John G. Richardson is a driven, hands-on business owner who has built one of the nation’s most successful private food industry operations. Poised for explosive growth through bold innovation, SugarCreek produces brand-worthy food solutions to more than 50 leading national brands and private labels. Since taking over SugarCreek in 1990 when his father John S. Richardson retired, he has transformed the family-owned business from a raw bacon manufacturer with $50 million in annual sales to a widely diversified company that derives 68 percent of its $600 million in sales from fully cooked, ready-to-eat (RTE) products.
SugarCreek’s achievements under Richardson’s leadership have taken place in an era of industry consolidation and constant pressure from large, publicly-traded companies. The company has thrived in this challenging environment because Richardson has continually sought ways to diversify while staying laser-focused on delivering world-class products and processes. Today, as the nation’s largest independent bacon processor and a top three manufacturer of RTE pork strips, turkey bacon and meatballs, SugarCreek employs 1,600 people.
When its $120 million plant opens in July 2015 in Cambridge City, Indiana, SugarCreek anticipates adding $300 million in annual production capacity. The new facility will add three distinct, high-volume cooking lines including Sous Vide. It will be the nation’s largest Sous Vide manufacturing facility and the only one that will be used to assist nationally-branded food companies in bringing this type of innovative and increasingly popular product to market.
Though Richardson was only a teenager when SugarCreek was founded in 1966, he worked for the company throughout his high school and college years in various positions, learning every aspect of the business. Shortly after graduating from Illinois State University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, he became plant manager of a newly acquired processing facility in Dayton, Ohio. Today, the Richardson family tradition continues as his son Michael is SugarCreek’s chief operating officer and daughter Jennifer is a national accounts sales representative.
He and his wife Julie have long been active parents as well as philanthropists in Greater Cincinnati and in other communities where SugarCreek has operations. They have actively supported Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati Ballet, Stepping Stones and WCET public television, among other community and school organizations. Most recently, SugarCreek became the first corporate sponsor for LaSoupe, a Cincinnati charity that rescues otherwise wasted produce to create delicious and highly nutritious meals for customers, non-profits and food-insecure families.
Michael Richardson started at SugarCreek in 2002 and has worked in various roles throughout the company including Transportation, Customer Service, Supply Chain, Sales, Quality Assurance, Operations, Maintenance, Accounting, Human Resources and Wingate Packaging before heading back to Operations in 2012. Michael graduated from The Ohio State University with a double major in Finance and Operations.
Jeremy Korb joined SugarCreek in 1999 and has held multiple roles in Food Safety, Quality Assurance and Plant Management. Jeremy is currently responsible for Food Safety and Quality Assurance for both SugarCreek and Wingate, evolving best practices to ensure the highest level of food safety while meeting the needs of each customer and their consumer. Jeremy obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and Human Nutrition from The Ohio State University in 1997.
Dan “Hutch” joined SugarCreek in 2012 after selling the advanced manufacturing company he founded in 1991. Dan brings his serial entrepreneurial perspective and spirit to all SugarCreek corporate initiatives. He leads the implementation of the Sustainability Initiative, manages strategic development projects and Intellectual Property activities and is involved in grant funding and economic development incentives. Dan also plays a key role in the creation of SugarCreek’s annual reports and serves as a corporate liaison. Dan earned his BBA from the University of Oklahoma.
Tom Schurig joined SugarCreek in October 2014 as engineering director and is charged with leading the organization’s aggressive capital investment portfolio and engineering technical services across six SugarCreek manufacturing sites and three Wingate Packaging facilities. Under Schurig’s leadership the company is investing $132 million to expand a 435,000 square foot ready-to-eat facility in Cambridge, IN, which will open in July 2015. Another key investment includes the renovation of a newly acquired site in Cincinnati, OH that opened production in March, 2015. This facility, called the Brandworthy Building, will enable SugarCreek to continue expansion in other value-added food products beyond bacon. Included in the site will be the future headquarters for SugarCreek.
Schurig brings both operations and engineering leadership experience to SugarCreek having led multifunctional and technical organizations that deliver business performance with major CPG and Industrial companies such as, General Mills, Coca Cola, Pillsbury, ConAgra Foods, Ralston Purina and FMC.
He has served as board member and treasurer for Second Harvest Heartland in Minneapolis for nine years, chaired the Strategic Planning Committee to reorganize and expand operations, and merger consolidation of two organizations into the seventh largest non-profit food bank operation in America distributing over 50 million pounds of food annually to the Minnesota-Wisconsin region.
Schurig has led multiple other community volunteer activities over the years including company-sponsored Minneapolis Paint-A-Thon, the Loaves & Fishes Program, and numerous work crews with Habitat for Humanity as well as being active in fundraising activities with his church.
He received his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Cincinnati and is an AFE certified plant engineer. He and his wife, Kathy, are currently in the process of relocating from Omaha, NE to the Cincinnati area. The couple have a son who lives in Bloomington, IL and a daughter in Cincinnati, OH.
Peter Tamborski joined SugarCreek as General Counsel in 2002 after a 20-year career at Smith & Schnacke and Thompson Hine LLP as a labor and employment lawyer. Pete supervises all legal functions at SugarCreek with a particular emphasis on Human Resources, Labor & Employment, contract management and food law. He is licensed to practice in various jurisdictions and is a member of the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States of America. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Food and Drug Law Institute in Washington, D.C.
