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New R&D Leader Reflects on Experience and Opportunities

November 16, 2020

In July, Jim Beauregard stepped into the Director of R&D role at Mennel after spending more than 30 years in the baking industry and research and development field.

In his new role at Mennel, Jim oversees an established R&D program and growing team of R&D professionals based at the Fostoria Flour Mill on Mennel’s main campus in Fostoria, Ohio. He is also responsible for the execution of the division’s innovation pillars including milling engineering and bakery product development.

“Jim fills a critical role within the Innovation department as the leader of the research & development program. R&D is a strategic platform within Mennel, and he steps into this role during an exciting time as we look to push the boundaries of milling and bakery science.” said Dr. Scott Osborne, Vice President of Innovation. “We are already seeing the benefits of Jim’s tenured experience in the flour and baking industry and are hopeful that this will translate to even bigger innovative products, processes, capabilities and services.” 

After just four months into serving as the division’s director, Jim is celebrating some early wins and proudly touting the efforts of his team. 

“Whether it’s taking a deeper dive into our supply chain structure or evaluating our milling systems to increase flour yields, we’ve tackled some significant projects with the operations team and the results have been extremely positive,” said Jim.

Mennel has established a reputation in the flour and baking industry for quality, uniformity and service – the company’s long-time core values. Although Mennel has grown and expanded its capabilities, they remain committed to operational excellence and a collaborative or cross-functional team approach, which is something that Jim acknowledged as part of his reflection.

“I was once a customer of Mennel’s and remember being impressed by the quality of their products and services as well as the technical support they offered,” said Jim. “Now that I am here and have had a chance to work alongside folks at all levels of the organization, I can see that Mennel truly hires to their ideals and treats their employees well.”

Although Mennel’s focus on innovation and the R&D program is a bright spot in the company’s history, Jim is focused on future expansion and growth.

“It’s an exciting time at Mennel as we are positioned to grow and evolve as an organization,” said Jim. “Of course we will continue to help resolve service and processing issues if they arise, however we are placing greater focus on product development. It’s a strategic move from ‘little R’ and ‘big D’ toward ‘big R’ and ‘big D’.”

Throughout his career in bakery R&D development, Jim has worked directly with dry mix products, wet goods, frozen dough, and consumer packaged products. He received his bachelor’s degree in Food Systems Management from Buffalo State College in Buffalo, New York.

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