Chicago-based Blommer Chocolate Co. has announced two changes in upper management.
James “Jim” Durkin has been named v.p. of operations. He will supervise engineer and supply chain operations at the company’s four North American manufacturing locations in Chicago, Pennsylvania, California and Ontario, Canada.
Durkin has worked in the food industry for more than 30 years. He’s held executive and operational management positions at Kraft Food Co., serving as an electrical engineer and working his way up to other positions including plant manager for a bakery division, global head of engineering and v.p. of operations for Oscar Mayer, Kraft’s largest manufacturing organization.
“His background in implementing continuous improvement methods, focusing on team development and driving change will allow Jim to lead our efforts to bring best practices to our manufacturing locations,” says Peter Blommer, president of Blommer Chocolate. “We are very pleased to welcome Jim to our team.”
The company also appointed Steve Blommer as v.p. of business development. His role will be to expand North American market segments as part of the company’s growth strategy.
Steve Blommer began working for Blommer Chocolate in 1995 and held positions in sales, marketing and operations management. During his most recent five years as v.p. of operations, Blommer oversaw more than $100 million in capital expansion.
In February, Blommer Chocolate announced it acquired a manufacturing plant in China’s Jinshan District near Shanghai. The company plans to invest $40 million in the plant to create a fully integrated bean processing and chocolate manufacturing facility, which will support the growing demand both in China and the Asian region.