JOB TITLE: Project Leader- Idea Labs Innovation
LOCATION: Chicago, IL
REPORTS TO: Director, Emerging Business
Ingredion is hiring an Idea Labs Project Leader to be our main point of contact for the Emerging Business team based in the Chicago Market. As Project Leader, you will provide technical support to customers for a broad range of food and beverage applications as the key point person for the team, working with smaller, entrepreneurial customers. You will be a key member of the Emerging Business team with functional reporting to the Customer Solutions and Product Innovation Team and will be embedded within the Chicago eco-system. The Project Leader will be accountable for management of an Idea Labs facility and maintaining the necessary level of connectivity within our internal team and the entrepreneurial community. An entrepreneurial business thinker that can go beyond just the technical aspects is critical for success in this newly crafted position. You will provide product development support for smaller, up and coming companies and be a catalyst in development of a fee-for-service model in the US/CAN and manage our Idea Labs facility.
As Project Leader, your responsibilities will mainly include:
- Providing technical leadership to customers for a broad range of food & beverage applications by promoting functional value-added ingredients and solutions.
- Demonstrating knowledge of the company’s technologies, solutions and their applications in customers’ products via phone/e-mail, face-to-face meetings, presentations, and at trade shows.
- Working in collaboration with Emerging Business, Customer Solutions & Product Innovation (CSPI), sales, marketing and our Global Applications group to provide technical leadership in recommending solutions to customers, creating customer value to execute our goals.
- Building strong customer relationships with key technical individuals and decision makers, particularly within the entrepreneurial community.
- Providing office hours to entrepreneurs as necessary and building strong relationships with other partners within the eco-system.
- Leading multiple customer projects prioritized with our strategic priorities, Specialties growth and overall business goals.
- Development of the fee-for-service model working with entrepreneurs and start-ups.
- Maintain a clean, safe work environment. Follow and expand corporate and national guidelines set for good housekeeping, GMPs (Good Manufacturing Practices), ServSafe Food Handling and Safety.
This position is well suited for you if you:
- Have a strong Food Science/Food Applications background and strong technical and business insight. Have a genuine excitement to work with entrepreneurial companies and the challenges faced.
- Embrace change and adapt to fast changing customer/consumer demands to deliver solutions with unique functional benefits
- Can anticipate customer needs and proactively create new customer solutions
- Create customer value for customers by actively using knowledge of overall business and markets to execute goals.
- Act with a sense of urgency; are results oriented and like to continuously improve.
- Like to work on the bench and/or in the pilot plant developing formulations, prototypes and testing ingredient performance and have a passion for culinology.
Qualified candidates will have:
- Master’s/Bachelor's degree in Food Science or equivalent technical field with 5 to 7+ years of meaningful commercial and product development experience required. Proven experience of creative, hands-on concept development and formulation using laboratory and/or pilot plant equipment.
- A strong entrepreneurial slant and experience working with both technical and non-technical individuals.
- Strong knowledge of common food processes, food safety, food ingredient functionality and ingredient interactions such as starches, hydrocolloids, fats, proteins etc., is a plus.
- Ability to identify new business opportunities with customers and deliver value creating solutions
- Prior project management experience and experience leading individuals/teams with technical backgrounds.
- Experience running a lab facility and working to develop the necessary processes and procedures in line with company standards.
- Direct experience in a consumer goods manufacturing company preferred.
- Excellent verbal and written interpersonal skills
- Ability to travel 20% of the time.
Job Grade: G
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