A whole host of changes is coming to the Laura Chenel Chèvre, Inc. leadership team. The parent company to brands such as Laura Chenel, Marin French Cheese Co., and St. Benoit Creamery has made several announcements regarding its leadership team. Most notable is the introduction of Chief Executive Officer, Laure Chatard.
Chatard has devoted her career to the specialty food industry and joins the trio of companies after eight years as the North American Director of Sales and Marketing for Donsuemor, a division of St Michel North America, the U.S. office of the French cookie company. Throughout her entire career, Chatard has worked within the specialty food industry. She began as a West Coast Sales Representative at Fabrique Délices, a charcuterie and specialty meat manufacturer. She then took over Direction of Sales Operations at Galaxy Desserts and five years later at FullBloom Baking Co.
During her eight years at Donsuemor/St Michel North America, Chatard provided vital support in strategic decision-making and planning while also managing the sales and marketing team and overseeing business development of the North America subsidiary.
According to a press release, Chatard will be taking over from General Manager Philippe Chevrollier, who has been named North America Area Manager for Laiteries H. Triballat, parent company of Laura Chenel Chèvre, and its trio of brands. In his new role, Philippe will work with Laure to ensure a smooth transition and successful development of Laura Chenel, Marin French Cheese Co., and St. Benoit Creamery activities.
“I am a firm believer that what makes a team work is the individual commitment to the group effort. And I can tell you that, today, we have the right individuals for that. The Laura Chenel Chèvre team is today a good example of what a multicultural team of dedicated experts can achieve,” he commented. “‘We can’t change the direction of the wind, but we can adjust our sails to always reach our destination.’ I have been inspired by this [Jimmy Dean] quote and considered that even if 2020 is a challenging year, it should mark a new orientation for Laura Chenel Chèvre. We have reinforced the team with strong individuals, all experts in their area.”
Other executive appointments include the promotion of Manon Servouse to Director of Marketing for Laura Chenel Chevre, Inc., overseeing Laura Chenel, as well as Marin French and St. Benoit Creamery. Throughout her career, Servouse has worked for brands such as Remy-Cointreau, Piper & Charles Heidsieck Champagne, United Biscuits, and Jacob’s Cream Crackers. She also worked at Laiteries H. Triballat as the Rians Cheese Brand Manager before moving to the United States in 2016. Manon has been a part of the Laiteries H. Triballat team for seven years, defining marketing brand strategy, innovation, and positioning.
BJ Frank has been promoted as Eastern Director of Sales, a role in which he will play up his more than 20 years of expertise within the specialty foods industry. Prior to joining Marin French Cheese Co. and Laura Chenel in 2015 as the Regional Sales Manager for the East Coast, Frank spent four and a half years as the Regional Sales Manager for Creminelli Fine Meats.
Another promotion is Caroline DiGiusto to Marin French Cheese Co. Creamery Manager. She has spent the last three years managing research and development for Laura Chenel fresh and aged goat cheeses; Marin French Cheese Co. soft-ripened cow’s milk cheeses; and St. Benoit Creamery’s milk, yogurt, and desserts. Driven by a passion for science and food, she studied for three years at a specialized French dairy school, the Ecole Nationale Industrie Laitiere, learning all facets of microbiology, cheese cultures, chemistry, and processes required to make traditional artisan cheeses. Following this experience, she went on to gain her Engineer Degree (MS) in Food Science and Technology. DiGiusto then joined the Bel Group full-time performing research and development in France and the Netherlands. In her new role, she will oversee all aspects of Marin French Cheese Co. operations.
A new addition to the team is Felice Thorpe, who will step into the role of Western Director of Sales. After growing up on a farm in Bolinas, California, Thorpe has strong roots in California agriculture. She is the current President of the California Artisan Cheese Guild and is incredibly passionate about handcrafted foods. Felice graduated from Mons Academie Opus Caseus. She is a former cheese judge for the Good Food Foundation and served as the Cheese Specialist for Chefs Warehouse in Northern California.
Francois Challet will be the Laura Chenel and St. Benoit Creamery Manager. He brings more than 35 years worth of experience in the cheese and dairy industry, most recently as the Production Manager at Fromageries Des Chaumes. Among his previous jobs, he worked for Savencia Cheese & Dairy in Japan and Alta Dena Dairy in California. In this role, he will oversee all facets of production for Laura Chenel’s award-winning cheeses and St. Benoit Creamery’s yogurts and dairy desserts.
Congratulations to all on their new roles!