Management Team Profiles

Paul M. Keating, Jr. - President and Chief Executive Officer
Paul Keating Paul Keating, founder and CEO of Elite Brands, is responsible for the steadfast dedication, passion, and vision driving Elite's remarkable growth in worldwide sales, marketing, and distribution in the military resale market for each of the past 13 years.
As CEO of Elite, Mr. Keating's top priority was to build an unparalleled diverse leadership team of highly experienced, leading resale personnel, individually chosen for their comprehensive knowledge, innovative thinking, and years of industry-wide expertise.

Mr. Keating/Elite Brands partners with many top vendors nationwide to proudly serve the Defense Commissary Agency and the Military Exchanges Worldwide. He and the company are currently members of the American Logistics Association (ALA). For nine years, he was an active member of ALA's Commissary Council, where he represented small business interests in addressing industry issues, and utilized his and his team's far-reaching experience and creativity to develop and implement successful solutions and initiatives.

Prior to founding Elite in 2000, Mr. Keating held various positions in the industry, including vice president-sales and marketing for another military reseller, where he was influential in creating the infrastructure and developing the sales team that succeeded in taking that company worldwide.

Mr. Keating holds a BS in Business Administration from Bryant College and kicked off his Military Resale career in 1988. Today Elite Brands is proud to be a top supplier to the Military Resale System worldwide.

Gregory D. Sheldon - Chief Information Officer 
Greg Sheldon Greg Sheldon joined Elite in 2000 as Vice President of Information and Technology and was instrumental in procuring and building the network and server infrastructure currently in place at Elite.He also worked closely with vendors to build the ordering and customer management systems that have been critical to Elite's yearly double-digit growth since 2000.

In 2008, Mr. Sheldon was promoted to Vice President of Operations, and became directly responsible for ensuring that cost effective operations and infrastructure were in place to support the daily flow of business. In 2011, he further assumed the responsibilities of Chief Information Officer as technology has permeated every facet of business at Elite from the field to corporate headquarters. With the dramatic increase of mobile devices and added concerns with security and dependences on technology, Mr. Sheldon ensures that Elite remains on the cutting edge of technology.

Mr. Sheldon holds a BSBA with concentration in Finance from Boston University.

Robert E. Denecke - Vice President of Field Sales
Robert DeneckeIn 2003, Robert Denecke was personally recruited by Paul Keating, Jr., to join the Elite Sales team and, within a few years because of his outstanding performance and in-depth industry knowledge, was promoted to Vice President of Sales in charge of the domestic market.  Because of his solid experience with the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) and extensive overseas travel throughout his 23-year career, Mr. Denecke also assumed responsibility for direct oversight of both the European and Far East Commissary and Exchange markets.  On the domestic front, he continues to be directly involved with the creation and evaluation of all DeCA test sets and with coordinating Elite's reset teams for the continental United States, as well as calling on DeCA Headquarters.  Elite’s six highly-experienced Regional Sales Managers located throughout the country report to Mr. Denecke.

Mr. Denecke previously worked with Paul Keating at another military reseller as Regional Sales Manager where he was responsible for the Eastern Region, executing numerous presentations to DeCA Headquarters, and expertly managing product marketing and distribution in DeCA Europe.  
He is a graduate of Bryant College with a BA in Business Administration and has been well-versed in all aspects of the military resale system since 1990.

Michael Gorman - Vice President of Information Technology
Michael Gorman Mr. Gorman has been an integral contributor to the dynamic growth of Elite Brands for the past 9 years and has personally led the establishment of a data and reporting infrastructure that forms the foundation on which many of the significant strategic decisions of the Company are based. As Director of Information Technology prior to assuming the responsibilities of Vice President, he automated 40-15/40-16 form creation and expanded the SDS reporting to support Stage 1, 2 and 3. He and his staff were directly responsible for profit analysis and brand forecasting, the implementation of customized Empower IT data, and subsequently Nielsen data reporting, and the successful automation of Item Change/Add/Delete worksheets.

