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R&D Director


Buffalo, NY, US, 14213-1701

Req ID:  15621

Rich’s has been able to pull off something rare in the business world: a culture that successfully blends the latest business practices with family values.  That means our associates are able to work for a great company while also benefiting from a work environment that fosters world class professionalism combined with family intimacy.  Our benefit offerings are reflective of this unique blend of Life, Work and Family .


  • Manages and directs a major segment of the R&D department.  Provides the strategic focus and people leadership for product/process platforms for R&D.  Develops and executes the strategic plans for areas of responsibility, consistent with R&D and Rich's Vision.


  • Provide the strategic focus and people leadership/development for providing all R&D services required to deliver on the R&D priorities.  Develops and executes the strategic and tactical plans for areas of responsibility, including new product development, startups, cost savings, product renovation and technical sales support. 


  • Develops both short and long range business plans and program plans to successfully execute company business strategies. Communicates these plans to executive management, obtaining and deploying resources (people, budgets, equipment) necessary to accomplish these plans. 
  • Ensures Associates understand business plans, the link with corporate business strategies, and the role of each Associate in accomplishing these plans.
  • Ensures adequate resources (people, budgets, equipment, etc.) are available for department initiatives and monitors the accomplishment of project milestones and adherence to timelines, budgets and other performance standards.  Implements corrective actions when necessary. Reviews and analyzes new project requests, assigning resources and prioritizing according to business needs.
  • Oversees and prioritizes all research and development projects, programs and activities (e.g. cost reduction, process improvements, line extensions, new product/process development and commercialization) within areas of responsibility.  Monitors and controls the establishment and accomplishment of project milestones, timelines, budgets and other performance standards.  Evaluates and ensures customer satisfaction.
  • Assists in establishing and implementing new strategic initiative for the R&D department.
  • Conducts briefings and technical meetings for top management and external representatives       
  • Recommends policy creation and/or changes which will optimize performance within areas of responsibility.                                                   
  • Maintains current awareness of applicable new technology and industry trends and their impact on technical and business needs.
  • Actively pursues professional development needs.
  • Acts as a leader in the technical community for a specific scientific or R&D discipline.  Enhances the stature of the discipline through sharing of knowledge, identifying opportunities for greater application of findings and supporting legislative and/or lobbying initiatives.  
  • Performs related responsibilities, as needed, to support Rich Products Corporation's business objectives. 
  • Must engage regularly with all internal and external customers to understand contending priorities and develop a delivery plan to meet those priorities.  Evaluates and ensures customer satisfaction.
  • Leads the development and execution of a plan to leverage external service experts to effectively level load the temporary peak demand priorities of our business.
  • Leads, guides, coaches/mentors and develops staff, ensuring leaders within areas of responsibilities are creating performance, development and career plans for their Associates. 
  • Contributing member of the R&D Leadership Team.  Assists in establishing and implementing the strategic direction of the Rich’s R&D Team.
  • Understands and consistently follows all R&D Governance requirements.
  • Monitors food industry trends, opportunities, and potential problems.
  • Assures effective best practices for R&D personnel and food safety at all times, in the lab, office, pilot plant and plant. 


  • MS Food Science or BS Chemical Engineering.  MBA is a plus. 
  • 10+ years of experience in the food industry
  • 5+ years directly managing all aspects of R&D for a group of 4+ professional product/process developers.


  • Demonstrated ability to work in a fast paced environment
  • Demonstrated ability to manage and develop personnel via direct management experience.
  • Successful track record of hiring and retaining top talent.
  • Successful track record of several significant new product startups.
  • Experienced with developing a wide range of new product innovations, from line extensions to breakthroughs.
  • Experience with CPG branded business and/or B to B or private label business.
  • Experience with dough or processed grain technologies, including baking and oven technologies is a plus.
  • Successful track record of delivering major cost savings annually.
  • Proven success working well with cross functional peers, especially Marketing, Operations, QA and Regulatory.
  • Proven strategic planning skills and keen business sense.
  • Proven team leadership skills, including high-performance team-building, facilitation and consensus building
  • Demonstrated strategic planning skills - proven track record of leadership, taking initiative and delivering results
  • Solid problem solving skills, well versed in formal problem solving methods such as DMAIC, Six Sigma, Fact Based Decision Making, etc.
  • Skilled at  speaking up regularly, with confidence and poise,  assertively, tactfully and respectively, to  influence and collaborate with cross functional peers, subordinates and executives.
  • Results oriented, taking accountability for objectives, timelines and successful performance, to meet corporate objectives.
  • Ability to lead and facilitate key customer interactions
  • Solid communication skills to include verbal and written capabilities; strong presentation ability

Travels typically up to 20% of time.  May be away from the Home Office for an extended duration.


Rich Products Corporation provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Rich Products Corporation complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities.

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