Director of Food Product Development and Innovation

Chicago, IL

Posted: 11/27/2018 Industry: Laboratory - Food & Beverage Job Number: 512.18MR Pay Rate: 145,000 - 180,000

Director of Food Product Development and Innovation

This position manages the Product Experts’ activity for the America’s Region, including the Regional Innovation Program.  The role is also responsible for contributing to the Innovation and Specialty strategy resulting in growth in volumes and margins.  It is critical that this individual has a strong technical food science understanding and can help to steer the business.  Essential functions to include:

  • Manage R&D personnel and projects based in different locations. Responsible for the administration, strategy, and technical direction of the R&D product group
  • Provide necessary technical support to vendors, clients, and operations when problems occur with products
  • Participate in various projects of the R&D team and help to set priorities
  • Work with Innovation team and European Global R&D help define the current Innovation program for the Americas Region with modifications as necessary for this geography. Work with local, regional, and international teams
  • Work with Sales, R&D Project Managers, and Marketing teams to present innovative products and specialties to customers and drive customer-focused developments
  • Support the development of production expansion and recognize new equipment necessary to expand the specialty product portfolio to grow the business
  • Identify, inform, and organize project members and stakeholders, e.g., establish teams for innovation and large projects
  • Provide technical support to existing and new customers, and create new market opportunities
  • Support Operations & Supply Chain to define business cases for investment
  • Develop employees by creating and supporting individual development plans
  • Mentor and coach employees to encourage team effectiveness and engagement
  • Promote information and knowledge sharing with others
  • Drive continuous improvement initiatives for processes, technologies, and organization

**If you’d like to hear more about this opportunity and others we are currently working on, please contact Mary Rigas at

JO:  512.18MR



  • Bachelor’s degree with relevant experience and technical food science knowledge
  • Master’s degree in Food Technology Sciences, Food Engineering, or Food Science strongly preferred
  • At least 7 years of experience with progressive management responsibility in the food industry
  • Experience in chocolate and cocoa preferred
  • Proven leadership ability
  • Capable of working under pressure, setting priorities, and managing multiple projects simultaneously
  • Ability to work effectively with local, regional, and international teams
  • Excellent teamwork, communication, and interpersonal skills

**If you’d like to hear more about this opportunity and others we are currently working on, please contact Mary Rigas at

JO:  512.18MR

Mary Rigas
Section Manager/ Sr. Technical Recruiter

I specialize in connecting talent within the Food and Beverage Industry and proud to be part of CPS, Inc., which is on Forbes Top 20 Recruiting Firms list for 2017.

Being a manager and senior recruiter in the Food & Beverage group, our specialties include product development, quality, nutrition, regulatory, sensory, flavor development and application from entry level to executive.

I am part of a team of seven which provides more positions for candidates to consider and more candidates for client companies to consider.  We pride ourselves in building long lasting relationships and assisting both candidates and client companies in achieving their goals.

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