Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board
Mr. Toler has served as our Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of our board of directors since January 1, 2019. Prior to joining Hydrofarm in 2019, Mr. Toler was the Chief Executive Officer of Hostess Brands, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWNK) (“Hostess”), a food and beverage company, from May 2014 to March 2018. Under his leadership, Hostess successfully re-established the iconic Hostess brand as a leader within the sweet baked goods category, returned the company to profitability and transitioned Hostess from a private to public company. Mr. Toler has over 35 years of executive leadership experience in supply chain management and consumer packaged goods, including previously having served as Chief Executive Officer of AdvancePierre Foods, from September 2008 to August 2013, and President of Pinnacle Foods. He has also held executive roles at Campbell Soup Company, Nabisco and Procter & Gamble. Mr. Toler served on the board of directors of Collier Creek Holdings from September 2018 to September 2020, Hostess Brands from May 2014 to March 2018, AdvancePierre Foods from 2008 to 2013 and Pinnacle Foods from 2007 to 2008. In addition, Mr. Toler has also served as a senior advisor at Oaktree Capital Management, an investment management firm, from September 2013 to April 2014. Mr. Toler holds a B.A. in Business Management and Economics from North Carolina State University.
Mr. Toler was selected to serve as Chairman of our board of directors because of his 35 years of executive leadership experience in supply chain management and consumer packaged goods.
PresidentMr. Fitch has served as our President since March 4, 2019. Mr. Fitch has more than 30 years of marketing, sales, finance, manufacturing, supply chain, media and supervisory experience in the beverage industry. Prior to joining Hydrofarm in 2019, Mr. Fitch spent 18 years in Coca Cola’s senior management beginning in 1994, first as Regional Vice President of Sales and Marketing of the Gulf States, then as Division Vice President and General Manager, and finally as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Western Region, responsible for a team of 13,500 sales, strategy, marketing, operations, manufacturing, supply chain, and analytical professionals, and accountable for annual sales in excess of $4.2 billion. Mr. Fitch also served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Western Region of Coca Cola Refreshments from 2010 to 2013. In 2013, Mr. Fitch founded Drink Teck, LLC, a functional beverage company, where he served as its Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Fitch has also served on the board of directors of the Harold Pump Foundation, on the C-5 Youth Foundation, on the USC Food Management Council, and on the Coca Cola Scholars Foundation. Mr. Fitch holds a B.S. in finance and marketing from Arizona State University
B. John Lindeman
Chief Financial OfficerMr. Lindeman has served as our Chief Financial Officer since March 2020. From August 2015 until assuming his current role at Hydrofarm Holdings in March 2020, Mr. Lindeman served as Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary at Calavo Growers, Inc. (Nasdaq-GS: CVGW) (“Calavo”), a global avocado industry leader and expanding provider of valued-added fresh food, where he was responsible for the finance, accounting, IT and human resource functions. Prior to joining Calavo, Mr. Lindeman held various leadership positions within the finance and investment banking industries, including serving as managing director at Sageworth Trust Company, a family office and private trust company, from March 2015 to July 2015, managing director and co-head of the consumer and retail group at Janney Montgomery Scott from August 2009 to March 2015, managing director at Stifel Nicolaus from December 2005 to August 2009 and principal at Legg Mason from October 1999 to December 2005. Prior to joining Legg Mason, he was a Manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP from August 1996 to October 1999. Mr. Lindeman has also served as a director of Utz Brands, Inc. (NYSE: UTZ) since September 2020. Mr. Lindeman is a Chartered Financial Analyst and holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Mary Washington.
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