Blue Diamond Almonds, Baker’s Pride and Wixon make key promotions, assignments or welcome new staff to their teams.

Paul Whitaker joins seasoning, flavors and ingredients manufacturer Wixon, Inc., St. Francis, Wis., as consumer products divisional leader. Whitaker will manage the consumer products division as well as cross-functional teams, grow top-line revenue through direct sales and business developments and will help organize strategic and tactical plans for the division.  

“We are excited that Paul has joined the Wixon team and look forward to his insights in the consumer products arena of the food business,” says Chuck Ehemann, executive vice president of sales for Wixon.  “Paul brings a wide breadth of expertise-from sales to marketing to operations planning-which we expect to translate into company growth, greater customer satisfaction, added value and superior product quality at a competitive price.”

Whitaker has more than 25 years of experience in the food industry with several leading consumer packaged goods manufacturers. He recently served as vice president of sales for Imperial Sugar Co., where he oversaw all commercial business segments, including consumer, industrial, foodservice, operations planning and customer service.  

Meanwhile, Baker’s Pride, Burlington, Iowa, names James Eagen director of bakery operations at its South Street Bakery, the newest in Baker’s Pride’s lineup. Eagen was also appointed to the executive management committee.

He has spent more than 22 years at Baker’s Pride and its predecessor company, managing bakery operations for the firm. Prior to that, he managed the maintenance and sanitation at Mt. Pleasant Street Bakery.

The South Street Bakery produces a range of traditional and gluten-free cookies, muffins and several other unique products.

Lastly, Blue Diamond Almonds, Sacramento, Calif., appoints Jennifer Eastman as research and development food scientist. Eastman will focus on new product development and technology for Blue Diamond Almonds’ industrial products division. With expertise in applications involving baked goods, health and wellness bars, confectionery products and snacks, she will also support the sales team in processed food and confectionery applications.

Prior to joining Blue Diamond Almonds, Eastman worked as a product development manager and scientist for PGP International, Grace Cocoa and the American Institute of Baking. She is a member of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT).  

“We are delighted to have a scientist of Jennifer’s capabilities and experience join the Blue Diamond Almonds team, when we are experiencing double-digit growth in our ingredients business,” says Bill Morecraft, general manager, industrial products division. “Her expertise will be invaluable as we continue to develop and test products to meet market demand.”