Ron Dunford

President, Schreiber US

Ron Dunford
Member of Board of Directors, Comp Committee Chair
Schreiber Foods

1. What are the main responsibilities in your role?

My primary responsibility and focus is “growth”! Delivering growth in our top and bottom lines, growing our capability and competency, growing our leadership talent, and growing our customer’s business. My role is to:

  • Help create the vision and strategy that will enable organizational and individual growth 
  • Clearly communicate the vision and strategy to our partners (employees)
  • Provide resources necessary for our success
  • Remove barriers that are slowing down the progress toward our goals/objectives
  • Review the right metrics to ensure we’re focused on the right things
  • Ensure execution of our strategy

2. What are your three biggest challenges on a daily basis?

Candidly, I’m not really sure I have any “daily” challenges that are consistent. I tend to keep a pretty optimistic attitude so I just knock challenges out of the way as I find them. We do have things that are out of our control like government regulation and commodity markets. Both of these impact our business however I wouldn’t necessarily classify them as daily challenges.

As I consider our organization, perhaps our biggest challenge is the “busyness of life” that challenges our partners. Prioritizing what’s most important, staying focused vs distracted and balancing professional and personal activities is a daily challenge for many.

3. With regards to your session, what would you describe as the key obstacle in improving people engagement?

Simply stated, you lead people and you manage things.

Leadership therefore is about integrity, caring, inspiring, coaching, developing, communicating, setting vision, strategy and execution. Management is about systems, processes, controls and numbers. To be effective, organizations need both good leadership and good management processes. The challenge most leaders face is understanding when to lead and when to manage.

4. What are some of the best steps for a business to take in developing leaders?

  • Clearly understand and believe the value/benefit of leadership development
  • Have full support of executive leaders
  • Define what leadership looks like in your organization
  • Align leadership development with company strategy
  • Consider developing leaders an investment vs a cost
  • Have a well-defined leadership development program
  • Make leadership development a business imperative

5. During your career, what was the best piece of advice that you received from someone in a leadership position?

“Know where you want to go, find you own leadership voice, practice leadership skills every day, and stay focused on your destination.”


Ron will be speaking at the 2018 American Manufacturing Strategies Summit. See the 2018 program here.