DENVER — Gina Steffens has returned to PHM Brands as chief executive officer, succeeding John Mason and Bryan Ledgerwood at the helm of the company. Under her guidance, Ms. Steffens said the company will build a “sustainable and scalable” structure for PHM with a renewed emphasis on its core milling business.
Mr. Ledgerwood and Mr. Mason both are co-founders of the business and will remain managing directors. Mr. Ledgerwood, who will serve as chairman of PHM, said Ms. Steffens’ “economics first and results driven approach” helped make her a “natural fit” for the role.
Ms. Steffens was chief legal counsel for PHM Brands from July 2021 until October 2022. Her career includes leadership experience at publicly traded companies during periods of aggressive growth, the company said. Before rejoining PHM Brands earlier this year, Ms. Steffens was general counsel for Real Estate Solutions, a residential property management business serving the Denver area. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and a law degree from the George Washington University Law School.
“PHM has grown rapidly, reaching the point where the organization must shift focus toward building a sustainable and scalable structure designed to support PHM Brands continued growth well into the future,” Ms. Steffens said.
Ms. Steffens already is working to restructure PHM’s suite of businesses.
“We have recently been more vocal that we are returning our focus to our core, which is flour milling,” she said. “And, while our family of agricultural and biotechnology-based companies complement each other, we will be strategically restructuring the enterprise to return priority to the core and focus on expansion in that space.”
This heightened focus on milling will translate into two or three “major growth projects” in 2023 and 2024,” PHM said. While the projects were not detailed, the company said it is positioning PHM as a nationwide supplier of low micro and RTE mixes and flours.
“We are expanding through focusing on our core business as flour millers and already have significant projects underway in multiple locations,” Ms. Steffens said.
PHM operates flour mills in Dawn, Texas, and Farmington, NM.
With a new sharpened focus, PHM needs separate leadership teams for its Energis Solutions business, a pathogen-reduction biotechnology company; Viobin, a wheat germ oil business; and Panhandle Milling.
Energis Solutions will be operated as an independent company, to be led by Kevin Lamar, who has been named president and general manager. PHM said Energis is installing “multiple” Guardian pathogen-reduction machines” in flour mills across the United States in 2023. Mr. Lamar’s background includes leadership positions at various startup businesses. A graduate of Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif., Mr. Lamar played briefly in the National Football League for the Buffalo Bills.
Since its purchase in 2018 by PHM, Viobin has continued to experience growth a as supplier of specialty oils and defatted wheat germ products. Peter Bisaccia, president of PHM Brands, said the company will begin exploring options this year toward transitioning Viobin into a business with an independent operating structure.
“Viobin, as a developer of pet food ingredients and other supplements, has a diverse and distinct business portfolio that requires dedicated attention and expertise in this space,” Mr. Bisaccia said.