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KeyStone Search has been retained in the recruitment of a Director of Food Safety and
Quality for Quality Ingredients Corporation headquartered in Burnsville, Minnesota. The
Director will provide strategic and tactical leadership for the food safety and quality
functions of this growing organization in the food manufacturing sector.


Quality Ingredients Corporation was founded in 1987 by Minnesota-based executive

Bob Thompson who combined his food science, product development, and sales
expertise with external manufacturing partnerships to offer dry cream products.

QIC opened its first production facility in Burnsville, Minnesota during the 1990s to
manufacture ingredients using spray- and roll-drying processes. A second facility was
acquired in Marshfield, Wisconsin in 1999. This facility provides spray drying and
advanced dry-blending capacities. The Marshfield plant was expanded in 2001 to add
dry blending processes.


Quality Ingredients today is a $60 million-plus company that is highly profitable and
planning for significant growth. The organization has expanded well beyond its
technical foundation of dry creamer and shortening powder technologies to include a
broad range of dry ingredients. These range from dry creamers, to cheese and dairy
powders, whips, flavors and colors, encapsulations, specialty ingredients and specialty
dry blends. These are all ingredient solutions that can be customized to make good
foods even better!
To help innovate and deliver fresh ideas, QIC offers in-house technical and product
development skills. Today, those development skills, backed up by internal and external
manufacturing capabilities, are the cornerstones of the company’s differentiation and
success in the marketplace.

Quality Ingredients Corporation operates as a 100% Employee Stock Ownership Plan

(ESOP) company, whereby each employee is vested in the customers' success. The
company is governed by a professional, predominantly external, Board of Directors.
The environment within QIC is performance and results-driven with an underlying belief
that people and culture are the foundation of QIC’s results and success. Employees
have high expectations of each other, as employees and owners. There is a focus on
continuing to drive results, grow the business, and move the organization to world-class
levels of performance.


Quality Ingredients is committed to the following mission and values statements as

reflections of their unique culture.

As an indispensable partner with our customers,
we enable them to successfully create more functional, better tasting,
and healthier products by developing dried food ingredients
and offering custom processing solutions.


Ownership Culture
Customer Intimacy

Mission and Values Summary:

Serve speaks to our dedication to customer service and focus,

and growing through our commitment to service

Innovate reflects our aspiration to be a recognized leader

in the creation and production food ingredients,
and driving continuous improvement across the organization

Win enabling our customers to win in marketplace,

and winning as a company and as individuals
in an employee-owner culture

QIC views food safety as its first and most significant priority as well as its greatest
business risk. Our aspiration is to perform at world-class levels. QIC’s food safety
systems today are excellent and we regularly invite external, formal and informal,
reviews of our processes and procedures. However, we also realize that due to the
significance of food safety, it is the single issue that represents the greatest business
risk to a small company. Consequently, this position plays an instrumental role in
driving, throughout QIC, continuous improvement within our food safety and quality
function in our journey to move from “excellent” to “world class.”

Beyond food safety, QIC also seeks to develop a world-class quality management
system. Encompassed in that quality management system are many significant
elements, including, but not limited to: HAACP Plans, regulatory compliance, training
and auditing, lab analytics, customer complaint investigation and resolution, pest
management, etc. In addition, QIC intends to introduce additional elements, to include,
but not limited to: quality management systems, CI/SPC program and process
management systems, basic flavor evaluation programs, etc.

The Director will lead the Food Safety and Quality departments to build a world-class
function and deliver outstanding results. QIC is a small company, so the Director will be
capable of operating at both the strategic and tactical levels and be comfortable with
personally “rolling up his/her sleeves” to lead projects and work to resolve problems.


The Director of Food Safety and Quality reports to the President and CEO of Quality
Ingredients, Isabelle Day. This position manages five staff members in the quality
department, providing coaching, guidance and direction. The Director acts as a guide
to best food safety and quality practices and a partner to functional management
throughout the organization.


• Provides leadership and employee development to the Quality Department at two

locations. This includes recruitment, training, coaching and managing the
performance of a staff of five technicians.
• Represents quality and food safety issues to the QIC Management Team, Board of
Directors, and external groups.
• Maintains a working knowledge of government and industry quality assurance codes
and standards; responsible for overseeing and advising on food regulatory issues.
• Oversees, ensures implementation, and reviews company policies, programs,
standards, and procedures related to food safety and quality assurance with a focus
on prevention, early detection, and waste reduction; ensures compliance with
regulatory requirements. Examples include programs related to CGMP’s, HACCP,
allergens, product recall and traceability, customer complaints, pest control, foreign
material, chemical control.
• Oversees third party and regulatory audits; ensures robust corrective action
program. Ensures food safety and quality records are controlled, accurate,
complete, and current.
• Owns customer quality complaints and issues and ensures they are promptly
investigated and addressed and that QIC operates a robust corrective action
• Develops and implements a highly disciplined problem-solving process incorporating
cause and effect analysis, root cause analysis, corrective action, and follow-up.
• Provides aggressive advocacy, throughout the entire organization, for the highest
standards of food safety and quality.
• Develops and provides organizational training on quality related topics; conducts
internal audits.
• Writes quality related documentation, policies, procedures, manuals, etc.
• Selects, develops and implements a QIC Quality Management System, to include
performance reporting and effectiveness management.
• Develops and implements supply chain programs to ensure safety and quality of
incoming raw materials.
• Develops basic flavor control programs, as needed.
• Owns QIC Crisis Management Planning process.
• In conjunction with Operations, develops and implements CI/SPC program for
improved process consistency and management. Leads and manages improvement
• Teams with Product Development for technical expertise in problem-solving and
input into new product development.
• Teams with Safety on crisis management planning and food safety matters.
• Teams with Sales on customer issues, opportunities, and requests.
• Teams with customers on joint improvement or development projects.
• Tracks and measures impact of industry trends, relevant legislation/regulations, and
competitor activities and capabilities; benchmarks against external metrics.
• Negotiates collaborations with academia, government, and corporations and
negotiates contracts with external labs and consulting firms.
• Develops outstanding relationships with external partners (ie customers, auditors,


The successful candidate will possess a BS or MS in sciences (Food Science,

Chemistry, Microbiology preferred) along with 10 or more years of related experience.
A minimum of three years leadership/management experience is also important.
Demonstrated experience/certification in CI/SPC and process management is highly
desired as is demonstrated change management experience.
This position requires an individual with a technical background who has demonstrated
the ability to successfully work with individuals at all levels and functions within the
organization. Successfully working with varied external stakeholders (regulatory
agencies, customers, vendors, etc) is also a key requirement. In particular, the
successful candidate will have excellent customer relations skills and an ability to work
closely on customer issues.

The ability to relate to people at all levels of the organization and maintain a positive
team orientation is essential. This individual will be skilled at gathering, assessing and
sharing information, and will serve as a coach, mentor and facilitator. The Director of
Food Safety and Quality is a tenacious, results-oriented individual who possesses a
strategic focus as well as an operational, implementation and detail oriented
perspective. This key position requires an ability to communicate effectively on complex
topics to employee groups, management at all levels of the company and occasionally
to the board of directors and outside organizations.


KeyStone Search
105 Fifth Avenue South
Suite 512
Minneapolis, MN 55401

Marcia S. Ballinger, PhD Mike Frommelt

Phone: 612-375-8895 Phone: 612-375-8986
Email: Email:

KeyStone Search is a prominent Twin Cities executive search firm with a special emphasis
on corporate culture fit. KeyStone Search has specialized expertise in the recruitment of
general management, sales/marketing, financial, technical/operations,
human resources and non-profit executives.