November 18, 2019 – The Koblentz Group has placed Cheryl Barre as CEO of custom breadmaker Epi Breads. She succeeds Hugh Sullins, who is now vice president of business development for the Atlanta-based company. This search was led by Jeff Neppl and Joel Koblentz.
Ms. Barre will be responsible for leading the executive team, developing and implementing a strategy for growth through new business development, enhanced operations and acquisition.
“We are thrilled to have Cheryl on board at Epi,” said Nic Mulliez, co-founder and chairman of the company. “She shares our passion for exceeding customer expectations, and brings us strategic vision combined with extensive experience in managing bakery operations.”
Ms. Barre is a veteran of the baking industry, having spent nine years with CSM Bakery Solutions as senior vice president of business development in North America and global vice president of ingredients. Previously she served in executive roles at Arby’s, Russell Corp. and PepsiCo.
“I am honored to be leading this ESOP company,” said Ms. Barre. “I believe in the philosophy of sharing the wealth with those who have worked hard to make the company successful.”
Epi Breads provides collaboratively developed, custom bread products to some of the fastest-growing restaurant chains and retailers in the country. The company was founded in 1985 as a small Atlanta bakery delivering “ultra” fresh breads to local establishments. Today it develops a diverse variety of custom breads across foodservice and retail. Epi Breads’ bakeries are strategically located in Atlanta and Dallas. In 2015, the company acquired R.W. Bakers Co. in Muskegon, MI, a custom bakery and leader in developing gluten free as well as allergen free breads and sweet goods. Each of Epi’s three U.S. bakeries can handle major chain capacity orders and ship to all 50 states.
The Koblentz Group, based in Atlanta, specializes in recruiting C-level leaders and board directors. The firm was founded by Mr. Koblentz in 2002. His practice, as developed over the last 30 years, can best be described as “at the value creation level” for publicly traded companies and private equity concerns. He advises corporate boards on succession and recruitment of new board members, the recruitment of CEOs and executive leadership. Mr. Koblentz’s typical clients are boards of directors, chief executives or controlling shareholders. Previously, he was a senior partner at Egon Zehnder.
Mr. Neppl focuses on C-level, officer and board of director searches for public and private clients in operations, technology, sales, finance, marketing and business development. He has experience operating in very large multinational companies as well as C-level experience in venture capital and private equity backed deals. He began working with the search firm when he was leading A.I. Partners, an Atlanta-based recruiting organization. A.I. and The Koblentz Group worked together under a strategic partnership arrangement. After a period of time in that structure, they formally merged under The Koblentz Group brand.
Earlier this year, the Koblentz Group placed Lynn Howard as the new CHRO of NASDAQ-traded PRGX. Mr. Neppl led the assignment.
“Lynn’s expertise in developing high-performing, engaged workforces is ideal for PRGX’s client-focused culture,” said Ron Stewart, president and chief executive officer. “Our team members are vital to enabling PRGX’s continued global growth, and I’m looking forward to Lynn’s leadership in ensuring each PRGX employee achieves their full potential.”
Ms. Howard has more than 25 years of human resources experience. Prior to joining the company, she served as CHRO for Ciox Health. Before that, she held executive leadership positions with ABILITY Network, Surgical Care Affiliates and MedAssets.
In her new role, she is responsible for the company’s people strategy, including talent acquisition and development, compensation and benefits, employee engagement and culture.
Based in Atlanta, PRGX is a global leader, operating in 30 countries, providing technology enabled recovery audit and spend analytic services with its source-to-pay business processes. Under its CEO, Ron Stewart, and board, the company is seizing market opportunity and is well positioned for accelerated growth.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media