Director of Operations – Proliant Dairy Ingredients – Ankeny, Iowa

Lauridsen Group Inc.

Proliant Dairy Ingredients is committed to providing the best dairy ingredient options for enhancing the value and effectiveness of our partners’ products. We are formulating success by living our values of Continuous Improvement, Teamwork, Quality, and Leadership.

The Director of Operations is responsible for overseeing effective operating procedures across the company. This role will work closely with senior leadership to promote business growth by maximizing company procedures and its relationship with customers. Responsible for setting budgets or financial goals for respective departments. Additionally, this role is responsible for two manufacturing facilities in Michigan and Minnesota, and will be based out of Ankeny, Iowa. As an executive team member, this role will supervise high-level managers while reporting to the Chief Executive Officer.



Bachelor’s degree required.

BS or MBA in operations management, engineering, or dairy and/or food science preferred.


Excellent leadership and first-class people skills

Minimum eight years experience required, with five years production/operations management experience.

Experience within dairy industry or food processing highly preferred.


Defining, implementing and revising operational policies and guidelines for the organization.

Developing and executing new growth directives

Working with the human resources department to create job descriptions, hire competent team members, and oversee employee training programs

Working with the human resources department to develop and evaluate staff performance and expectations

Monitors and takes necessary action to ensure safe work conditions exist at all production facilities

Responsible for overall direction, coordination, and evaluation of U.S. manufacturing facilities. Keep up to date on dairy and safe food processes and techniques.

Drive continuous improvement to overall quality, efficiency, processes and cost reduction initiatives by collaborating with Proliant Dairy facilities, equipment vendors, supplier sites and peer groups.

Interact, visit, and communicate with various vendors regarding necessary changes to improve operations at all plants.

Direct operations, distribution, and warehousing in accordance with policies, principles and procedures established by Proliant Dairy.

Confer with sales and representatives of associated industries to evaluate and promote growth and efficiency in Proliant Dairy operations.

Develop plans for supply and efficient use of materials, machines, and employees.

Review production costs and product quality, maximize yields, modify production and inventory control programs to maintain and enhance profitable operation of all U.S. operations.

Research and assess the viability of new technologies to improve operations.

Directly manage and implement key projects from design to development, as well as providing onsite presence in the field during those projects.

Participate in strategic planning process by reviewing Proliant Dairy operations and recommend budgets for both raw material and capital expenditures.

Work with plant management to submit necessary requests for capital investment in accordance with established budgets, process, and return-on-investment requirements; present capital investment projects to President & CEO and as necessary to the Proliant Dairy executive team.

Interview, hire, train, plan, assign, direct work; appraise performance, reward and discipline employees, address complaints and resolve problems, and provide overall leadership to U.S. plant managers and associated personnel.

Ensure all training is provided and relevant measurable objectives are set for all plant management teams at all manufacturing facilities. Mid-year and end-of-year reviews to be conducted for all U.S. operations employees.

Assist in ensuring fundamental food safety and quality practices are maintained to achieve food safety and quality objectives and to support ongoing improvements of food safety programs.


Knowledge of manufacturing, engineering, and operations principles and ability to apply those principles to production management function.

Ability to effectively communicate and work with management, R&D, QA, Procurement, Sales and Customer Service as well as with customers and other business contacts.

Ability to maintain and manage corporate confidential information as well as confidential customer information.

Knowledge of organizational methods and the ability to manage multiple tasks/projects simultaneously.

Ability to assist with special or ongoing projects as instructed by senior management.

Ability to read, analyze, and interpret professional journals, technical procedures, or government guidelines.

Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from internal individuals/groups, suppliers, customers, and the public.

Ability to analyze data and utilize to drive optimization and problem solving.

Strong leadership ability in creating a team environment.

Ability to think strategically and at the same time solve practical problems across a variety of situations.

The Director of Operations has overall responsibility for all aspects of food defense/site security. This person will assure that procedures are in place for monitoring site security and food defense.


Approximate: 8 – Hour Day (may be longer, dependent on business needs)


Occasional = 0% to 33%

Frequent = 34% to 66%

Continuous = 67% to 100%

N/A = Not Applicable

Standing – Frequent

Sitting – Frequent

Walking – Frequent

Bending/Kneeling/Crouching/Stooping – Occasional

Reaching Above Shoulder – Occasional

Climbing (stairs, ladders, etc.) – Occasional

Working on Heights:

Unprotected Heights – N/A

Protected Heights – Occasional

Lifting Weights from 0 to 50 pounds – Occasional

Push/Pull/Maneuver Equipment/Products/Materials – Occasional

Weighing from 0 to 50 pounds

Being Around and/or Operating Moving Machinery/Equipment – Occasional

Operating a Vehicle (as a part of your job) – Occasional

Read/Monitor Gauges on Various Equipment/Machinery – Occasional

Hand Movements:

Recording Data – Occasional

Operating Office Equipment – Occasional

Operating Computer – Frequent

Simple Grasping (right and left) – Occasional

Firm Grasping (right and left) – Occasional

Fine Manipulating (right and left) – Occasional

Foot Movements to Operate Foot Controls – N/A

Good Vision, Corrected to Normal; or Ability to Access

Required Information and to Perform Job Duties – Yes

Color Definition – Yes

Good Hearing, Corrected to Normal; or Ability to Communicate

and/or Understand Required Information and to Perform Job Duties – Yes

Ability to be Mobile throughout Required Work Areas – Yes

Office – Frequent

Multiple Locations – Occasional

Plant – Frequent

Equipment/Maintenance or Repair Area – Frequent

Rough Terrain – Occasional

Other – N/A


This position requires the mental capabilities to apply technical knowledge surrounding the production and operation of manufacturing plants. Furthermore, the incumbent must assimilate and disseminate operational information, develop plans, and forecast future supply and production trends.


Position located in Iowa. Occasional travel (international and domestic) to include spending time in two production plants and laboratories locations (Michigan and Minnesota) and headquarters in Iowa.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status. Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation due to a disability at any stage of the employment application process should contact human resources (515)-289-5161.

This is not necessarily an exhaustive list of the job duties and requirements associated with this job but is intended to represent an accurate reflection of the current job.


LGI’s foundation began in 1916 as the Lauridsen Creamery, selling butter, eggs and poultry to the local community. Although our headquarters in Ankeny, Iowa, is not far from the old creamery in Dedham, Iowa, the company is now worldwide with more than fifty manufacturing and sales locations in twenty countries and sales in more than sixty countries.

Each company under the LGI umbrella is truly independent. They have the ability and the charge to be entrepreneurial, to seek out new markets, to develop new products and applications, and – above all – to discover new ways to add value through fractionation and novel application.

What’s more, because some LGI companies have offices and presence around the world, all LGI companies benefit from their exposure to new markets, new products, new applications and new thinking.