Joe Smyth


Plant Manager/Operations Manager/Quality Manager with 28+ years of experience in food processing and manufacturing operations. Strong background in production, packaging, warehousing, quality assurance, customer service, and government contracting functions with extensive knowledge of FDA and USDA regulations. Effective manager in multi shift operations with experience implementing Lean Manufacturing, SAP, Warehouse Management programs, HACCP, SQF and planning and implementing a $7 million plant expansion increasing production capacity and upgrading packaging lines.


2005 to Present - Sara Lee Foodservice, Greenville, SC
Manufacturer of baked fresh and frozen bagels and frozen dough products.
Interim Plant Manager
Responsible for all plant activities during transition period including plant operations, distribution, maintenance and engineering, financial accountability, while maintaining activities of the quality department.

Technical Services Manager
Responsible for the assurance that all product produced meets and exceeds the expectations of the customer through quality systems development, food safety program development, product development, customer support, and continuous improvement of the operation.

  • Manage environmental and safety compliance programs
  • Manage food safety regulatory compliance programs
  • Maintain customer specification compliance
  • Support the implementation of Continuous Improvement

1994 to 2005 - Cliffstar Corporation (formerly Carolina Products, Inc.), Greer, SC
Manufacturer of shelf stable, private label juice products.
Plant Manager
Responsible for manufacturing, warehousing, production, accounting, maintenance, human resource and quality departments in 3 shifts, 125 associate PET bottling and packaging operation.

  • Managed $7 million plant expansion, including 1 new bottling line and two line conversions to rectangle bottle.
  • Managed private label juice operation growth from 2 shifts, 1 line, and 48 associates to 3 shifts, 2 lines, and 125 associates.
  • Managed production of over 350 sku’s, including 14 different bottle sizes/types requiring changeovers and multiple label types.
  • Consolidated production schedules resulting in downtime reduction and improved efficiencies.
  • Maintained product loss below budgeted standard.
  • Initiated PET and corrugated recycling program resulting in increased revenue and reduction in solid waste disposal cost.
  • Negotiated reduction in contract trucking fees and outside refrigerated storage cost
  • Successfully implemented SAP in all departments with no interruption to operations or issues with customer service.
  • Assured compliance with FDA’s GMP and juice HACCP programs.
  • Maintained Customer Satisfaction Rating (CSR) of 99.9% which measured on-time deliveries and order fulfillment
  • Created “Safety Matters” associate safety awareness program, contributing to over 2 years with no Lost Time Accident.
  • Implemented “team” concept through associate involvement in Self Directed Work Teams (SDWT), Safety Committee, GMP Committee, HACCP Committee, Continuous Improvement Team

1992 to 1994 - Southeastern Millwork, Inc.,  Mullins, SC
General Manager
Coordinated the day to day operations of a building supply manufacturing operation, including scheduling, inventory control, procurement, and inside sales.

  • Implemented conversion of inventory control to computer software
  • Reduced order lead time 50% through improved inventory control and scheduling.

1991 to 1992 - Crider’s Poultry, Lincolnton, GA
Plant Manager
Directed the daily activities of a USDA further processed poultry facility.

  • Coordinated supervision of the cooking, deboning, dicing, IQF, and canning departments
  • Maintained compliance with USDA FSIS Meat and Poultry regulations.

1980 to 1991 - So-Pak-Co, Mullins, SC
Plant Manager
Directed the operation of a shelf stable thermally processed food products facility.

  • Managed production of MRE rations in retort pouches.
  • Assisted sales in development of contract packaging program.

Quality Assurance Director
Managed regulatory compliance of a USDA meat and poultry operation.

  • Developed Quality Assurance program for startup of new food processing facility.
  • Coordinated inspection programs with USDA Fruits and Vegetable Division and USDA Meat and Poultry Division

1978 to 1980 - South Carolina Department of Agriculture, Laboratory Division,  Columbia, SC
Performed FDA contract inspection of all processing and warehousing operations governed by the SC Food and Cosmetics Act.

  • Assured compliance with federal and state GMP/sanitation regulations
  • Assisted management with improvement recommendations

BS Degree in Economic Zoology Clemson University, Clemson, SC

Training / Technical Skills

  • SQF Systems
  • Lean Manufacturing, Sara Lee
  • The Institute for Productivity through Quality, University of Tennessee Knoxville, TN
  • Financial Accounting, University of South Carolina - Spartanburg Spartanburg, SC
  • Process Determinations, American Can Company
  • Better Process Control School, University of Maryland
  • Microsoft Office
  • SAP

Professional and Community Service

  • Food Industry Association of South Carolina – Board of Directors, President, and Treasurer
  • Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce – Executive Committee, Vice Chairman – Education
  • Rotary Club of Mullins – Board of Directors, President
  • Rotary Club of Greater Greer
  • Southeastern Food Processors Association – Board of Directors, Vice President