Strengthened by the Guidance of Executive Leadership
Chief Executive Officer
Rich Koulouris joined Vi-Jon in March 2019 as the Chief Executive Officer. With over 35 years of experience, Rich brings a proven track record in the private label industry.
Prior to Vi-Jon, Rich served as Executive Vice President and CEO of Private Brands at Post Holdings, a consumer packaged goods holding company headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. At Post, Rich worked on the successful integration of Malt-O-Meal. Prior to Post, Rich spent over 30 years at Ralston Purina/Ralcorp Holdings, a private-label manufacturer based in St. Louis, Missouri. While at Ralcorp, he managed multiple business units, developing a winning growth strategy, and was instrumental in their merger and acquisition strategy as well as integration of those acquisition opportunities.
Rich received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Xavier University.
Chief Financial Officer
Scott Mekus joined Vi-Jon in May 2019 as the Chief Financial Officer. He brings more than 30 years of experience in accounting, financial planning, reporting and analysis for manufacturing organizations, internal controls and capital investment management in the private label packaged goods industry. Scott leads the organization’s finance and IT operations.
Prior to Vi-Jon, Scott served as Vice President Finance for Treehouse Foods, a leading manufacturer and distributor of private label packaged foods and beverages with $6 billion in annual sales. Scott also served in Vice President Finance roles for Conagra Foods and Ralcorp Holdings, building a strong background in financial modeling, process improvement, cost reduction initiatives, acquisitions, integrations and aligning performance targets with key strategic initiatives.
Scott received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration – Accounting from Ohio State University and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Western Michigan University.
Chief Sales and Marketing Officer
Eduardo Alves has been the Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Vi-Jon for nearly a decade. He joined the organization in the summer of 1994 and, over the past 20 years, has served in augmented leadership roles over sourcing, cost accounting, and R&D.
Today, Eduardo leads a successful and experienced sales and marketing team which includes sales, marketing, graphics, sales operations, project management and sales analysis, who work collaboratively to deliver superior category solutions for every Vi-Jon customer. Eduardo’s passion for sales, extensive experience and thorough understanding of the private brand business give him an understanding as to where the industry is heading next. He believes that a successful sales organization must think like a marketer and behave like a merchant.
A native of Brazil, Eduardo is trilingual and earned his MBA from the John M. Olin School of Business Administration at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He completed executive education programs at Harvard Business School, SMU Cox School of Business and Kellogg School of Management.
Chief Operating Officer
Darren Baker joined Vi-Jon in early 2014 as the Executive Vice President of Operations, bringing more than 25 years of experience in private label manufacturing to the team, including supply chain management, lean manufacturing, continuous improvement and P&L management. Darren leads the organization’s manufacturing and distribution operations as well as planning, quality control, quality assurance, regulatory, sourcing and research and development.
Prior to Vi-Jon, Darren served as the Vice President of Product Supply at Ralcorp Holdings, a private label manufacturer of food products based in St. Louis, Missouri. At Ralcorp, Darren set strategy, led and directed the operations of twenty-eight private label food manufacturing plants in the U.S., Canada and Italy with annual sales of $4B and over 6,500 employees.
Darren received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kentucky and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Murray State University.
Chief Human Resources Officer
Alice Clark joined Vi-Jon in October 2016 as Vice President Human Resources. She has over twenty years of diverse human resources experience in both corporate and manufacturing roles. In October 2017, Alice was promoted to Chief Human Resources Officer. As CHRO, Alice provides human resources strategy in support of the overall business plan and strategic direction of the organization.
Prior to Vi-Jon, Alice served as Senior Vice President for Wise Metals Group, a $2 billion manufacturing company based in Muscle Shoals, Alabama where she led the Company’s corporate strategies for labor, benefits, recruitment, leadership development, organizational development and training. Alice also served as a Vice President of Human Resources for a $4 billion private label manufacturer of foods product based in St. Louis, Missouri with over 14,000 employees.
Alice received a Bachelor’s of Business degree and a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Mississippi. In addition, she has earned her the SHRM-SCP and SPHR designation.
VP, General Counsel
Keith Grypp joined Vi-Jon, Inc. in November 2017 as Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of the Company; he manages all legal issues for the Company. He has over 30 years of legal, business, and financial experience in mergers and acquisitions, strategic transactions, public debt, credit facilities, licensing, intellectual property, regulatory (EPA, CPSC, SEC, MODNR), product safety and labeling, contracts, compliance, real estate, employment law, risk management, litigation, governance, and managing outside counsel.
Prior to joining Vi-Jon, Keith was employed over 25 years with Kellwood Company LLC, a private label and branded apparel manufacturing company headquartered in St. Louis, MO with international operations. He served as Kellwood’s Senior Vice President, Corporate Secretary, and General Counsel the last 10 years he was with Kellwood. During his tenure at Kellwood he held various management positions in the audit, finance, information technology and legal departments.
Keith is also a licensed CPA and earlier in his career he was employed with PwC and as an attorney with a law firm in the St. Louis region.
Keith received his Juris Doctorate from St. Louis University, as well as his Executive Masters in International Business. He also earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Illinois, Champaign Urbana.