Executives 2019-01-18T19:08:41+00:00


With years of experience and expertise in food and beverage, our executive team has the proficiency and energy to help your company create the on-trend products that your customers desire.

Jim Holdrieth

Jim joined Florida Food Products in November 2016 as President and Chief Executive Officer. He brings over 25 years of sales, operational, and M&A experience from the specialty chemical and food ingredient industries. Prior to joining Florida Food Products, Jim held the position of Vice President and General Manager at Balchem, Inc., leading their food ingredients division. In addition, he spent 10 years with SensoryEffects, Inc. as General Manager of the Specialty Powder division, leading the acquisition and consolidation of several spray drying operations. He started his career with Ashland Chemical Company, Inc., eventually leading their Fine Ingredients division which was divested off to Mitsubishi International Food Ingredients where he served as Vice President of Operations. Jim’s experience includes building and leading diverse specialty ingredient companies through rapid sales and commercial development, operational/process optimization, and development of new innovative technical platforms. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from The Ohio State University. Jim resides outside of Orlando with his wife Sharon and their four children, Maxx, Jake, Mara, and Jordan.

Gerard Bernard

Gerard joined Florida Food Products in July 2017 as Chief Financial Officer. Gerard has been in the food business for 30 years and his career has included M&A work, debt restructuring, business analysis, SAP system implementation, process optimization and redesign, risk management, and employee benefits. Gerard is a CPA and MBA. Gerard started his career at A.E. Staley Mfg., which was later purchased by Tate & Lyle, a large British food ingredients company. He spent a total of 19 years with Tate & Lyle, ending his career there as Vice-President & CFO of Tate & Lyle Europe, overseeing the finance function in 12 countries. Prior to that, Gerard was Director of Finance for Tate & Lyle North America, which included Staley, Domino Sugar, Western Sugar, Redpath Sugar (Canada), and PM Ag Products. After Tate & Lyle, Gerard spent 10 years with U.S. Sugar as Senior Vice-President & CFO. Gerard directed the Finance, IT, Purchasing, Risk Management, and Employee Benefit departments at US Sugar and was heavily involved with acquisitions and divestitures. Gerard resides in Sorrento, Florida, with his wife Kathie. They have three grown sons and two grandchildren.

Christopher Naese

Christopher joined Florida Food Products in October 2017 as Vice President, Business Development. Christopher has over 30 years of experience in the flavor, functional, and nutritional ingredient industries. Prior to joining Florida Food Products, Christopher was Global Key Account Director at DuPont Nutrition & Health, managing the global business with a major food and beverage client. He began his career in Toronto, Canada, as an Account Manager with the flavor house Firmenich, and then moved over to then Unilever-owned Quest International where he held a variety of roles including key account and product management for a wide range of flavors and functional food ingredients. Christopher moved to the US in 1993 where he took on the role of Marketing Manager for Quest Fruit and Vegetable products in Oregon, transferring to Quest’s North American headquarters as Business Industry Manager, Savory, as well as Sales Director for the savory business unit in the US and Canada. Christopher joined DuPont’s joint venture with Bunge, Solae, in 2007 where he took on the management of a large global account heavily involved in the infant, healthcare, and sports nutrition market segments. At Florida Food Products he will work to identify new business opportunities with customers as well as working to build the new product pipeline in response the food industry’s interest in healthy and clean label ingredients. Chris holds a Dairy Science degree from the University of Guelph, the Kellogg Management Institute certification from Northwestern University, and is a Certified Food Scientist (CFS). Christopher is married to Yvonne, a finance professional, and their daughter Chloe is studying environmental design.

Pavan Soma, Ph.D.

Pavan joined Florida Food Products in 2012 as Director of Research. Dr. Pavan Soma handles identification, extraction and development of natural actives and process development for the company, and is a specialist in fermentation, product development, process optimization, and scientific support of sales staff. Dr. Soma oversees lab technicians and third-party research laboratories associated with the company, and is proficient in analytical analysis and hydrocolloid chemistry. Dr. Soma holds a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in Food Science and a Bachelor of Science in Food Engineering and Technology at the University of Mumbai, India.

Chris Carroll

Chris joined Florida Food Products in February 2017 as Director of Supply Chain. He brings over 17 years of experience in supply chain, strategic planning, and operations. Prior to this role, Chris held the position of Director of Strategic Planning at Valuation Litigation Services, Inc., leading their sustainable process deployment. In addition, Chris led the Sales and Operations Planning process for CHEP North America. Previously, he spent eight years in supply chain leadership positions across two different business units within HD Supply. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Transportation and Logistics from The Ohio State University and a Master of Business Administration from Amberton University. Chris resides west of Orlando with his wife Amy and their three children, Daniel, Jeremiah, and Rachel.

Jason Reicks

Jason joined Florida Food Products in 2014 as National Accounts Sales Manager, Meat Ingredients. He brings over 15 years of sales, marketing, and R&D experience in the meat industry. Before joining Florida Food Products, Jason held the position of Business Manager at Flavorseal, Inc., leading their spice transfer packaging/casing division. Also, he spent four years with Cargill, Inc. as a Food Technologist leading the product development of the Club Store channel, launching 30MM+ lbs of private label lunchmeat into Sam’s Club. Jason started his career with Jif-Pak Manufacturing, Inc. in multiple roles, from Midwest Regional Sales Manager to Marketing & Technical Support Manager for the meat casing and netting manufacturer. He holds a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Studies from Iowa State University. Jason grew up on a family dairy farm in Northeast Iowa and now resides in the Kansas City area with his wife Jenny and their daughters, Haven and Nella.

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