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Golden State Foods Promotes Dorn Van Cleave and Melissa Vieira

Updated: Oct 4, 2023




IRVINE, Calif., (May 4, 2022) Golden State Foods (GSF), one of the largest diversified suppliers to the foodservice and retail industries, is pleased to announce two recent promotions, including Dorn Van Cleave as group vice president, corporate development and strategy, and Melissa Vieira as group vice president, human resources.

Based in Irvine, California, Van Cleave leads GSF in developing strategies to heighten company profitability, identifying merger and acquisition opportunities, assisting in bank financings, and helping to create business proposals. Frisco, Texas-based Vieira leads all human resources functions and activities to ensure that Quality Custom Distribution (QCD), as well as GSF sales and product development teams, recruit and retain a qualified workforce to meet internal and customer objectives.

“Dorn is a great person to work with – always professional and a trusted and valued member of our GSF team,” said Joe Heffington, GSF corporate senior vice president and chief financial officer. “His business acumen and counsel on strategy, acquisitions, and business growth opportunities contributes greatly to our record of growth and performance.”

In his newly expanded role, Van Cleave will continue to focus on bank financings, provide thought leadership on business strategy, and manage GSF’s mergers and acquisition efforts. Additionally, he will oversee the company’s flight operations, as well as deferred compensation and 401(k) plans, while also assuming increased responsibility for monitoring shareholder value.

Van Cleave joined GSF in 2001 as director of corporate development and earned a promotion to senior director, corporate development in 2009. Previously, he served as vice president with the Chicago-based private equity firm Glencoe Capital. A Certified Financial Analyst, he earned a Master of Business Administration from The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in economics and history from Northwestern University.

“Throughout 2021, in partnership with the QCD leadership team, Melissa has led with a focus on the associate value proposition, organizational structure, recognition, development at all levels of the organization, and a robust succession planning process,” said GSF Corporate Senior Vice President and QCD President Ryan Hammer, who also oversees Golden State Foods’ expanding sales team. “In her newly expanded role, Melissa’s experience, energy, and leadership will help QCD and GSF continue to support the success of our people and the customers they serve.”

Since joining the company in 2015, Vieira has held various leadership roles of increasing responsibility, starting as GSF’s regional human resources manager, Southwest Region and most recently as QCD’s senior director, human resources. Her key accomplishments include helping re-launch the GSF University online in partnership with LinkedIn Learning, supporting GSF’s crisis management efforts, guiding development of GSF’s Safe at Work and COVID-19 Prevention Training, implementing a paperless performance management process, spearheading the global associate survey, and collaborating to create GSF’s Supervisor Training Program.

In 2019, the Orange County National Human Resources Association selected Melissa among its “Rising Star” honorees, and she later served on the organization’s board. Earlier in her career, Vieira earned recognition for outstanding service and teamwork, while managing HR department operations for The Dry Bar (Irvine, California). She started her HR career with the grocery retailer Albertsons, after a promotion from her prior position as warehouse clerk. Melissa earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from California State University, Fullerton, and participated in HR Management Certificate courses from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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