Blue Bell Creameries’ Ricky Dickson has been promoted to president of the Brenham, Texas-based company as longtime leader Paul Kruse retires.
While Kruse is retiring as president and chairman, he will remain on the company’s board. Kruse began working at Blue Bell in 1986 and was elected CEO and president of the company in 2004.
“We are grateful to Paul for his 30 years of dedicated service to the company and for his strong leadership,” said board member John Barnhill.
Dickson has worked at Blue Bell for 36 years. Before being named president, he served as the VP of sales and marketing where he oversaw planning, implementing sales and marketing programs for Blue Bell, and designed future growth strategies. Dickson previously served as general sales manager, GM of the Blue Bell production facility in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, Midwest Division manager and branch manager.
“I am honored by the board’s confidence in me and humbled by the opportunity to lead this great company after a man who I admire and respect, Paul Kruse,” said Dickson. “Blue Bell is indeed the best ice cream in the country, and we have the best employees in the country, too. I look forward to working with them to continue bringing our great ice cream to consumers.”
Jim Kruse becomes company chairman. The son of former Blue Bell President Howard Kruse, Jim currently serves as the president of Bank of Brenham. Previously, Jim served as the controller and VP of information technology at Blue Bell. After 20 years at Blue Bell, he became the VP of financial planning and analysis of Industry Bancshares in Industry, Texas, and then the EVP of investments and business development at Bank of Brenham.
“I am honored to step into the position of chairman of the board and look forward to continuing to serve the company and our employees and working together to provide the best ice cream in the country,” he said.
In addition, the company has promoted Greg Bridges to EVP of plant operations.
Bridges has worked at Blue Bell for 32 years and previously was VP of operations, production manager and assistant production manager. As EVP of plant operations, Bridges will oversee all plant operations and production facilities.