He has further led the implementation of Elite’s 3rd party email system, hosted telephony platform, and improved the Company’s network redundancy by implementing 3rd party failover lines. The Company’s disaster recovery for both Windows based servers and AS/400 have vastly improved under his watch with the implementation of the current eVault system.

Mr. Gorman graduated from the University of Virginia and holds both a BS and Masters degree in MIS.


Elizabeth Murphy - Senior Brand Manager
Debbie FlemingLiz Murphy began her career with Elite in 2003 as a key member of the distribution team who managed ordering and inventory levels with Elite's forwarding warehouse partners. She is now the Brand Development Manager for Chill and Produce Brands and works with Elite's manufacturing partners on a daily basis, managing code dates, developing promotional plans, new item assortments, and pricing strategies for the year.

Mrs. Murphy is a graduate of Bryant College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing.


Mark E. Henney - Executive Advisor Business Development
Debbie FlemingMark E. Henney joined Elite Brands in January 2008 as Manager of New Business Development.  Prior to joining Elite, Mr. Henney worked for Acosta Sales and Marketing (14 years) as Vice President and Client Team Leader for the Northeast.  Mr. Henney’s responsibilities included managing numerous clients' portfolio (Campbell Soup, Clorox, Mott’s, Kikkoman, Tabasco, Dole, Bush’s, Spartan Foods, King Arthur Flour, Sioux Bee, Ken’s, Best Foods).  Prior to joining Acosta, he worked for Campbell Soup for 24 years in a variety of jobs around the country, the last one being Regional Manager New England where he was responsible for $150m in sales and a team of 100 people. Currently Mr. Henney is a senior advisor for New Business Development and special projects with the President and CEO Paul Keating.

Mr. Henney is a graduate of California Polytechnic, San Luis Obispo, CA., with a BS in Business Administration.  He is past President of GMR of New England and NEWFDA organizations.

Mark is married to Carol and has two sons, Jason and Trevor . A resident of Norfolk, Ma., Mark enjoys golf and being with his two grandaughters Aubrey and Sydney.

Management Team Profiles (cont)

Keith A. Smith - Chief Operating Officer
Keith SmithKeith Smith was invited to join Elite’s Sales Team in January of 2006 and was quickly promoted to Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing.  His oversight responsibility included timely execution of all field distribution and promotional objectives, and coordination of sales efforts between Elite Regional Managers and store sales representatives to ensure successful sales events.  In 2012, he accepted the additional responsibilities of Chief Operating Officer, and works closely with Paul Keating, Jr., in furthering Elite’s extraordinary vision and growth.  He has been instrumental in cultivating relationships within the Exchanges and the Defense Commissary Agency, as well as with Elite’s nationwide vendor partners.  Mr. Smith travels extensively in overseas markets to fully develop export sales for DeCA, AAFES and NEXCOM Exchange systems.  He is a past member of both the ALA Commissary and Exchange Councils where his expertise and leadership abilities are well recognized.

Prior to joining Elite, Mr. Smith was employed by a worldwide military broker where he held numerous positions of increasing sales and marketing responsibility, including Vice President of Sales.  During his 30+ years within the military resale industry, he gained an abundance of relevant experience interfacing with Management both at Commissary Headquarters and the Regions.

Mr. Smith is a graduate of Western Washington University with a BA in Communications.  Through his hard work, dedication, resourcefulness, and integrity, he has built an excellent reputation in the industry since 1981.

John M. Whouley - Chief Financial Officer
John WhouleyJohn Whouley joined Elite in 2000 as Vice President of Finance. Prior to working in the military resale industry, he spent 14 years employed by Coastal Oil Corporation, an international wholesaler of oil and natural gas primarily as Corporate Controller.

Mr. Whouley has extensive experience working with government contracting officers and agencies, including Central Contractor Registration (CCR) and On-Line Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA). He has developed cutting-edge financial operating systems at Elite, and fully automating electronic data interchange (EDI) with business trading partners that accurately and efficiently process purchase orders, deliveries, delivery ticket invoices (DTI), electronic payments (EFT) and price transmissions. He is responsible for maintaining strong relationships with Elite's banking and investment providers, vendor partners, and distributor network to achieve the overall financial objectives of the company.

