Director of Food Safety & Quality

Gehl Foods's picture
Job Description: 

Gehl Foods Employer Summary

Located just outside of Milwaukee, Gehl Foods, LLC is one of America’s fastest growing food and beverage manufacturing companies. Since our founding in the late 1800s, we have enjoyed a reputation of quality, safety and innovation.

Today, we develop ready-to-serve aseptic products (like nacho cheese and nutritional shakes), locking in freshness, without refrigeration or compromising taste. As an industry leader, we pride ourselves in offering custom, creative aseptic solutions to some of the world’s biggest companies and divisions including foodservice, retail private brands and contract manufactured brands.

With our continued success and rapid growth in the industry, Gehl Foods is looking for qualified individuals to join us on our journey to becoming a global leader. It is an exciting time to be a part of our company. If you are looking for a chance to take your skills and experience to the next level, and the opportunity to impact our business, then feed your future as part of the Gehl Foods Team.

Position Overview 

Reporting to the Senior VP of R&D and Quality, the Director of Food Safety & Quality (FSQ) is primarily responsible for overall management and operational leadership on all aspects of Food Safety, Quality and Regulatory Compliance management of the Company's operations, as well as maintaining and improving the effectiveness of the Food Safety and Quality Management systems and fostering a culture of continuous improvement while driving fulfillment of customers’ requirements, GFSI and regulatory compliance.

Job Responsibilities

  • Provide operational direction and overall management for the FSQ organization, by understanding and deploying the Gehl Foods Vision and business plan, and transforming it into Food Safety, Quality and Regulatory objectives while managing the cross-functional interdependencies from R&D, Operations, Engineering & Maintenance and Supply Chain functions towards those objectives.
  • Ensure that the Food Safety & Quality Management Systems are in conformance with customers’ and GFSI requirements, robust, scalable and capable to stretch with the growth of the business, introductions of new products, new customers and product line extensions.
  • Define and ensure effective communications of Food Safety and Quality expectations to internal and external stakeholders, including suppliers and providers of contracted manufacturing, contracted packing, warehousing and transportation services.
  • In conjunction with SVP of Quality and R&D, lead Recall and associated crisis management processes.
  • Serve as a key leader during crisis management, which depending on severity of situation, this position directs cross-functional response team to evaluate and determine corrective action, as required to ensure food safety and quality of products.
  • Provide overall direction, cross-functional leadership, and FSQ resources to ensure effective management, execution and continuous improvement of Food Safety, Quality and Regulatory Compliance routines and aspects in:
  • Manufacturing and warehousing operations.
  • Procurement and inbound supply chain operations of ingredients, packaging materials and food grade chemicals.
  • Outbound supply chain operations of finished products.
  • Contracted manufacturing, packing, warehousing and transportation services.
  • Stage & Gate process for new products and product line extensions.
  • Ensure that the Company's manufacturing, warehousing, inbound and outbound supply chain operations are in full compliance with regulatory requirements at federal level (FDA), state and local level.
  • In alignment with the Director of Continuous improvement, provide guidance, cross-functional leadership and resource allocation to the execution of employee training and core competency development in Food Safety and Quality across all levels and functions of the organization.
  • Ensure that FSQ KPI’s are aligned with business priorities, embraced by executive leadership, meaningful, customer-centric, achievable, well communicated and visible across organization from operators to executive leadership team.
  • Ensure the creation and execution of routines to periodic review of FSQ performance and associated continuous improvement initiatives at all levels of the organizations, with a systematic and multifunctional approach that engages employees, enhances employees understanding of their impact of their job towards food safety and quality.
  • Ensure that internal and external laboratory capabilities are in place and validated for all FSQ assurance activities impacting ingredients and finished products conformance.
  • Lead implementation and execution of a comprehensive and robust FSQ internal and 3rd party audit program across all manufacturing and supply chain operations to verifying compliance to all applicable regulations and conformance with customer and GFSI requirements.
  • Define expectations and provide overall direction and leadership to Food Safety Performance Teams and Food Safety Leadership Team, as the main mechanism to deploy Food Safety objectives, review of Food Safety performance and periodic report to executive leadership team.
  • Coach FSQ leaders and personnel, while providing development opportunities to allow staff to increase their skills, grow professionally and that supports retention of key contributors.
  • Develop highly successful teams, through effective mentoring, motivating and empowerment.
  • Provide leadership and performance feedback on regular basis to staff.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Food Science or related science program.
  • 15+ years of relevant technical, quality and food safety experience in consumer products organizations, with a demonstrated track record of accomplishments.
  • 10+ years of managerial and leadership experience within a Quality Assurance and Food Safety function in the food industry.
  • Demonstrated experience in implementing, managing and improving Quality and Food Safety Management Systems.
  • Current knowledge of regulatory requirements (FDA, USDA, etc), more specifically FSMA, 21 CFR Part 117 and LACF regulations.
  • Extensive work experience leading GFSI certification of food or beverage manufacturing facilities.
  • Extensive work experience and knowledge of HACCP, Sanitation and Allergen Preventive Controls.
  • Demonstrated experience in developing microbiological controls including pathogen environmental monitoring.
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office products (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, etc.)
  • Outstanding leadership and cross-functional team building skills.
  • Ability to lead teams through considerable change, by inspiring confidence and achieving results.
  • Ability to problem-solve quickly and effectively when faced with difficult and complex issues.
  • Ability to manage multiple priories and project simultaneously and provide clear direction to team members.

Preferred Qualifications

  • MBA
  • MSc in Food Science or Food Engineering
  • Knowledge and work experience with aseptic processing and packaging in low acid food or beverage manufacturing operations.
  • Six Sigma Certification (i.e. Green or Black belt)


Our company is an Equal Opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, gender identity or expression, or any other basis protected by local, state or federal law.

This policy applies with regard to all aspects of one’s employment, including hiring, transfer, promotion, compensation, eligibility for benefits and termination.