Director of Research & Development - Core Flour
Denver CO
Full Time


Denver CO

About Us

Ardent Mills is the premier flour-milling and ingredient company whose vision is to be the trusted partner in nurturing its customers, consumers, and communities through innovative and nutritious grain-based solutions. Ardent Mills' operations and services are supported by more than 35 flour mills, a specialty bakery, a gluten-free facility, and The Annex by Ardent Mills (The Annex), a dedicated team committed to cultivating the future of specialty grains and plant-based ingredients. Deeply rooted in communities throughout North America, Ardent Mills’ operations are located in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico.

Ardent Mills created a specialty business unit call The Annex by Ardent Mills. The Annex is a dedicated team committed to cultivating the future of specialty grains and plant-based ingredients. Technical team of The Annex is responsible for exploration, development and commercialization of new ingredients and other value-added products aligned with Ardent Mills Vision, Mission and Strategy.  R&D team both in Core and Annex serve customers by collaborating with cross-functional teams to successfully commercialize and market current portfolios and future product creations.

The Role

The Director R&D – Core Flour, is responsible for leading R&D and culinary teams in the development and execution of the Ardent Mills strategy, to deliver business objectives and Annual Operating Plan.  Drive technical development and commercialization of wheat-based/bakery-centric solutions utilizing internal Ardent’s Innovation Center capability, for Ardent Mills customers.

You will manage up to 8 employees from product development, culinary, bakers and contractors within Base and Proactive teams.  This role works closely with Sales, Marketing, Technical Services, Operations, Supply Chain and Finance to provide comprehensive solutions to Ardent Mills customers.  This role resides in Denver with the team and will report to the Sr. Director of Research & Development.

As a leader and people manager, the Ardent Mills Values of trust, serving, simplicity and safety will guide your decisions. You will listen, learn, and serve your team members. You will enable your team to deliver superior business results by constantly learning, reinventing, and challenging yourself to do better. You will inspire people to achieve things they never thought possible. To succeed, you must be able to:

  • Deliver results in first-time situations by inspiring others and working to earn trust every day
  • Serve others with understanding, respect, and care
  • Operate with simplicity, clarity, and transparency
  • Deal with and drive change
  • Organize, prioritize, and own multiple tasks while meeting or exceeding deadlines
  • Learn and apply new technology, and share your knowledge with others

Above all you will be expected to carry out all your activities with reliability, integrity, compliance and in a safe, environmentally responsible, and efficient manner.

Key Accountabilities

  • Lead, resource, prioritize and drive project execution from concept through commercialization.
  • Collaborate with Product Marketing, Market Insights, Product Specialist, and commercial teams to translate insights into prototypes and product launches.
  • Partners with Marketing & Sales to develop and deliver promotional and training materials for internal and external customer-facing audiences.
  • Engage and participate in customer-facing activities (i.e., innovation sprint, confidential initiatives, co-creation, etc.) with focus on excellent customer experience.  
  • Coach, grow, and engage team members to contribute to business priorities and goals.  Partner with HR Business Partner to retain talents and “Live Our Promise”
  • Promotes a culture of inclusion, collaboration, and teamwork across organizational.
  • Proactively identify opportunities and provide technical leadership for cost savings & quality improvement initiatives.
  • Builds team awareness of the legal implications of appropriate behaviors associated with documentation and interactions with external parties (customers, academia etc.)  
  • Understands and complies with corporate Intellectual Property (IP) policies and procedures and provides technical expertise to the development and protection of IP within project scope.
  • Support execution of scientific studies and research programs to deliver grain-based solutions, collaborate with internal and external partners to conduct analysis and present findings.
  • Partner with cross-functional team (i.e., Marketing, Legal, Operations, Risk, Finance, Supply Chain, Sales) to validate claims studies, that will provide differentiation and add competitive insulation to Ardent Mills.
  • Effectively communicates complex information to cross-functional audiences at various levels within an organization

