Orlando, Fla. (March 1, 2017) — The Board of Directors of Thrive Frozen Nutrition, maker of the fast-growing nutritional product Thrive Ice Cream, has named Alan R. Gessel Chief Executive Officer. Gessel, who previously served as President of Thrive’s Healthcare Division, replaces former CEO, Bob Wengert, who remains with the company as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer.
Commenting on the announcement, Thrive Board of Directors Chair Travis Milks said Gessel is the right person to lead Thrive’s growth. “Alan came to Thrive in 2016 with more than 20 years of experience in the foodservice and nutrition industry, with much of that in health care. Since joining the company, our traction with healthcare systems and senior living companies, as well as with group purchasing organizations and distributors, has accelerated significantly. We are very fortunate to have a CEO whose expertise aligns so perfectly with our lead brand, Thrive Ice Cream.”
Prior to joining Thrive, Gessel held senior executive positions with industry leaders such as Sodexo, Aramark, AVI Foodsystems, and Target. Most recently, Gessel served as Sodexo’s National Vice President of Sales for North America Seniors.
As CEO, Gessel will continue to lead marketing, sales, product development, strategic alliances, and client relations for health care and senior living. He will also direct Thrive’s sports nutrition and retail businesses. Gessel stated, “Thrive is well positioned to continue significant growth, and I am excited to be working with such a talented team. Thrive Ice Cream is an outstanding product; I have seen first hand that it really makes a difference in peoples’ lives. In many cases, it improves outcomes and quality of life for those who need additional nutrition or simply want a healthier option.”
He added, “The benefits of Thrive Ice Cream are especially important to healthcare and senior living organizations that serve children through older adults with special dietary needs. Also, today’s coaches and sports dietitians understand good nutrition fuels better performance and faster recovery for their athletes, which is why Thrive is becoming a favorite for collegiate and professional sports teams. Now more than ever, caregivers, coaches, consumers, and dietitians are mindful of what they serve and eat.”
Gessel is a graduate of Morehead State University and has completed numerous executive, strategic and international leadership development programs. He is past member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.