Flowers Foods names next top attorney

May 28, 2019
Company veteran Stephen Avera scheduled to retire at the end of the year

Stephanie Tillman will become chief legal counsel for Thomasville, Georgia-based Flowers Foods in January 1, 2020.

She will succeed Stephen Avera, who is scheduled to retire at the end of the year following 33 years with the bakery company. Tillman is at present vice president, chief compliance officer and deputy general counsel for NYSE-listed Flowers Foods.

Tillman joined the company as a corporate attorney in 1995 and was later promoted to vice president and associate general counsel then vice president of compliance and assistant general counsel before taking up her current position.

Avera became chief legal counsel in May 2017. He was executive vice president, corporate secretary and general counsel from 2008 until 2017. From 2004 to 2008, Avera was senior vice president, secretary and general counsel, and was secretary and general counsel from 2002 to 2004.

Flowers Foods bills itself as one of the largest producers of fresh packaged bakery foods in the US, with sales last year of $4 billion. Its brands include Nature's Own, Wonder, Dave's Killer Bread and Tastykake.

‘I want to express our deep appreciation to Steve for his service to our company. Steve has been an integral part of our legal team since joining the company in 1986, and I consider it a privilege to have been able to work with him as part of that team,’ Flowers Foods president and CEO Ryals McMullian says in a statement. ‘His thoughtful counsel has helped guide Flowers through many significant events and transactions. We wish him the very best in his retirement.’

McMullian adds: ‘It's a testament to Flowers' succession planning that we have someone of such high caliber as Stephanie to transition to the role of chief legal counsel. Since joining Flowers' legal team in 1995, Stephanie has handled a broad range of legal matters, modernized our compliance capabilities and consistently provided outstanding counsel and sound judgment to senior leadership.’


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