Organic Valley announced that Jeff Frank will join the cooperative as CEO, effective Jan. 23. Outgoing CEO Bob Kirchoff announced his retirement to the cooperative in 2022 and his last day will be Jan. 31.
"We are happy to welcome Jeff as our next CEO to guide organic food and farming into the future," said Steve Pierson, president of the Organic Valley Board of Directors and a dairy farmer from Oregon. "He shares our values and vision of nourishing people, animals and the earth through ethically sourced organic food from small family farms. He has the skills and experience to navigate the complex challenges facing small organic family farms."
Frank joins Organic Valley from a 25-year career at Hormel Foods, where he held various senior roles in product and brand management. In 2009, he took on the role of vice president of marketing at MegaMex Foods. He was later promoted to president and CEO of MegaMex Foods, where he successfully led global supply chain efforts and brought successful consumer packaged goods to the market.
Frank holds a bachelor's degree in business administration and Spanish from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, an MBA from the University of St. Thomas and an executive certificate from UCLA's Anderson School of Management. He has also completed the Executive Education program at Harvard Business School. Frank has departed from his role at Hormel as group vice president of grocery products to join Organic Valley as its third-ever CEO.
"It's truly an honor for me to join the cooperative. I have a deep admiration for the mission of this organization, and I'm excited to collaborate to drive continued success into the future!" Frank said. "I look forward to working with the board, the farmer-members and teams across the cooperative and the industry to expand the impact of this revolutionary and independent food lighthouse, while staying true to its values and mission of producing ethically sourced food from organic family farms."
"I am confident that Jeff will continue to uphold and enhance the reputation and values of Organic Valley," added outgoing Organic Valley CEO Bob Kirchoff said. "I think it's the perfect time for new leadership to guide the co-op's next phase of growth. I'm so proud of the hard work farmers and employees have put in to keep this cooperative moving forward. I am so grateful for having the opportunity the cooperative gave me and the support along the way."