Jackson, Michigan-based Dawn Foods has announced the hiring of Melissa Bautista as the company’s VP of manufacturing for North America and the promotion of Emily Gittins to VP, global corporate controller.
Bautista joins Dawn from Utz Brands Inc. and will be responsible for building its long-term manufacturing capabilities in North America around safety, cost, quality and service, while also helping Dawn achieve its current business objectives. She will report to John Schmitz, president, North America.
“Melissa brings deep manufacturing experience to this role, having worked both at the plant management level and at the leadership level overseeing multiple facilities,” said John Schmitz, president of Dawn Foods North America. “Her approach to leadership and industry knowledge is a strong addition to our plant management teams across our five Dawn North America manufacturing locations.”
In her most recent role, Bautista served as VP of manufacturing for Utz Brands Inc., overseeing three manufacturing locations and four distribution centers for the snack food company. During her time at Utz, she also served as area VP of operations and as plant manager for the business’ Algona, Washington, location. Prior to Utz, she spent 11 years in a variety of supply chain roles at Frito Lay.
Gittins, who has been with Dawn for 15 years, will become the company’s VP, global corporate controller in July. She will replace Jean Rauchholz, who will retire this summer. Gittins takes this next step in her career after serving as senior director of financial reporting, accounting standards and policies, reporting to Rauchholz.
Prior to joining Dawn in 2007 as an internal auditor, Gittins worked at the Department of Defense as an inspector general auditor. Gittins, who is based at the company’s global headquarters in Jackson, Michigan, is also a member of the Dawn Women’s Leadership Development Program, which launched in 2021.
“Emily has consistently taken on new responsibilities throughout her career at Dawn and has been an integral part of the team’s efforts in enhancing our control efforts across the organization,” said Karl Brown, CFO. “I am confident that Emily will continue to strengthen our global finance team, modernize our processes and be an incredible leader for Dawn.”
For more information, visit dawnfoods.com.