ATCHISON, KAS. — A number of organizational changes meant to "bring greater balance to the cost structure" of the company have been announced by MGP Ingredients, Inc. The changes — the second significant reshuffling of management positions within the past year — include transitions and consolidations in management, supervisory and administrative roles and are expected to result in a combination of temporary lay-offs and early retirements affecting 16 non-union personnel at the company’s Atchison facility by the end of June. An additional four non-union employees and four union employees at the company’s Pekin, Ill., facility also will be affected.

"The resizing of our plant operations footprint in recent months combined with our intensified concentration on producing and commercializing only those products that bring unique value to our customer partners have driven this action," said Tim Newkirk, president and chief executive officer. "MGPI has become a more streamlined organization, making it imperative for us to evaluate and reconfigure certain job functions and responsibilities to more accurately match our organizational needs while helping bring greater balance to the cost structure of our resized businesses."

As part of the changes, Scott Phillips has been named to the newly created position of vice-president of supply chain operations, with responsibility for all manufacturing-related processes, from the acquisition of raw materials through the production, packaging, warehousing and delivery of MGPI’s protein, starch and alcohol ingredients. He joined MGPI in 2007 and most recently was corporate director of manufacturing for the company’s ingredient solutions business segment since June 2008. Prior to joining MGPI he spent 17 years in plant supervisory and management positions at General Mills, Inc.

Mr. Phillips takes over alcohol production responsibilities from Randy Schrick. Mr. Schrick, who has been with MGPI since 1973 and is a former member of the board of directors, will remain vice-president of engineering. He also had held the role of corporate director of manufacturing for distillery operations since June 2008.

Don Coffey, Ph.D., has been named executive vice-president of sales and marketing. Most recently he was executive vice-president of the company’s ingredient solutions business segment since June 2008 and vice-president of innovation since July 2007. Mr. Coffey joined MGPI in 2007 following 22 years in commercialization and research positions with the Dow Chemical Co.

Temporary and permanent lay-offs coupled with a number of early retirements have pared MGPI’s workforce by nearly 45% in the past year, according to the company.

"The company’s transformation has been extensive and has required some extremely difficult decisions, particularly in regard to personnel reductions," Mr. Newkirk said. "However, these decisions have been necessary. They are driving us along the right path to strengthen our position as a provider of innovation ingredient solutions, including world-class food grade alcohol."