Plant Manager
Los Angeles County

Plant Manager

$100,000 – $130,000


Location: Gardena, CA


A premium gummy manufacturer providing innovative pectin-based nutritional gummy products that are created to improve the quality of our customers’ lives; is seeking to add an experienced leader to our team as our company accelerates on an exciting growth curve.

We are seeking an exceptional leadership candidate, with a balanced approach to achieving high-quality results, delivering on production and customer commitments while motivating the manufacturing teams to excellence and to work with passion.

This leader, Production Manager, will have overall responsibility for production operations, with the shift leaders (supervisors) reporting to this position.  The hours of this position will overlap with the end and start of the other shifts to ensure seamless handovers as the shift teams’ transition.  This position will work closely with Supply Chain, R&D & QA to fulfill customer orders and exceed customer expectations.  This position is to expand to the role of Plant Manager, once the Company’s Norco Operation is built out and the administrative function is relocated to Norco.  The expended role of Plant Manager will include responsibility for the operation of the site, all of its employees, and the business disciplines operating at the site.  Further details are below.

This leadership candidate will have effective experience applicable to the food and beverage industry.  This leader must understand how to operate efficiently and effectively in a regulated environment.  Proven ability to rapidly learn the requirements of food safety, GMP, GDP, if those skills and knowledge are not part of the candidate’s experience. 

The scope of the role: Production Manager, in the context of people, will be responsible for all of the production team at the Company and the 3 shift leaders (supervisors).  Company’s production organization must be a lean, efficient group, executing with excellence, and delivering on the goals for providing our customers with the highest quality nutritional gummies in the industry.  Understanding and managing the cost of operations will be requisite for achieving business objectives.  Establishing performance metrics that both motivate our production team and provide insight to the leadership will be expected.  This role will also have responsibility of Manufacturing metrics reported to leadership and effective scheduling to optimize throughput for the business.  The role may include other direct support personnel, e.g. training, continuous improvement, but those roles would be developed and justified by the incumbent.

In the role of Plant Manager, all of the above would be included, and in addition, oversight of the plant support operations: Maintenance, Sanitation, Quality, Finance, Supply Chain, HR, Security and related would be in the purview of the role.  These functions would not necessarily be direct reports, but the people in these roles would be the responsibility of the Plant Manager, while working at Gardena.

Requirements for a Qualified Candidate

As a small but rapidly growing firm, any leader in this organization must be committed to demonstrating the ability to “jump in” and do what is necessary to achieve the Company standards and deliver to our customers, while possessing the maturity to know when to step back, assess, and lead their organization.

  • Proven Leadership of hourly and exempt employees.  The ability to build a highly functional team, committed to excellence in everything they do.  An individual that can earn the respect of their people and develop a culture of excellence and caring.
  • Ability to make decisions, be they complex or simple, and communicate these decisions with clear, simple instructions to ensure proper execution
  • Developed skills in influencing people, ensuring that both listening and directions are employed in advancing the business
  • Proven ability to operate under pressure of: e.g. deadlines, quality issues, customer commitments and remain calm, collective and remain aware of all influencing factors during these challenging times.
  • Significant manufacturing experience in the food and beverage industry is desirable.  Equivalent leadership that is applicable to this type of environment is acceptable.  Ability to quickly learn or apply experience in operating in a regulated environment is also a requirement
  • Increasing responsibility in business/manufacturing acumen is a core foundation.  This can come in other forms of experience, but those skills and competencies would be applicable to this role.  A bachelor’s degree in engineering or a technical field or equivalent is very desirable, but not mandatory.
  • A strong background in food safety, GMP and HACCP is desired or the ability to learn quickly.  An excellent safety record is required.
  • Experience in leading multiple supervisors/shifts/lines in an operation.
  • Understanding the fundamentals of manufacturing accounting, cost management and developing and executing cost improvement programs.  A qualified candidate will be able to understand and manage financial variances of their operations/Gardena site.
  • Proficiency with some type of business ERP/MRP system. Experience with NetSuite a big plus
  • Ability to optimize staffing and shift design for cost, human performance, and delivering to the customer.
  • Thorough knowledge of manufacturing scheduling/shift structure optimization and its influence on human performance
  • Experience in a start-up business, working in multiple roles within that start-up is very desirable
  • Significant experience in operating in a regulated environment, is foundational. Any additional experience in food and/or nutritional supplements or nutraceuticals a big plus.
  • Knowledge of Quality Systems, Quality Control as applied to food manufacturing is also very desirable.
  • Clear, concise communication skills: Listening, speaking and writing, will be an asset to a strong candidate.  The role requires clear written and verbal communication skills, which will augment the strong emphasis on leadership in the role.  NOTE: Candidate must be fluent in both English and Spanish.
  • Experience in working closely with customers, integrating customer requirements evolving in a customer-centric business are also highly desired.
  • This leader MUST be a role model for the values of the Company

Requirements for working with the team

Company creates and manufactures products that improve the quality of lives of children and adults.  Our products are premium products that demand performance to a higher level.

The foundation of our business is: Caring.

Company is grounded in the following four value sets:

  • Our Customer & Growth
    • Food Safety & Compliance
    • Operational Excellence
    • Enriching our People

The employees must embrace these four cornerstones of value, with passion.  The work we do makes a difference. Company is a leader in its space, because of its people.

Company is proud to be an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, and any other characteristic protected by law or company policy. All qualified individuals are required to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation. All candidates must have valid authorization to work in the U.S.

Other Work-Related Expectations

40 hour, 5-day work week, with work schedules requiring some weekend work and off-shift work coverage to meet financial deadlines.  As Production Manager there will be a need to see/observe some portion of all 3 shifts, so work schedules will need to accommodate those opportunities, including frequent weekend manufacturing operations.

The role may involve walking and standing, and could be considerable, with sitting being likely being the majority of the time on the job while working at a desk on a computer or meetings or related.

Lifting for the role should be 99% of the time less than 20 pounds and not expected to be a primary or secondary part of the position

Time working/sitting and using the computer will be required could represent the majority of the time for the position.  >50%.  The commensurate exposure to computer screens follows these work requirements.

This is an operations/direct manufacturing role. The role will require going to the manufacturing floor or warehouse to collect data and/or information and observe your people.  There are requirements to be in the direct manufacturing and warehouse locations.  Manufacturing can expose an employee to high temperature equipment, kettles, piping and noise and related hazards.

Wearing of PPE is not only required by policy but needed to ensure safety of our people.  Compliance to safety and PPE requirement is mandatory for employment.

This role will have work hours associated with “typical” business hours.  However, there will be production operations on weekends, where either overtime is required to meet deadlines or hours need to overlap with other shifts in manufacturing.  This is an exempt role, and overtime is not paid.

Company is expanding to a Norco location. General support of the start-up of the facility may be required as part of the role, but not being on-site at Norco on any regular basis.



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