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Ocean Spray Diversifies Leadership With Three New Hires

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Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc. has appointed Rizal Hamdallah as global chief innovation officer; Katy Latimer as VP of research and development; and Chris O’Connor as VP of marketing.

“As we look to the future of Ocean Spray, bringing together a team with a diverse set of strengths will be key to the growth of our farmer-owned cooperative and our mission to connect farms to families for a better life,” said Bobby Chacko, CEO and president. “Our new executive appointments bring years of seasoned leadership to the table as we embark on a new brand strategy and efforts to make our cooperative, our communities and our environment better.”

As global chief innovation officer, Hamdallah will lead the company’s innovation, research and development teams, developing new health-focused products for the cooperative. He comes to Ocean Spray from Tyson Foods, where he most recently served as managing director of the Tyson Innovation Lab. 

As VP of research and development, Latimer will cultivate new products for Ocean Spray and be instrumental in strengthening Ocean Spray’s industry leadership role research and development. She comes to Ocean Spray from Dunkin’ Brands, most recently serving as VP, culinary innovation for both Dunkin’ and Baskin Robbins teams, where she led her team to create a three-year innovation pipeline aligned with Dunkin’s growth platforms across the portfolio. Latimer is a 20-year veteran of PepsiCo, where she developed a background in beverage innovation and commercialization and launched many new products globally across carbonated soft drinks, juice drinks, water, tea and coffee categories across multiple channels. She has also served on the board of governors for the Flavor Extract Manufacturers Association.

As VP of marketing, O’Connor will lead the company’s Boston-based Core Beverage, Core Food, Immediate Consumption, Licensing and Partnership, E-Commerce and Emerging Products teams, developing and leading the key marketing strategies that will drive Ocean Spray’s future. With more than 20 years of leadership experience in marketing and brand development, O’Connor comes to Ocean Spray from the global health and wellness company Nature’s Bounty, where he served as VP of marketing. He consistently drove transformational sales, achieving more than $100 million in growth over five years in the company’s key health and beauty portfolio. 

Founded in 1930, Ocean Spray is an agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 cranberry farmers in the U.S., Canada and Chile who have helped preserve the family farming way of life for generations. 

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