Lab Manager

Our client is a leading producer of specialty ingredients which are added to improve texture, consistency, and stability in food, pharmaceutical and industrial products. Their products are derived from renewable raw materials found in nature for use in jam, fruit and milk drinks, confectionery products as well as industrial applications. They work across the whole value chain from natural raw materials to customers’ end products.

Position Summary

The role is for an experienced leader to manage a market-facing lab team of six based in Atlanta, GA.The person will lead a team to deliver technical solutions and food and beverage prototypes with existing products in short term Technical Service Requests (TSR) that are customer-driven and generated by regional sales and marketing teams.

The role will be filled by an experienced food chemist, food or beverage engineer, with a degree in a closely related technical field.  The role will provide technical customer and applications R&D support for various customer driven projects and tasks including formulation support, customer complaint / product performance investigations, prototype development and demonstration samples, and technical training of the Sales and Technical Support Lab team. The role will support customers and technical service managers in multiple regions and with multinational accounts.

Principal Duties & Responsibilities

Manages and coordinates tasks of Lab team and allocates resources to short term projects.

Works closely with innovation function and applications development group to translate needs if solution cannot be completed in their department.

Drives for results to support technical support lab requests and deliver wins for the commercial group

Has a clear understanding of Customer Value Creation (CVC) principles and drives to understand VOC (Voice of Customer)

Works closely with regional marketing to understand emerging trends.

Develops and applies knowledge used to implement and/or improve tools, techniques and work processes.

Solves problems and issues requiring high level of technical knowledge and consideration of other disciplines.

Proactively identifies problems and develops solutions.

Serves on teams focused on highly complex or specialized projects.

Influences others within the organization to reach agreement and adopt new practices and approaches.

Provide training on hydrocolloids to Sales and Technical Service teams

Works with others within a specified activity, project, business and/or technical area.

Decision Making Authority

Decides on technical feasibility of identified market needs or other opportunities brought forward balanced against the commercial opportunity presented.

Suggests how and when a problem can be solved within the or requires a handoff to Innovation team for long term project.

Decides how to apply resources to most effectively meet milestones in the selected projects

Alerts senior management if projects are not on track or identifies disconnects and misalignments.

Escalates issues to senior management if cannot reach agreement on priorities or actions with peers in Technical Sales, Marketing or Sales groups.

Required Experience

Advanced degree in Food Science or Dairy/Food Engineering.

Minimum of 5-7 years of experience in product development and innovation.

Previous experience supervising professionals.

Able to contribute technically as well as manage others.

Sound knowledge of hydrocolloid products, processes, and applications.

Proven business acumen and ability to transform commercial needs into technical programs and to drive those to execution.

Good project leadership skills, particularly in outlining initial scoping stages of projects and completing proof of concept stage.

Effectively work through others to accomplish key objectives and fulfill responsibilities, communicate ideas, instructions, and information in a clear, understandable manner.

Creative and innovative mind and a can-do attitude.

Strong interpersonal skills and written communication. Effective presentational skills.

Ability to lead and work according to Huber principles and values. High level of knowledge in area of hydrocolloids and food applications.

Understands food systems beyond hydrocolloids such as proteins, starches, fats, thermal processing and shelf-life requirements.

Understands competitive products and most likely alternatives by application area.

Working knowledge and experience in GMP and microbiology.

For more information, please contact Moira McGrath at (954) 428-3888 or e-mail