Employee Profile: Kris, Director, Supply Chain Finance

Name: Kris

Title: Director, Supply Chain Finance

Hire Date: 3/16/2015

How would you describe what you do to someone who knows nothing about Clif Bar or your role?

My team is responsible for the oversight of all aspects of sourcing, manufacturing, and delivery of our products to our customers. When I arrived at Clif six years ago I was tasked with leading and building out our Supply Chain (operations) Finance function. During this time, we built one Bakery, and acquired a second completely remaking our manufacturing network and tripling our workforce. We increased our distribution footprint and expanded internationally all while launching new concepts and expanding our current brands. It’s been a very challenging and rewarding opportunity that I’m lucky to have.

What do you love most about working at Clif Bar?

The people. Few places have I had the connection to my coworkers that I have at Clif Bar. We’re constantly involved in activities on and offsite that gives us a chance to get to know one another. It sounds cliched, but we do get along (and sometimes also disagree) like a family.

What are your interests and passions outside of work?

I’m generally happiest working with my hands building something out in my workshop. My primary outlet is woodworking which is a passion I picked up from my Grandfather. I can still remember watching him work in his shop when I was young, and I still have some of his hand tools that I use quite often. They’re a reminder of him and the influence he had on me growing up.

I was also a big fan of the woodworking programs on PBS (Norm!) which captivated my attention with how they’d figure out their projects each week. It really is about being engaged and solving problems along the way. How are you going to turn this stack of wood into something useful and hopefully visually pleasing? It’s not passive work, that is unless you’re not too attached to having all ten of your fingers.

Finding shop space in the Bay Area is quite challenging, but I’ve found ways to make it work with minimal annoyance to my neighbors. Kali’s cookies are very effective at maintaining the peace.

Clif employee Kris W in workshop

What is one of your most memorable food experiences?

I was asked this same question during my new-hire introduction to the company nearly six years ago and it still hasn’t changed. Anytime I could have a homecooked meal at my grandparents especially after I had moved away from home was a memorable experience. It was usually most of my immediate family and all the food had been grown in their garden. In the summer it may have been picked that day. There may have been a pot roast, but nobody cared because it was overshadowed by the fresh corn on the cob, black eyed peas, green beans, fried okra, tomatoes, turnip greens, fried eggplant and corn bread. All in one meal! The only thing they hadn’t grown or made from scratch was the aforementioned pot roast and the corn bread. Don’t tell my Grandmother I told you she doesn’t make her cornbread from scratch.

What has been or will be your greatest adventure?

My greatest adventure is probably related to my career and all the places and people I’ve lived and worked with along the way. I’m from a small town in a small state and it never crossed my young mind that I’d live all over the country chasing my career. This has given me the chance to meet so many people from different backgrounds, and most importantly an appreciation and empathy for their points of view.

What is your United States Armed Forces Background?

On one side of my family all the men served in the Army, so it was a very present subject growing up. I didn’t know if I would also serve until my senior year of high school when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up. There was never any pressure from my family to join the military, but there was some satisfaction with the freedom I had at 18 to make my first major adult decision to join the Marines. And then I arrived at Parris Island, SC in middle of summer for recruit training and thought maybe I hadn’t fully thought this through. Obviously, it was a decision that has had a profound impact on my life, and I don’t regret it one bit.

I was fortunate (and too old) to never have had to serve in the conflicts our country has been involved in over the past twenty years, but I’m thankful and appreciative of those that have sacrificed time away from their families and in many cases their lives in service to our country. The military is made up of volunteers and the decision to join is unique and personal to each person that chooses to serve.