DI People: Frito-Lay Exec Honored, Topgolf Names Division President, Burns & McDonnell Hires Automation Expert

From Fast Company honoring Jennifer Saenz to new top execs for Ben E. Keith Co., our roundup of personnel activity also includes a new hire at Topgolf.

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FAST COMPANY LISTS SAENZ OF FRITO-LAY AMONG ‘MOST CREATIVE PEOPLE IN BUSINESS’

Frito-Lay

Jennifer Saenz [Courtesy of Frito-Lay]

Fast Company has included Jennifer Saenz, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Plano-based Frito-Lay, on its list of “The Most Creative People in Business 2018.”

In her role at Frito-Lay, Saenz leads the marketing efforts for the $14 billion snacks business.

Fast Company cited Saenz’s work that includes such innovative efforts as Cheetos’ New York City pop-up restaurant, The Spotted Cheetah, the Cheetos Vision photo and video app, co-branded products with Taco Bell and Buger King, and Cheetos Popcorn at Regal Cinemas. Saenz also oversaw Doritos’ popular 2018 Super Bowl ad, as well as Stacy’s Pita Chips’ campaign around Women’s History Month.

TOPGOLF HIRES SHARPE TO LEAD ITS TOPTRACER DIVISION

Former TaylorMade Golf Co. CEO Ben Sharpe has been hired by Dallas-based Topgolf Entertainment Group to expand the company’s global footprint of driving ranges that licence Topgolf’s Toptracer Range technology.

Ben Sharpe [PRNewsfoto/Topgolf]

He will be president of the London-based Toptracer Range division, according to the company. The division is overseen by Topgolf Entertainment Group CEO Dolf Berle.

“Ben brings rich experience and strong connections with the golf industry …”

Dolf Berle

“Ben brings rich experience and strong connections with the golf industry, and he is skilled at leading businesses through exponential growth,” Berle said in a release.

The transformative Toptracer technology tracks the flight of a golf ball, displays its path in video, and analyzes each shot offering up real-time data about the ball’s speed, distance, angle, and accuracy. It is used not only at golf ranges, but also in television coverage of some of the world’s top golf tournaments.

AUTOMATION EXPERT JOINS BURNS & MCDONNELL IN DFW

Alfredo Valadez is joining Burns & McDonnell’s DFW operations, where he will design and implement innovative industrial automation solutions for the company’s clients nationwide.

Alfredo Valadez joins Burns & McDonnell. (PRNewsfoto/Burns & McDonnell)

“Alfredo is leading the way in developing automated solutions for manufacturing and warehouse environments,” said Scott Clark, vice president and general manager of Burns & McDonnell’s Dallas and Fort Worth offices, in a statement. “His background and technical knowledge are major assets as we continue to develop advanced solutions for our clients.”

Valadez brings more than 20 years of experience to his new role as project manager of automation design. 

“As the U.S. manufacturing sector strives to find ways to stay competitive globally, it’s critical to optimize processes in the most cost-effective way — and there are a lot of automation solutions that make it possible,” Valadez said in the release. “On the warehouse side, automation is still new and there is a lot of opportunity to implement new technology to improve processes. My job is to help clients uncover the best technology solutions that meet their specific needs.”

Kansas City-based Burns & McDonnell is a family of companies with more than 6,000 engineers, architects, construction professionals, consultants, scientists, and entrepreneurs. It has offices across the nation and globally. 

2 BEN E. KEITH EXECS NAMED TO TOP COMPANY POSITIONS

Two veteran company executives have been named to the top positions by the board of directors of Fort Worth-based Ben E. Keith Co.

Effective July 1, John Howard Hallam will become chief executive officer, a position currently held by Robert Hallam Jr., who will assume the role of president and chief operating officer. Robert Hallum Jr. will continue as chairman of the board and Howard Hallam will continue as the board vice chairman, according to the company.

Ben E. Keith Co. is a leading distributor of fine food and premium beverages. Its food division serves 14 states, and its beverage business serves all 254 counties in Texas.

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