Baldwin Richardson Foods Announces Cara J. Hughes Promoted to Vice President, Customer and Community
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Cara J. Hughes, Vice President of Customer and Community at Baldwin Richardson Foods
CHICAGO, June 10, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Baldwin Richardson Foods (BRF) today announced that Cara J. Hughes has been named Vice President, Customer and Community, cementing the legacy of one of the largest African American family-owned businesses in the food industry. This announcement formalizes Hughes's long-standing work to ensure that the mission, vision, corporate strategy and core values that have united the company since 1992—including service, innovation, accountability and performance—are fully reflected in the way the company impacts the world at large.

"Cara's leadership has been pivotal at Baldwin Richardson Foods for the past 16 years through her successful work across roles in sales, marketing and innovation," said CEO Eric Johnson. "In 2020, Cara helped lead our community efforts, and having her spearhead that work will sharpen our focus on supporting underserved children and educational causes in the communities where we operate. We have always devoted resources to these efforts, and we're thrilled to have her dedication to advance our community-based enrichment work in the future."

In addition to building and maintaining relationships with community organizations, Hughes will oversee Culinary Innovation, Customer Relations, Sales and Marketing to ensure customer expectations and revenue goals are continually met. Hughes' work as Senior Director of Sales, Marketing & Innovation has led to the company's rapid growth in recent years.

"Since Cara assumed a leadership role in sales seven years ago, we have grown revenue by 45 percent, opened a new innovation center, and even grown during this challenging past year," said Erin Tolefree, President of Baldwin Richardson Foods. "Cara has demonstrated excellence in managing and developing relationships, and her dedication primes our customers for success. We're thrilled to have her in this leadership role."

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"I am delighted to step into this expanded role with Baldwin Richardson Foods as it represents the company's historical commitment to ensuring our customers succeed while creating impact in the communities where we operate," said Hughes. "Like all great companies, we deliver tremendous industry impact and help our customers win—but we don't stop there. In my new role, I will continue creating deeply rooted connections that enable us to create opportunity by investing in others—and by empowering others to invest themselves in their own communities and pay it forward. I'm grateful for the opportunity to build on that vision, which has guided our African American family-owned company since 1992."

"It is truly an honor to congratulate Cara Hughes on her well-earned promotion to Vice President, Customer and Community, at Baldwin Richardson Foods," said Jacquelyn Howard, VP of Direct Sourcing at Starbucks Coffee Company. "Cara's commitment to high levels of customer care and the innovation customers have come to expect has elevated Baldwin Richardson Foods to a leadership level within the food and beverage industry. Her dedication to the local, national and even international communities fully reflects the values of the company. It has been amazing to witness the company's growth over the years and we look forward to supporting Cara's success in this critically important role."

BRF has a long history of impacting the world at large. The company and its employees devote resources to supporting education, providing childhood advantage and maintaining committed, long-term partnerships with organizations such as Spelman College, After School Matters and the Young Women's College Prep Foundation. The company established scholarships at Babson College and Spelman College, which provide annually awarded full-tuition four-year scholarships. The company also built a primary and middle school, Ecole Nouvelle Zoranje, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and has supported its operations since the 2010 earthquake.

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"Cara's dedication to community impact is nothing short of exemplary," said Rosalind Brewer, Board Chair of Spelman College and CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance. "Her commitment to education and youth development is creating measurable impact for young people in the U.S. and abroad, and her promotion to this new role shows the company's commitment to customer success and community impact at the same time."

Hughes is a Spelman graduate and serves as a Board Trustee. She also serves on the Board of After School Matters and previously was a board member for Perspective Charter School.

"Cara has long been committed to community, and her leadership in this area serves as an example of how not only individuals but also companies can partner with organizations to create long-lasting, meaningful impact," said Mary Ellen Caron, CEO of After School Matters.

This announcement comes on the heels of Erin Tolefree's promotion to President of Baldwin Richardson Foods as the company enters a new phase of growth and development. With Tolefree's promotion, she became one of the three percent of Black women at the C-suite level and 20 percent of female C-suite executives in the food and beverage industry.

About Baldwin Richardson Foods
Baldwin Richardson Foods (BRF) is a leading custom ingredients manufacturer for the food and beverage industry and counts some of the world's leading restaurant chains, Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) brands, and food service companies among its customers. BRF combines formulation expertise and unique packaging options with robust processing capabilities to supply high-quality ingredients, and its state-of-the-art Innovation & Culinary Center transforms trends and culinary inspiration into products through an award-winning commercialization process. The company also manufactures and markets Mrs. Richardson's dessert sauces and Nance's mustards/condiments in addition to producing finished goods for the private label sector. BRF is headquartered in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, with a Culinary Innovation Center in Westmont, Illinois, and offices and manufacturing facilities in Macedon and Williamson, New York. For more information, visit

SOURCE Baldwin Richardson Foods

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