October 29/Portland, Ore./Press Release -- Bob’s Red Mill announces a major expansion of its production and distribution facilities, as well as the internal promotions of seven long-time employees.
The company expects to open the new Bob’s Red Mill World Distribution Center in January 2014 in Clackamas County two miles from the Bob’s Red Mill World Headquarters in Milwaukie, Ore., just outside of Portland. The company has secured a 125,000-square-foot facility, with options for additional adjoining space, and will move all storage and distribution to the new building. The move was driven by a need for additional raw commodity storage space and anticipated production growth over the next five years.
The new World Distribution Center is large enough to warehouse 11,000 pallets. It offers easy truck access, with more than 30 loading docks and proximity to the Interstate 205 freeway, as well as a railway connection. The space freed up at the world headquarters by the move will be used for expanding the production of whole grain and gluten free foods. Bob’s Red Mill has seen a dramatic rise in demand for its gluten-free products in recent years. All of its more than 80 gluten-free flours, cereals, baking mixes and grains are made in a dedicated 100% gluten-free facility, and the expansion will add another 70,000 square feet of production and packaging space to that facility -- more than tripling its current size. In all, the company’s world headquarters now has a total of 480,000 square feet of manufacturing, distribution, retail and storage space.
“When we moved into our current world headquarters in 2007, we anticipated the space would meet our needs for 10-15 years,” added Moore, who will turn 85 in February 2014 and remains active in the day-to-day business of the company. “But we’ve just been going like gangbusters, and already we need this additional space to meet the increasing worldwide customer demand.”
Meanwhile, the company announced the promotions of seven longtime employees to senior vice president and vice president positions. The moves are intended to put into place the next generation of leadership for the employee-owned company, Moore said.
Promotions for the following employees will take effect November 1, 2013 (new titles are listed with their names):
Dennis Vaughn, senior vice president of operations and chief operating officer (COO) -- Vaughn has worked in operations for Bob’s Red mill for the past 13 years, most recently as vice president of operations. He oversees all facets of operations, from shipping and receiving, to production and packaging, to storage and distribution. Vaughn played a critical role in the company’s move to its current world hHeadquarters in 2007 and has overseen the expansion into its new World Distribution Center. He has a background in electrical engineering.
Robert Agnew, senior vice president of sales -- Agnew has been in sales for Bob’s Red Mill for 19 years, starting as a sales manager and working his way up to vice president of sales. Agnew was also a partner in the company prior to the ESOP. His duties include managing all outside channels of trade with a department of 20 people, to whom he stresses a focus on communication, follow-through, work-balance and having fun. Prior to joining Bob’s Red Mill, Agnew worked in both broadcast and foodservice distribution sales for a combined 11 years.
Bryan Emerson, vice president of information technology and chief information officer (CIO) -- Emerson joined Bob’s Red Mill as an IT manager in 2006 and has been director of information technology for the past three years. Emerson oversees all of the company’s information technology, from its internal network to its consumer-facing ecommerce website. Prior to joining Bob’s Red Mill, he worked as an independent IT consultant for more than 12 years.
Matthew Cox, vice president of marketing -- Cox joined Bob’s Red Mill as a marketing assistant 13 years ago, initially managing various marketing-related projects, including the company’s trade show presences. In the time since, he was promoted to marketing manager and, in 2009, was elevated to marketing director, overseeing all marketing strategy at the company. During his tenure in marketing at Bob’s Red Mill, the company has grown from having a strong regional presence to becoming an international leader in whole grain foods.
Trey Winthrop, vice president of finance --– Winthrop has been with Bob’s Red Mill since 2005, first joining the company to work in financial controls. He rose through the ranks of the finance department until being named director of corporate finance four years ago. In that role, he has worked to keep costs down, reduce inventory turns, add value to corporate budgeting and help maintain overall profitability for the company.
Phil Guettler, vice president of sales -- Guettler celebrated his 14th anniversary with Bob’s Red Mill this past September. He was first hired as a regional sales manager for the midwestern U.S. and was the company’s third in-house sales employee. He was also the first employee not based at the mill, but working from Minnesota. The company hired Guettler from a natural foods brokerage, where he counted Bob’s Red Mill among the brands he sold. He has been Bob’s Red Mill’s national sales director for the past four years, overseeing all retail sales in the U.S. and Canada, as well as a team of regional sales managers and territory managers.
Jan Chernus, vice president of international sales -- Chernus began her career at Bob’s Red Mill 15 years ago as the company’s first in-house sales rep, working with Robert Agnew to develop the company’s sales programs. For most of her career at the company, she has focused her efforts mainly on the West Coast, but in March 2012, she began working to expand the company’s export and international ecommerce businesses as the company’s business development director. Chernus has a background as a nutritionist and worked as a foodservice manager prior to joining Bob’s Red Mill.
“These individuals truly represent the best of Bob’s Red Mill,” said Moore. “I talk a lot about the value of our employees, and about the culture of Bob’s Red Mill being like a family. Those are not just words -- I truly mean it. And it makes me proud to be able to announce these well-deserved promotions today. We are in great hands for the future.”