Commerce Ventures LLC today announced the appointment of six key executives to lead the launch and operation of the company’s online beef, pork and poultry exchange. The new positions in the company include chief financial officer, chief information officer, vice president of marketing, vice president of business and customer development, vice president of strategy and operations and director of human resources. Each management team member reports directly to Kevin Nemetz, chief executive officer of Commerce Ventures.

“We are moving along, right on schedule, towards the launch of our marketplace,” said Nemetz. “Bringing these talented people on board is an exciting step as we put together the final pieces of the company. Their combined expertise and background enable us to deliver a strong and strategically built product to the meat and poultry industry.”


Kathryn Myszkowski has been named chief financial officer and oversees the financial planning and record keeping for the company. Myszkowski most recently served as executive director of finance and controller at Visual Insights Inc., a provider of software solutions for e-business performance analysis, located in Naperville, Ill. While there, she directed all financial functions, implemented budget programs with performance measurements and designed investment policy and strategy to meet the liquidity needs of the company.

Myszkowski’s financial management career began at Ernst and Young’s Chicago office as an experience staff auditor and continued at Premark International, located in Deerfield, Ill., in the financial management development program, where she oversaw all corporate financial functions and business unit operations. Her vast experience in venture capital fund raising, financial policies and controls, financial systems implementation, and cash management and forecasting was further advanced through her position as international controller for Platinum Technology Inc., a $1 billion software and services infrastructure company in Lisle, Ill.

Myszkowski became a certified public accountant after obtaining her bachelor of business administration in management finance and accounting from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls.


Stepping in as chief information officer is Steven Dorfman who directs all technology and process operations for Commerce Ventures. Additionally, he is responsible for managing the upcoming marketplace release and development of future releases. Dorfman comes to Commerce Ventures from the Chicago office of Breakaway Solutions, a full-service provider of Internet technologies. In his three years there he served as a regional director, managing all aspects of the central region’s operation and growth. He also handled all profit and loss responsibilities and assisted with sales and strategy opportunities.

Prior to joining Breakaway Solutions, Dorfman worked for Sapient Corporation in Chicago where he built and led growth of the business and technology consultancy. He began his career at Andersen Consulting’s Chicago office where he spent eight years working in all aspects of the technology cycle from strategy to systems implementation. While there, Dorfman developed and maintained client relations and managed project teams to develop and implement successful technology solutions for Fortune 100 clients.

Dorfman graduated cum laude from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in management information systems.


Del Holzer has been appointed vice president of marketing and provides guidance and direction for all of Commerce Ventures’ communication efforts, including determining marketing strategy, directing public relations efforts and constructing branding tactics. Prior to joining Commerce Ventures, Holzer spent three years with Excel Corp., where he earned promotions from marketing director to vice president of specialty products marketing and finally vice president of meat solutions marketing services in their Wichita, Kan. office. While there, he oversaw consumer research, strategic planning and developing and maintaining identity standards for various brands and product lines.

Before joining Excel Corp., Holzer was a brand manager at John Morrell & Co., a fresh pork and processed meats producer located in Cincinnati. Holzer’s focus was on corporate marketing programs and category sales data, developing and executing sales incentives and marketing strategies by account and brand. Holzer also spent five years with Wilson Foods Corp. in Oklahoma City as a marketing manager and specialist in consumer and trade promotion development, new product development and sales support. He also provided long-term strategic planning and served as director for all the company’s creative projects

Holzer holds a bachelor of arts degree in graphic advertising design from the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond.


Filling the position of vice president of business and customer development is Rick Salvadore. In this role, Salvadore is responsible for creating business alliances and partnership opportunities as well as managing customer relationships in areas such as sales and customer service.

Salvadore brings an extensive background in the development and operation of e-commerce initiatives to Commerce Ventures. Most recently, Salvadore was responsible for advising clients on business plan implementation as a principal at Michigan & Oak Partners LLC, an e-commerce venture accelerator group in Chicago. During this time, he was also president and chief executive officer of Chicago-based, an integrated Internet recruiting firm, where he was responsible for the daily operations of the company.

Salvadore also worked in Chicago as a senior executive for where he was responsible for the company’s business development, operational activities, affiliate sales and marketing program, and facilitating the sale of the company. Salvadore’s earlier e-business experience was furthered as a principal in a Chicago-based venture capital firm where he oversaw the development of several e-commerce projects, two of which he co-founded. Earlier in his career, Salvadore served as vice president of sales and marketing for S&G Packaging, a division of Gaylord Container Corp., the world’s largest consumer product packaging company.

Salvadore obtained his master’s in business administration from the University of South Florida in Tampa and received his bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy.


Jeffrey A. Burmester has been named vice president of strategy and operations. In his new position, Burmester is responsible for business strategy formulation, strategic planning, new product development and operations. He brings five years of strategic planning experience having worked as a consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) Management Consulting’s corporate strategy practice in Chicago. While there, Burmester managed teams to provide client counsel in the areas of sales and marketing, supply chain management, e-business, organizational design and performance metrics, and process improvement.

Prior to joining PWC, Burmester worked as a product manager and account marketing representative at IBM where he managed all phases of the sales cycle, created and executed marketing plans for the Midwest region, and developed and implemented customer-specific sales strategies from the company’s Chicago office.

Burmester received his master’s in business administration from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and his bachelor of science and engineering from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.


Elizabeth J. Crotty brings more than 15 years experience in human resource management to her new role as director of human resources. Crotty comes to Commerce Ventures from Automotion Inc., a conveyor systems designer, manufacturer and installer located in Oak Lawn, Ill., where she was a human resources manager. Her career as a liaison between employees and management, as well as between company and outside agencies began as a human resources coordinator at Chicago-based Able Metal Manufacturing Inc. She continued her career as a corporate human resources assistant at the Chicago Metallic Corp., located in Chicago, and then moved on to Chicago Finished Metals Inc., in Bridgeview, Ill., where she spent eight years in various environmental, health and safety management positions.

Throughout her career, Crotty has gained extensive experience in establishing written policies and procedures compliant with employment regulations, preparing budgets, facilitating and managing committees and project teams, conducting new hire orientations and increasing employee retention. Crotty has also developed and conducted program audits, minimizing company liabilities and improving compliance while researching and preparing company regulatory compliance reports.

Crotty studied business administration at Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill.

About Commerce Ventures

Commerce Ventures is building a neutral, web-based exchange focused on buyers and sellers of meat and poultry products and related services. The online business-to-business marketplace is expected to go live in late first quarter 2001.