DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. – Dennis “Denny” Belcastro was named vice president, government and industry affairs for Hillshire Brands, the company announced July 11.

Belcastro will join the company July 30. His responsibilities include implementing the company’s engagement strategy with federal, state and local elected officials, regulatory agencies and key policy makers. He will also manage strategic customer and industry events.

"Denny's ability to facilitate relationships with all levels of government and across the industry will help Hillshire Brands navigate and respond to the regulatory environment that surrounds modern food production," said Sean Connolly, chief executive officer, Hillshire Brands. "We are pleased to have him bring his knowledge of the industry and food business acumen to Hillshire Brands."

Belcastro was executive vice president for industry affairs and collaboration at the Grocery Manufacturers Association, where he led the Industry Affairs Council.

Belcastro also worked at Kraft Foods North America, first as vice president of its direct store delivery business and later as vice president of industry affairs and customer development. Before working for Kraft, he was at Nabisco Inc. as vice president, customer development and industry relations. He began his career at Standards Brands, Inc.

Belcastro has a bachelor's degree in communication from Edinboro Univ. and a master’s in Business Organization and Communication from Northwestern Univ.