Meet a few of the minds who inspire us all to think, dream, and work harder.
Chief Executive Officer
Chuck Villa, President and CEO of Jadex Inc., is a 40-year veteran of manufacturing, having started out as a salesman in a family-owned injection molding company in Worcester, MA to working his way up to running the business.
After a 15- year career with Nypro (now Jabil), Chuck ventured into forming his own consulting business as a manufacturing turn-around expert. He also served as the Executive Vice President of Trend Technologies where he was a key member of the executive team responsible for setting and implementing strategic direction for growth and profitability.
In 2004, Chuck was named President of Alltrista, a Jadex Inc. Company, and was quickly promoted to the role he serves today. He is responsible for developing, strengthening, and motivating leadership teams and global C Suite customers as well as improving margins and developing innovative technologies. Chuck has led the strategy to grow the division organically and geographically all while driving costs out and improving GM, OI and EBITDA.
Additionally, Chuck has an extremely philanthropic heart and serves on the board of the American Heart Association – SC Chapter, the YMCA – Metro Board, and Palmetto Children’s Charity. He is also very active in the Greenville community and supports the local arts.
Chief Financial Officer
Kevin Baughman, CFO of Jadex Inc., has been with the organization for 18 years beginning as a Division Controller in 2002. Kevin is a CPA (SC license inactive) and graduated from Bob Jones University with a B.S. in Accounting and completed his MBA at Clemson University.
Kevin has a strong operations focus having spent 19 of his 27 years of experience in manufacturing organizations. In addition to his current role, he has led Finance organizations for automotive and sporting goods manufacturing operations. After 10 years at Alltrista, Kevin spent 3 years in China with the company’s Asian Operations group leading Finance, Purchasing and Logistics functions for a Hong Kong headquarters and 4 sporting goods manufacturing sites in the Guangdong province of China. Kevin then spent 3 years as Assistant Controller for Jadex Inc’s parent company at the corporate offices in Norwalk, CT.
Throughout his time at Jadex Inc., Kevin has added value in each of his roles, including implementing new budgeting and forecasting software, implementing a new ERP system (Epicor) on-time and under-budget, implementing Standard Costing and cycle count programs, streamlining finance policies and procedures, introducing weekly financials, managing the startup and shutdown of manufacturing facilities and integrating acquisitions.
In his spare time, Kevin enjoys traveling and spending time with his wife and two sons.
SVP – Legal & General Counsel
As Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Mark is responsible for overseeing Jadex’s legal affairs and providing pragmatic legal advice to Jadex and each of its operating companies to accomplish company objectives and mitigate risk.
With over 20 years of legal experience working in corporate legal departments and law firms, Mark brings to Jadex a strong background in corporate acquisitions, corporate transactions, corporate governance, legal operations, risk management, and intellectual property and litigation management. His corporate experience includes roles as Senior Vice President – Global Legal Affairs & General Counsel of The Coleman Company Inc., the iconic camping products company, Senior Vice President – Legal Transformation of Newell Brands Inc., a Fortune 500 consumer and commercial products company, Assistant General Counsel of Jarden Corporation, a Fortune 500 portfolio company of leading consumer brands, and Assistant General Counsel and Assistant Secretary of K2 Inc., a leading public sporting goods equipment manufacturer. Most recently he served as Interim Regional Counsel (US) of Element Solutions Inc., a specialty chemicals public company. Prior to moving in-house, Mark was in private practice as a Corporate Associate at Gibson Dunn in Los Angeles where he specialized in mergers and acquisitions and corporate securities.
Although Mark only started with Jadex in June 2019, as the company’s first GC, he has consistently been advancing his career within companies previously affiliated with Jadex since 2004, adding strategic and tactical value at every stage.
Mark earned his dual major BA in Philosophy and Communications from the University of California at Santa Barbara and his JD from UCLA School of Law, each with honors.
Mark is a travel enthusiast who loves the outdoors, cooking, as well as dining out, and spending time with his family and Spanish Water Dog.
VP of Human Resources
Jeremy Rikala, Vice President of Human Resources, has spent 19 years advancing his experience in labor management, payroll & benefits administration, talent management, employee engagement and organization development. Jeremy graduated from the University of Minnesota-Duluth with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration – Human Resources.
In his 19 years with the Company, Jeremy started with the Diamond Brands in Cloquet, Minnesota where he was responsible for HR operations and was eventually given opportunities to manage the Pine Mountain and Lifoam businesses. In 2011, Jeremy transferred to Fishers, Indiana and became the Director of Human Resources for the Home Brands business. He was responsible for all aspects of HR and lead a $250mm plant start-up.
Jeremy joined Jadex Inc. at the corporate level in 2017, as the Vice President of Human Resources. Under his leadership, Jeremy and team, have built a world-class stand-alone benefits platform, retirement roadmap and HRIS system to continue to support our #1 asset – People.
Jeremy and his wife are residents of Simpsonville, SC and parents of two children.
Chief Technology Officer
Mr. Navratil is the chief technology officer for Jadex Inc. in Greer, South Carolina.
