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Industry mourns loss of Mac Johnson

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Mac Johnson, a major force in the snack-food world and a produce marketing icon, passed away on Sunday, December 12th in Newnan, Georgia due to complications from cancer.

He was 74 years old.

Mac Johnson

Mac joined Category Partners as CEO, at its founding in 2008. He spent the better part of a decade working and growing with clients and retailers, investing his time, knowledge, and experience to create a powerful team, who will deeply miss him.

Mac ended his distinguished career at Category Partners in 2017, retiring to the Atlanta area to be closer to his family and to spend more time on the golf course than in the board room.

Mac got his feet wet in the produce industry when he joined the US Potato Board, now Potatoes USA BB #:162347, in 2000 as a senior vice president of marketing for the Denver-based association. Mac spent 8 years building programs and resources in support of potato growers and marketers all across the country. Mac’s professional and personal impact in the industry is felt today and will be for years to

Prior to potatoes, Mac was a senior marketing executive at Tom’s Foods for over 17 years. Mac interfaced with all departments within the company and worked closely with 700 Distributors, operating over 2,000 sales routes. At least half of Mac’s life was powered by either peanuts or potatoes.

“Mac and I shared many a plane trip and meal together as we ran distribution meetings all over the country. Under his leadership, Tom’s experienced growth through new product innovation, branding, and packaging upgrades. He was an absolute professional and he will always be my friend.” – Jerry Killough, former Vice President Sales, Tom’s Foods.

Mac is survived by his wife Joann, his sister Susan, his adult son Keith and his grandchildren Addison and Carson.

“My dad never knew a stranger. He was a friend to everyone, a mentor to many, and he magically balanced his professional confidence with a disarming humble nature. The lives and careers of many, including mine, were shaped by this very special man. He will be missed but never forgotten. “ –Keith Johnson, sales director at global tech consulting firm Roboyo.

Due to the current travel climate and holiday season, a celebration of life will be scheduled for early in the new year. If you would like to provide photos, stories or would like to be notified when the event is scheduled, please email:

Mac spent most of his life helping to distribute high-quality affordable food across America. If you would like to honor him, please visit and provide a donation for those who are hungry.

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Contact: Tom Barnes, CEO
Phone: (208)656-7177