USA – American producer of specialty foods and home goods, Stonewall Kitchen has named Rick Lees as the company’s new Chief Financial Officer, among other senior leadership appointments.
Expanding the executive leadership team, Stonewall Kitchen has also promoted Natalie King to Chief Sales & Marketing Officer and Dean Frost to Chief Operating Officer.
Rick Lees joins Stonewall Kitchen with broad experience in the consumer products sector in corporate and operational finance.
Most recently, Lees served as the Chief Financial Officer at Ocean Spray, growing the now over US$2 billion company during his 8 years tenure.
Prior to Ocean Spray, Lees held other key executive positions in companies such as Pillsbury, Dannon and Gillette. Rick holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy from Villanova University in Villanova, Pennsylvania.
“With four acquisitions in the last two years, Stonewall Kitchen has seen tremendous growth,” said John Stiker, Chief Executive Officer of Stonewall Kitchen.
“It is important to us that as our business grows, our organization scales alongside it to ensure we have the infrastructure, resources and leadership in place for continued growth and future success.
“Bringing Rick on to head up our Finance Department will strengthen us as a company, as will the promotions of Natalie and Dean.”
Commenting on the appointment, Less said: “This is an exciting new chapter for me. I am thrilled to be joining the company during these exciting times and look forward to being a part of its future successes.”
Natalie King, the newly appointed Chief Sales & Marketing Officer and a close ally to Stonewall Kitchen’s founder, Jonathan King, has been with the company for 24 years.
In her new position, she will be responsible for continuing to drive profitable revenue growth and brand experiences through our various channels.
Additionally, Dean Frost, a 9-year veteran of Stonewall Kitchen, has been promoted from Director of Logistics to Chief Operating Officer.
Stiker noted that Dean will ensure all aspects of our operations are executed as effectively and efficiently as possible, all while maintaining the quality standards on which Stonewall Kitchen has built its reputation.
In July last year, Stonewall Kitchen announced an investment from Boston-based private equity investor, Audax Private Equity, to accelerate the company’s growth.
This came on the heels of a five-year partnership between Stonewall and private investment firm Centre Partners to achieve next level growth.
During the five-year partnership, Stonewall Kitchen thoughtfully expanded its national distribution and completed the acquisitions of the Tillen Farms brand of cocktail accessories, the Napa Valley Naturals brand of culinary oils and vinegars, and the Montebello brand of imported organic Italian pasta.
Together with a licensing agreement with Legal Sea Foods, these initiatives nearly doubled the size of the company.
With the recent capital injection from Audax, Stonewall is further seeking to accelerate growth in the specialty foods market with acquisitions and product launches.
The company recently acquired the Vermont Village brand of Organic Applesauce and Apple Cider Vinegar products and has additionally expanded its product portfolio with launch of over 40 new products in the past one year.