November 16, 2016 – Herd Freed Hartz Executive Search Partners has recruited Chad Vincent to serve as chief executive officer of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. He succeeds James Robson, who resigned in April.
Mr. Vincent is a seasoned executive with experience taking startups, turnarounds, family owned brands and Fortune 50 divisions to record levels of sales and profitability. But he brings to WMMB extensive dairy marketing and branding experience as well, having served as chief marketing officer and senior vice president of strategic development at Sartori Cheese in Plymouth, WI for the past seven years. Prior to joining Sartori, Mr. Vincent held executive positions with H.J. Heinz, Miller Brewing Company, Fiskars Brands and other leading consumer products and beverage companies.
“I am extremely excited about our new hire,” said Connie Seefeldt, board chair of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. “The board is really impressed with his experience, and we are excited to see how he will improve upon the fantastic work our team has been doing.” Ms. Seefeldt said she believes Mr. Vincent will help Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board enhance its already strong promotional work and help strengthen partnerships with processors, farmers, industry partners and consumers.
Ms. Seefeldt said that Herd Freed Hartz did “a tremendous job of fielding a distinguished group of candidates” for the board’s consideration. “The outstanding slate is a testament to WMMB’s strong reputation around the country,” she said. Mr. Vincent was one of more than 100 candidates for the open position.
“The universal positive response I received during my national outreach to potential candidates during this executive search speaks volumes about the excellent reputation of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board and Wisconsin dairy products,” said Fred Pabst, dairy industry practice leader for Herd Freed Hartz.
Established in 2001, Herd Freed Hartz provides executive search services to the technology, financial services, consumer, manufacturing, non-profit, and life science sectors from offices in Portland and Seattle. Its client roster is made up of leading, cross-industry brands, including Starbucks; Microsoft; Les Schwab; Amazon; Gates Foundation; Disney; T-Mobile; Alaska Airlines; and Premera. Herd Freed Hartz also works heavily with Seattle and Portland-based venture capital and private equity-backed organizations, having placed operating executives within the portfolios of Voyager Capital, Madrona, Endeavour Capital, Kleiner Perkins, TPG, and Bain Capital, among others.
Seeking New Leaders
A number of food and agriculture organizations seeking new leaders have turned to executive search firms in recent months. Here’s a look at a few from the Hunt Scanlon archives:
- Taylor Winfield placed Constance Cullman as president and CEO of Farm Foundation. The foundation works as a catalyst for sound public policy by providing objective information to foster a deeper understanding of issues shaping the future for agriculture, food systems and rural regions.
- Hobson Leavy recruited Paul Gunn as CEO of Smales Farm. With a strong, sustainable community at its core, Smales Farm’s open spaces, access to transport, green technology and dynamic buildings are people-focused, encouraging innovative interaction.
- Kincannon & Reed recruited Federico A. Tripodi as CEO of Calyxt, Inc., a Minnesota-based company developing healthier food products to benefit both consumers and growers. The firm also placed Lucas Lentsch as CEO of the Midwest Dairy Association, a non-profit organization which manages dairy farmer checkoff funds in a 10-state region.
- Barton Executive Search recruited Chris Neugent as a member of Welch’s board of directors. Welch’s is owned by 1,000 family farmers across America and in Ontario who make up this cooperative.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media