Director of Product Development Strategy & Innovation
If a company is going to make a difference in today’s world, it’s going to have to think differently. At Organic Valley, our philosophy and decisions are based on the health and welfare of people, animals and the earth. We’re a mission-driven cooperative, owned by family farmers, and we’ve been leaders in organic agriculture from the very beginning. Once pioneers of organic agriculture, we’re now an established leader. Organic is all we do. We are driven by our mission to promote regional farm diversity and economic stability by the means of organic agricultural methods and the sale of certified organic products.
Summary of Role
This role is responsible for leading product design strategy across our core categories of dairy/non-dairy. This individual will connect deeply with consumers to identify gaps in the market and translate insights to iteratively create new product platforms and improve current offerings. This position will drive prioritization within new and existing spaces, identify technical needs, partner internally and externally to create clear platform roadmaps to meet growth expectations. This technical leadership role requires a strong blend of business acumen, understanding of consumer insights and research, talent development & management, project management skills, product design vision, financial savvy, effective communication skills, and understanding and application of innovation process. This position offers the opportunity to inspire and lead a diverse group of cross-functional team members to contribute & shape initiatives as business owners
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
• This position is a hybrid business and technical leadership that is responsible for product strategy and execution with a focus on new product development initiatives, product enhancements and processes to achieving profitable growth with product responsibility across branded retail, private label and ingredient categories
• Be a consumer centric leader who shapes and stewards the OV portfolio. Responsible for all product, package and process development, leading and managing cross-functional, cross-technology teams through the initial evaluation of opportunities and various interactions with internal and external partners.
• Creating food philosophy footprint and technical road map into actionable development plans integrating and summarizing technology, high-level financial and market information and helping to develop the business case and build new product and package platforms.
• Advance key processes and team discipline that supports the concept development, product development and commercialization of high quality, great tasting, and organic products. Identify critical paths and resources required, removing roadblocks for the team
• Manage and facilitate plant trials and new product start up, working with vendors, production/operation, and external processing partners.
• Ensure compliance with regulatory and quality requirements by reviewing and approving documents, product specifications, testing and implementation plans to ensure high quality standards
• Strong partnership with wide range of disciplines: business strategy, insights, sales, supply Chain, along with interfacing with customers, solution partners and industry subject matter experts. Must have experience closely interacting with customers/advisory groups to help develop & validate product requirements, roadmap and incubator programs for new product launches
• Provide technical leadership and leverage industry trends and emerging new technologies that can provide the organization with a competitive advantage
• Communicating strategy developments, providing ongoing executive updates, prioritizing initiatives, and escalating potential barriers and risk assessment to executive leadership, ensuring projects are delivered on time and within budget.
• Performing a full range of leadership responsibilities which may include but not be limited to: interviewing, hiring, coaching and developing employees, assigning and directing work, driving performance management
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
• Bachelor’s Degree in Dairy Food Science required; Master’s Degree preferred.
• Extensive experience (8+ years) leading teams and programs in Product Development and Innovation.
• Minimum 15 years of hands-on technical experience required; experience in dairy product development and prior CPG Food & Beverage experience preferred
• Balanced ability to lead creative vision, strategy, team and operational routines
• Big picture strategic thinker and proactive problem solver
• A Strong working knowledge of food manufacturing processes, quality assurance principles, ingredient supply market and market research practices.
• Understanding of food science applications, as well as packaging design.
• Understanding of sensory principles, labeling and nutritional programs.
• Multi-plant experience
• Experience leading cross functional teams and overseeing a wide network of partners, suppliers and vendors.
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills to deliver compelling communication to engage and motivate others with technical and complicated topics comprehensively to all levels through executives.
• Demonstrate strategic influence of key internal & external stakeholders to take actions that will advance shared interests & business goals.
• Strong organization and time-management; a can-do attitude, entrepreneurial mindset and approach to challenge conventions.
• Excellent team player able to manage and prioritize work for self and staff. Ability to multi task with changing priorities. Build a successful team attracting, developing, and retaining Talent
Cashton, WI, United States|req7