ST. JOSEPH, MISSOURI, U.S. — John Gates has been named vice-president of operations at LifeLife Foods, Inc.

Gates was with Kroger Co. for the past 17 years, most recently as general manager in Denver, Colorado, U.S. He earlier was a production manager in Layton, Utah, U.S., and production manager in Bowling Green, Kentucky, U.S. He also worked as a project manager and quality assurance manager for Kroger.

“John is putting his years of experience to work at LifeLine helping us by creating a process of continuous improvement,” said Kevin O. Kelly, president and chief executive officer of LifeLine. “He is also urging us to take ownership of our processes and work, and by developing leaders throughout the organization.”

Based in St. Joseph, LifeLine specializes in milled corn products. In operation since 2001, the company is owned by growers in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa as well as by ICM, Inc., an ethanol engineering firm.