The Kalamazoo Holdings Board of Directors has appointed Robert Wheeler as the new chief executive officer (CEO) of Kalsec Inc. Wheeler succeeds Scott Nykaza, Ph.D., who officially retires on December 31, 2022, after 23 years of service.
As CEO, Wheeler is responsible for all aspects of Kalsec, including leading the company in the development and execution of a business strategy that is aligned with Kalsec’s Purpose, Mission, Vision, and Values, and allows the company to remain private and sustainable.
Wheeler joined Kalsec in 2015 and has 28 years of experience in the food ingredients and flavor industry. Previously, he led the global A.M. Todd mint flavoring business and the North American Food business unit for ADM. He has also held executive roles in Supply Chain and Finance at A.M. Todd and has extensive experience in international business. Wheeler’s career began at the global accounting and consulting firm, Ernst & Young, where he was a Certified Public Accountant in their audit practice for several years before entering the food ingredients and flavor industry. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accountancy and Business Management at Western Michigan University.
The Kalsec board also appointed Julie Heine as president and chief commercial officer. She will help guide Kalsec’s strategic direction and customer experience and oversee commercial and R&D objectives.
Since joining the company in 1995, Heine has held numerous roles and has continuously proven her expertise and leadership with increasing responsibilities. Starting as a lab tech, she applied her experiences to a sales role that grew from account management to leading global commercial teams. Heine holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Western Michigan University and an executive MBA from the University of Notre Dame. Along with her applied knowledge, she brings decades of experience to the role, a deep understanding of customer focus and sales growth, and a passion for R&D and innovation.
The appointments of Wheeler and Heine are part of a long-term succession plan, and they position the company to accelerate innovation, strengthen customer experience, and fulfill the purpose of Kalsec: unlocking the potential of people, nature, and science to nourish the world.