BuyerLink Networks, creator of e-commerce purchasing hubs serving the $3.9 trillion food and beverage industries, today announced the appointments of two co-founders to key positions in business development and marketing.

Joe Buchanan, with more than 15 years of experience in the plastics and packaging industry, assumes the post of vice president, business development. Buchanan joined General Electric’s Plastics Division in 1985, and developed new uses for GE’s engineering resins in the consumer appliance market. In 1990, he focused on growing Quantum Chemical’s dairy packaging business. After completing an MBA at the University of San Francisco in 1995, Buchanan joined Portola Packaging, Inc., one of the world’s largest suppliers of plastic closures, bottles and related equipment used for packaging in the dairy, bottled water, fruit juice and institutional food industries. Most recently he was vice president of purchasing, e-commerce and product development at Portola. Buchanan has degrees in chemistry and chemical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and resides in San Francisco, California.

Rich Witherspoon, vice president, marketing has more than 20 years experience in packaging and consumer products organizations. Prior to founding BuyerLink Networks, Witherspoon was responsible for expanding market share in Procter & Gamble’s Food Products Division (NYSE: PG). Before that, Witherspoon worked for the Pepsi Cola Company where he focused on growing sales in food service and vending channels. Most recently, he held key positions in the food packaging industry with Liqui-Box Corporation and later Portola Packaging, where he was vice president, sales and marketing. Rich received his BA in economics from Columbia University and an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University. Witherspoon and his family reside in San Jose, California.

About BuyerLink Networks

Founded in early 2000, BuyerLink Networks enables the food and beverage industry’s buyers and suppliers to conduct cost-effective transactions in purchasing hubs and access comprehensive e-business services. BuyerLink’s purchasing hubs support and maintain the long-standing relationships built between suppliers and buyers. The marketplaces do not offer the traditional auctions and bids found in typical vertical markets. For more information about BuyerLink Networks, visit

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