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New leader to help a successful family-run business grow

After 25 years as a highly respected dairy-processing operation, Straus Family Creamery was entering a new and innovative chapter of growth. Straus was expanding into new manufacturing facilities and aligning their vision with new automation and commercialization strategies. They needed a visionary leader capable of taking their manufacturing operations to the next level.

Expansion Underway

Straus‘ superior product placement in the market created exponential growth forcing the CEO and CFO to seek out a better way to meet this increased demand. They determined that they needed to replace their 25-year old plant with a new state-of-the-art processing facility.

The new facility called for an exceptional leader to guide Straus‘ growth through this new chapter.



Targeted Search = Results You Want

Reporting to Straus‘ President & CEO; the newly hired VP would need extensive manufacturing and process automation experience. He/she would also need leadership experience at a general management level and a mindset capable of inspiring and developing employees to support the expansion plans for Straus‘ new ultra-modern processing facilities. Additional requirements included an appreciation and aptitude for sustainable agriculture and organic farming.

Main Objectives for the New Leader

  • manage all aspects of dairy products
  • processing facilities build and scale the organization for growth
  • lead the creation of business cases to support the capital investments needed for success


What if milk is the new wine?

Being in the heart of the Sonoma wine country, Straus was able to consider talent from the broader wine and food processing sector in the region. Stacy Holland; CEO of Exceptional People International (IRC USA) recommended expanding candidate sourcing to include this sector. From launch to close, 228 sources were reached over 3.5 months, to glean a shortlist of three exceptional candidates.

Two of these three candidates came from wineries. The president was delighted by the fact that their leadership team struggled with who to select from the three exceptional finalists. Interestingly, Stacy’s advice to consider the wine industry was further validated by the fact that the selected hire came from the wine and food sector.

We needed a visionary with experience, who would fit with our organic, family-owned culture. I am SO thankful we landed Doug, even more so now that we are dealing with the Covid-19 situation.  I simply cannot imagine what life would be like without him at the helm of our Operations team in this time.
Bob McGee (President of Straus Family Creamery)

Personal experience counts

Prior to Stacy being sought out, Straus had attempted to hire leadership level talent with dairy and/or food & beverage processing experience and had been unsuccessful in closing on the desired candidates. Given the CFO’s prior experience with Stacy, he knew he could count on her to solve this challenge.


Combined forces for a successful cross-border search

This search proves that sometimes it works to create a collaborative member partnership that doesn’t necessarily follow the traditional path, yet it serves to create benefit for all involved. That’s IRC spirit at work in creating one more satisfied client and value shared between alliance members.

Stacy led and executed the search with Warren‘s marketing and industry support in the background. 

Warren‘s background in the agribusiness and food processing sector was leveraged jointly with Stacy‘s regional network and 25+ years of tech, AI and automation search experience to secure the search. Prior to completing the search, the family business dynamic created a potential issue around the finalist‘s request for equity. This compelled Stacy to exercise a great deal of communication and research on incentive compensation to support a comprehensive package that ultimately resulted in the successful placement.

How can we help you?

Stacy Holland

Stacy Holland
(Managing Partner IRC USA, Exceptional People, International)
Contact and more info

Warren Carter

Warren Carter
(Managing Partner IRC USA and Mexico, The ExeQfind Group)
Contact and more info

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