Chris joined the Jadex Inc. team in 2009 as Vice President of Engineering. In his current role, he leads the Jadex long-term technology vision, technical incubation, manufacturing solutions, automation strategy, advanced system integration, and site infrastructure. He has more than 30 years of experience in thermoplastics, with a vast majority of his focus on the medical and healthcare industry. During his career, Chris has participated in numerous high-profile development programs that have yielded life-changing results to healthcare worldwide.
Prior to joining Jadex Inc, Chris spent 9 years with MGS Group overseeing satellite operations as senior vice president. Additionally, he formulated an acquisition strategy to migrate from consumer electronics and telecommunications into medical contract manufacturing. He joined MGS from Nypro/Jabil in 2000 and has held engineering roles with Husky IMS and KM/Netstal.
Chief Innovation Officer
Sam Bhargava, Chief Innovation Officer, has 35 years of polymerization, polymer processing, testing and additives experience. Sam graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering with honors. He earned a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware. He is certified Six Sigma Black belt and DFSS from Six Sigma Academy.
In the past 12 years with our company, Sam has held various roles in R&D, business development and internal consultant for the broader company. Sam has developed or contributed to multiple platforms within our company including alloy cutting lines, amorphous nylon, pharmaceutical bottles and biodegradable packaging.
Sam has authored multiple articles and patents. Sam continues to advance understanding of microbes and plastics in his work on compostable packaging, hospital-borne infections, naturally odor-preventing fabrics, and marine-degradable straws.
Prior to joining Jadex Inc., Sam worked at DuPont for 11 years. He held multiple roles there including global nylon fiber spinning expert, generalist to solve major problems where DuPont did not have experts, and technical lead for a major site expansion.
In his spare time, Sam enjoys traveling and spending time with his wife and two sons.
Mike Zaagman, President of Alltrista, has over 45 years’ experience in the plastics industry including over 14 years with Jadex Inc. He grew up in an entrepreneurial family-owned plastics business and is a graduate of the Ferris State University’s Plastic Program.
Before his career at Jadex Inc., Mike worked for several prominent plastic companies at the Vice President level, where he was instrumental in business development and global strategy. In 2004, Mike joined the Alltrista team and immediately began achieving results by converting Tooling & Engineering to a $1M profit center in his first year. In addition, he has increased sales revenue by over 30% through new business and leveraging anchor accounts, increased EBITDA to over $20M, and created vision and direction for his team while maintaining and growing his relationship with top executives of key accounts. Not only does Mike have quantifiable achievements, but his consistent vision refreshes legacy products through innovation, technology, and sustainability.
Mike uses his guiding principles to lead and empower his team to success by embracing open discussions, keeping commitments, focusing on accountability, and achieving intentional results. All have contributed to the continued growth of his team’s success.
Tom is the President of Artazn and has over 30 years of executive and management leadership experience in a wide variety of corporate and operational environments. Focusing on revenue growth, expertise in launching new products, exceptionally strong customer relationships and an aptitude for building cohesive teams best encapsulates his wide-ranging track record and success in the industrial sector. Throughout his career, he has acquired extensive experience in the North American, European, Asian and South American markets.
Tom holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics & Business Administration from Merrimack College and earned his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. For 10 years, Tom was an Adjunct Professor teaching Business Capstone at Ashland University, Ashland, OH.
Tom has also served as a member of the Board of Directors in the private business sector on numerous occasions and is the Chairman of Tusculum University Board of Trustees. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his grandson, playing golf, cycling and fly-fishing.
Mark Gettig, President of LifeMade, has more than 20 years’ experience in finance, operations and general management in the industrial and consumer products industries. He has a degree in Economics from Colgate University, an MBA from Boston University, and is a licensed CPA.
Mark has been with the Company for 10+ years, progressing to roles of increasing responsibility. He spent the first 5 ½ years as VP of Finance, partnering with sales and operations to deliver consecutive years of increased sales and EBITDA.
Transitioning into VP of Operations, Mark’s leadership was instrumental in launching a new manufacturing facility in Erlanger, KY. Additionally, he was pivotal in drastically improving the operations of an underperforming plant in Greenville, SC.
Since 2017, Mark has successfully led the transformation of the Lifoam business and has begun integrating the new tabletop business contributing an additional $125M in sales to LifeMade’s retail division.
In his spare time, Mark enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and four children.
Brian Searfoss, President of Shakespeare, has spent 25 years building his experience in supply chain management, manufacturing and operations, sales and marketing and executive management. Brian graduated from the University of Scranton with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering with honors from Drexel University. He earned a master’s in business administration with distinction from the University of Michigan Business School.
Brian began his career with BASF Corporation as a chemical engineer. For 12 years, he built his skillset in engineering, supply chain, marketing, and sales of polyurethanes and herbicides. In addition to several US company transfers, Brian also accepted a 2 ½ year international assignment in Mexico City to lead a project to optimize the regional distribution network of BASF’s specialty chemicals.
Brian joined Shakespeare 13 years ago, as the Vice President of Marketing and Sales. Under his leadership, Brian’s team balanced the commercial portfolio across 6 very distinct product lines, making improvements to both predictability and profitability. He assumed the title of President in 2013. In the same year, Brian and his team were awarded the Best Overall Manufacturing Facility, a single award earned for manufacturing excellence among 70 corporate sites worldwide.
Brian is an active Board Member of the South Carolina Chapter of Make-A-Wish® Foundation. Brian is married and a father of three boys.