Ruiz Foods serves up new leadership to start 2024

A once local frozen food manufacturer, Ruiz Food Products, Inc., kicks off the new year by making some adjustments to its corporate structure

Shot of the road sign on Alta Ave. from left view. (Kenny Goodman)
Mid Valley Times Staff
Published January 10, 2024  • 
10:00 am

FRISCO, TEXAS – After a period of great change throughout 2023,  Ruiz Food Products, Inc. — the largest frozen Mexican food manufacturer in the United States, which first opened its doors in Dinuba — announced their plans to restructure their board and executive leadership.

While they released a public statement regarding the incoming changes on Jan. 5, the restructuring won’t be effective until later this month, on Jan. 21; which will see various members of the existing leadership step into new roles.

Kimberli Carroll, the company’s current chief operating officer, has been selected by the Ruiz’s board of directors to become the new president and chief executive officer, as well as join the very board that appointed her. 

“As the Ruiz Foods board of directors considered the direction for our next CEO, the best candidate was right here on our leadership team,” stated Kim Ruiz Beck in the release. “Kim Carroll quite literally grew up inside the Ruiz Foods organization over two decades.”

Beck, the elder daughter of Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus Fred Ruiz and a current owner/board chair, continued her comments by saying Carroll, “began her career in marketing, was a member of the team that developed and deployed the most successful new product in the company’s history and has served as a leader implementing dynamic, transformative change throughout our entire supply, production and distribution chains.”

Carroll was promoted to her current position as chief operating officer in September 2023, previously serving as an executive vice president, general manager and chief commercial officer for the company’s Foodservice and Retail businesses.

“I am humbled and honored to lead one of the finest family-owned companies in America,” Carroll stated in the release, going on to sing the praises of Dan Antonelli, another longtime employee who will be making an upwards transition to become the executive board chair on the 21st.

“Dan Antonelli has been instrumental in leading the transformation we started in 2021 to become a top performing company and Kim Ruiz Beck has been our North star, leading us by embodying the values of the business,” Carroll stated. “Now, it’s our job to continue their legacy by ensuring our brands are the market leaders in every channel we pursue.”

A BUSY 2023

While — as of press time — The Sun-Gazette has yet to receive an answer as to what these changes may bring for the company, past articles have detailed other changes the frozen foods manufacturer made during the previous calendar year. 

During spring of 2023, Ruiz Food Products, Inc. decided to consolidate its base of operations, and did so by closing their regional headquarters in Dinuba and establishing solely in Frisco, Texas. This centralized the company between the three main states they operate out of, being California, Texas and South Carolina. 

After Ruiz Foods announced these plans on May 23, Dan Antonelli assured the company’s strategic direction would not change as it continued to grow its core business in the retail and food service channel. Antonelli also stated that the Dinuba manufacturing facility would continue to be their flagship facility, given it serves as their largest manufacturing presence, with over 1,600 team members.

Although the business opted to focus their operations in Texas due in part to greater opportunities for being able to find and hire more qualified individuals, Antonelli noted that Ruiz Foods would continue to focus on strengthening its opportunities for their Central Valley facility.

As previously reported by the Sun-Gazette, Ruiz Food Products, Inc. traces its origins back to the community of Tulare in Tulare County, where the business started in a small warehouse. Now the company has spread across the nation and is renowned for its premium quality.

Those who want to learn more about the once local manufacturer and their recent endeavors, as well as why they opted to focus their resources in Texas, can do so by reading about it on The Sun-Gazette site, which last posted articles about the company on May 31, 2023 and Oct. 12, 2023.

Mid Valley Times Staff