ITG Brands has announced the retirements of long-time industry sales leaders Kathy Sparrow and Fred Paternostro. Sparrow, executive vice president of marketing and sales, announced her retirement effective April 1, while Paternostro, vice president of sales, will depart the company once the transition planning is concluded. Both industry leaders have long been active with CDA. Paternostro currently serves on several of the association’s committees, and Sparrow is in the CDA the Hall of Fame, having been inducted in 2013.
“Kathy concludes more than 39 years of exemplary service,” said Dan Carr, ITG Brands president and CEO. “Rising from her position as a sales representative in Chicago to lead the entire marketing and sales organization, she has served in every professional field sales position for the company. Sparrow joined the corporate office in Greensboro as director of sales planning and was promoted to general manager, sales planning and operations in 1997. She was named vice president of sales in 1999 and senior vice president in 2006. In 2016, Sparrow was promoted to her current leadership position as executive vice president of marketing and sales. She has been honored with some of the tobacco industry’s most prestigious awards, including the Tobacco Representative Award by the Southern Association of Wholesale Distributors, Giant of the Industry Award from the California Distributors Association, and the Milton Rothenburg Award from the Illinois Association of Wholesale Distributors.
Paternostro concludes an esteemed 39-plus year career, having joined the company in 1979 as a sales representative in Paterson, NJ. In 1986, he was promoted to division manager in Columbus, OH, then regional sales manager in Jacksonville, FL, in 1990, followed by his appointment as director of sales for the company’s mid-western states in 1996. In 2009, he was named vice president of area sales. Fred was promoted and moved to the corporate office in 2015 as vice president national sales, and proved to be invaluable in the integration of the ITG Brands sales organization following the sale of Lorillard. “Under Fred’s leadership,” Carr said, “the sales organization embraced a new portfolio of brands previously represented by three different companies, created new direct account and retail programs from the ground up, and harmonized these new programs, processes and sales systems even before the first ITG Brands order was taken.”
CDA wishes both Kathy and Fred well in retirement, and extends many thanks for their contributions to the association and their steadfast support of the distributor.
The Convenience Distribution Association (CDA) is the trade organization working on behalf of convenience products distributors in the United States. Its distributor members represent more than $92 billion in U.S convenience product sales, serving a wide variety of small retail formats. Associate members include leading convenience product manufacturers, brokers, retailers, suppliers and others allied to the industry.