Keith Dougherty has joined New York City-based Roland Foods LLC, an importer of specialty food products and a portfolio company of Vestar Capital Partners, as CEO, effective Sept. 9. Tyler Hawes, who has led Roland since the retirement of former CEO Jim Wagner this spring, will continue to serve as president of Roland.
Dougherty has held various leadership positions in merchandising, sales and general management over his career. Most recently, he was SVP, merchandising, pricing and inventory at Essendant Inc., a $5 billion distributor of workplace items. Previously, Dougherty served in several leadership positions at US Foods, a $24 billion foodservice distributor, including SVP of category management, indirect spend, national sales and pricing. As SVP of corporate development, he led 10 acquisitions at US Foods.
Dougherty began his career in investment banking at Salomon Smith Barney, where he rose to VP on a team focused on private equity, executing more than 40 transactions. He holds a bachelor of science degree in engineering from Princeton University.
“This is an exciting time to join Roland, as consumer demand for high-quality specialty food has never been stronger,” says Dougherty. “Roland’s extensive, high-quality product line, along with its reputation for innovative customer solutions, makes it a true leader in the industry. I look forward to working closely with Tyler, the Roland management team and Vestar Capital to help lead Roland on its next stage of development.”
“Keith is an outstanding executive, with the skills and leadership experience that will help Roland develop and execute a customer-focused strategy leveraging the company’s many strengths,” says Dan O’Connell, CEO of Vestar. “We would also like to thank Tyler for expertly guiding Roland over the last few quarters. We believe that Tyler and Keith are the right dynamic team to lead Roland, and we are upbeat about the company’s future.”