Leading baked foods producer and marketer, Flowers Foods, has named Stephen R. Avera corporate secretary and general counsel.

Avera had been serving as interim secretary and general counsel since January. He succeeds G. Anthony Campbell who resigned at the end of 2001.

Avera's election to the position took place at a regular meeting of Flowers Foods' board of directors. As secretary and general counsel, Avera is responsible for all the legal affairs of the company.

Commenting on Avera's election, Amos R. McMullian, Flowers Foods' chairman of the board and CEO, said: "During his 16 years with our company, Steve has proven to be a valuable member of our management team. He has the legal expertise necessary for the position as well as an understanding of the baking industry and of our goals for Flowers Foods."

Avera joined Flowers Foods' predecessor, Flowers Industries, in 1986 as an associate and assistant counsel after a four-year legal career as a captain in the US Army Judge Advocate General's Corps. In 1998, he was named VP and general counsel of Flowers Bakeries, Flowers Foods' fresh bakery operation. In 2001, he took on the additional responsibilities of general counsel for Mrs. Smith's Bakeries, Flowers Foods' other business unit.

Avera also serves as a member of the board of directors for the American Frozen Foods Institute and as co-chairman of the legal committee for the American Bakers Association.