Caroline Ecoffard (35) is the latest addition to the Kemin Food Technologies EMEA family. We caught up with her, just 15 days after she officially joined up, to get to know her better. Ready to read her story?
Welcome Caroline! How about a quick introduction?
My name is Caroline Ecoffard, I’m 35 years old, and I live in Vannes, France with my fiancée and our two children. Two highly active boys, which can pose a challenge at times. Luckily, I’m all about challenging myself – which is why I feel right at home at Kemin Food Technologies as a Product Platform Manager. I must say that I’ve been feeling welcome since day one. The amount of welcome messages I’ve received from fellow employees all over the world has been overwhelming, to say the least. It makes me feel part of a family. A great feeling, no doubt.
What can you tell us about the journey that eventually brought you to Kemin?
I started out with a Bachelor Degree in Business Management & Marketing, here in France. I turned towards International Business Studies, including internships and courses, which led me to become Logistic Manager in a food trading company. It has been far from a straight road, my career. At a certain point I was spending my days traveling back and forth between Vannes and Paris every weekend and that made me decide on a few changes. I joined a very well-known pet food company at a lower position – but one where I felt at ease with plenty of challenges to take on. I was blessed to have skilled managers who had faith in my marketing skills and encouraged me to do my best. That was all I needed at the time.
And now, you’re here at Kemin. What led you to decide to join the team?
I was made aware of the position by a recruiter at a really crucial time in my life and after several interviews, I was offered the position. I knew Kemin as a competitor in pet food, so it was not an easy call for me...but I noticed how all of the interviews were – in fact - comfortable talks with no trap questions or standard subjects. It helped that I had already heard a lot of good things about Kemin from industry fellows. In the end, I felt that click I really wanted to feel when talking to a future employer. It proved a great decision.
How did these first few weeks treat you?
Everything was well prepared from the start, it really was. Not only was my equipment set up for me, my schedule came filled with meetings meant to meet my colleagues and learn the ins and outs of our entire range of products and food solutions. There’s still a lot left to learn and, luckily, I get the time to do so. As a product platform manager you’re centered at the core between R&D, regulatory services, sales and marketing. That makes it important to know all there is to know.
How would you describe Kemin in terms of philosophy? Can you describe the vibe?
Kemin is a family-owned business and it’s hard to escape that family feeling. It’s crazy when you think about it. Kemin is such a huge company, yet it feels warm and cozy like you’d expect from a small business. The inner structure reflects servant leadership as well. No top-down management, but people working together and sharing knowledge. It’s a rare combination, one I appreciate every day more and more.
Do you already have a favorite Kemin product?
To be honest, I’m still learning a lot so it might be a bit early to start declaring favourites. However, I’m captivated by the attention given by Kemin to rosemary’s potential in modern food technologies. It’s a wonderful key ingredient that I know pretty well in terms of health benefits, and I love to help bring about all its natural benefits as a Product Platform Manager. Natural ingredients can make all the difference in food, regardless of the scale.
What are some of your favorite pastimes outside of work?
I love singing, thanks to my mother who was a semi-professional jazz & blues singer for most of my childhood – although I’m not keen on performing in front of a crowd. I also love to spend time outdoors with my family. We take regular trips out into the garden, the forest and even to the sea. Additonally, I try my hand at creative cake designs about twice a year to celebrate the boys’ birthdays. I’m getting better at it too. And I’m helping my husband build a new business involving graphic design on cars, we are a creative family for sure! It’s all very exciting!
What’s your personal motto?
Never give up and always believe in yourself. That’s what I always do and it taught me to never back away from a challenge. It led me to where I am today.