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Ethocel Operations Leader

Date: May 14, 2022

Location: Midland, MI, US, 48640

Company: IFF Family of Companies

Requisition  ID : 375081 

Job Description


The Operations Leader reports to the Midland Site Leader and is part of a high-performance team, serving as an influential leader and technical resource to optimize plant operations, resolve plant problems, and enable safe and efficient production of high-quality products.  This person has responsibility and accountability for plant personnel, assets and achievement of the plant related site, business, and corporate goals. 


  • The Operation Leader provides leadership to the plant operations team and acts as the primary back-up to the Site Leader.
  • Partners with the Site leader to drive a strong personal safety, process safety, and environmental improvement plan to achieve EH&S goals and ensure compliance with regulatory and permit requirements.   
  • Relentlessly pursues maximum plant reliability to reduce department unplanned events and support safe operations.   Teaches and encourages behaviors to support reliable operations. 
  • Knows and advocates Life Critical Standards within the facility.  Demonstrates priority and commitment through personal behavior and coaching in the field. Provides the needed positive and negative reinforcement to address deviations with urgency and ensures appropriate follow up and investigations. 
  • Ensures appropriate technical review of work plans (maintenance or improvement) such that Life Critical Standards are applied appropriately for the job. 
  • Partners with Site Leader to ensure capital is allocated appropriately to design out industrial hygiene hazards, improve environmental compliance & sustainability, and reduce personal/process safety hazards.  Implements administrative controls and process controls for safe and reliable operation. 
  • Keeps active field presence and assesses work activities routinely to maintain awareness of plant needs and understanding of personnel behaviors.
  • Inspires and motivates the organization through leadership and strong connection with the team fostering an empowered organization. Shows appreciation for employees and maintains a servant leadership mindset.
  • Works closely with Human Resources as needed to hire operators with strong skill sets.   Ensures operators are on-boarded and trained via a comprehensive plant training program to maximize their opportunity for success and increase plant expertise. 
  • Coaches both FSFL and Tech/Tech roles within the plant to be effective within their roles.  
  • Understands how much money the plant makes each day along with product margins, and takes actions as needed partnering with the Site Leader and business to maximize total margin and EBITDA.  Is flexible and assists the Site Leader in dealing with changing conditions.
  • Continuously works to improve the total cost of production (raw material, conversion cost and activity rate, etc.).   May take a leadership role in maintaining the budget as delegated by the Site Leader. 
  • Holds themselves and others accountable for return on investment of projects and ensures compliance with financial reporting rules/practices within the facility.
  • Supports and drives continuous improvement by being active and ensuring operations participation in opportunity analysis sessions and plant improvements.  
  • Partners with improvement teams to reach agreement on proposed improvement plans and ensures plant resources are available to achieve the plan.    Ensures controls are implemented in operating discipline and process control as applicable to sustain improvements. 
  • Develops strong partnerships with support functions such as EHS, Maintenance, Supply Chain, and others to drive improvement in the organization and assure alignment. 

Job Requirements


  • A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is required.  Engineering preferred.
  • Skilled in the use of MS Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) required.
  • 8+ yrs. of manufacturing and engineering experience.  
  • Experience in continuous improvement methodologies (eg. Six Sigma, LEAN, etc.) preferred.
  • Demonstrates strong integrity in placing safety, the environment, and quality ahead of production volume.
  • Strong technical, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills are required to be successful in this job.
  • Ability to influentially lead teams and individuals utilizing performance-based leadership or similar behavioral based science.
  • Facilitative leadership and teamwork skills.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects/tasks at one time.
  • Highly motivated and results-driven individual with strong interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to interact with cross functional teams, engineering groups, plant operations, research and commercial organization and management.
  • Strong written and organizational skills.
  • Knowledge and ability to apply Six Sigma, LEAN, and process control fundamentals in daily activities.
  • RCI leadership skills.

We are a global leader in taste, scent and nutrition, offering our customers a broader range of natural solutions and accelerating our growth strategy. At IFF, we believe that your uniqueness unleashes our potential. We value the diverse mosaic of the ethnicity, national origin, race, age, sex or veteran status. We strive for an inclusive workplace that allows each of our colleagues to bring their authentic self to work regardless of their religion, gender identity & expression, sexual orientation, or disability.

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Nearest Major Market: Midland Michigan
Nearest Secondary Market: Saginaw