Director of Technical Services

Growers Express's picture
Job Description: 

Growers Express, LLC located in Yuma Arizona is seeking to hire a Director of Technical Services for our processing facility.

Summary: The Direct of Technical Services is responsible for managing all activities pertaining to product food safety, quality systems, and providing support for research & development company wide. Responsibilities include departmental and company leadership, management of regulatory, customer and internal requirements, and driving food safety and quality into product design and innovation projects. 

Responsibilities & Duties: 
  • Provide leadership in product safety, product quality, regulatory affairs, and technical excellence. Foster food safety culture throughout organization.
  • Manage Food Safety Plan development, review and implementation in coordination with plant leadership teams. Implement all aspects of Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) compliance.
  • Develop and implement, or continuously update and improve, company and facility pre-requisite programs, including crisis management, trace and recall, sanitation, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), Corrective Actions and Preventive Actions (CAPA), Environmental Monitoring Program (EMP), Test and Hold, etc.
  • Conduct validation studies to ensure current process control steps are in control and compliant with internal, customer, and regulatory requirements.
  • Manage customer audits and compliance.  Participate in customer meetings and serve as primary technical point of contact with key customers.
  • Perform data analysis for food safety and quality-related information, such as specification compliance, consumer complaints, raw material quality, sanitation effectiveness, etc. Trend and analyze data.  Present data internally and externally.
  • Develop and document process parameters in the processing facility in collaboration with the operations team to allow for transition to day-to-day production.
  • Develop and monitor operational processes and Quality Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to execute immediate, proactive action. Automate processes where applicable using Information Technology (IT) or third-party support.  Ensure KPI information is communicated to appropriate stakeholders.
  • Manage the vendor approval process. Oversee vendor compliance for perishable and non-perishable process inputs.  Manage quality aspects of vendor scorecard.
  • Work cohesively with the operations team in designing process parameters and equipment sanitary design standards.
  • Manage and support rollout activities for company initiatives and new products related to enhanced human safety, product quality, food safety, reporting, and efficiency.
  • Appropriately train and mentor staff.  Conduct performance evaluations, manage training needs, etc. Provide leadership and coaching that foster high team morale and effectiveness.
  • Perform and document risk analyses at internal and supplier operations as a subject matter expert.
  • Provide support for R&D activities to support expansion of business, including but not limited to customer sample submission, new process/tooling research, packaging validation, sensory evaluation, nutritional information panel creation (Genesis Software), nutrient content claims, artwork review and approval, etc..
  • Direct the investigation, root cause analysis, and CAPA for all consumer/customer complaints.
  • Manage food safety related service vendor approval, including but not limited to 3rd party lab, pest control, sanitation service, chemical suppliers, food contact tools and PPE, etc.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.
Requirements: 

Required Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in food science or other science-related field (Microbiology, Biology, Biochemistry, or other).
  • Minimum of 7-10 years of progressively increasing management experience in quality, food safety, and R&D in food production operations.
  • Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) Training.
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills.
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Advanced skills in MS Office applications, including PowerPoint and Excel.
  • Proficiency in the use of Genesis Software.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan and budget.
  • Excellent project management skills.
  • Experience in implementing GFSI, such as Safe Quality Food (SQF), in food production facilities.
  • Experience working with frozen vegetable and fruits, especially with blancher validation.
  • Familiar with all applicable FDA/FDA regulations such as FSMA, Nutritional Labeling, GMP, Recall, GMO, etc.

Preferred Qualifications:

  1. Ten or more years industry experience in food safety, quality, and R&D areas.
  2. Bilingual – Ability to communicate verbally and in writing in English and Spanish (preferred).
  3. Experience working with the RedZone software.
Physical Demand:

  1. Required to sit for long periods of time.
  2. Physical effort required (ability to move 50 lbs. from one area to another).
  3. Exposure to extreme heat and cold environments.

Work Environment:

  1. Work performed in an office, field and production facility environment.
  2. Some overnight travel will be required.
  3. Smoke-free work environment.

 

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.