CONCORD, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Welch’s, a family-farmer owned cooperative and the leading marketer of Concord and Niagara grape-based products, announces the appointment of Michael Keown, President and CEO of Farmer Brothers (NASDAQ: FARM), a leading manufacturer and distributor of coffee and tea products, to its Board of Directors. He is one of five external Welch’s Board Directors. Bringing 30 years of experience in the consumer products industry, Keown will use his track record of building businesses and strengthening teams to help Welch’s achieve short and long-term goals.
“Mike’s vast consumer products leadership experience shows that he knows how to use a variety of organizational capabilities to deliver substantial results for shareholders and owners,” said Joseph Falcone, Chairman of the Welch’s Board, and President of National Grape Cooperative Inc. “We’re looking forward to gaining his industry expertise and insights on delivering further value for our family-farmer owners.”
An experienced leader with proven results in turning businesses around, Keown recently has driven significant stock improvement at Farmer Brothers. Building critical strategic partnerships and a strong executive team, Keown has successfully increased profitability and lowered costs while driving branding and innovation. Prior to Farmer Brothers, Keown served in several executive roles, including President of Indulgent Brands and Channels, at WhiteWave Foods. Keown also led the shelf-stable division of The Minute Maid Company, and drove sales and marketing strategies at E&J Gallo Winery and the Procter and Gamble Company.
“Welch’s is a respected food and beverage company with many strong opportunities to expand its trusted and iconic brand,” says Keown. “I’m very proud to join the team and help unlock new avenues for growth and profitability.”
Keown received his B.A. in Economics from Northwestern University.
Welch’s partnered with Barton Executive Search of Atlanta, GA, to fill this position.
Welch’s is the processing and marketing subsidiary of the National Grape Cooperative. Located across America and in Ontario, Canada, the cooperative’s approximately 1,000 family farmers own the company and grow the delicious and inherently healthy Concord grape used in Welch’s juices and other grape-based products. Welch’s is committed to research and development that will meet the growing demand for products that address consumers’ health and nutrition needs. Welch’s products are sold throughout the United States and in approximately 40 countries around the globe. Welch’s is an Equal Opportunity Employer-Minorities/Female/Disabled/Veterans. www.welchs.com
About Barton Executive Search
BES is a boutique search firm dedicated to developing long-term partnerships with clients and candidates. The company specializes in delivering in-demand executive talent into their broad array of consumer-related clients. www.bartonexec.com