MEET OUR team
At Miniat our customer service experience is as unique as our custom-developed, cooked meats. Our customer engagement team includes award-winning chefs, culinary-trained meat scientists, a sales force with decades of combined experience and food safety experts.
David J. Miniat, CEO, is a 4th generation member of the family. After graduating from Colorado State University with a degree in meat science, he and his brother, Mike, pioneered Miniat's current water-cooking operation. In 1996, he assumed the role of President of the company, and has led the company through construction of the South Holland plant and 3 major expansions. Dave has been featured in Meatingplace magazine and also served as Chairman of the North American Meat Institute for the 2007-2008 term.
Charles Nalon, Division President of Ed Miniat, known to most as Chuck, has been a part of Miniat for 25 years in various roles throughout the organization. While managing our strategic customers, leading the sales and R&D groups, and functioning as a senior vice president, Chuck honed his strategic approach to business. His personable nature and business acumen make him an invaluable asset to lead our cooked meat division.
Sue Schwartz, VP, Quality and Food Safety, has over 25 years’ experience in quality systems, food safety, and product development in the food industry. Prior to joining Miniat in 2016, Sue spent 19 years with a large producer of branded meat and poultry products in various quality leadership roles.
Jordan Lauzze, Sr. Director of Operations, brings a deep knowledge of both Miniat’s internal and external systems to his role. Originally hired as an intern to help launch our ERP system, Jordan has spent the past 14 years becoming an expert in both the physical operations and data portion of our operations. His high energy and problem-solving dexterity have contributed to our company’s success.
Dan Soto, Sr. Director of Sales and R&D, a 30-year veteran at Miniat, has held positions in operations, project management, research & development, process and product development, industrial account management, and a variety of sales leadership roles. In his current role, Dan provides direction and leadership to the sales team and cultivates sales opportunities through new product development and commercialization strategies.
Keith Goerl, Sr. Director of Product Development, brings over 21 years of animal science and meat processing experience to our team. Before joining Miniat in 2016, he led product development and commercialization teams for one of the largest, branded FMCG food companies in the United States.
John Draz, CRC®, CEC®, CCE®, has been featured on the PBS series, Great Chefs of Chicago, and served in various head chef positions. His other accomplishments include being chef/owner of a 300-seat fine dining restaurant, co-founding the culinary program at Kendall College, and most recently co-authoring a textbook, The Culinary Professional. In addition to his role at Miniat, Chef John is also an active member and former board member of the Research Chefs Association.
Rachel Allen, Director of Administration and Sales Services, has worked at Miniat for 13 years. She oversees all office functions and, most importantly, our customer service and pricing teams. Her get-it-done attitude ensures that our customers receive the highest level of support in a timely manner.