Mark D. Jansen, President and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Jansen was selected by the Blue Diamond Growers Board of Directors to become President and Chief Executive Officer on October 4, 2010. With a unique understanding of the branded retail and food service business, Mark’s career achievements include leading the brand growth for Haagen-Dazs, Betty Crocker, Totino’s, Pillsbury, Red Baron, Freschetta, Wolfgang Puck, Tony’s and Minh.
Prior to joining Blue Diamond, Mark was president of Schwan’s Food Service in Marshall, Minnesota, where he led the profitable turnaround of the division. He also worked for the Pillsbury Company, Edison Brothers Stores, Inc. and General Mills, Inc.
Mark received his MBA in Marketing and Finance from the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University in 1994.
Mark currently serves on the Executive Council for the California Chamber of Commerce, is on the Executive Council for the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, is a Director for the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council, and is on the Board of Trustees for the Graduate Institute of Cooperative Learning.
Dean LaVallee, Chief Financial Officer
Mr. LaVallee has more than 25 years of finance experience primarily in the food industry. Prior to joining Blue Diamond, he spent 20 years with Kraft Foods, Inc., where he joined as Manager, Corporate Accounting then progressed through a series of roles of increasing responsibilities holding Vice President, Finance assignments in domestic and international markets. Over his career he has gained experience in branded retail, food service, manufacturing and procurement holding finance leadership roles including; Controller, Foodservice and Senior Director, Retail Financial Planning & Analysis in Toronto, Canada, Senior Director, Financial Planning & Reporting-Kraft International in New York, Vice President, Finance – International Manufacturing in the UK and Vice President, Dairy Procurement in the Chicago. As Vice President, Finance Transformation, Mr. LaVallee led Kraft’s global initiative to evolve financial practices, processes, people and technology toward creating a world-class efficient and effective finance function. He also held the position of General Manager, Financial Planning with Canada Post Corporation and auditing positions with PriceWaterhouseCoopers. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, and is a Certified Management Accountant.