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Director of Research and Development for Pet Nutrition
Creve Coeur, MO

 

 

Whitebridge Pet Brands

 

Position Duties:

The Director of R&D will be responsible for product development efforts, cost savings projects and efficiency gains at own plants and external co-manufacturers. She/he will work closely with the company’s Brand Managers, Executive Team plus outside consultants.

The individual will be a member of the Business Development Team and work closely with both the Supply Chain team to ensure operational excellence, as well as Marketing and Sales to discover and deploy innovative product forms and formulas to meet consumer needs for pet products that taste great and do good.

Responsibilities:

She/he will foster an innovative environment by collaborating with internal and external partners and managing the Product Development process with passion, intellectual curiosity, integrity and trust. This position will be responsible for helping to drive the business and increase competitive advantage. This position is responsible for enabling future growth and prosperity of the business through sustained delivery of market-leading innovations that delight dogs, cats and their pet parents.

  • Manage the development of innovation initiatives in support of the company’s business and strategic objectives
  • Together with brand managers create and refresh an innovation pipeline for all dog and cat food/treat brands
  • Deliver innovation, renovation, and all consumer relevant cost savings initiatives
  • Provide functional expertise to generate and develop new and enhanced manufacturing processes and packaging solutions
  • Oversee the management of multiple R&D projects in support of the business

Desired Skills and Experience

  • Innovation Management: a solid track record of successful new product innovation and commercializing new products. Experience driving growth through innovation in previous organizations. Able to demonstrate an external focus toward consumers, customers and the marketplace in total product development cycle. Prior experience using StageGate or a similar process. Nimble and capable of multi-tasking while maintaining high standards.
  • Managing Vision & Purpose - Results Oriented: Lead by example with a “can do” attitude. Has a track record of delivering industry-leading results while keeping commitments, reducing complexity and increasing focus. Ability to manage the balance of process and speed. Has a clear history of making sound decisions about formulas, products, technologies and cost.
  • Leadership: The successful candidate will demonstrate a good balance of leadership and followership. Able to establish credibility, trust and good interpersonal relationships with the team and with key stakeholders. Must be able to envision, enable, and inspire others; set priorities, allocate resources, increase accountability, and achieve results. Not an empire-builder, but comfortable rolling-up the sleeves to get it done.
  • Networking-Cross-Functional Relationship-Building Strength: Able to energize high performance, cross-functional teams while providing feedback and developing people to their highest potential. Has an excellent reputation for acting with integrity by living company values, being truthful, forthright and trustworthy. Strong skills in establishing technical alliances and in leveraging external relationships. Is assertive, while also maintaining respect and good relationships with others.

Education/Experience

  • The ideal candidate will have a well-rounded R&D background with a minimum 12-15 years’ experience in technical areas such as food science, food process engineering, product development, laboratory management, and/or quality systems.
  • At least 7 years of pet nutrition experience developing nutritious, innovative dry and wet food, plus treat products
  • A food science, animal nutrition, chemistry or equivalent BS degree required
  • Advanced degree (Master’s, M.B.A. or Ph.D.) is desirable but not mandatory
  • Successful track record in innovation management and commercialization within own and co-manufactured operations’ as well as recall management and best practices
  • Proven capabilities to work closely with Supply Chain on formulation, specs, sourcing
  • Deep knowledge of food safety, quality, and regulatory environment including: AAFCO, USDA, FDA, FSMA
  • Experience with formulating software, such as Concept5, formula optimization, cost re-engineering, claim support for packaging and advertising
  • Established network of experts in academia and industry
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work independently or as a member of a team

Compensation Package:

The Company will offer both a comprehensive compensation and benefit package to attract the appropriate candidate. Some relocation expenses will be considered.

Job Type: Full-time

Experience:

  • Pet Nutrition: 7 years (Preferred)
  • Formulating Software: 3 years (Preferred)
  • Food Safety: 10 years (Preferred)

Education:

  • Bachelor's (Preferred)

 

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