Life at Tate & Lyle 

So what's it really like to work for Tate & Lyle? Here you can find out what some of your potential colleagues from around the Group think about Tate & Lyle, and how they are shaping their careers with the Company.

  •  Marvin Wiederhold

    Marvin Wiederhold, Manager Operations, Sagamore

    “I’ve always had good managers who recognised my potential, even when I didn’t!”

    Marvin Wiederhold started out as a lab technician and process chemist at our Lafayette and Sagamore plants in Indiana in the 1990s. He then moved into increasingly senior quality assurance roles at Loudon, Tennessee and Decatur, Illinois. In 2002, now with a young family, Marvin returned to Sagamore – this time as operations manager.

    “Moving from quality assurance to operations management was a challenge for me. Although I was familiar with the starch modification process and the complexity of the process at Sagamore, there was still much to learn. Fortunately, there are many talented people here who helped to make the transition easier.

    “We know what we have to achieve in terms of safety, quality, and cost and energy efficiency, and my job is to make it happen. I’m particularly proud of our team achievement in taking the plant to a new level of safety – in 2009, for the first time in the plant’s history, we did not have a recordable injury. Increasing individual responsibility for safety was a big part of that.

    “I’ve always had good managers who recognised my potential, even when I didn’t! Tate & Lyle values family and people, and supported me when I wanted to put down roots in one place.”

  •  Nick McNamara

    Nick McNamara, Customer Services Representative, Decatur

    “My favorite part of the job is when we get emergency requests… and work together fast to benefit the customer ”

    After graduating in marketing, Nick McNamara joined Tate & Lyle in the US in 2007. As Customer Services Representative, he links customers with the company – dealing with their questions, and ensuring they receive their order correctly and on time.

    “My role involves co-ordinating our internal departments to deliver what the customer wants, when they want it. I work with production planning to ensure the product is available and the order is scheduled correctly, and obtain specific customer details from our sales team. I work across different product groups – liquid sweeteners, starches and sucralose – currently focusing on the US domestic market.

    “I’ve had training in our products and SAP system. I’ve also met with my peers around the world at the International Graduate Conference in 2008, which was a great experience and taught me a lot about the business.

    “It may sound odd, but my favorite part of the job is when we get emergency requests. Maybe something has occurred to delay an order; or the customer increases their order at the last minute. Communication and trust come to the fore and we work together fast to benefit the customer.”

  •  Jason Doyle

    Jason Doyle, Operations Manager, Loudon

    “I always want to learn more, grow more – and I want the same for Tate & Lyle.”

    Jason joined our Chemical Engineering graduate programme in 1998. Over the last 11 years, he has worked in many of our US plants gaining skills, experience, and responsibility in a range of process, project and maintenance engineering roles. In 2008 he was appointed Plant Operations Manager at Lafayette, Indiana before moving into the same role at Loudon, Tennessee.

    “I am responsible for ensuring that all the business units perform safely while meeting the requirements of our customers. I also help develop the organization by empowering teams and individuals to improve our processes. As a plant, we aim for continuous process improvement while driving operating costs down.

    “Meeting these goals demands a lot of our people. They need to understand how their roles fit into the bigger picture, so they can work with colleagues from different disciplines, share knowledge and make decisions together. From a technical perspective, they need to be at the top of their game. That’s why we invest in training and developing our managers, engineers and technicians.

    “My greatest achievement? I’m still striving for it! I’m never satisfied with where I’m at. I always want to learn more, grow more – and I want the same for Tate & Lyle."

  •  Richard Hale

    Rich Hale, Production Engineer, Lafayette Wet Mill

    “It’s a very productive environment – easy to talk to managers and get things done.”

    Rich Hale joined Tate & Lyle in 2003 with a degree in Chemical Engineering. As a Production Engineer, he’s responsible for day-to-day problem solving within the mill, and also for special projects – some of which are very special indeed…

    “I’d been with Tate & Lyle for five years when I was asked to be Project Manager of an expansion of the Lafayette plant. It was a big learning curve, working in areas like process design, designing and installing equipment, even getting involved on the construction side. A lot of responsibility. But in a way it was a natural progression, as I’d been offered opportunities to stretch myself right from the start.

    “I’m particularly proud of a new process we designed. It involves preheating the corn before steeping it, which enables us to grind more corn. That’s typical of Tate & Lyle, it’s a very productive environment – very easy to talk to managers and get things done.

    “Problem-solving is my favorite part of the job. Operations come to us when there’s something wrong in the process they can’t figure out. I do some calculations, analyze what’s happening – it’s what I went to college for!”

  •  Elio Tironi

    Elio Tironi, Technical Director, Bergamo

    “There’s something new every day, which helps you grow the business and grow professionally”

    Chemical engineer Elio Tironi joined Cesalpinia, then a speciality chemicals company, in Bergamo, Italy, in 1974. Starting out in the textile division, he moved to paints then found his career path in foods in 1980. Cesalpinia was bought by Tate & Lyle in 2005, and in 2007 Elio was appointed Technical Director at Bergamo.

    “Although I have a technical background, I’ve focused more on technical sales and service in my career and travelled a lot throughout Europe. Now, as Technical Director, I’m responsible for the quality of our food stabilizers and thickeners. I enjoy both aspects of my job – understanding the technical detail of our products and their commercial application. I help our food manufacturing customers solve problems, and use our products to get better results from their products, such as mayonnaise, jams and yoghurts.

    “What I like most is that there’s something new every day, which helps you grow the business and grow professionally. The more problems you solve, the more knowledge you can apply elsewhere.