Mr. Whouley holds a BS in Finance from Bentley College and an MBA from Boston College.



Randy G. Hardee - Vice President of Business Development
Randy HardeeRandy Hardee brings 33 years of experience in the consumer products industry, specifically servicing the military resale markets – both Commissary and Exchange – for the past 30.  From 1994 to 2010, he held the position of VP of Commissary Accounts for Dixon Marketing, responsible for DeCA headquarters as well as overseeing all marketing functions. He is well known and respected throughout the industry, serving numerous tenures on the ALA Commissary Council. He has chaired several committees, to includeco-chairing the Category Management committee. Randy has been certified by the Category Management Association.


Dustin Whitney - Vice President of Marketing
Dustin WhitneyDustin Whitney brought his extensive sales and marketing experience to Elite in 2002 and has been an integral part of upper management for the past 12 years.  As Vice President-Marketing, Mr. Whitney closely supervises and mentors Elite’s Brand Teams, who, under his guidance and direction, are responsible for the growth and development of each brand and the company’s outstanding relationships with each of its diverse vendor partners.   Mr. Whitney’s innovative thinking, coupled with his expertise in cutting edge technology, has been instrumental in creating programs and promotional events customized by vendor – including coupon development, shelf signage, military advertisements, and cross-promotional merchandising with other Elite brands – all necessary to effectively build brands and promote growth within the military resale channel.  He further oversees Elite’s distribution specialists who are tasked with purchasing and managing all inventory at nine nationwide distribution centers, maximizing re-orders and minimizing shipments to ensure code date/rotation efficiencies on a day-to-day basis.  He works seamlessly with Paul Keating and Keith Smith in nurturing Elite’s dynamic vision.

Despite his numerous responsibilities at Elite, Mr. Whitney is actively involved in many local community volunteer efforts, including Friendship Home, an organization which enriches the lives of those with developmental difficulties, and Prevent Blindness, MA.

Mr. Whitney holds a BS degree in Marketing from Boston College's Carroll School of Management.


Debbie Fleming - Business Account Manager
Debbie FlemingDebbie Fleming has been in the Military Resale system for 29 years and her vast breadth of experience and knowledge reinforces her professionalism and dedication in supporting the Military markets – Conus and Oconus. 

Since joining the Elite Team in 2004, her organizational skills and competence have enhanced her ability to execute a myriad of responsibilities that include the direct support and coordination of the diverse sales efforts of six Elite Regional Managers nationwide, implementation of marketing programs with the Field Sales Force, and the effective day-to-day oversight of Elite’s Exchange Division.
Her past experience with a Worldwide Broker as Director of Marketing, Confection Team Leader and Exchange Headquarter representative for NEXCOM, MCAS, and CGS makes her highly qualified with comprehensive knowledge in all facets of the Military resale system.  She has been a member of the ALA for over 20 years and has participated on the Commissary Council and Consumer Awareness Committees.  

Mrs. Fleming is a graduate of Virginia Tech University with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing.  She is also a proud commissary patron as the spouse of a retired Marine.


Tim Buchanan - Exchange Sales Manager
Debbie Fleming Tim Buchanan joined Elite in 2011.  Prior to joining Elite, Mr. Buchanan held several key sales positions including Vice President of Grocery, Director of Convenience and Director of Military Sales in his 28 years with Cadbury Schweppes.

Mr. Buchanan’s in-depth knowledge of the industry and his keen ability to identify the right fit for innovative products, companies, and people deliver successful results and has contributed much to Elite’s outstanding growth. 

Tim’s 30 years of solid experience in sales and customer interface delivers great value towards Elite’s our valued Vendor Partner goals within the exchange environment. 
He is a member of the ALA and has also served on the Commissary Council in 2007-2008

Tim Buchanan earned his BA in Business Administration and Political Science from The University of Northern Colorado.



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