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Leadership

Our mission is to maintain the highest level of connection to customers and LFI team members by relying on relationships based on trust, respect and personal integrity
INDUSTRY KNOWN

INNOVATORS

Lawrence Foods has roots going back to 1890 and spans four generations of Lawrence family ownership.

LESTER LAWRENCE – CHAIRMAN

Les Lawrence brings over 50 years of industry experience to his position as Chairman of Lawrence Foods, Inc.

Les began his career at Lawrence Foods working summer jobs as a truck driver and material handler in high school and college. He received his BA degree with honors in Economics from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio and an MBA from the University of Chicago, in addition to two post graduate years financed by a fellowship in the business school PhD program. He withdrew from the GSB in 1969 upon joining Lawrence Foods as Director of Operations.

The original company, known as Lester Lawrence and Son, began as a partnership between Lester’s father, Major, and grandfather, Lester, distributing commodities to Chicago area bakeries. Over the intervening years, and with a change in name to Lawrence Foods in 1967, the company has grown into a well-known manufacturer of fruit fillings, glazes, icings, jellies, preserves, and nutrition and snack bar components, supplying a broad cross-section of food manufacturing, distribution and retail sales businesses throughout the United States.

During his full-time years at Lawrence Foods, Les has managed the company’s transition from foodservice distributor to a pure manufacturer. In 1987, he engineered the sale of the company’s foodservice distribution business to Sysco Corporation, along with a comprehensive supply relationship, which continues to the present.

Over his career to date, Les has held positions on the board of directors of Nugget Distributors, a national distributor network, the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA), first as Vice Chairman and then as Chairman of the Board, and on the executive committee of the Board of Governors of the North American Wholesale Grocers Association.

CECIL GREGORY – MANAGING DIRECTOR & MEMBER, BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Cecil is a widely recognized leader in the bakery ingredients industry resulting from a distinguished career that began in 1982 with a wholesale bakery company, and then starting with H.C. Brill in 1987, continuing through the CSM purchase in 2003.

He remained as president until his decision to retire in 2007, then leaving the industry after a final year spent as a consultant for CSM in 2008.

During his tenure, he was tasked with significant sales and operations mandates, including the construction of two manufacturing plants, and his contributions are considered to have been significant elements in the growth of the business leading to its preeminent position as a major supplier to the in-store bakery market place.

In 2013, Cecil returned to the industry as a part of the Lawrence Foods’ team. His leadership style, organizational competence and emphasis on employees and customers fit comfortably into the family culture at Lawrence Foods. Cecil is the most senior manager of our executive team.

MARC LAWRENCE – CEO & GENERAL COUNSEL

Marc Lawrence brings an extensive financial and legal background to his positions as CEO and General Counsel.

He joined the Lawrence Foods’ team in April of 2005 and has since assumed a multi-functional role working with Cecil Gregory to oversee the operations, innovation, finance, legal and regulatory departments.

Prior to Lawrence Foods, Marc spent seven years both as an associate in the corporate restructuring practice of Skadden, and as an associate in the M&A transaction advisory and strategy consulting practice of Monitor.

Marc received a BA with honors in Near Eastern Studies and Economics at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and a JD from the NYU School of Law, where he was a Note and Comment Editor on the NYU Law Review, followed by a one-year clerkship for the Honorable Kenneth F. Ripple, 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Marc received his MBA from The European Institute of Business Administration (INSEAD) in Fontainebleau, France.

PAUL FERENCHICK – PRESIDENT

An essential part of the leadership team, Paul has distinguished himself with a 20-year record of accomplishment in building success for the clients who have had the good fortune to work with him.

Hired as a technical service representative at H.C. Brill in 1995, he quickly rose through the ranks to Multi Regional Sales Director before accepting his current position at LFI.

Paul has extensive knowledge of the in-store baking industry. This experience, in combination with his consumer preference insights and his ability to build lasting, collaborative relationships, have all contributed to the development of his reputation as a preeminently qualified strategic observer of evolving changes and opportunities in the various market segments in which the company operates.

Paul has a BS from Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina. Paul’s customer insights and strategic analysis has contributed to Lawrence Foods strong presence in the industry and will be a contributing factor to the team’s growth going forward.

KEITH APPLING – CHIEF SALES OFFICER

A highly recognizable name in the supermarket bakery industry, Keith joined Lawrence Foods in November 2013.

Working for over three decades with H.C. Brill, he was a key member of the senior management group that brought the company to prominence, and was responsible for the direction, recruitment and hiring of the majority of the sales organization personnel.

Keith established a reputation as an ethical, collaborative leader possessing highly accurate insights about his team, their strengths and needs, and how to best position each in optimizing the effectiveness of their coordinated efforts. He is known for the appreciation and loyalty he commands from his customers, who respect his product and industry knowledge and the genuine and serious commitment he makes to their success.

Keith has both a BBA and Marketing degree from Mercer University in Atlanta, Georgia. He also had a distinguished career in the armed forces, spending 6 years in the USMC and USMCR as an E5 Sergeant from 1977 to 1983 before joining H.C. Brill.