Rich Holland is a man of many talents. He can sing. He can tell a great story. And he can fix near anything inside a bakery plant.
“Throughout my career, I’ve been the ‘fix-it guy,’ he told Editor Joanie Spencer, in the December issue of Baking & Snack magazine. “Whenever something was wrong, it seems like I always got it. It’s been that way since I was growing up.”
This ability — coupled with his leadership skills and passion for people and the baking industry — has propelled him through dozens of acquisitions, three life-cycles of his company and up the ladder to director of manufacturing for Oak Brook, Ill.-based TreeHouse Foods. It’s also earned Mr. Holland the distinction of being named Baking & Snack’s 2017 Operations Executive of the Year.
What makes Mr. Holland so special?
“I challenge people — and myself — to think every day, ‘What am I going to do that will make this place better than it was yesterday?’” he observed.
He picked up this mentality from his father.
“My dad always said, ‘Everybody’s just looking to get by … you do whatever you’re asked to do and then some. Go above and beyond, and you’ll set yourself apart from the rest.’”
Those are the best words of advice anyone can give their son, or anyone in the baking and snack industry.