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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Monett native left legacy of leadership

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Monett native David Pozniak, who retired in December as president and chief executive officer of Schreiber Foods, headquartered in Green Bay, Wisc., died on May 31 following an extended battle with cancer.

Pozniak died at the Mayo Clinic Hospice with his family at his side. He was 57.

"David was a man full of energy, life, passion and compassion for his family, his church and the partners of Schreiber Foods throughout the world," said Larry Ferguson, chairman of the board of directors for Schreiber Foods.

Pozniak was the second person with Monett roots to head Schreiber Foods. He took over as president and chief executive officer from Ferguson, who held the position from 1999 to 2007. Ferguson had been plant manager in Monett from 1986 to 1989.

Pozniak joined Schreiber Foods in 1974 as a team advisor and production supervisor in Carthage. He was part of the team that opened the Monett plant, beginning production in the Mid-America Dairymen complex on Dairy Street in November 1975.

Among the duties Pozniak took on in Monett was human resource director and production manager. Bob Harrell, a safe quality food specialist at the Schreiber plant today, had been hired by Pozniak.

"David was a great guy. He was always open to people. He never saw a person he didn't say hi to," Harrell said. "He had an open door policy. You could talk to him, no problem."

Harrell worked under many production managers and had a positive assessment of Pozniak.

"He was very good at it," Harrell said. "He knew no strangers. He was always on the floor. If you had to talk, he would always stand and listen to you. I worked with him for years. He was a great guy."

Pozniak was promoted to ingredient sales manager, director of marketing in 1985, general manager of the international division in 1992, vice president of purchasing in 1996, senior vice president of global trade and development in 2001. He had served on the executive board of the U.S. Dairy Export Council and the National Cheese Institute Board.

When Pozniak retired from Schreiber Foods in December, his successor as president and chief executive officer, Michael Haddad, praised Pozniak's efforts.

"David's contributions to our company's success are immeasurable," said Haddad. "He had the vision to expand our international footprint and create new markets for our products worldwide. He was the lead on the majority of the acquisitions we've made in the last 10 years. He leaves an incredible legacy of output that will have a positive impact on our company's growth for years to come.

"Thank you so much, David, for three decades of exceptional results and for your loyal and faithful service to this company," Haddad said.

Schreiber Foods is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and has annual sales of more than $4 billion. The Monett production facility continues to be one of the company's most active.

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