Management team named at Emmi-Roth Käse

by Eric Schroeder
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MONROE, WIS. — A new management team was established recently at Emmi-Roth Käse USA, a dairy and cheese producer formed in January 2009 following Emmi’s acquisition of Roth Käse USA Ltd.

Fermo Jaeckle has been named chief executive officer of Emmi-Roth Käse USA, as well as a member of the board of directors and executive committee. Mr. Jaeckle has more than 30 years of experience in the cheese industry, and prior to founding Roth Käse USA in 1991, he was executive vice-president of Otto Roth Co. Inc. (later Dorman-Roth Foods), an importer, marketer and distributor of perishable specialty cheese.

Steve McKeon has been named president and chief operating officer. A veteran with more than 40 years of experience in food marketing, Mr. McKeon has been president of Roth Käse USA since the company’s inception in 1991. Prior to Roth Käse he worked for Dorman-Roth Foods, Kaukauna Cheese Co., the Royal Cake Co. and H.J. Heinz Co.

Steve Millard has been appointed senior vice-president of sales. Mr. Millard has more than 20 years of sales experience in the consumer packaged goods industry. Prior to joining Emmi USA in 2007, he worked for The Dannon Co., where he held numerous positions within retail and food service sales.

Rene Weber has been named vice-president of U.S. production and international special projects responsible for managing production; designing, developing and managing new product lines; project design and management; and quality management of imported and domestically produced goods. Mr. Weber is a Swiss Federal Master Cheese Maker and manager with more than 27 years of experience in project and plant management, dairy and cheese processing, strategic planning and production technology.

Jim Natzke has been named vice-president of operations and will continue his role as general manager of the Monroe operation. Mr. Natzke has more than 20 years of experience in the dairy industry, and in his new position will be responsible for developing and implementing strategies to manage domestic cheese production, logistics and the supply chain.

Joe Alessio has been appointed vice-president of finance, controlling and I.T., responsible for overseeing the accounting function in addition to the I.T. needs of the company. Mr. Alessio has 16 years of experience in cheese importation/distribution.

Jim DeLaurentis will continue in his role as general manager of the Valley Cottage, N.Y., operation, and has been named a member of the executive committee. Mr. DeLaurentis has more than 35 years of experience in the cheese industry and has been general manager since 2004. He will continue his responsibilities of license and quota management, supply chain coordination with Switzerland and sales support in cooperation with quality assurance, marketing and finance.

Guido Kälin has been named vice-president of marketing, responsible for marketing strategy, the innovation pipeline and marketing and communication tactics. Mr. Kälin has been working for the Emmi Group as head of marketing-cheese division in Switzerland for the past five years.

Jim Basta has been named vice-president of retail sales. Mr. Basta has been with Emmi USA since 1992 in various sales roles, most recently as the company’s Western Regional sales manager. Earlier, he was a regional manager for Dinsdale Marketing.

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