Belcastro Departs GMA for Hillshire Brands
Dennis (Denny) Belcastro, most recently EVP for industry affairs and collaboration at the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), will join Hillshire Brands at the end of July in the newly created position of VP, government and industry affairs.
In his new role, Belcastro will develop and implement engagement strategies on behalf of the Downers Grove, Ill.-based company with federal, state and local elected officials, regulatory agencies and key policymakers, in addition to managing strategic customer and industry events.
“Denny’s ability to facilitate relationships with all levels of government and across the industry will help Hillshire Brands navigate and respond to the regulatory environment that surrounds modern food production,” said CEO Sean Connolly, who further praised Belcastro’s “knowledge of the industry and food business acumen.”
While at GMA, Belcastro led the Industry Affairs Council, one of three key industry guidance and governance committees that represent more than 300 leading food, beverage and consumer product companies.
With more than 35 years of experience, Belcastro previously worked at Kraft Foods North America, where he served first as VP, central area sales direct store delivery business and later as VP, industry affairs and customer development. Prior to his years at Kraft, Belcastro served as VP, customer development and industry relations for Nabisco Inc. and began his career at Standards Brands, Inc.
Belcastro holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from Edinboro University and his executive master of science in business organization and communication from Northwestern University.
Hillshire Brands Co. is a leader in meat-centric food solutions and generates nearly $4 billion in annual sales with approximately 8,500 employees. Hillshire Brands’ portfolio includes iconic brands such as Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm, State Fair, Sara Lee frozen bakery and Chef Pierre pies, as well as artisanal brands Aidells and Gallo Salame.