DETROIT, June 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The appointment of veteran bakery and food manufacturing executive David W. Kowal as president of Champion Foods, a manufacturer of both branded and private label products and an Ilitch company, was announced today by Christopher Ilitch, president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc. The appointment is effective immediately.
"We are pleased that Dave is joining our leadership team and will oversee this important and growing business. Given his proven record of accomplishments in the industry and his strong global business and leadership skills, Dave can make an immediate and significant impact on our organization," said Ilitch. "His experience in all aspects of the food manufacturing industry, including sales, marketing, production, new product development, human resources and finance, will enable him to strategically lead this business forward in this growing industry."
As head of Champion Foods, Mr. Kowal will oversee all aspects of the high growth food manufacturing business, including business strategy, P&L, product development, manufacturing and customer relations.
Mr. Kowal previously served as CEO and president of Distant Lands Coffee Company in Seattle, a role he held since 2009. Distant Lands is the only vertically integrated specialty coffee company in North America and the leading provider of private label and custom specialty coffee programs to foodservice and grocery accounts. Prior to Distant Lands Coffee, Mr. Kowal held a variety of senior leadership positions with Dawn Food Products in Jackson, Michigan, including president of U.S. Bakery Products. He also held positions with Pillsbury/General Mills, Griffith Laboratories, Inc., Citicorp and Harris Trust and Savings Bank during the course of his career. He is involved in several industry trade organizations and served as a board member of CIES (Europe), ABIM (UK), IDDBA and RBA.
Mr. Kowal, a native of metro Detroit, holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Michigan. He earned his MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He and his wife, Karen, have two daughters.
About Champion Foods
Champion Foods is a world class branded and private label food manufacturer headquartered in New Boston, Michigan. Champion Foods, an Ilitch company, is owned by entrepreneurs Michael and Marian Ilitch. Other Ilitch companies in the food, sports and entertainment industries include: Little Caesars Pizza, Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, the Detroit Red Wings, Olympia Entertainment, Olympia Development, Little Caesars Pizza Kits Fundraising Program, Uptown Entertainment, and Ilitch Holdings, Inc. Michael Ilitch owns the Detroit Tigers. Marian Ilitch owns the MotorCity Casino Hotel.
SOURCE Ilitch Holdings, Inc.