Ocean Spray Diversifies Leadership Positions Of Farmer-Owned Cooperative With Three Strategic New Hires Across Innovation, R&D And Marketing

May 7, 2019

BOSTON, May 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. announced the appointments of three new executives: Rizal Hamdallah as Global Chief Innovation Officer; Katy Latimer as Vice President of Research and Development; and Chris O'Connor as Vice President 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 of Ocean Spray. "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 at Ocean Spray, Hamdallah will lead Ocean Spray's Innovation, Research and Development teams, developing new health-focused products for the cooperative.  

Hamdallah comes to Ocean Spray from Tyson Foods, where he most recently served as Managing Director of the Tyson Innovation Lab, leading the intrapreneurial model and disruptive innovation growth engine for the largest food company in the U.S. Prior to Tyson Foods, Hamdallah held various corporate strategy, brand, and innovation leadership roles with S.C. Johnson, Unilever, and Nestle.

"At my core I am a creator, and throughout my career I have been guided to understand and build empathy with consumers. Ultimately, that's how to develop and deliver innovative products that consumers didn't even know they needed," said Hamdallah. "I am excited to build upon the foundational legacy of Ocean Spray and create the next era of healthy, delicious products for our farmer-owned cooperative."

As Vice President of Research and Development, Latimer will cultivate cutting-edge new products to fill the innovation pipeline for Ocean Spray. Latimer will also be instrumental in further strengthening Ocean Spray's industry leadership role and unleash the power of research and development.

Latimer comes to Ocean Spray from Dunkin' Brands, most recently serving as Vice President, 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 aggressive growth platforms across the portfolio. Latimer is a 20-year veteran of PepsiCo where she developed an extensive 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 also held prior product development and basic research roles at Seagram's and Kraft Foods.  She has also served on the Board of Governors for the Flavor Extract Manufacturers Association.

As Vice President of Marketing, O'Connor will lead Ocean Spray's Boston-based Core Beverage, Core Food, Immediate Consumption, Licensing and Partnership, Ecommerce, 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 Vice President 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. O'Connor was also instrumental in the success of other brands include Osteo Bi-Flex®, Ester-C®, Nature's Origin®, and Organic Doctor®. 

About Ocean Spray

About Ocean Spray: Founded in 1930, Ocean Spray is a vibrant agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 cranberry farmers in the United States, Canada and Chile who have helped preserve the family farming way of life for generations. The Cooperative's cranberries are currently featured in more than a thousand great-tasting, good-for-you products in over 100 countries worldwide. Leading by purpose, Ocean Spray is committed to the health of people and planet. For more information visit: www.oceanspray.com.