In support of strategic growth efforts, Bell Flavors & Fragrances has announced new hires, including newly created positions, at its company headquarters in Northbrook, Illinois.

The new additions will strengthen leadership, efficiency, and oversight across departments such as regulatory, human resources, quality systems, analytical sciences, and sweet applications.

The new additions include:

Kathleen Hoppie, senior quality systems manager. She will be responsible for the development, implementation, and auditing of quality systems (QS) and prerequisite programs related to SQF certification and customer audits. Hoppie provides great depth of knowledge on internal and external auditing, supplier management, and GFSI requirements.

She joins Bell F&F from Morton Salt where she served as supplier quality manager and audit program manager. Previously, she was the supplier quality scientist at Mars Wrigley Confectionary for four years. Hoppie holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University in quality assurance and regulatory compliance.    

Dr. Thomas Mangos, director of regulatory affairs – flavors. His initial focus will be on the USDA/New Technology Regulatory product lines while also supporting some of the company’s other Regulatory programs such as Kosher, Halal, as well as Vendor Approval and Control. Mangos holds a PhD in food science from the University of Hannover, Germany. 

Prior experience includes being the regulatory manager at Harvest Hill Beverage, a position at Activ International (Givaudan Flavors) as senior regulatory manager supporting the integration of Activ into Givaudan and other Flavor Regulatory responsibilities. Mangos also held various technical positions (R&D, Regulatory, and Quality Systems) at Symrise, Wild Flavors, and Dragoco.  

Katie Knapp joins the sweet applications team with a primary focus on bakery and pastry clients in addition to supporting the broader team on confections and dairy desserts. Knapp is a certified research chef through the Research Chefs Association with a degree in baking and pastry from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York.

Her rich background in product development includes the past seven years at Palermo’s Pizza in Milwaukee as a research chef and food technologist. Previously, she was the lead manager, pastry chef, and/or chocolatier for multiple high-end bakeries, chocolate/confectionery stores, and bread shops in the Wisconsin area. Knapp is currently working toward a degree in food business leadership through the Culinary Institute of America online and relocating to Illinois from greater Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Chris Curran, newly created position of director of human resources, U.S. Curran reports directly to Maureen West, sr. director, global human resources, to oversee HR policy and procedures for Bell F&F’s U.S. operations. He will ensure strategic alignment of human resources policies and programs including talent acquisition, performance management, employee training and development, compensation, change management, benefits, and employee relations.

Curran commands extensive experience at the senior HR level with industry experience in manufacturing, market research, logistics and sales and distribution organizations. He has served in roles specializing in talent acquisition, performance management, and new hire onboarding. 

Rama Rengarajan, PhD., director of analytical sciences. He will be responsible for developing, implementing, and executing strategic analytical plans for Bell. He will provide Bell’s collaborative teams, both local and internationally, with insights and extensive team building capabilities, drawing on his understanding of Food Science / Physical Chemistry. Rengarajan will lead, co-create, and execute new analytical processes, methodologies and upgrade the department as needed for flavor and fragrances analytical needs. Rengarajan joins Bell with over 20 years of experience in flavor & consumer products companies (CPG).

He started his career at the Quest and Kerry Bioscience ingredients team. Experience with CPG companies includes most recent work with Kraft Heinz, as well as prior work at Kellogg’s and Coca-Cola with a focus on analytical and technical services, including analytical, sensory, and pilot plant management. Rengarajan has a successful track record of success with innovation and strategy team building, both with internal and external customers. He holds both a PhD in Grain Food Science and a Master’s of Science in physical chemistry from Kansas State.