( Bowery Farming/The Packer )

Bowery Farming, headquartered in New York with farms in Kearny, N.J., hired two new executives to oversee the company’s marketing and sales operations.

Katie Seawell, formerly of Starbucks, will be chief marketing officer, and Carmela Cugini, formerly of Walmart, will be executive vice president of sales, according to a news release.

The hires are in support of broadening consumer awareness for the brand’s mission and increasing retail distribution.

“Katie and Carmela will be tasked with sharing our mission — and the work we are doing to revolutionize agriculture — to retail partners and consumers, ultimately bringing Bowery’s safe, fresh and delicious locally-grown produce to more homes,” Irving Fain, Bowery Farming CEO and co-founder, said in the release.

Seawell spent more than a decade at Starbucks in leadership roles in marketing and products, driving brand campaigns, developing strategies and integrating marketing campaigns and product innovation. Most recently, she was senior vice president of Siren Retail Operations, leading launches of Starbucks Reserve Global Roasteries.

In her new role at Bowery Farming, Seawell will lead the company’s marketing team, spearheading initiatives to build Bowery’s brand and consumer reach in existing and new markets, according to the release. She will also partner with the agriculture science team to lead Bowery’s innovation strategy, providing insights on consumer produce trends.

“I was immediately drawn to Bowery’s approach to re-thinking the agricultural system and offering sustainable, fresh produce that meets the needs of our growing population,” Seawell said in the release.

Cugini joins Bowery Farming with experience across e-commerce retail, consumer packaged goods, financial planning and sales with organizations including Walmart, Jet.com, PepsiCo and Merrill Lynch, according to the release. In the last three years, Cugini was vice president and general manager of Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce team, leading online grocery and focusing on accelerating growth strategies across Walmart’s e-commerce and Jet.com. Before then, Cugini spent more than 13 years at PepsiCo and four years at Merrill Lynch, working in sales management, sales operations, key account sales, business development, revenue management strategy, marketing and brand development. 

At Bowery Farming, Cugini will work on growing its network of retail partners and distribution channels as Bowery expands into new markets.

“Now more than ever, consumers are demanding more transparency on where their produce comes from and how it was grown. For retailers, Bowery provides that insight and accountability,” Cugini said in the release.

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