KANKAKEE, ILLINOIS, U.S. — Craig R. Petray has been named chief executive officer (CEO) of the J.R. Short Milling Co., a producer of ingredients for the snack and food industry. Petray, who previously headed The NutraSweet Co. in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., will replace interim CEO Jeff Hebble effective Jan. 20.

Petray has spent most of his career in the consumer products and food ingredient businesses, rising through the ranks to become CEO of NutraSweet in 2004. Under his leadership, the company evolved from its patent-protected aspartame business into a leading manufacturer of high-intensity sweeteners. Prior to becoming CEO of NutraSweet, he ran the company’s consumer product and ingredient businesses in Asia, Europe and North America.

“Use of our custom-tailored and highly versatile product has been growing rapidly,” said Tom Harris, chairman of J.R. Short. “This is true in both crisp and shaped products, whether destined for the retail or food service channel. Craig gives us the kind of broad food and ingredient industry experience that we need to develop and expand our customer relationships.”

Harris added Petray is ideally suited to J.R. Short’s desire “to build a company with the best people, the best facilities and the highest quality products.”

J.R. Short has been an ingredient supplier for more than 100 years and family-held for more than 90 years. The company pioneered the use of pelletized ingredients, installing its first machine in 1984.