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Skeeter Nut Free adds three senior execs to its leadership team

Skeeter Nut Free, a snack food company that manufactures peanut- and tree nut-free snacks, has added three executives to its senior leadership team. Larry Appel will be CEO and a member of the board of directors, while Javier Retamar joins as CFO and Sharyla Robinson as VP of marketing.

“Over the past year we have made great strides in developing the brand and increasing awareness and we are delighted to have Larry Appel, Javier Retamar and Sharyla Robinson on board as we continue to build our business and bring it to the next level,” said Pete Najarian, co-founder of Skeeter. “These new leadership team members bring a wealth of knowledge and skills that complement our team and will enable us to scale and manage growth.”

Appel was most recently the SVP of retail operations and COO at Winn-Dixie Stores where he was responsible for all of the chain’s 480 stores including sales, guest experience and operating profit. Prior to overseeing operations he served in several executive capacities at Winn-Dixie including SVP of human resources, general counsel and corporate secretary. Prior to Winn-Dixie, Appel served in several capacities with Home Depot including SVP of legal. Before Home Depot he was in private practice with a focus on corporate finance and business transactions. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the University of Pennsylvania School of Law.

Retamar will work closely with Appel on operations, logistics, business planning, budgeting and financial planning and analysis. Javier has 22 years of retail financial planning and analysis experiences, with the last 13 years in grocery retailing at Safeway and Winn-Dixie/Bi-Lo. Javier has a BS in finance in accounting from Florida State University.

Robinson has 13 years of experience in food marketing and brand management, including nine years at M&M/Mars and Campbell’s Soup, with experience managing leading brands such as Prego, V8, 3 Musketeers, Twix and Dove, as well as new product launches. She also has four years of retail grocery experience, which will be critical as Skeeter seeks to optimize its retail presence among different channels and retailers. Sharyla has a BA/MBA from Florida A&M University.

“Skeeter Nut Free has had terrific brand acceptance at retail and in our Direct Sales channels, which is largely comprised of schools, camps, movie theaters and more but we have much more to accomplish,” said Dave Leyrer, the other co-founder of Skeeter. “From our solid foundation, we are now set for further expansion and we’re very fortunate to have a strong and flexible balance sheet along with a stellar group of experienced executives who will execute against a well thought out strategic plan. We are more excited than ever for the significant opportunities ahead of us.”

Skeeter Nut Free manufactures all of its products in the United States.