Fonterra Names NA President

August 31/Chicago/PRNewswire -- New Zealand-based Fonterra Co-operative Group announced that Giovanna "Gigi" Vita has been appointed to the position of president, Fonterra North America. Vita joins a company that has been providing dairy ingredient solutions to leading food companies in North America for more 60 years, focused on ingredients for cheese, cultured products, paediatric and functional nutrition, organics, and the foodservice channel.

Vita will be based at Fonterra North America's corporate headquarters in Rosemont, Ill., just outside of Chicago. She will be responsible for overseeing operations in the U.S. Canada, the Caribbean and Central America. Vita comes from PepsiAmericas, where she was senior vice president, marketing and sales strategy.

"Gigi has demonstrated a strong foundation in respect to sales processes, customer and channel alignment, and leadership," said Andrei Mikhalevsky, managing director of Fonterra Global Ingredients. "She brings a track record of business profitability, building organizational strength, and delivering a strong customer focus. We are confident that she will effectively be able to implement this knowledge into her new position and positively support Fonterra's North American operations."

Prior to her role at PepsiAmericas, Vita was vice president of sales at Nabisco International, where she directed global and regional sales training initiatives on strategic selling and customer trade spending. She was also responsible for integrating the United Biscuits Company in Asia into Nabisco International.

"It's an exciting time to join Fonterra and build upon its reputation for providing world-class dairy ingredient solutions to many of the top food companies in North America," Vita said. "The company's focus on dairy innovation positions us well to work hand-in-hand with customers to develop the next generation of dairy-based solutions."

From the September 7, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition