The Blount Fine Foods family has grown and shifted recently, promoting two and adding two more to its team. The company announced that Clayton Burrows has been promoted to join the culinary team as a Research & Development Chef, while Corporate Executive Chef Jeff Wirtz has been promoted to also carrying the title of Senior Director of Culinary Development. Additionally, Michael Palmer has joined on as Foodservice Business Development Representative for the Midwest, while Mike Maher has been welcomed as its new Culinary Business Development Specialist.
“Jeff Wirtz, who is a respected and award-winning chef and thought leader on the subject of culinary innovation, has been the driving force behind the expansion and elevation of our premium product lines,” said William Bigelow, Vice President of Research & Corporate Development, on Wirtz’s upward movement.
The new Senior Director will now be responsible for forming and managing those partnerships the company maintains with its suppliers, especially the organic and “free-from” farmers that are called upon to provide a reliable supply of premium ingredients for Blount products, according to a press release.
“Jeff’s instincts for recipe and product development are second to none, and as he has grown as an executive, so too has the culinary function here at Blount Fine Foods,” Bigelow added.
Clayton Burrows had previously been Quality Assurance Technician as a member of Blount’s production team.
The company called Burrows’ ascension from the production floor to the R&D Kitchens an ‘ideal manifestation’ of CEO Todd Blount’s vision of a talent pipeline that consistently finds the best talent coming from within the company.
“Clayton Burrows has worked hard, and taken advantage of the personal and career development opportunities here at the company,” said Wirtz. “When we post a job opening, our sincere hope is that the search and interview process demonstrates that the best candidates are actually within the company, which it certainly was in the case of Clayton.”
Maher’s addition to the team brings more than a quarter-century record of success as a chef and foodservice executive, having most recently served as US Foods’ Territory Manager for the Southwest.
“We have brought Mike on to the team to join me out in the field calling on customers, which ensures we bring culinary expertise and perspective to those invaluable conversations,” said Executive Vice President for Sales & Marketing Bob Sewall, who Maher will work closely with in his new position. “He is a first-rate culinary expert who speaks comfortably and credibly about all aspects of the food industry, and who truly understands our customers’ business opportunities and challenges.”
Maher’s appointment and experience frees up Corporate Executive Chef Jeff Wirtz, the company said, who can now focus exclusively on culinary development.
Last but not least, new addition Palmer comes to Blount as an accomplished sales and account manager. He will apply his history of growing accounts and solidifying customer relationships to managing and growing Blount’s foodservice business in the company’s Midwest territory, working out of the Chicago office.
All changes went into effect immediately upon yesterday’s announcement. Congratulations to all these growing industry members and to Blount for a big step in growth!