The Women's Foodservice Forum announced that following an extensive search, Therese Gearhart has been selected to serve as the organization's new president and CEO. Gearhart will take over the role from Denny Marie Post who assumed the role while a formal search was conducted following Hattie Hill's retirement in June.
"We are thrilled to have someone of Therese's caliber join us to lead WFF. Her long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion, and her success in building diverse teams will be a great benefit to our organization," says Salli Setta, president and Chief Concept Officer, Red Lobster and current WFF Board Chairperson. "We are confident she is the right person to bring our strategy to life and lead WFF into the future."
Gearhart is an international operations leader with more than 30 years of experience across several industries. She has global consumer marketing expertise and a record of growth and reinvention in complex global markets. Throughout her career Gearhart has developed a reputation for unlocking business performance by being an inclusive and authentic leader. A 20-year veteran of The Coca-Cola Company, Gearhart led Business Units in Latin Center and Southern Africa and spent six years working within the North America Foodservice business. She was also co-chair and a member of the company's Global Women's Leadership Council responsible for advising the CEO and executive leadership on strategies to accelerate the development and advancement of female talent.
"I am truly honored to lead WFF as we carry forward the organization's tremendous momentum and embrace fast-paced growth of our programs," says Gearhart. "I am grateful to our partners, who continue to entrust our organization to provide guidance and be at the forefront of advancing gender diversity and equality across the food service industry. My husband and three children are excited to be part of the WFF family and are equally inspired by our mission."
Gearhart will assume her new role effective immediately. Denny Marie Post will continue to serve on the Board as immediate past Chair.
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