CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE, US — Grain Craft has announced promotions for two of the company’s executives — Jeff Zierenberg and Nick Weigel. Zierenberg has been named chief human resources officer while Weigel will be senior vice president – quality, regulatory and technical services.
Zierenberg, who joined Grain Craft in 2014 as vice president of human resources, will continue to lead the company’s human resources team while developing and executing strategic plans to advance the company’s business across its 13 flour milling locations and two corporate offices. He is credited by the company for developing its five core value of trusting people, valuing people, excellence, safe people and products and community.
“Jeff has extensive knowledge of how human capital drives business goals, including talent development, employee engagement, compensation, recruitment, and leading our culture,” said Pete Frederick, president and chief executive officer of Grain Craft. “Not only has he led the creation and implementation of Grain Craft’s five core values, but he also exemplifies each of them daily in his work.”
Zierenberg’s career in human resources dates back to 1997. Before joining Grain Craft he held positions at Wacker Chemical Corp. and Mars Inc. He is a graduate of Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, US, with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Weigel, as senior vice president – quality, regulatory and technical services, will continue to be responsible for development of short- and long-term strategies to drive improvement in wheat quality, flour quality, and optimization of resources internally and with value chain partners. Compliance with food safety regulations also will fall under his portfolio of responsibility. Grain Craft said Weigel “initiated creation and implementation” of the Grain Craft Innovation and Quality (GCIQ) Lab in Manhattan, Kansas, US. The facility, which brought Grain Craft’s corporate laboratory to the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center, opened in 2021. Weigel oversees the technical teams and lab functions around customer needs related to product, process, and service solutions.
The company said Weigel will continue to focus on “upstream innovation” and the promotion of sustainable farming practices while overseeing “the growth and unification of the Grain Craft corporate social responsibility initiatives throughout the company.”
“Nick’s broad relationships have enhanced the positive presence of Grain Craft throughout the industry,” Frederick said. “Food safety is always a top risk for food companies, and Nick is an expert in assessing and mitigating potential food safety risk. His conceptualization of programs to strengthen the preferred varieties program and the new GCIQ lab at the Kansas Wheat Center are examples of his strategic ability to foresee opportunities that will strengthen Grain Craft’s long-term success.”
Weigel joined Grain Craft as vice president – quality, regulatory and technical services in 2019 after more than two decades of working in food safety, quality, and technical services. He holds a bachelor of science degree in baking science and management from Kansas State University, Manhattan, and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas, Arlington.
Zierenberg is based at Grain Craft’s corporate office in Chattanooga and Weigel is at the company’s Overland Park, Kansas, US, office.