Global, family-owned food company Rich Products (Rich’s) is enhancing its focus on innovation through the hiring of industry veteran Tracey Ziener as new executive vice president, chief research & development (R&D), food safety quality assurance (FSQA) officer. Ziener, who has over 28 years of experience leading business growth and product quality assurance programs for major food brands, joins Rich’s as a member of the company’s executive team.

Ziener specializes in the development and delivery of new products, packaging and technology programs through agile innovation and FSQAR processes, while building highly competent, capable and engaged teams. A seasoned R&D leader, Tracey will head up Rich’s global R&D and FSQA functions.

Ziener joins Rich’s after a long career at Mars, where she most recently served as vice president of research and development, global chocolate business. During her tenure, she developed her expertise across a variety of industries, including Confectionary, Gum, Petcare and Food, leading new product development for popular brands like M&M, Milky Way and Pedigree. With global experience across Europe, the Middle East, Canada and the U.S., she’s worked in all areas of R&D, launching many innovations that can be seen on shelves today around the world.

A UK native, Ziener graduated with honors in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in applied chemistry from Heriot-Watt University before earning a PhD in chemistry from Edinburgh Napier University. Ziener is a Chartered Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Chartered Chemist, Chartered Scientist and has several publications and six Patents.

Ziener is based in Chicago where she currently resides with her husband, Stuart and two children, Alistair and James.