Technical and Project Manager
Vermont CreameryApply for Job
Crafted in Vermont’s green mountains, Vermont Creamery’s line of fresh and aged goat cheeses, cultured butter, and crème fraîche have won hundreds of national and international awards. In their 35th year of business, Vermont Creamery supports a network of family farms, promoting sustainable agriculture in the region. B Corp Certified in 2014, Vermont Creamery is committed to using business as a force for good, and has been ranked one of “The Best Places to Work in Vermont,” by Vermont Business Magazine. Vermont Creamery is a subsidiary of Minnesota-based Land O’Lakes, Inc., one of America’s premier agribusiness and food companies.
Our fast-growing brand is looking for the right strategic thinker to lead our Research & Development department in Websterville, Vermont. This new role will be at the forefront of our ever-accelerating innovation pipeline, charged with shepherding new products into the marketplace to support the company’s strategic growth plan. This is a chance to join a mission-driven business and lead a group of bettermakers committed to making consciously-crafted delicious dairy that tastes better because it’s made better.
Under direction of the Vermont Creamery President, the Technical and Project Manager develops and executes the strategy of the R&D department, manages internal workflow for new product creation, process improvements, project prioritization and acts as an effective communicator and liaison within Vermont Creamery and external cross-functional teams. This role provides support to the business strategy of accelerating growth through innovation by leveraging core product knowledge, entrepreneurial culture and passion for sustainable tasty food. This role supervises, manages and directs the prioritization of projects, team and resources to align with business objectives. The Research & Development Project Manager inspects all products and processes to continuously improve specifications, product quality, process efficiency and alignment with company mission – “dairy that tastes better because it’s made better”.
ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Research & Development
- Accountable for all Vermont Creamery R&D projects.
- Manages projects, prioritizes, organizes, and delegates assignments based on business objectives, resources and timeline.
- Manages R&D budget and resources allocation to meet financial objectives.
- Works closely with operations team to enable plant trials, capital request and full-scale production launch.
- Works closely with Land O’ Lakes cross-functional teams to collaborate on product development, resource allocation and technical expertise support.
- Manages and directs the R&D technician, provide coaching, review of protocols and workload.
- Creates and maintains formulations, specifications, processes, and testing procedures for product development.
- Manages sensory evaluation map and guidelines for each product and ensures proper training of all staff on guidelines.
- Provides leadership to Creamery employees through coaching towards product & process proficiency, and professional development.
- Collaborates with Sales, Marketing, Creamery Manager, other Creamery Supervisors, Safety, Quality, and Maintenance management for R&D initiatives.
- Leads and implements technical process improvement.
- Assess specific causes of variation to drive consistency, reliability, capacity expansion, cost reduction, and risk mitigation opportunities.
- Leads technical improvements to dairy processes, increasing yield and reducing shrinkage.
- Monitors process and product trends, seasonality variance, and limits, while suggesting areas of improvement.
- Plans and implements process scale-up for planned growth opportunities.
- Leads efficiency gain opportunities for production lines.
- Prioritization of projects and resources to meet short-term business needs and customer goals while maintaining a balance with longer horizon innovation for sustained growth.
- Manages and oversees communication between Vermont Creamery, Land O’Lakes, and any necessary vendors for cross-functional projects.
- Supports the creation and implementation of business and capital plans.
- Leads collaboration on large scale launches, including the coordination of plant trials.
- Utilizes updated metrics methods to analyze efforts.
- Fosters culture of agility, creativity, collaboration, and appreciation for sustainable good food and company mission.
Education and Experience:
Bachelor’s degree in food science, food technology, or related discipline.
- Minimum of 5 years of relevant experience in the food industry, preferably including dairy, cheese, or culturing.
- Experience with a fast-growing brand and multiple national scale product launches
- Proven ability to lead, manage, and motivate staff.
- Competencies, Skills, and Knowledge:
- Solid analytical skills and ability to translate data into fact-based decision making to support strategic planning and project implementation.
- Strong passion for specialty food products.
- Familiar with stage gate process and project management tools
- Proactive self-starter; with a sense of urgency and ambitious mindset.
- Motivated by a fast-growing entrepreneurial business and a rapidly changing environment.
- Inspiring communicator, collaborator, and team builder to empower Creamery “bettermakers”.
- Agile with the ability to balance speed and perfection
- Must be attentive to detail and have good organizational skills.
- Must be flexible with work schedule.
- Ability to relate with a positive, warm and friendly manner.
- Must have a willing attitude to learn and better the Creamery and yourself.