Director, R&D in Mount Prospect IL

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Mizkan America
Director, R&D
Job ID: 
Mount Prospect IL
Not Specified
Not Specified
Job Types:
Director/VP R&D, Food Technol/Scientist, R&D/Product Dev Manager

The Director, R&D provides leadership and partners cross functionally for the design, development and implementation of Pasta Sauce and Vinegar initiatives to support and deliver Annual Operating Plan and strategic business goals and objectives. Oversees the management of all R&D projects within their assigned R&D portfolios. Lead and mentor the R&D team and foster a culture of innovation. Responsible for recruiting, training and managing the performance evaluation and career development process. This position will report to Vice President, Marketing.


  • Directs the development of all projects from concept to commercialization for both internal and external manufacturing/co-packing scenarios.
  • Leads the commercialization of new product launches.
  • Develops projects strategies and timelines which balance the groups workload, while maintaining business priorities.
  • Collaborates with senior level financial resources to establish accurate forecasting of projects spend versus the projects value propositions.
  • Serve as the primary R&D technical resource to Marketing, the Sales Team, QA, Operations and Customers.
  • Partner across Regions (Japan and Europe) to share best practices, identify opportunities to leverage new technologies across geographies, and craft future vision for Mizkan R&D.
  • Determine projects feasibilities and key products attributes leading to the creation of successful products that are aligned with Marketing and Sales on development strategy.
  • Continuously improve products and processes for greater product quality and profitability.
  • Lead and mentor the R&D team and foster a culture of innovation.
  • Collaborate with QA and Operations to ensure that Quality and safety standards are met.
  • Stay abreast of the Regulatory trends and understand the linkages to our business.
  • Manage the expenses associated with the R&D department as prescribed by the annual budget.
  • Responsible for subordinate recruitment, training, performance evaluations and career development.


  • A PhD degree in Food Science or a related field is desired. A Masters degree with relevant experience will be considered.
  • A minimum of ten (10) years of management experience in R&D roles is preferred.
  • Condiment experience with a strong background in Pasta and Pizza Sauces along with a thorough knowledge of Low Acid Canned Foods, Acidified and Non-Acidified foods will be a plus.
  • Strong understanding of product development, food processing and packaging technologies and capabilities.
  • Strong leadership, collaboration, influencing, planning, business acumen and problem-solving skills.
  • Good interpersonal skills with the ability to work effectively with individuals and groups at all levels of the organization.
  • Ability to effectively present information and to be responsive to technical inquiries from both internal and external customers.
  • A good understanding of Food Processing and the Regulatory Agencies (FDA, USDA).
  • Ability to be self-directed, forward thinking and to make complex decisions that drive business performance.
  • Strong Computer Literacy skills.
  • Ability to travel up to 30%.
  • Willingness and flexibility to adapt to changing business needs and deadlines.
  • Ability to exhibit a professional business-like appearance and demeanor.
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