Extensive business and technology expertise in the prepared food industry as an entrepreneur in new business startups and in consulting assignments worldwide, and as an intrapreneur within multinational corporations and in academia. With over 30 years experience in the food industry, have consistently and successfully created, led, and managed cross-functional project teams that have resulted in the
Extensive business and technology expertise in the prepared food industry as an entrepreneur in new business startups and in consulting assignments worldwide, and as an intrapreneur within multinational corporations and in academia. With over 30 years experience in the food industry, have consistently and successfully created, led, and managed cross-functional project teams that have resulted in the launch of new companies, new businesses and new products.
Have studied and applied worldwide best practices in food business innovation and incubation, and business models that result in differentiated and globally competitive new products, entrepreneurship and leadership development, and the creation of higher-paying jobs in value-added industries. Completed diversified consulting assignments in the food industry, with projects in North and Central America, Europe, Asia and Africa, and selected to serve as an expert witness to the US Congress where testified on global best practices in business incubation, open innovation, business cluster formation, and job creation.
Board Member @ The International Business Innovation Association (INBIA) is the world’s leading organization advancing business incubation and entrepreneurship. Each year, it provides thousands of professionals with information, education, advocacy and networking resources to bring excellence to the process of assisting early-stage companies. INBIA serves over 2,000 members in over 60 nations From 2015 to Present (less than a year) President @ NJ BIN is the entrepreneurial ecosystem of New Jersey, with business incubators, accelerators, and co-working spaces throughout the State. We work in partnership with government, academia, industry trade associations, and the private sector to foster business creation, attraction and retention that results in entrepreneurship development and economic growth. We have 13 incubator programs in the State, that focus on the food and agricultural sector, clean energy and environmental technology, life sciences, medical technologies, information technology and big data, the defense industry, film and media, and more.
New Jersey is also home to three Soft Landings incubation programs, that focus on international business attraction and are recognized by the National Business Incubation Association - there are more Soft Landings programs in New Jersey than any other state in the US. From 2015 to Present (less than a year) Director, Rutgers Food Innovation Center @ Serve as director of this world-class food business incubator and accelerator program, that serves as a catalyst for economic development for the food and agricultural industry in New Jersey and the surrounding region. The Rutgers Food Innovation Center provides extensive programs in training and workforce development; customized and comprehensive business and technical mentoring services for clients; and a 23,000 s.f. USDA and FDA-inspected facility that enables design, development, analysis, commercialization and manufacture of value-added food products for sale to retail and foodservice markets.
The Rutgers Food Innovation Center has been awarded "Incubator of the Year" by the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA), and has also been designated as a Soft Landings site by NBIA due to its focus on international business attraction. The Center is the only NBIA-recognized Soft Landings program in the world that focuses on the food industry.
In addition, the Center has created a food accelerator program that provides an extensive mentoring process to selected clients, with a focus on providing these high-growth companies with business strategy and access to capital that will enable them to gain market share and provide enhanced value to current and future investors.
Also, served as a founder of the Rutgers Food Innovation Center and was its Director from 2001-2010 (see below). From 2014 to Present (1 year) President & CEO @ Serve as President and CEO of this global management consulting company that specializes in corporate development, business transformation, open innovation, food sector incubation, and best practices in food industry cluster development and knowledge transfer. Specialties also include: business strategy, acquisition assessment and analysis, innovations and applications in food technology, organizational analysis and management staffing, plant and process design and engineering, quality assurance and food safety systems, and third-party auditing.
Food Spectrum provides Strategic Consulting expertise to the food industry, and services food retailers and foodservice organizations, manufacturers of value-added food products, food industry startups and entrepreneurs, and food industry suppliers and service providers. In addition, Food Spectrum provides specialized expertise in Business Incubation for food and agribusiness incubation and innovation programs being developed by government agencies, universities, industries, foundations, and community non-profits. Furthermore, Food Spectrum provides Corporate Development and Strategic Advisory services to food industry corporations and to private equity investors, including due diligence support related to potential acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures and other strategic alliance activities. From 2001 to Present (14 years) President & COO @ Served as President & COO for this leading regional supplier of fresh-cut produce and value-added refrigerated foods, that services retail, foodservice and industrial customers from its 125,000 sq. ft. operations in southern New Jersey. Transformed and developed organization, and led efforts in strategic planning, integrated marketing, sales development, systems enhancement, operational performance, process improvement, change management, and workforce training. F&S was profiled as the cover story in the March, 2011 issue of Fresh Cut Magazine, for its focus and commitment to product freshness and safety, and for achieving SQF 2000 Level 3 Certification. From 2010 to 2012 (2 years) Director, Rutgers Food Innovation Center @ Served as a founder of this world-class business incubation program, based at Rutgers University. Developed the strategy, created the infrastructure, secured over $12 million in funding, and served as Director of this unique business incubation and economic development accelerator program, that offers business and technology expertise to food and agribusinesses in New Jersey and throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.
The Food Innovation Center has become internationally recognized for its effective economic development efforts, and has been selected as "Incubator of the Year” by the National Business Incubation Association", and a national “Innovative Program Model” and an “Agricultural Innovation Center Demonstration Program” by the USDA.
Also served as an Adjunct Professor at the Rutgers Business School, where led teams of graduate MBA students in a capstone interfunctional management course in experiential learning. From 2001 to 2010 (9 years) Co-Founder, President, and CEO @ Co-founder of next-generation health and wellness company that focused on personalized nutrition, and provided meal solutions for consumers with special dietary needs and wellness goals, Oversaw development of unique and innovative line of over 100 SKU’s, never before developed, for consumers with diabetes, celiac disease, PKU and dysphagia. Assessed numerous acquisition targets globally within health and wellness space; and oversaw acquisition and integration of two leading gluten-free businesses in the US and UK. MenuDirect Corporation was chosen by its peers as one of the top 10 Industry Innovators by Nutraceuticals World Magazine in 2000. From 1996 to 2001 (5 years) President & CEO @ Led multi-faceted consulting organization specializing in new business development for suppliers of value-added prepared foods. Provided expertise in acquisition analysis, technology and infrastructure needs assessment, business and product development, plant design and equipment selection, and HACCP-based quality assurance systems for a diverse array of clients. In addition, developed operating infrastructure for first foreign-owned, contract foodservice operation in China. From 1993 to 1996 (3 years) Vice President, R&D @ Led functions of Business Development, Product Development, and Quality Assurance for this diversified frozen food company that specialized in meals for the healthcare, foodservice, and airline industries, and pioneered the use of sous vide in industrial applications. Built new contract manufacturing business segment and created, cultivated, and maintained numerous strategic relationships with multinational companies; and developed and implemented strategy that led to company’s success in special meals for airlines, including meals that were gluten-free, low sodium, low sugar, kid-friendly, and ethnic. From 1991 to 1993 (2 years) Vice President Technical Services, Culinary Brands @ Led functions of R&D, Product Safety, Quality Assurance, and Long-Term Business and Technology Development for this Nestlé and venture-funded start-up food company which pioneered the use of sous vide processing technology in the US, and marketed high quality entrees to foodservice and retail customers. Led cross-functional team responsible for transition of company operations from a small 4,000-sq. ft. facility in Sausalito to a 50,000-sq. ft. processing plant in Stockton; and created highly-efficient process for business development that led to enhanced innovation and rapid speed-to-market. From 1988 to 1991 (3 years) Group Leader, Processed Meats; Senior Scientist Refrigerated Foods @ Oversaw new product development and process improvement for the Refrigerated and Frozen Convenience Foods business units of ConAgra. Led the startup of a line of of refrigerated pizza components for the Armour division, and a line of refrigerated supermarket foodservice entrees marketed by the ConAgra Deli division From 1986 to 1988 (2 years) Manager, Prepared Foods Development @ Developed product strategy and oversaw prepared foods R&D at this chain of 400 supermarkets, and conducted global best practice assessment of supermarket retailers that specialize in marketing of perishable foods. Determined operational requirements for centralized production of prepared foods, and increased same-store delicatessen sales by 25% after the successful introduction of numerous new products in company flagship stores and then all stores From 1985 to 1986 (1 year) Supervisor of Operations, Today’s Taste; Product Development Technologist, Refrigerated Foods @ Diversified experiences in business development, operations, R&D and QA within Campbell's new business unit of refrigerated prepared foods. Established operating infrastructure; supervised a staff of 20 chefs, production and distribution employees; and served as the senior Campbell’s employee assigned to a unique product line, Today’s Taste, which was the nation’s first-ever line of refrigerated prepared foods (entrees, soups, salads, and desserts) sold at retail by a multinational food company. From 1983 to 1985 (2 years)
MS, Food Science @ Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-New Brunswick From 1983 to 1987 BS, Microbiology @ Rutgers University-New Brunswick From 1979 to 1983 Lou Cooperhouse is skilled in: Food Industry, Food, Food Safety, Cross-functional Team..., Strategy, Product Development, Strategic Planning, HACCP, Food Processing, Business Strategy, Quality Assurance, Management, Leadership, Start-ups, Commercialization, Entrepreneurship, Ingredients, Supply Chain Management, R&D, Business Development, Business Planning, Supply Chain, Manufacturing, Process Improvement, Continuous Improvement, Program Management, Product Innovation, Food Technology, P&L Management, Change Management, Operations Management, GMP, Food Manufacturing, Start-up Ventures, International Relations