DENVER – April 18, 2023 – PHM Brands™, a vertically integrated agricultural and biotechnology company and owner of multiple subsidiaries, including growing flour miller Panhandle Milling™, announced that Gina Steffens, PHM Brands former Chief Legal Officer, would be succeeding John Mason and Bryan Ledgerwood as PHM Brands’ Chief Executive Officer.
Co-Founder, Chairman of the Board and Managing Director for PHM Brands, Bryan Ledgerwood, commented, “Gina’s economics first and results driven approach, coupled with her close relationship with John and I, make her a natural fit to take PHM Brands to the next level. We couldn’t be more excited that she will be leading our company in this role.” Steffens vocalized her praise for the team of experienced professionals she will continue to work alongside, saying “I am thrilled to be leading PHM Brands in this capacity, and with a team that includes some of the best in the industry, the future for our company as we continue to grow is very bright.” Co-founder John Mason, who, like Ledgerwood, has transitioned into a Managing Director capacity for PHM, shared his excitement in a company-wide message to PHM Brands’ employees, “Bryan and I are energized about this natural handoff of the baton to Gina, which aligns with our broader company vision and goals.” Ledgerwood commented further, “John and I will remain in lockstep with Gina, who by stepping into this role, is creating space for us to focus on macro-enterprise opportunities and manage investor relationships.”
Steffens, who has held leadership positions in publicly traded companies during periods of aggressive growth, shared that “PHM Brands has grown rapidly, reaching the point where the organization must shift focus towards building a sustainable and scalable structure that is designed to support PHM Brands’ continued growth well into the future.” An executive with more than two decades of professional experience and a proven developer and leader of high performing teams and organizations, Steffens’ perspective has already directionally impacted company decisions this year as she tackles restructuring the suite of companies PHM owns. Her strategy: “We have recently been more vocal that we are returning our focus to our core, which is flour milling. And, while our family of agricultural and biotechnology-based companies complement each other, we will be strategically restructuring the enterprise to return priority to the core and focus on expansion in that space. It has been and will continue to be a very exciting time for us, and we need to ensure we are setting ourselves up structurally in the most efficient, sustainable and scalable ways.”
Mason provided additional context around the restructure, “PHM Brands’ Panhandle Milling, Energis Solutions and Viobin companies have each built brands that are leaders in their respective industries, and it is time for each company to have dedicated leadership teams who will focus on continuing to build their own platforms.”
For Panhandle Milling, this means executing two to three major growth projects slated for 2023 and 2024 and positioning Panhandle Milling as a nationwide supplier of low micro and RTE mixes and flours. “We are expanding through focusing on our core business as flour millers and already have significant projects underway in multiple locations,” said Steffens.
PHM Brands subsidiary, Energis Solutions™ will no longer be a part of the PHM Brands’ portfolio of companies. “Energis is obviously a complementary business to PHM Brands,” said Vice President Food Safety & Quality for PHM Brands Darin Jensen, “setting Energis up on its own, separated from PHM, is the right move,” he continued.” Energis is installing multiple Guardian machines in flour mills across the U.S. in 2023 and is an industry leader in pathogen mitigation in food processing. Kevin Lamar, a Stanford graduate and former NFL player, has been appointed President and General Manager of Energis Solutions, which will be operated as an independent company. Lamar, whose previous experience includes executive level roles as president and COO of fast-growing and emerging companies, has hit the ground running with Energis, saying “Energis’ revolutionary technology has the potential to reach multiple segments in the food and agricultural industries in 2023, and the Energis team is thrilled, after years of research and development, to see that materialize.”
Viobin, a leader in natural vitamin E specialty oils and defatted wheat germ products, has continued to experience market growth in the micro ingredient category. “Viobin has reached the point where having its own dedicated leadership team outside of flour milling, focusing on what Viobin needs to continue to grow and thrive, is best to support the longevity of the company,” said PHM Brands’ President Peter Bisaccia, continuing, “Viobin, as a developer of pet food ingredients and other supplements, has a diverse and distinct business portfolio that requires dedicated attention and expertise in this space.” PHM Brands anticipates exploring options around transitioning Viobin to an independent operating structure in 2023.
Leadership and organizational changes for any growing company are a part of the journey and not surprising for PHM Brands, which has experienced tremendous growth since inception in 2016. “It continues to be an eventful time for us, but these latest developments are already providing us with both the stability and momentum that we need,” said Jennifer Harnish, PHM Brands Chief Human Resources Officer and incoming Treasurer on the IAOM Board. Bisaccia followed up Harnish’s comments with, “Our leadership team knows Gina and is familiar with her style and leadership capabilities. These are all positive changes for PHM Brands and this structure will best support the company’s future growth and success.” Steffens responded with, “we have current strategic projects in full swing that will restructure PHM Brands while expanding our footprint, market reach and industry partnerships. And, I have to say that leading our exceptional team has already been the highlight for me.”
About PHM Brands™
PHM Brands™ is a vertically integrated and innovative agricultural company headquartered in Denver, CO, which specializes in transforming grains and seeds grown on the farm into flavorful products on the shelf. With longstanding farmer relationships and capabilities that include grain cleaning, flour milling, flour and grain blending and private label packaging, PHM Brands creates real value and solutions for industry-leading food companies. PHM Brands’ family atmosphere, passionate employees and entrepreneurial spirit are embedded in the company’s culture, elevating us above other ingredient providers. PHM Brands is truly a food ingredient creation partner, with skilled and experienced teams who work alongside our customers to develop customized formulations that use PHM Brands’ high-quality conventional and organic products. The result is consistently superior results that both PHM Brands and our customers are confident standing behind. To learn more about PHM Brands™, visit www.phmbrands.com.
About Panhandle Milling™
Panhandle Milling™ is a rapidly growing flour miller specializing in milling, mixing, and packaging for, grain-based products. Panhandle Milling is also a leader in production of low micro flours and developer of ready-to-eat grain-based products, through the utilization of its brand protection solutions. Panhandle Milling prides itself as an ingredient innovation partner and leader in customized formulations, which when coupled with superior conventional and organic products resourced through local farming relationships, brings exceptional products to store shelves.
About Energis Solutions™
Energis Solutions™ is a pathogen-reduction biotechnology company with patented technology which has been customized to provide environmentally green pathogen reduction for both food and non-food applications. Its Guardian™-branded system safely reduces harmful pathogens and mycotoxins in agricultural ingredients without altering functionality. Additionally, Energis Solutions’ Electro-Biocide disinfectant evidences the same low toxicity rating as tap water and yet eliminates 99.9999% of harmful bacteria and viruses. Energis Solutions’ exceptional products and industry-leading technology bring the future of pathogen safety into the present.
Founded in 1936, Viobin™ has been extracting wheat germ oil for over 85 years and continues to be leading nutraceutical company. Viobin Defatted Wheat Germ is made by extracting wheat germ oil from raw wheat germ, which is then milled, toasted, and customized to serve as an ingredient in a wide variety of foods for human consumption. REX branded Wheat Germ Oil is 100% pure with no preservatives and is extracted through a unique process that preserves the essential vitamins and nutrients found in wheat germ in its natural state. Veterinarians and professional animal organizations use and recommend REX Pure Wheat Germ Oil for health, vitality, performance, and breeding support.