RICHARDSON, NY. — Baldwin Richardson Foods, a custom ingredients manufacturer for the food and beverage industry and one of the largest African American family-owned and family-operated businesses in the food industry, has promoted Erin Tolefree to president. She succeeds Eric G. Johnson, who will remain chief executive officer.
A 19-year veteran of the company, Ms. Tolefree joined Baldwin in 2001 as a national accounts manager. She has held roles of increasing responsibility over the years, including senior manager of national accounts, director of sales, vice president of sales, executive vice president and, most recently, chief operating officer.
In taking over as president, Ms. Tolefree joins the 3% of Black women at the c-suite level and 20% of female c-suite executives in the food and beverage industry, according to Baldwin.
“Erin is an innovative leader with proven business acumen, dedication and the entrepreneurial spirit to successfully lead the company into the future,” Mr. Johnson said. “It is with great pride that today I celebrate Erin, who represents the third generation of entrepreneurial leadership in our family. Her promotion to the role of president is confirmation to the continuity at Baldwin Richardson Foods and commitment to continue our journey as a privately-owned family business. I’m confident her leadership will bolster our business while continuing to raise the bar of excellence through our people-first commitment, accountability to our customers and the communities we serve.”
Ms. Tolefree received bachelor’s degrees in economics and Spanish at Spelman College in Atlanta.