Perfetti Van Melle has named Craig Cuchra as v.p., marketing, for Perfetti Van Melle U.S. and Canada, effective March 1.
Cuchra started his career with Perfetti Van Melle 15 years ago, with several roles in U.S. marketing. For the last six years, he’s served in Perfetti Van Melle’s Amsterdam headquarters, most recently as the international category director for refreshment.
Cuchra will add to his current responsibilities the oversight of marketing for all candy, gum and mint brands in the Perfetti Van Melle U.S. and Canada portfolios including Mentos, Airheads, Fruit-tella and Chupa Chups.
“With Craig’s strong record of leading global and U.S. brand growth initiatives across new products, with commercial and consumer-facing activities encompassing many brands across our portfolio, we’re happy to welcome him back to the U.S. family of Perfetti Van Melle,” said Sylvia Buxton, president and CEO of Perfetti Van Melle North America. “His unique blend of skills and experience locally and internationally position him superbly to join our leadership team in North America as head of marketing.”
A forward thinking, entrepreneurial-minded leader with 20-plus years of experience in fast-moving consumer goods companies, Cuchra earned his MBA in marketing from Xavier University’s Williams College of Business, and his B.S. in accounting from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Prior to joining Perfetti Van Melle, Cuchra worked with Hillshire Brands (formerly Sara Lee Foods) in product management and finance, LG Electronics and with Chicago accounting firm Blackman Kallick.
“Under Craig’s leadership, Perfetti Van Melle’s refreshment category has seen strong growth,” said Jan Heeling, chief commercial officer for Perfetti Van Melle Group. “As a result of his thoughtful leadership and strategic planning, our group marketing initiatives have seen tremendous success. We feel confident that Craig’s global insights will be well leveraged by our Perfetti Van Melle U.S. team.”