MARION, OHIO — Wyandot Snacks, a contract manufacturer and food service supplier, has hired James Kairos, Blake Thompson, and Stephen Van Tassel as independent directors. Bringing years of industry experience and knowledge, they will help guide the snack company as it explores future growth opportunities and creates a strong workforce culture.
“The rapid expansion of better-for-you snacking, particularly with health-conscious millennials, creates outsized opportunities for, and demands on, contract manufacturers such as Wyandot,” said Rob Sarlls, chief executive officer and president, Wyandot. “Each new director offers a compelling record of driving, developing and executing a vision, managing change, building strong corporate cultures, and growing enterprise value in highly competitive food market environments.”
Bringing domestic and international food and snack experiences to the snack company, Mr. Van Tassel has held various roles at General Mills, ConAgra, Kraft and Nabisco. Most recently, he was c.e.o. of Weetabix, North America and prior to that was president of Post Foods. His experience includes strategically driving revenue growth and delivering enterprise value improvement across a range of business environments.
A former customer of Wyandot, Mr. Thompson has worked in the snack industry for more than 30 years at companies such as Frito Lay, Tasty Baking and Snyder’s-Lance. His responsibilities included business turnaround and supply chain and manufacturing efficiency, including manufacturing platform and network redesigns. Most recently Mr. Thompson was chief operating officer of Swisher Hygiene, a service company that provides sanitation services to the food industry.
Mr. Kairos brings more than 20 years of experience to Wyandot and has launched and developed line extensions for companies such as Odwalla juice, Bare Snacks and Sundia True Fruit Snacks. He has successfully implemented ERP and supply chain management tools, globally managed manufacturing locations and developed networks of supply chains throughout his career. Mr. Kairos recently co-founded and serves as executive vice-president of Jyve Corp., which connects C.P.G. brands with on-demand labor through an application similar to Uber.
Douglas W. Brown, chairman of the board, affirmed the company’s support of its new directors.
“Adding three highly qualified industry experts to our board provides Mr. Sarlls and the leadership team with important industry perspective and relationships that will help create additional value for us and our customers in the better-for-you snack space,” Mr. Brown said.