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Greetings everyone and I hope by the time this goes to print we will finally be enjoying some Spring time weather and say goodbye once and for all to this winter that just won’t go away.

Our deepest condolences go out to the Krasne family of Krasdale Foods on the passing of the family matriarch Ines Tamara “Tammy” Krasne. Tammy passed away on March 19 after a long illness and leaves behind her husband of 60+ years, Krasdale chairman Charles Krasne, and children Ken, Fred, Thatcher and Kim as well as eight grandchildren. The family held a private funeral service and asks that any contributions in her memory be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, 322 8th Avenue, 7th Floor, NY, NY 10001 or www.alzfdn.org. May her soul rest in eternal peace.

Saw a piece in Newsday that said ShopRite plans by early 2019 to have three more stores on Long Island that were left vacant by the A&P bankruptcy (the bankruptcy that keeps on giving). Aside from the three new Long Island stores planned, ShopRite owners have taken over four other former Pathmark or Waldbaum’s locations on Long Island since 2016.
The Food Institute’s Food Business Mergers & Acquisitions 2017 is now available. The comprehensive report provides analysis on the 591 mergers and acquisitions recorded last year and offers in-depth insight to all aspects of the transactions. For more information contact April Brendel at 201.791.5570 ext 218 or april.brendel@foodinstitute.com.

Congrats and best wishes to Vic Savanello as he heads south to become the vice president of merchandising, produce at The Fresh Market, Greensboro, NC. Most recently, Vic served as the senior director of produce and floral at Allegiance Retail Services for the past 10 years. Additionally, he serves as the president of the Eastern Produce Council and is the chairman of the New York Produce Show. “Vic comes to us with extensive retail produce knowledge and has proven himself time and again throughout his impressive career.” said Rich Durante, executive vice president of Midwest and southeast operations of The Fresh Market. “Armed with his insights, The Fresh Market is poised to strengthen our reputation as the premier specialty grocer offering the freshest, most accessible fruits, vegetables and complementary offerings to our guests.” The Fresh Market has 176 stores in 24 states.

We were sorry to learn that Bob Hudson passed away peacefully at home after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease and dementia on March 25 at the age of 71. Bob was a Navy veteran who had a long career in the non-food industry after his service and eventually rose to the office of president/CEO of M&H Sales and Marketing. He is survived by his wife Rosemary Hudson, children Lisa Hudson, Julia Lanzone, Daniel Hudson, Kyle Hudson and Eric Hudson, and six grandchildren. The family asks that donations can be made in his name to Memory Matters, P.O. Box 22330, Hilton Head Island, SC 29925 or online at www.memory-matters.org.

Good luck to Brian Carr on the announcement of his appointment as vice president sales at Pascha Chocolate. Pascha produces the purest chocolate without any allergenic ingredients. Brian joins Pascha with more than 35 years of selling experience, most recently with Utz Quality Foods.

Congratulations and good luck to my good friend Louis J. Biscotti, CPA, MBA, CITP, who joined Marcum LLP in March. Lou is the preeminent accounting specialist in the food and beverage industry and will become the national leader of Marcum’s Food & Beverage Services group. He is nationally recognized as a food and beverage expert, and has guided numerous companies in various sectors of the industry through their development from small emerging entitles into large, high-value organizations. Lou is also well-known as an entrepreneur and mentor, having founded a series of best practice forums for food and beverage executives which attract senior management from across the industry annually. Lou comes to Marcum from Mazars USA where he was a partner and prior to that had his own firm, Biscotti, Toback & Company which was acquired by Mazars in 2012. “Lou Biscotti is a highly respected leader in the food and beverage industry, deeply experienced in the dynamics of corporate growth and profitability. His entrepreneurial approach to business is analogous with Marcum’s, and we are extremely pleased to welcome him to the Firm,” said Jeffrey M. Weiner, Marcum’s chairman and chief executive officer. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Lou for nearly 20 years and I can tell you that Marcum is truly getting a terrific and dynamic individual on their team. I look forward to seeing him implement many of his groundbreaking practices and skills for the food and beverage industry in his new position. Good luck!

And dust off those golf clubs as one of first golf tournaments of the season tees off with the Connecticut Food Association’s 31st annual tournament at the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, CT on May 7. For additional information contact the CFA at 860.216.4055 or ctfood@ctfoodassociation.org.

Well, like I said, I do hope that we’ve seen the last of this wicked winter weather. There are plenty of spring events coming up, and I look forward to seeing you out there. As always you can reach me at 201.250.2217 or kgallagher@best-met.com.