January 7/Kankakee, Ill./Press Release -- Craig R. Petray has been named CEO of the J.R. Short Milling Company, a producer of ingredients for the snack and food industry. Petray, who previously headed The NutraSweet Company in Chicago, will replace interim CEO Jeff Hebble effective January 20, 2014.

“Use of our custom-tailored and highly versatile product has been growing rapidly,” said chairman Tom Harris. “This is true in both crisp and shaped products, whether destined for the retail or foodservice channel. Craig gives us the kind of broad food and ingredient industry experience that we need to develop and expand our customer relationships.”

Petray has spent most of his career in the consumer products and food ingredient businesses, rising through the ranks to become CEO of NutraSweet in 2004. Under his leadership, the company evolved from its patent-protected aspartame business into the global leader in the manufacture of high-intensity sweeteners.

“J.R. Short is all about developing innovative, new products based on close relationships with customers and a deep understanding of their needs and goals,” Harris said. “The recent ‘A’ rating from BRC (British Retail Consortium) Global Standards and last month’s completion of a major expansion are indicative of our commitment to customer support.”

Prior to becoming CEO of Chicago-based NutraSweet, Petray ran the company's consumer product and ingredient businesses in Asia, Europe, and North America. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin -- Madison.