CHICAGO, March 27, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Matthew Walker, Chairman of the Board for Hazel Technologies, Inc., today announced Parker Booth as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer. Booth was elevated from his previous position as Hazel’s Chief Operating Officer, where he had served since 2019. Walker also announced Jeff Leshuk as Hazel’s new Chief Revenue Officer, reporting to Booth. Together, Booth and Leshuk possess a deep level of experience growing and scaling businesses across the fresh produce, postharvest packaging, and AgTech industries. Hazel’s previous CEO and co-founder, Aidan Mouat, remains in an advisory capacity.
“We are confident in Parker’s leadership. Under his vision and guidance, he can help move Hazel beyond the start-up phase to one that’s rooted in real global expansion, adoption, and execution. The path Parker is plotting for Hazel is an exciting one; we’re all looking forward to seeing it come to life over the next few years,” commented Walker, a Managing Director at S2G Ventures.
Also commenting on the recent appointments is Kevin Murphy, Hazel Board Member and former CEO/President of Driscoll’s, “Parker has a long history in the produce business from various perspectives – container shipping, shelf-life extension and value-added products with companies of varying sizes. This deep experience has been instrumental in his success as the COO and will be invaluable as he takes on the CEO role at Hazel. It all adds up to Parker being the right leader to build on Hazel’s success and shepherd the company through this next phase of international expansion.”
Booth, who also serves as a Hazel Technologies Board Member, brings a heightened focus to the “global” aspect of the company’s mission: to develop and deliver innovative products that reduce food waste in the worldwide fresh food supply chain. With extensive experience in deploying various shelf-life extension technologies in agricultural markets around the world, Booth’s passion lies in scale – driving uptake, operationalizing growth plans, and maximizing access by breaking down market barriers. Booth demonstrated this strength while serving as Hazel’s COO, where he oversaw its international market expansion, which included the development of critical production and distribution partnerships. In 2022, Booth led the IP acquisition of a complementary technology that has since become instrumental in revenue growth in the N. America, LATAM, and EMEA regions for Hazel. Inspired more than ever by Hazel’s cause and its range of technologies that support it, Booth believes that the team at Hazel has uniquely positioned the company to have an outsized impact on the world’s fresh foods supply chain.
“In eight years, a breakthrough idea hatched at Northwestern University has become an impactful sustainability solution for many of the world’s biggest food companies,” explained Booth. “And while it’s easy to marvel at Hazel’s success to date, the company has only scratched the surface of its opportunities globally. We have a strong, experienced senior leadership team to help lead Hazel to even greater heights. We at Hazel are motivated by our collective desire to help reduce food waste in the global supply chains, and this makes it an exciting time at Hazel.”
Reinforcing Booth’s promotion, Hazel’s Board Chair has appointed Chicago native, Jeff Leshuk, as the company’s new CRO. Leshuk comes to Hazel after running his own highly successful consulting firm, Strategic Fresh, LLC, which provided strategy, marketing, and business development services to early-stage and large multinationals in the food science and postharvest technology industries. Concurrent with his consulting practice, Leshuk co-founded Carrisan Technologies. Funded by the USDA and NSF, Carrisan was commercializing an environmentally safe antimicrobial product. Prior to those roles, Leshuk was part of the leadership team at Sensitech, a provider of cold chain visibility services. Serving a variety of roles, Leshuk helped guide Sensitech from scrappy start-up to a successful exit. Sensitech was acquired by United Technologies Corporation in 2006 and experienced further growth after the acquisition. Like Booth, Leshuk began his career driving global growth at Fresh Express and Transfresh.
“Unlike many competing solutions in the marketplace, Hazel’s drop-in solution is built for global food supply chains as they currently exist. It requires no additional capital investment, technology, or training,” explained Leshuk. “These critical advantages pave the way for rapid expansion. In many ways, they’ve already completed the hardest part. Our challenge now is to scale – great news for the planet, as we continue our mission to battle global food waste.”
Founded in 2015, Hazel Technologies, Inc. has been one of the fastest-growing companies in the shelf-life extension category, due to its breakthrough innovations and integration into supply chains. Working with 15 different crop varieties and over 400 of the world’s largest food producers, Hazel’s products will have protected nearly 5 billion pounds of fresh produce by the end of 2023, preventing more than 400 million pounds from going to waste.
About Hazel Technologies, Inc.
Hazel Technologies is an early growth stage company that develops new solutions to extend the quality shelf life of fresh produce and reduce food waste throughout the global supply chains. Selected as a Finalist for Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas and winner of “Best Sustainable Packaging” at the 2020 World Food Innovation Awards, the company’s proven patent-pending technologies have been tested by top academic research programs. Hazel has raised over $97M in private funding from many investors sharing our sustainability mission of reducing food waste, including S2G, Temasek, Aliment Capital, Rhapsody Venture Partners, and Pangaea Ventures. For more information, visit www.hazeltechnologies.com.