Fortune International, an Illinois-based seafood distributor, importer, and processor with a fleet of refrigerated trucks, recently appointed six new executives to its leadership team in an effort to expand the company’s financial, operational, and marketing capabilities.
The parent of Fortune Fish & Gourmet in Bensenville named Joel Jorgensen chief financial officer, Richard Deferia chief revenue officer, and Kevin Hoople chief information officer. Additionally, Fortune tabbed Ethan Farber as vice president of marketing, Steven Gwozdz as VP of frozen seafood, and Trey Kidd as market VP of Texas.
“We are very pleased to announce the addition of six exceptional new senior executives to our leadership, corporate and regional teams at the start of 2024,” Sean O’Scannlain, Fortune president and CEO, said in a news release. “We continue to attract the industry’s very best talent, which allows us to invest in and build stronger customer relationships, accelerate business momentum, and drive growth into new markets.
“I look forward to supporting my new colleagues in their new responsibilities. This is an exciting way to start off the new year.”
As CFO, Jorgensen will oversee overall financial and operational management at Fortune, as well as play a key leadership role in strategic business planning, M&A execution, and integration. He brings over 15 years of financial executive experience in food distribution and packaging to Fortune. Previously, Jorgensen was CFO at B2B Industrial Packaging in Addison, Illinois, where he led and supported the acquisition of 16 companies and built out the company’s leadership, treasury, and HR functions.
As CRO, Deferia will lead and support the continued national expansion of the Fortune Fish & Gourmet distribution business. He has over 15 years of experience in the food and restaurant industries, starting his career as a chef before transitioning into sales and marketing. Before Fortune, Deferia spent 13 years at Sysco, starting his career as a marketing associate before working up to regional VP of sales Mideast region.
As CIO, Hoople will be responsible for overseeing Fortune’s IT, information security teams, and strategy, with an initial focus on data collection infrastructure. He has been an IT executive in the food and distribution industries for over 20 years. Prior to Fortune, he spent 14 years at Lawson Products, starting as a director of ERP integration and deployment.
Farber, as VP of marketing, brings nearly 20 years of experience in brand and creative strategy, strategic planning and business insights to the Company. Prior to joining Fortune, he was senior VP and partner in creative planning at FleishmanHillard in Chicago.
Experienced in front-line retail operations, Gwozdz is a senior food industry leader with expertise across fresh commodities and other categories. Before joining Fortune, he was a category manager for seafood merchandising at Stop and Shop Supermarkets.
Based in the Greater Houston area, Kidd is a sales and operations leader with over 20 years of experience in the food and beverage industry. Before joining Fortune to oversee Texas operations, he was general manager for three years at BakeMark, a manufacturer and distributor of bakery ingredients.