Baldwin Richardson Foods has named Cara Hughes to the position of vice president, customer and community, a promotion that reflects her work across sales, marketing and innovation for the past 16 years, according to Eric Johnson, CEO of one of the largest African American family-owned businesses in the food industry.
In the role, Johnson will build and maintain relationships with community organizations, something she worked heavily on last year supporting underserved children and educational causes, oversee culinary innovation, customer relations, and sales and marketing. Baldwin Richardson Foods is a custom ingredients manufacturer for brands and foodservice clients in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., that also produces finished goods private label products.
The company said since Hughes assumed a leadership role in sales seven years ago, the company’s revenue grew 45% and opened a new innovation center. Before this promotion she was the senior director of sales, and marketing and innovation.
"I am delighted to step into this expanded role with Baldwin Richardson Foods as it represents the company's historical commitment to ensuring our customers succeed while creating impact in the communities where we operate," said Hughes. "Like all great companies, we deliver tremendous industry impact and help our customers win—but we don't stop there. In my new role, I will continue creating deeply rooted connections that enable us to create opportunity by investing in others—and by empowering others to invest themselves in their own communities and pay it forward. I'm grateful for the opportunity to build on that vision, which has guided our African American family-owned company since 1992."
"It is truly an honor to congratulate Cara Hughes on her well-earned promotion to Vice President, Customer and Community, at Baldwin Richardson Foods," said Jacquelyn Howard, VP of direct sourcing at Starbucks Coffee. "Cara's commitment to high levels of customer care and the innovation customers have come to expect has elevated Baldwin Richardson Foods to a leadership level within the food and beverage industry. Her dedication to the local, national and even international communities fully reflects the values of the company. It has been amazing to witness the company's growth over the years and we look forward to supporting Cara's success in this critically important role."
BRF has a long history of impacting the world at large. The company and its employees devote resources to supporting education, providing childhood advantage and maintaining committed, long-term partnerships with organizations such as Spelman College, After School Matters and the Young Women's College Prep Foundation. The company established scholarships at Babson College and Spelman College, which provide annually awarded full-tuition four-year scholarships. The company also built a primary and middle school, Ecole Nouvelle Zoranje, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and has supported its operations since the 2010 earthquake.