Required Skills & Experience

  • Minimum 12 - 15 years working in R&D/Commercial Product Development experiences, and 5 years minimum as people manager.  
  • Bachelors Degree in Food Science, Food Chemistry, Grain Science, Milling Science or related field
  • Highly proficient in team and people management.
  • Strong knowledge in NPD & commercialization steps: development of concept, prototype, process, equipment, ingredient/formula, and additive across food applications, especially baking platform. Experience managing New Product Stage Gate process is a plus.
  • Strong science and technical knowledge (ingredient functionalities, product applications and process development).
  • Demonstrated technical curiosity, creativity, and ability to innovate. Creatively solve technical and operational hurdles to reach a business goal.
  • Excellent project management and proven ability to oversee and execute on several projects concurrently.  
  • High Integrity, positive attitude, and flexible working style, able to develop positive working relationships with others.
  • Highly motivated, self-starter, demonstrated ability to learn, not afraid to take on ambiguous tasks.
  • Must be proactive, flexible, organized, with the ability to handle changing priorities.
  • Strong communication skills, both written and verbal to work effectively with internal customers and external partners.
  • A creative yet also pragmatic thinker who brings ideas that will advance our innovation pipeline and our customer’s innovation goals, while aligning to business capabilities and priorities
  • Proficient at Microsoft Office tools with the ability to learn new technology & software/app rapidly.

Good to have

  • Masters Degree

Other Considerations:

  • Travel of up to 15% in US, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
  • Physical requirements. Able to lift 50 LB (20 KG). Flexible work conditions (Office, Laboratory, Plant, & Manufacturing Environment). Able to work with and consume wheat products, i.e., no wheat /gluten sensitivity, intolerance and/or allergies.

EEO Commitment:

At Ardent Mills, everyone matters and everyone has a voice.  We are committed to providing an environment of mutual respect where equal opportunities are available to all applicants and team members and the decisions will be based on merit, competence, performance, and business needs.  We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, aboriginality, ancestry, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, genetic information, veteran status, age, political affiliation, or any other non-merit characteristic protected by law or not.  Together, celebrating our differences, we make Ardent Mills.

The preceding position description has been designed to indicate the general nature and essential duties and responsibilities of work performed by employees within this position.  It may not contain a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of employees in this position. The description, duties, functions, and responsibilities are subject to change at the discretion of Ardent Mills.


Denver Office CO


1875 Lawrence Street, Denver CO, 80202

Additional Locations (if applicable):

Employment Type:

Full time

Additional Information:


We provide market-driven base pay, based on skills, abilities, and level of experiences. Our salary ranges are broad, and individual salary will be market competitive based on a candidate’s unique set of skills and level of experience. The starting range for this position is $120,294.72 - $160,443.08, with additional earning potential possible commensurate with experience. Additionally, we believe that our team members are the reason for our success and all team members are incentive eligible with a target based on contribution, company performance, and individual results achieved. While the specific bonus plan and target amount will be determined based on the role and breadth of contributions, the targeted bonus plan and targeted percentage amount for this role is Bonus - MIP, 15% Annual: Individual Target.


At Ardent Mills we offer a wide range of benefits to our team members and their eligible family members. Some of our great benefit programs you may be eligible for include: • Medical, Dental and Vision Coverage• Health and Dependent Savings Accounts • Life and Disability Programs • Voluntary Benefit Programs • Company Sponsored Wellness Programs • Retirement Savings with Company Match • Team Member and Family Assistance Program (EAP) • Paid Time Off and Paid Holidays • Employee Recognition Program with Rewards (RAVE).

Apply Now

Connect With Us
Share this role

Ben Jones, quality manager in Sherman, TX, is a teacher, a prankster, a listener and someone who shows up every day with an infectious energy. Over his career, Ben has learned the value of forming real relationships at work.

Read more >

You May Also Be Interested in

Search Roles & Apply

Apply Now