Dole Worldwide Packaged Foods has appointed Dr Lara Ramdin, as chief innovation officer, further strengthening the company's innovation capabilities in support of The Dole Promise which seeks to increase access to nutritious food across the world.
Dr Ramdin, who will be based at Dole's Westlake Village campus, California, US, has an extensive global track record in R&D, product development and innovation within leading organizations including Unilever, Estee Lauder and Molson Coors Beverages Company.
Having studied Applied Biology at the University of Cardiff, she went on to gain a doctorate in immunology at the University of Southampton before moving into corporate R&D/innovation leadership roles and latterly as a consultant to small businesses and start-ups. Dr Ramdin is a passionate innovator, a design thinking practitioner and trainer, and believes in using empathy to unlock unique solutions.
She is a fierce advocate for young women in STEM which she exercises through her mentor roles in both The Girls' Network and 1MMentors organizations and as Sponsorship Director and board member for the not-for-profit organization Irish Film London.
Pier Luigi Sigismondi, President of Dole Packaged Foods, LLC, said today that Dr Ramdin's appointment underlines Dole's commitment to building a long-lasting and iconic wellness and nutrition company, capable of meeting the many challenges of today's uncertain environment.
"Now more than ever before, we must look to develop new solutions and new approaches to the increasing demand for healthy, affordable food which will nourish current and future generations. Lara has built an enviable reputation as a strategic innovator, capable of challenging established thinking to open up new opportunities and products. At a time when we are looking to reduce food waste, to reach more consumers with nutritious products and to eliminate fossil-based packaging, her talent and track record will bring additional energy and focus to our innovation effort."
Dr Ramdin, who will report directly to Mr Sigismondi as a key member of his core leadership team, says she is delighted to join Dole and to be able contribute to a meaningful mission such as sustainable nutrition/zero waste, and to be the driving force of innovation needed in these areas.
"I admire Dole's values and determination to build brands which benefit people and the planet, while creating sustainable returns for all of its stakeholders. I am particularly excited by the innovation agenda and Dole's (and Pier Luigi's) commitment to that. I look forward to helping the company achieve its purpose and vision," said Dr Ramdin.
Mr Sigismondi also notes that Dr Ramdin's appointment comes hot on the heels of establishing an all-star women leadership team on both product and category development, who will work closely with Dr Ramdin. Kimberly Galante has taken on a Global Product Development role and Peewee Dizon the leadership of Global Category Development as Mr. Sigismondi pulls together key leadership teams to deliver on the Dole Promise launched earlier this year.