Craig R. Petray, CEO, J.R. Short Milling

Craig R. Petray becomes CEO of the J.R. Short Milling Co., Kankakee, Ill., a leading producer of ingredients for the snack food industry. Petray previously headed The NutraSweet Co., Chicago, and replaces interim CEO Jeff Hebble effective Jan. 20. Hebble remains on the company’s board of directors.

“Use of our custom-tailored and highly versatile product has been growing rapidly,” says chairman Tom Harris. “This is true in both crisp and shaped products, whether destined for the retail or food service channel. Craig gives us the kind of broad food and ingredient industry experience that we need to develop and expand our customer relationships.”

Petray has spent most of his career in the consumer products and food ingredient businesses, rising through the ranks to become CEO of NutraSweet in 2004. Under his leadership, the company evolved from its patent-protected Aspartame business into the global leader in the manufacture of high-intensity sweeteners. According to Harris, Petray is suited to J.R. Short’s desire to build a company with the best people, the best facilities and the highest quality products.

“J.R. Short is all about developing innovative, new products based on close relationships with customers and a deep understanding of their needs and goals,” Harris explains. “The recent ‘A’ rating from BRC (British Retail Consortium) Global Standards and last month’s completion of a major expansion are indicative of our commitment to customer support.”

J.R. Short has been an ingredient supplier for more than 100 years and has been family-held for more than 90 years. It pioneered the use of pelletized ingredients, installing its first machine in 1984.