Presented by:
The Management Roundtable

A two-day executive forum focused on how to innovate differently in the face of a changing regulatory landscape, create a user experience that builds brand loyalty, open new market channels and secure the right talent to execute your innovation strategy.

Keynote Presentation
Tuesday, August 9 - 1:15p-2:15p
Research and Development at the J M Smucker Company - A Culture of Growth

In the late 90's the management team at Smucker's took a hard look at how the company was going to grow in the foods industry after having had several years of flat to no growth at around $600 Million in sales. A strategy of acquisition was adopted, and in 2002 with the acquisition of Jif and Crisco, two iconic brands, the company doubled in size. In 2004, another acquisition, which brought in part of the Pillsbury brand among others, redoubled the company to now over $2 Billion. After several smaller "bolt on" purchases of Knott's and Eagle Brand, the company doubled again to nearly $5 billion with the purchase of Folger's in late 2008. With the mantra of "effective first, efficient second", Karen Milley will talk about the level of impact from that much change and growth on the R&D organization, and the balances between such choices as: standardized methodology vs. innovative culture; supply chain optimization vs. break-through innovation; and career development vs. resource deployment.


Karen Milley
Vice President
Research & Development
Consumer Foods Business
The JM Smucker Company

Karen Milley has worked for The J. M. Smucker Company in Orrville, Ohio for 23 years, all of them in Research and Development or what was previously referred to as Product Development. After a series of positions within R&D at Smucker's, in 2008, Karen became Vice President of R&D for the Consumer Business Unit which managed the Smucker's flagship brand as well as Jif peanut butter, and Hungry Jack breakfast. In May of 2011, the Consumer Business Unit merged with the Baking and Oils Business Unit to form the Consumer Foods Group, and Karen was chosen to lead R&D for this larger organization of $2 billion in sales. This new business unit manages all retail brands with the exception of coffee brands. Other companies where Karen has worked include General Mills, Yoplait, and Nabisco Brands.

Karen graduated from The Ohio State University with a bachelor degree in Food Science, and an MBA in Marketing from Indiana University Kelley School of Business.


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Learn how to:

  • Deliver results while building up your company's innovation capabilities

  • Evolve company culture to support and drive innovation initiatives

  • Expand your innovation processes across multiple functions and levels

  • Find growth in mature markets to expand your brand reach and increase revenues

  • Accelerate innovation by partnering with key customers, consumers and suppliers

  • Recruit, incentivize and retain the right top talent to roll out and execute your new innovation initiatives

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