    “Another thing I enjoy is living in Bergamo. It’s a sophisticated city with a beautiful, walled medieval town built on a hill. We’re surrounded by lakes and valleys, and there’s great skiing. Everybody who comes here loves it!”

  •  Rheem Lock

    Rheem Lock, Senior Product Manager Sucralose, Decatur

    “The sales team were amazed I didn’t have a technical background…not bad for a Philosophy major!”

    Beginning her Tate & Lyle career in 2001 in the Customer Service Team, Food Ingredients, Rheem Lock moved into an ‘inside’ sales role in 2004, with the acquisition of the McNeil sucralose business. This meant managing up to 300 small-to-medium sized customer accounts by phone. She moved to Product Management in 2006, with an expansion of her responsibilities in 2009.

    “My customers are internal. I work with colleagues across the business – from operations, quality, R&D and business planning, to marketing and legal departments – to ensure our sales people have the support and information they need and their customers receive the best sucralose product available. I also look at how we can apply the success of sucralose in one area to other customers.

    “What I enjoy most about my job is having broad exposure to the business and global experience. The applications of sucralose are similar around the world, but consumer tastes and the regulatory framework is different in every market. I also like negotiating with sales to find win-win solutions for both us and their customers.

    “The biggest compliment I got was when I gave a sucralose overview and training session to the sales team. They were amazed I didn’t have a technical background. Not bad for a Philosophy major – and a tribute to our very supportive technical team!”

  •  Simon Gray

    Simon Gray – Systems Administrator IS/IT

    "We're all determined to see the business succeed… and I’m part of that"

    Simon Gray works in the Information Systems/Information Technology division at Thames Refinery in London. He joined us in 2008 after working for a charity and a Housing Association.

    “My role is nothing if not varied. I deal with complex issues in information technology across Europe, the Middle East and Asia, in anything from Blackberries, laptops, desktops and servers, to warehouse barcode scanners and SAP systems. I’m also a member of the IT security team.

    “The size and variety of opportunities is what appealed to me most when I was recruited. But it’s an even more dynamic environment than I expected. Tate & Lyle is really fast to adopt new systems, so your skills are constantly updated. And business initiatives like the acquisition of G. C. Hahn & Co. and the new Innovation Centre at Lille mean lots of project work and travel. I’m also learning new skills like project management, and I deal directly with major suppliers.

    “What I love about Thames is the mix of office work and heavy industry. We’re all determined to see the business succeed, and by implementing process improvements such as automated pallet labelling, I’m part of that.”

  •  Michael Auschra

    Michael Auschra, Managing Director, Lübeck

    “I like purchasing –it’s where you can have so much influence on the success of the business.”

    Michael Auschra’s background is in industrial management. He joined Tate & Lyle with the acquisition of G. C. Hahn & Co in 2007, where he had been working since 1983. At the Lübeck site today, we build on the company’s expertise in blending raw materials such as hydrocolloids and proteins for use in the food industry.

    “The actual blending process isn’t too complicated – the challenge is in sourcing good functional raw materials and understanding their functionality and synergies. We not only create recipes for customers that save them time and money, we can also advise on and test the production process in our pilot plant. Consultancy is built into our products.

    “I like purchasing – it’s where you can have so much influence on the success of the business. Price is important, but we have a reputation for quality to keep up too. One of my proudest moments was finding a high quality, reliable supplier of egg yolk powder outside Europe.

    “Since joining Tate & Lyle I have wider responsibilities, and my role as MD gives me more input into company strategy. I’m excited by the possibilities we are able to create in the market.”

  •  Brian Morgan

    Brian Morgan – Project Director Finance

    "There's a lot of change in Tate & Lyle… and a legacy we respect"

    Brian Morgan moved to Tate & Lyle from an audit and professional services role at Deloitte. Joining us as a technical financial accountant in 2007, Brian now has a global finance role, working with 300 financial specialists around the business.

    “I’m based in our London headquarters at Sugar Quay but work with a great bunch of people in finance and the business around the world. I can be talking to someone in Australia one minute, Shanghai the next, and then Illinois. I use my financial knowledge to help our businesses grow in their very different markets, product areas and locations.

    "There’s a lot of change in Tate & Lyle. We have a new Chief Executive and, during the last two years, a new Group Finance Director as well as many new business heads, and they’re catalysts for driving that change. At the same time, Tate & Lyle has a legacy we respect. The corn wet milling business has been huge in the US since the 1900s; and there are plants throughout Europe with their own culture. I think we have the right approach – a small, flexible head office team that works step-by-step with our businesses around the world to optimize their profitability."

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The Three Degrees – MBA students in US create win-win survey

The Three Degrees – MBA students in US create win-win survey

Academic research has brought workplace benefits to three ambitious US employees who are aiming to complete MBA degrees at Illinois State University in 2010.

When Jessica Allen, Jamie Foster and Gayle Albert needed a research project involving a survey of at least 200 respondents as part of their course, the solution was at hand in their Decatur site – where the leadership team was looking for ways to improve quarterly ‘Town Hall’ meetings with employees.

The result was a survey of more than 300 Tate & Lyle employees, says Gayle Albert, Sales, Ethanol, Americas: “We developed a survey which was approved by our professor, and Tate & Lyle leaders. The feedback was very positive.”

“The project had at least two benefits,” said Bob Ryan, Vice President Human Resources, Americas. “We got input on ways to improve our communications to employees, while also supporting Jessica, Jamie and Gayle’s pursuit of MBA degrees. Both are very important!”