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Director, Research, Development & Technology

Lisle, IL

A High Growth, Entrepreneurial Plant-Based Protein Company

Established in 2018, Greenleaf Foods is a leading consumer plant-based protein company committed to shaping the future of plant-based eating.
Our portfolio of plant-based protein brands includes Lightlife Foods and Field Roast Grain Meat Co.  Lightlife products inspire clean, nourishing health with a simple ingredient deck and great taste the entire family will enjoy. Lightlife is proud to make the country’s #1 brand of tempeh the #1 plant-based hot dog. Field Roast is known for bringing food enthusiasts together with globally inspired flavors, whole-food ingredients and innovative processes that make its plant-based meats and cheeses. Together, the brands feature more than 50 products and represent a leading market position in the plant-based protein category.
Are you looking for an opportunity to make an impact on a fast-growing company? Greenleaf Foods is headquartered 20 miles outside of Chicago in Elmhurst, IL and is an independent, wholly owned subsidiary of Maple Leaf Foods, Canada’s leading protein company. We have operations in Seattle, WA; Shelbyville, IN; and Turners Falls, MA. Our 500 associates embrace a strong, values-based culture and take pride in doing what’s right for our consumers, customers and communities.  Each Greenleaf team member has a voice and plays an active role in helping achieve our goals with passion and discipline. We thrive in an engaging, open and fast-paced environment. We support one another to grow professionally and to take on challenging experiences in the spirit of continuous improvement.

Director, Research, Development & Technology

The Opportunity:

At Greenleaf Foods, we know that accelerating growth in the plant protein category is critical to realizing our vision to become The Most Sustainable Protein Company on Earth. Integrating new food technologies, world-class product designs and winning with best-tasting products, is imperative to achieving this vision as we strive to delight our consumers and strengthen our leadership position.

We are on a journey to hire individuals with great technical and commercial acumen to be part our amazing R&D family who share our passion for food and its impact on our lives and planet. As such, we are seeking a Director, Research, Development & Technology to lead our product development team to innovate, develop and commercialize great tasting, plant-based protein products. This role will be based out of our brand-new innovation center in Lisle, IL.

The Director plays a key role in many aspects of the product development cycle including formulations, process management, etc. This self-motivated individual must be detail oriented and capable of operating in cross-functional, commercial and manufacturing environments. They must display a high degree of autonomy, succeed in a fast-paced, high-growth environment, while having a passion for food and its impact over the environment and maintain a collaborative attitude to coordinate the management of teams and projects simultaneously. This individual is passionate about the sensory and scientific attributes of food. They are dedicated to the overall experience of how the company’s products are prepared, positioned, and consumed.  Bringing exceptional technical expertise in protein, outstanding leadership and a passion for winning, the Director is responsible for the continuing evolution of the RDT team at Greenleaf Foods.

 A snap shot of some of the exciting things you will lead and do:

  • Maintain a relevant product suite to support strategic growth objectives.
  • Build internal capabilities for technical leadership.
  • Implement efficient and effective policies and practices.
  • Support execution of product and manufacturing portfolio strategy – including innovative ways to successfully commercialize new products.
  • Implement continuous improvement initiatives.
  • Demonstrate capabilities as a thought leader to the industry.
  • Manages and mentors associate or product developer level individuals to assist them with projects and further develop them in their role.
  • Develop comprehensive talent management, acquisition, and retention plans.

What we have to offer you:

  • Be part of a company with an inspiring and unique vision, with a deep commitment to sustainability and expanding its leadership in sustainable protein across North America
  • Professional and career development opportunities
  • Competitive Health and Pension plans
  • Commitment to Learning – courses, resources and tools provided to all employees

What you will bring:

  • Post-secondary education in Food Science, Biochemistry or a related discipline
  • Education:
    • B. Sc., M. Sc. or Ph. D with a minimum of 10 years of industry experience
  • 10+ years of experience in product development with recognized National/Multi-National food manufacturing company
  • 3+ years of experience managing a team of individuals, Director level experience preferred
  • Industry experience is preferred in alternative proteins or meat proteins (due to similarities in development and manufacturing techniques)
  • Possesses a deep knowledge of recipe development, best in class processes, manufacturing equipment, and commercialization of products
  • Ability to translate business goals into an RDT strategy
  • Strong business/financial acumen
  • Self-motivated, performance driven and ability to excel in an action-oriented environment
  • Drives accountability for self, team and cross functional partners
  • Excellent communication and influencing skills
  • Strong customer/consumer focus
  • Track record of building and maintaining high performing teams

About Greenleaf Foods, SPC

Headquartered in Elmhurst, IL, Greenleaf Foods, embraces a strong, values-based culture, where dedicated employees take pride in doing what’s right for consumers, customers and communities. Employees thrive in an engaging, open and inclusive workplace that fosters safety and transparency, along with individual leadership and responsibility. Each Greenleaf team member has a voice and plays an active role in helping all of us achieve our goals with passion and discipline. They support one another to grow professionally, to learn new skills and to take on challenging experiences in the spirit of continuous improvement.
Greenleaf Foods, SPC is committed to shaping the future of plant-based foods. Established in 2018, Greenleaf's portfolio of leading plant-based protein brands includes Lightlife Foods and Field Roast Grain Meat Co. Greenleaf is a wholly-owned, independent subsidiary of Maple Leaf Foods. In Q4 of 2020, Greenleaf is opening an Innovation Center to centralize, support and drive it’s innovation agenda.

Our Leadership Values

Eight core values guide us in everything that we do.
  • Doing What’s Right
  • High Performance
  • Disciplined Decision Making
  • Intense Curiosity
  • Shared Value
  • Diverse and Inclusive Teams
  • Our Accountability
  • Transparency and Humility


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