Fresno, California-based Sun-Maid Growers of California has appointed Steve Loftus as president and COO, reporting to Harry Overly, executive chairman of the board.
Loftus will replace Braden Bender, who has been serving as Sun-Maid’s interim-president since September, and is returning to his role as CFO.
In this new role, all functional areas within Sun-Maid will report to Loftus, as he will be accountable to the daily operations of the business. A 15-year industry veteran, Loftus is recognized for his ability to build and align cross functional partners around common objectives, delivering short and long term financial and strategic growth goals.
“Steve is an exceptional and proven leader in the food industry, and we’re looking forward to the contributions he will bring to the team as president and COO,” Overly said. “Steve’s strong track record of results and expertise will be a key driver in building our success as we continue to grow, transforming the iconic Sun-Maid brand to be even more relevant to today’s shoppers.”
Loftus has held various leadership roles in finance and general management at TreeHouse Foods and Kraft Heinz. Most recently, he served as the VP and general manager of the condiments business unit at TreeHouse Foods, where he led the unit with about one billion in revenues across 12 product categories and five production facilities.
Prior to his general manager role, Loftus was the head of customer finance at TreeHouse Foods, where he was responsible for all product and customer pricing strategies, as well as the company’s AOP planning processes.
Sun-Maid has recently integrated with Plum PBC, Sun-Maid’s first acquisition. Loftus will lead the Sun-Maid business as it continues to transform, achieve strong sales and improve upon all operating metrics.
“I’ve always admired Sun-Maid, and I’m excited to officially join the team as president and COO to help take the brand to the next level,” Loftus said. “In the new role, I plan to continue accelerating Sun-Maid’s transformation into a consumer and market-focused organization, while executing daily operations that contribute to the company’s growth strategies.”
Founded in 1912, Sun-Maid Growers of California is a farmer’s cooperative of 600 grower families with vineyards in California’s Central Valley.