Director Vendor Food Safety & QA

Minneapolis, MN


Leads the Vendor Food Safety and Quality Assurance team (VFSQA) to advance and support the strategic priorities of the Food and Essentials Safety and Quality Assurance Division (FESQA) and Target’s Food and Beverage Strategy by ensuring vendors produce safe, high-quality, and regulatory compliant foods and beverages. Responsible for developing, implementing, continually improving, and maintaining, industry-leading vendor programs for food safety and quality assurance. Leads a team of subject matter experts in the fields of food safety and quality located both nationally and internationally. Drives continuous improvement of programs using metrics to identify, trend, problem solve and correct vendor performance. 
Reporting/Working Relationships:
  • This position reports to: VP, Food and Essentials Safety & Quality Assurance (FESQA)
  • Reporting to this position: 5 Program Leaders, 6 Scientists, and 3 international team members. 
  • Key internal partners include: Owned Brand Foods Product Design and Development, other Food Safety and Quality Assurance teams, Buyers, Sr. Buyers & Divisional, Marketing, Legal Affairs teams, Target Sourcing Services, Supply Chain Management, Target Technology Services (TTS). 
Primary Responsibilities of the Position Include: 
  • Leads the Vendor Food Safety and Quality Assurance Team (VFSQA) to advance the strategy, capabilities, understanding, execution, and regulatory compliance of Target’s vendor community to FESQA programs, policies, and procedures for manufacturing safe, high-quality, regulatory compliant, foods and beverages. 
  • Translates FESQA strategic vision and Target’s Food/Beverage strategy into executable programs, policies, and procedures to ensure guest safety, quality compliance, regulatory compliance, and brand protection while supporting profitable growth of the business. 
  • Provides strategic planning and prioritization of resources and projects for the successful implementation of VFSQA programs in alignment with the business growth strategies. 
  • Provides strategic technical and regulatory guidance to VFSQA team members and business partners. 
  • Leads and develops a team of subject matter experts responsible for quality/auditing vendors, specification development, on-going food safety and quality monitoring activities, consumer complaint resolution, conducting risk assessments, and participation in product recalls. 
  • Determines vendor remediation/removal based on vendor performance. 
  • Leads a quality assurance program that ensures high-quality products for Target’s guests that comply with all specifications. 
  • Experienced in leading national and international teams in vendor-related food safety and quality programs that are industry-leading in scope. 
  • Provides technical direction and represents the division on cross-functional pyramid initiatives that drive enhanced product safety, quality, brand protection; and makes significant business contributions to Target’s food and beverage business. 
  • Demonstrates technical mastery of food safety, quality assurance, applicable regulations, vendor auditing schemes, and risk assessments for vendor management. 
  • Identifies, develops and maintains third party contracts and oversees third party contract vendors and programs that are necessary to advance FESQA goals. 
  • Develops, uses and communicates to business partners actionable metrics to drive improved performance on FESQA goals and priorities and Targets’ Food and Beverage strategy.
  • Works collaboratively, drives deliverables, programs, and policies and manages effective integration and communication of a wide range of cross-functional partners to ensure that FESQA initiatives are understood, accepted, within budget, and on schedule. 
  • Sets clear goals, objectives and direction for the team as well as provides on-going leadership expectations , development opportunities, and performance feedback to develop high performing individuals and team. Manages the talent pipeline to attract, develop, and train top talent. 
  • Achieves business goals at multiple organizational levels by providing authority, recourses, information, communications, and support needed to achieve objectives. 
  • Fosters organization-wide collaboration by proactively establishing and cultivating a broad network of contacts both within and outside the organization. 
  • Actively participates and represents Target and Owned Brand Foods externally with trade and professional associations to maintain professional expertise and to stay informed of new developments in the areas of food safety, quality, and regulatory compliance. 
  • B.S. or M.S. in Food Science or related discipline 
  • 10+ years of experience in retail and/or manufacturing food safety/quality assurance
  • 10+ years of experience leading national and international food safety and quality assurance teams 
  • Certified in HACCP, FSMA
  • Strong critical thinking, problem solving, and conflict management skills 
  • Demonstrated record of significant and sustained project accomplishment, leveraging cross functional expertise. 
  • Demonstrated breadth of technical knowledge of food safety, quality assurance, and regulations; ability to provide technical leadership and participate in higher level corporate and industry initiatives.
  • Extensive experience in the evaluation of food products and processing, program development, laboratory testing methods, finished product specification, national and international GFSI audit schemes and audits; food safety and regulatory compliance.  
  • Excellent management, organization, interpersonal and leadership skills
  • Strong communication skills, verbal and written
  • Demonstrable
  • Exhibits good judgement and decisiveness 
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office skills 
  • Proven ability to translate business imperatives into strategic vision and driving organizational change
  • Proven ability to manage large diverse teams and develop team talent. 
  • Ability to establish and maintain cross-functional working relationships across the enterprise and ability to influence key business partners
January 27, 2019