Meet a few of the minds who inspire us all to think, dream, and work harder.
Chief Executive Officer
David currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Jadex Inc. David will use his wealth of management and industry expertise in specialty manufacturing and materials science to drive the next generation of growth for the company.
Prior to joining Jadex, David held a variety of senior roles at Milliken & Company. These roles included President of Milliken Research Corporation, President Fabrics Division, President Floor Covering Division, and most recently as Executive Vice President and President of the Chemical Division where he oversaw product research and development, sales, marketing and manufacturing of multiple business segments.
David received a B.S. in professional chemistry from Wofford College and a Ph.d. in Physical Organic Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology. David is also a graduate of the Diversity Leadership Academy, the G100 NextGen program, and Kellogg’s Advanced Management Program.
David is a Liberty Fellow (Aspen Institute) and former Chairman of the South Carolina Research Authority. He previously served on the board of the Society of Chemical Industry, and is currently on advisory boards at Wofford and Georgia Tech.
David currently resides in Spartanburg, SC with his wife of 33 years, Jill.
Chief Financial Officer
Kevin Baughman, CFO of Jadex Inc., has been with the organization for 20 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 21 of his 29 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 family.
SVP – Legal & General Counsel
Mark Rosebrock, Senior Vice President & General Counsel, oversees all Jadex legal affairs, including for each of its operating companies.
Prior to joining Jadex, Mark’s expansive 20+ year legal career has included roles as Senior Vice President – Global Legal Affairs & General Counsel of The Coleman Company, Inc., the iconic outdoor brand, and Senior Vice President – Legal Transformation of Newell Brands Inc., the Fortune 500 consumer and commercial products company, as well the Associate General Counsel for other publicly traded companies. Before 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 worked within companies previously affiliated with Jadex since 2004.
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.
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.
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.
President, Shakespeare and LifeMade
Brian Searfoss serves as President for Shakespeare Company, LLC and LifeMade Products LLC.
In his role, Brian leads a set of diverse businesses that deliver sustainable, technology-based products and solutions for life’s essential needs. Brian is responsible for driving business strategy and operations to capitalize on transformational market trends and enable differentiation through innovation. Key sustainable growth areas in these businesses include sustainable cold chain packaging, home compostable cutlery and straws, and biodegradable grass trimmer line.
Brian’s teams are built on diversity of thought, a culture of trust, an operational focus on safety, and an extreme bias for action.
Prior to his Jadex tenure, Brian spent 11 years in various US and ex-pat positions with BASF Corporation’s Materials and Agricultural Solutions segments. Brian has operational experience in chemicals, plastics, textiles, electronics, medical, CPG, and industrial packaging industries.
Brian is a strong advocate of community service and serves on the advisory board for the South Carolina Chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Brian holds a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Scranton, a B.S. in Chemical Engineering with Honors from Drexel University, and an M.B.A. with Distinction from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.
Gary Waller, President of Alltrista, has over 29 years of experience leading organizations in the Pharmaceutical Packaging and Medical Device industries. He graduated from the University of West Georgia with a degree in Marketing.
Gary joined Jadex in 2022 and is leading Alltrista to operate to its maximum potential, addressing safety, business growth, new business development, productivity improvements, customer satisfaction, and financial performance.
Prior to joining Jadex, Gary grew his industry and leadership experience across a variety of sales, marketing, and leadership roles with multiple organizations such as Schott Pharmaceutical Packaging, Nipro, and Gerresheimer Glass, where he served as President. At these companies, he significantly increased revenue and led the strategy to drive an innovation and solutions approach, while focusing on employee engagement and sustainability. He has a strong track record in ensuring organizations are driving operational excellence and overperforming expectations.
Both in and out of work, Gary enjoys building long-term relationships, encouraging others on their life’s journey as well as competitive challenges, both physically and mentally.
VP of Human Resources
Jeremy Rikala is the Vice President of Human Resources at Jadex. His focus is partnering with teams across the organization to drive world-class experiences and strategies that align with overall growth and associate development. He has spent 22 years advancing his experience in labor management, payroll & benefits administration, talent management, organization design, employee engagement strategies, performance management, and organization development. Jeremy graduated from the University of Minnesota-Duluth with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration – Human Resources.
In his 22 years with the Company, Jeremy started with Diamond Brands, Inc. 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, diverse talent pipeline & strategies, retirement roadmaps, organizational design, and succession planning system to continue to support our #1 asset – People.
Jeremy and his wife are residents of Simpsonville, SC, and parents of two children.
Senior Vice President of Marketing
Jodi Farina, Senior Vice President of Marketing, has over 20 years of experience leading marketing organizations in both Branded and Private Label Consumer Goods as well as Industrial Distribution. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Fairfield University and her MBA from the University of Connecticut.
Jodi joined Jadex in February of 2021 and is leading the marketing efforts across the entire Jadex portfolio, driving marketing plans for each product line, developing sales and distribution strategies and building a strong platform for sustainable products.
Prior to joining Jadex Jodi grew her marketing expertise across multiple disciplines at companies such as Nestle Waters North America, Pepperidge Farm and Acme United Corporation. At these companies she built a solid foundation in leading strategy development and driving new innovations across product lines which consistently resulted in outpacing the total category and driving revenue and EBITDA growth. She has a strong track record in bringing together vision with the reality of execution.
In her spare time, Jodi enjoys traveling and exploring new restaurants with her husband and son, as well as running, reading and watching her son play hockey.
VP of Product Innovation and Commercialization
Steve Rosse, Vice President, Product Innovation and Commercialization, has 35 years of product and engineering leadership. Using his broad business background, he is responsible for the commercialization and growth of the sustainable product platforms of Jadex.
Before joining Jadex, Steve developed his business experience inside the packaging industry in management roles across marketing, sales, corporate development, product management, and engineering. With an early vision into sustainability trends, he led product strategy efforts at Eco-Products (a Novolex Brand), Solo Cup, and Sweetheart Cup Companies fostering more than a decade of product line and business growth in differentiated sustainable packaging.
Steve started his career as a Submarine Officer in the US Navy and then as an environmental regulator in Nevada. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Nevada, Reno, and a Master’s in Engineering Management from the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University, as well as both a Master of Manufacturing Management and a Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Steve also served on the Board of Directors of Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI), the premier composable product certification body in North America. Serving from 2013 to 2022 (Board President, 2016-2019), he worked to set the organization strategy to increase value to its members and compost organizations across the continent.
In his spare time, Steve enjoys spending time with his wife of 35 years and three sons, traveling, listening to live music, or watching sports.