Dan Barton joined SugarCreek in 2012 bringing a demonstrated track record as a transformational leader from some of the largest and most successful food companies in the world. With his background in Engineering, Operations, and Supply Chain, Mr. Barton brings cross functional experience for driving significant business results. His contributions were recently recognized with SugarCreek being awarded the Edison Crystal award for Breakthrough in technology for 2015, as well as the “Manny” Award from Cincinnati Magazine for 2015 for his work in leveraging new technological capability to drive economics of the business.
Prior to joining SugarCreek, Barton spent 8 years with ConAgra Foods in various technical, operational, and supply chain leadership roles. With ConAgra Foods, Barton was a leader in TPM implementation at the site level, as well as an operational leader in various platforms. In his final role with ConAgra, he was the site implementation leader for the 1st successful full plant integration of SAP.
Prior to ConAgra Foods, Barton spent 5 yrs with H.J. Heinz where he held the position of Project Engineer. In this role, he was responsible for developing manufacturing capability through capital investment, managing projects from concept to commercialization.
Barton holds a bachelor’s degree in Production/Operations Management from Tennessee Technological University.
Thomas J. Bollinger joined SugarCreek in 1992 and was promoted to Chief Financial Officer in 1995. During his tenure Bollinger has been tasked with providing financial leadership for the company as sales increased exponentially. He has also helped lead the development of SugarCreek’s information infrastructure during this period of growth.
Utilizing his previous banking experience, Bollinger has been able to creatively structure the financing necessary to fund the working capital needs and acquisition costs necessary to fuel SugarCreek’s organic growth for the last twenty years through various financial environments.
Bollinger began his career at National City Bank, Marion as an agricultural loan officer where, through FmHA guarantees and capital restructuring, he was able to guide many farm families through the farmland deflation and agricultural recession of the 1980s, allowing them to maintain their businesses and way of life. One of the ways he accomplished this was to implement a financial analysis software tool that allowed the bank’s credit committee to gain a better understanding of the farm business.
In the next phase of his career, Bollinger moved to BancOhio as part of their Corporate Agribusiness team. During his time there, he called on agribusinesses throughout Northern Ohio and Michigan to develop a $100M portfolio of grain and farm supply companies, egg processors, turkey growers and meat processors.
Over the years, Bollinger has given back to the community by serving as a board member and treasurer of the March of Dimes Central Ohio Chapter, youth athletic team coach, and Cub Scout cubmaster. He currently serves as co-treasurer of the Madison Plains Band Boosters, Inc. and as a member of the Madison Plains School District Advisory Committee.
Bollinger received a B.S. in agricultural economics and M.S. in agricultural finance from The Ohio State University. During his education at Ohio State, he was a member of The Ohio State University Marching Band during which time he had the honor of dotting the “i” in Script Ohio.
Bollinger and his wife, Diane, have one son.
Ed Rodden joined SugarCreek in September 2002 with a long and distinguished record of accomplishments as a multi-disciplined executive with functional and management experience in Information Technology, Operations, Supply Chain, Finance, Research and Development and Sales and Marketing.
Rodden took on the role of CIO for SugarCreek in September of 2013.
Under Rodden’s leadership, the Information Technology Group has become a highly focused business change agent, driving the business towards its strategic goals using technology and targeted applications. A defining project is underway to take full advantage of available technology in its new 435,000-square-foot plant in Cambridge City, Indiana scheduled to open July 2015.
Rodden has been selecting, designing, building and implementing Information Systems throughout his career and has three functional patents to his credit. He has a wealth of experience leading functional areas of companies in packaging and food. As VP of Sales and Marketing at Calmar Dispensing Systems, he led the direction of Research and Development.
Howard Mintz joined SugarCreek in 2003 as National Accounts Manager, Retail. In 2011, he was promoted to Director, Human Resources where he is responsible for developing and implementing Human Resource policy and directing Human Resource activities including talent acquisition, workforce planning, compensation, training and development and benefits. Howard has over 38 years of experience in the food industry in various Procurement, Sales and Human Resources roles. Prior to joining SugarCreek, Howard worked for First National Supermarkets, Inc. in procurement and merchandising roles including Director of General Merchandise/Health and Beauty Care. He later joined Daymon Associates, a sales and marketing company, where he was a Vice President overseeing numerous national retail customers. Howard graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) from the HR Certification Institute.
Jim Coughlin joined SugarCreek in 1990 as the operations manager in Dayton, Ohio and became plant manager of the Bloomington, IL location in 1995. In 2000, he moved to the Washington Court House location to manage sales in the co-pack and private label business. Coughlin now is responsible for directing both Food Service and Retail sales for SugarCreek. He graduated from the University of Dayton with a B.S. in Business Administration/Finance.
Since joining SugarCreek in 2008 as director of research and development, Matulis has played a key role in developing new products and implementing new technologies as the rapidly growing company has become a widely diversified and highly respected food co-manufacturer. With over 25 years of experience in food processing and ingredients science, Matulis has worked with flavoring and seasoning suppliers to create authentic flavor profiles that resulted in successful new product launches for SugarCreek customers. He also is responsible for transferring product manufacturing specifications and processing technology from customers to SugarCreek’s plant operations for seamless co-manufacturing.
Prior to joining SugarCreek, Matulis was senior food scientist for Givaudan Flavors. In this role, he was a project leader for the global applications technology and food applications groups where he directed over a dozen projects that implemented new ingredients and technologies for flavor systems. Previously, Matulis was research and development manager and senior food scientist for Bil Mar Foods, a division of Sara Lee Corp. He also served as an assistant animal scientist at the University of Illinois.
The author of numerous articles and technical papers in leading food industry journals, Matulis holds a doctorate in animal science from the University of Illinois, a master’s degree in animal science from The Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Connecticut.