PSSI has appointed Doug White to the newly created position of chief operating officer and promoted Jake Watts to its executive leadership team as senior vice president of shared services, effective immediately.
In his new role as COO, White will continue to work directly with the executive team and operational leadership to drive PSSI’s company strategy and vision. White will lead the company’s ongoing operational growth focusing on operational excellence, continuous improvement and driving PSSI strategy.
“We are excited for Doug to expand his operational leadership and drive strategy across our entire company,” said Dan Taft, president and CEO. “His extensive leadership experience, strategic thinking, and expertise in continuous improvement will help us deliver premier food safety services to our partners in new and innovative ways.”
Leveraging more than 25 years of experience in the food processing and distribution industry, White joined PSSI in 2013 through an acquisition and spent five years leading strategic planning and procurement as vice president of corporate development. He officially became senior vice president of operations for the Western Region in May of 2017, where he led PSSI’s operational partnerships for more than 100 food processing plants across the U.S. and Canada.
“I am thrilled and humbled to have this opportunity to help move our company forward,” said White. “I have great respect for our leadership team and look forward to driving us toward excellence and consistency across North America. Our aspirational goals of ‘best in class for safety’ and ‘employer of choice’ remain front and center as we strive to provide executional excellence for our partners and great career paths for our team members.”
Prior to joining PSSI in 2013, White held positions at PepsiCo and Aramark, among others, accumulating more than 25 years of experience with consumer products and services. He holds a degree from Dartmouth College.
Watts, entering his new role as SVP of shared services, will provide direction and leadership over the safety, food safety, sales, and marketing functions to ensure resources and programs are aligned to support the overall strategic direction of PSSI.
“Jake is an incredible leader, coach and mentor,” said Dan Taft, president and CEO. “We’ve seen the positive impact he has had on PSSI’s food safety culture and we are excited to see Jake broaden his reach and drive strategic support as the newest member of our executive leadership team.”
Watts led the food safety department as vice president since joining PSSI in March of 2018. In this role, he had direct oversight of corporate programs and regulatory affairs as it pertained to food safety. Under his leadership, the food safety team grew by 300 percent and many innovative programs were implemented which has enhanced PSSI’s food safety culture.
“I am excited about our future and continuing to drive PSSI as a leader in food safety while remaining focused on team member safety as our top priority,” said Watts. “I’m humbled and honored to be chosen to help guide our strong leadership team within shared services who support our 17,000 food safety sanitors and valued partners across North America. We will continue to place our company’s core values at the forefront while executing our strategic initiatives.”
Watts held various food safety and quality assurance roles at Tyson Foods and Pilgrim’s Pride prior to joining PSSI. He is a graduate of the University of Arkansas, at Fayetteville.