Freight Farms announced that it has hired veteran consumer brand executive Rick Vanzura as CEO who will also join the company's Board of Directors, while co-founder Brad McNamara will remain as Freight Farms' President. The company also welcomes automation and robotics specialist Jake Felser as Head of Engineering.
"What excites me about Freight Farms is the ability to join a passionate, mission-driven business that is already perfectly positioned to address the growing critical need for sustainable, hyper-local food production," says Vanzura.
"Freight Farms has an incredible technology platform as the originator of container farming, as well as a global footprint driving numerous sources of value. Beyond providing a meaningful solution across industries, Freight Farms addresses issues like urban land scarcity, traceability and the need for hyper-local solutions with speed to market. The current environment demonstrates more than ever the value of Freight Farms' offerings."
Vanzura has driven value for companies from start-up to Fortune 5 across technology, restaurant, retail, and entertainment sectors. With a focus on leveraging innovation and developing new market channels, he led strategy for Panera, General Motors Information Services and GameStop, and as the original CEO of Wahlburgers, he built the company from a single unit into one of America's fastest growing restaurant brands. Vanzura's 20 years in President and C-level roles include a decade in foodservice working with markets central to Freight Farms' business. He also brings significant international experience to his role, having run Borders Group's nearly $1 billion International business.
McNamara said: "Rick has amplified growth across interconnected industries, and his international experience lends itself to our ongoing global expansion. His personal alignment with Freight Farms' mission was crucial for us as well—he's a welcome addition to the team as we scale."
Jake Felser, former VP of Engineering for eatsa (now Brightloom), has also joined the Freight Farms team as Head of Engineering. With teams across hardware and software, Felser led robotics R&D and the development of eatsa's shelf-style pickup system from conception to deployment across the company's network of partners. Prior to eatsa, Felser was Senior Engineer and Product Manager at Cooper Perkins and has worked in hydraulics, refrigeration, structural optimization, design for development, and agriculture for companies including Blue Origin, Promethean Power Systems, and AGCO. With a passion for sustainable development, Felser is focused on automation, IoT and machine learning-based integrations for Freight Farms growing technology portfolio.
Company growth, including ten new roles across all departments in Q1, also follows Freight Farms' recent launch of the Greenery. Nearly 100 have been adopted by customers in 9 countries to date, bringing Freight Farms' global footprint to more than 300 container farms around the world. The innovation also spurred interest from Sodexo in a strategic national partnership to grow food onsite at educational and corporate campuses nationwide and new investment from Ospraie Ag Science.
For more information: