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Technical Manager - Research, Development & Technology

Lisle, IL · Science/Research

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.

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 Technical Manager to oversee innovation, development and commercialization great tasting, plant-based protein products. This role will be based out of our brand-new innovation center in Lisle, IL.

The position of Technical Manager will appeal to individuals who enjoy the challenge of participating in the creation and execution of new and improved products while managing a small team of individuals. The individual will need to be self-motivated, team oriented, enjoy a fast-paced environment, dogged in their pursuit of the end goal and capable of bringing creative approaches to the resolution of the broad array of challenges with which they will be confronted. He or she must also enjoy mentoring and managing a team in order to design and execute the 'hands-on' nature of the job that will require involvement in bench, pilot and plant activities. A passion for food science and technology with an ability to use science and technology to problem solve will be important.

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

  • Responsible for leading, mentoring and developing a team of product developers and ensuring the completion of priority projects and critical non-project work.

  • Lead and motivate R&D team members in the technical aspects of product development through the investigation, planning, execution, evaluation and documentation of new product development and continuous improvements projects.

  • Work and collaborate with teams across the organization to achieve business goals. Communicates and provides updates as needed for visibility of project milestones, key metrics and advances.  

  • Ensure commercialization excellence by supporting R&D team and work closely with cross-functional team members in production plants.

  • Participate as a strategic technical lead for project pipeline review and prioritization. Communicate strategies and priorities to team members for alignment and direction.

  • Evaluate and make recommendations concerning the application of new formulations, process improvements, new technologies, and cost optimization. Champions ideas for technology exploration, innovations, and optimizations that align with strategic goals of the company.

  • Proven record of executing work plans and driving for results in a variety of settings. Responsible for the development of technical work plans and set tactical objectives to drive business results.

  • Maintains an environment of innovation and scientific excellence by staying abreast with technology/market insights, collaborating with external and internal partners and managing the group with passion, intellectual curiosity, integrity and trust.

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:

  • BS/MS/PHD in Food Science, Food Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Microbiology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Life Sciences or related field. Preferably, active academic or industry research & development work in the field of Alternative Proteins

  • Minimum of 7 years relevant work experience in the food industry with 5+ years of experience in product development and commercialization and 2+ years of experience in people management with demonstrated ability to recruit and develop talent. Masters/PhD are a plus.

  • Exhibits leadership and demonstrated ability to influence technical and business partners. Experience developing and commercializing food products and/or food processing technologies. Must have the ability to adapt to change with proven ability to accelerate the performance of R&D team.

  • Communicates and set clear objectives, motivates and empowers direct reports to lead and make decisions. Ability to manage multiple assignments and prioritize work for self and others.

  • Excellent communication and influencing skills. Strong business acumen with an ability to bridge business needs with technical competencies.

  • Demonstrated ability to foster and build a team culture. Proactive, self-driven, results and action oriented with strong teamwork spirit and flexibility.

  • Strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Strong planning and organizational skills.


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 its 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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