North American Group, The Coca-Cola Company; Tom Ferriter, president and chief executive officer, Bush Brothers & Company; Melanie Healey, group vice president, North America, The Procter & Gamble Company; and Michael Mendes, president, chief executive officer and director, Diamond Foods Inc.

From the February 1, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition