IND HEMP welcomes natural and organic food industry veteran Steve Bernier as Director of Sales. Steve will lead the sales teams for the hemp seed food ingredients and hemp fiber materials produced at IND HEMP’s industrial hemp oilseed and fiber processing plants in Fort Benton.
Steve has a lifetime of experience in the food industry that began at an early age; he grew up in a family that owned a grocery store in Martha’s Vineyard, MA. His professional path has spanned more than 30 years working in all aspects of natural foods, from CPG products into retail to working with food manufacturers both small and large scale, while developing sales teams and strategies across multiple product categories in the natural foods space. Steve has had success working with businesses of all types, from the small mom and pop shop down the street to the big national and multinational big box retail chains.
IND HEMP President Ken Elliott states: “Steve has made his own marks in the natural food industry and his accomplishments and experience make him ideal for leading the sales teams for IND HEMP. Steve is passionate about being involved with healthy foods, supporting farmers, a clean environment and leaving a legacy of goodness for his children and those who follow us. He’s a great fit for our company and we look forward to his leadership as the hemp industry continues to grow.”
IND HEMP is the nation’s largest hemp seed foods and fiber processor, working with a network of family farms across Montana, Washington and Oregon. The IND HEMP Oilseeds facility turns the regionally produced hemp seed grain into nutritional hemp seed oil, shelled hemp seed and hemp protein powder ingredients used in healthy foods for people and animals. The IND HEMP Fiber processing plant features a LAROCHE fiber decortication line that separates the outer bast fibers from the inner woody core or hurd of the hemp plant. Decortication is the first step required to convert the raw baled straw into useable materials to make any of the 1000’s of green products possible with hemp, across multiple industries.
“I am very excited to combine my passions of the food industry, the goodness of hemp and farming all in one great dream job at IND HEMP!” Bernier shares, “The team is very diverse and dedicated at all levels, with a deliberate focus on supporting the farmers. We all need advocates, and this is one of the many reasons I joined the IND HEMP team,” Bernier shared.
Gregg Gnecco, current Director of Sales and Marketing, will move to the Brand Manager role, leading the marketing team and working closely with Steve on strategies to market and develop sales opportunities for bringing IND HEMP’s ‘Made in Montana’ food and fiber products to companies and industries across the world.
“Steve’s lifetime of experience and leadership in the natural foods industry is a great fit for our team. His passion for food, farmers and the possibilities of hemp are in perfect alignment with our company mission and culture. I could not be more enthusiastic about the adventures ahead as we work closely to develop new market opportunities for our hemp food and fiber products and materials,”Gnecco says.