Flowers Foods has named Tonja Taylor senior vice president of human resources. Taylor had been serving as vice president of human resources at Flowers' corporate headquarters since 2008. She takes over from Donald A. Thriffiley, Jr., who after 36 years with Flowers Foods, is retiring effective March 29, 2014.
Don Thriffiley's career with Flowers began in 1977 when he joined the company's New Orleans bakery as personnel and office manager. In 1989, he joined Flowers' corporate HR team in Thomasville. He was named director of human resources in 1997 and vice president of human resources in 2002. In 2008, Thriffiley was promoted to senior vice president of human resources. Thriffiley will continue to serve Flowers in an advisory capacity until his retirement date.
"Don's career with Flowers spans nearly four decades, and he has been instrumental in moving all aspects of our human resources efforts forward – from a new payroll system to leadership and employee development to compensation and benefits," said Gene Lord, executive vice president and chief operating officer, in a prepared statement. "We are grateful for his many contributions to our company and wish him well in his retirement."
As senior vice president, Taylor heads up Flowers' human resources function and directs HR efforts at the corporate and subsidiary level. Her promotion is part of the company's senior leadership succession plan, which has been integral in ensuring continuity of business philosophy and operational excellence at the 94-year-old company.
"For the past 14 years, Tonja has played a significant role in developing and implementing successful HR programs across Flowers Foods," noted Lord. "This promotion recognizes her many contributions to Flowers and reflects our confidence in her knowledge and experience in human resources and in her leadership ability."
Taylor began her career with Flowers in 1999 as change management coordinator for a key information technology initiative. In 2000, she joined Flowers' corporate human resources team and has served as manager of organizational development, director of organizational development, and managing director of human resources. In 2008, she was promoted to vice president of human resources. She holds both a bachelor's and master's degree in business administration from Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Ga.