Executive Vice President of Innovation
Kristi builds innovation capabilities and delivers business growth by bringing successful, new food products to market. She has provided results-driven leadership to major consumer packaged goods and food service companies throughout her career and has a proven record of creating a culture of innovation across each level of an organization. Kristi believes successful innovation begins with sound strategic planning, enabled by organizational alignment in an environment where business processes allow for both discipline and agility to quickly respond to customers and consumers who are increasingly dynamic.
At Sargento Foods, Kristi is focused on the design, development and implementation of new products and processes, while leading teams that bring these new products and processes to life. Her expertise has led to several industry awards including two highly esteemed honors: the Nielsen Breakthrough Innovation award for Sargento Ultra-Thin Slices® natural cheese and for Sargento Balanced Breaks® natural cheese snacks. In addition to these accomplishments, Kristi has led the successful development and launch of numerous product innovations that have driven significant profit and growth for Sargento Foods. Specifically, these new products have delivered on average 15 percent of organizational net revenue at accretive margins to existing product lines resulting in rapid organizational growth.
Prior to joining Sargento in 1999, she developed and commercialized a variety of food product portfolios and technical platforms for Kraft Foods Group supporting their Canadian, Cheese and Oscar Mayer business divisions. In recognition of this work, she was awarded the Kraft Foods Significant Achievement Award - Kraft Food’s highest award - for extraordinary performance in the Canadian Kraft peanut butter business and awarded an exceptional performance award for outstanding contributions to Lunchables business.
Kristi holds a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in food science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has also served over 15 years combined in the roles of Board Director and a member of the Board Executive Team for the United Way of Sheboygan County and Safe Harbor of Sheboygan County organizations. Currently, she is serving on the Board of Directors for Alto-Shaam, Inc.
In her free time, Kristi loves to stay active and competitive. She enjoys running, biking, swimming, golfing and tennis. She also finished the Ironman Triathlon four times and in 2008 earned a World Championship qualified spot in Kona, Hawaii.