Our Leadership Team

Jerry Bartelse bio photo

Jerry Bartelse

CEO, Grober Group of Companies


Since arriving in Canada from the Netherlands in 1974, Jerry has brought his passion for innovation, dedication to excellence, and an enlightened entrepreneurial spirit to the growth of the business he founded in Cambridge — Grober Nutrition. The development of NutraBlend Foods is a product of Jerry’s vision and forward-thinking strategic approach. While his companies have grown and flourished over the years, he treats all his employees like family and offers respectful consideration to all.

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Ben Butzer bio photo

Ben Butzer

Controller


Based on out of our Lancaster operation, Ben joined NutraBlend Foods in October 2015. His background includes the role of Senior Controller with several years experience in public accounting working with a variety of different sized companies. Ben holds a Masters in Business Administration as well as the Certified Public Accountant designation. He is responsible for all of the accounting operations of the company in both Canada and the United States.

LinkedIn
Michele Defrain bio photo

Michele Defrain

Human Resources Manager, Grober Group of Companies


In her role as the Human Resources Manager, Michele leads the HR practice for the Grober Group of Companies in both Canada and the United States. This includes the management of Health and Safety/WSIB, Staff, Recruiting and Retention Strategies. She brings more than 20 years of HR leadership experience to NutraBlend Foods ensuring legislative compliance and facilitating strategic HR initiatives.

LinkedIn
Mark Freiburger bio photo

Mark Freiburger

Senior Buyer


With a varied background in accounting, manufacturing, distribution, and a decade of supply chain and commodity market experience, Mark is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Purchasing Department and commodity buying. This broad experience enables the Procurement Team to effectively source raw materials at a competitive advantage.  Mark is also a member of the Supply Chain Management Association. 

 

LinkedIn
John Hazelton bio photo

John Hazelton

Lancaster Plant Manager


Previous roles such as Maintenance Engineering Manager/Safety Manager, allow John to bring over 25 years experience building and leading high performance teams to his current position as NBF’s US operation Plant Manager. John is a strategic planner, skilled in budget management and effective workforce and expense reduction,Kaizen events, as well as coaching and mentoring.

LinkedIn
Saqib Javaid bio photo

Saqib Javaid

Director, Quality Management Systems, Regulatory & Product Development Departments


Saqib is responsible for managing quality/QMS for NBF’s Canadian and US operations as well as product development and regulatory affairs. With a Masters of Science & Technology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Saqib brings in-depth expertise and training to his leadership role at NBF.

LinkedIn
Mike Keery bio photo

Mike Keery

Canadian Sales & Business Manager


Working in sales and marketing roles in the food, wine and spirits industry for major Canadian companies since 2002, Mike is a high achiever who is results-driven and brings deep experience in customer service, marketing and a strategic planning to his current role. Mike’s sense of fun and joy for life bubbles over in everything he does, making it a great experience for all who interact with him.

LinkedIn
Chris Kydd bio photo

Chris Kydd

Canadian (Brantford-based) Plant Manager


Chris is responsible for the Brantford Manufacturing facility. With over 25 years of management experience in the food manufacturing industry, Chris brings his process knowledge and a drive for continuous improvement to his role at NBF.

LinkedIn
Mark Labine bio photo

Mark Labine

President, NutraBlend Foods


As President of NBF, Mark has a passion for fitness and nutrition that stems from his educational background and years of dedication to creating the highest quality and best tasting sports nutrition products. With over 17 years experience in this young, but growing industry, Mark brings his business savvy and can do attitude to every aspect of his work.

LinkedIn
Mark McLeod bio photo

Mark McLeod

Director of Business Development


Mark has been working in manufacturing and production management since 2001 and brings knowledge, leadership and charisma to his current business development role at NBF. Working in our Fort Lauderdale satellite office, Mark oversees our US business development.

LinkedIn
John Ritu bio photo

John Ritu

Chief Financial Officer


John has extensive experience in financial services and is the Chief Financial Officer of the Grober Group of Companies including NutraBlend Foods. After graduating from Wilfrid Laurier University with an Honours Degree in Business Administration, he articled at Ernst & Young where his work with the firm focused primarily in the manufacturing sector. John also holds the designations of Chartered Public Accountant as well as Chartered Accountant. He plays a key role in ensuring the financial oversight of NutraBlend Foods.

Jodi Roberts bio photo

Jodi Roberts

Sales Manager and Business Development


Working for the company since 2005, Jodi is all heart and extremely passionate about customer service. She looks for ways to ensure we are always providing an exceptional experience for all our customers. Focused on driving new sales, Jodi also studies the sales and product performance for our entire customer base.

LinkedIn
Bernie Tapp bio photo

Bernie Tapp

Vice-President, NutraBlend Foods


As Vice President of NBF, Bernie brings extensive expertise in supply chain and project management as well as operational effectiveness to his current role. He helps teams develop and prosper by aligning a strong vision with a focused mission and executing on SMART goals. This approach drives success for both NBF and the clients we serve.

Bernie achieved a Black Belt in Shorin Ryu Karate and is a veteran instructor with over 25 years’ experience teaching Karate, Boxing, Kickboxing and Fitness.

LinkedIn
Kristy Todtenhagen bio photo

Kristy Todtenhagen

Manager Systems and Customer Service


Working in food manufacturing since 2002, Kristy brings a wealth of knowledge to her role as Manager Systems and Customer Service. Since joining NutraBlend Foods in 2012, Kristy has held a number of key roles in operations, materials management, and more recently as the manager of corporate planning. She holds an Masters in Business Administration from Medaille College  as well as a BS, Business Administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She excels at finding ways to maximize the effective use of our manufacturing operations software systems.

LinkedIn

Jerry Bartelse

Jerry Bartelse bio photo

Jerry Bartelse

CEO, Grober Group of Companies


Since arriving in Canada from the Netherlands in 1974, Jerry has brought his passion for innovation, dedication to excellence, and an enlightened entrepreneurial spirit to the growth of the business he founded in Cambridge — Grober Nutrition. The development of NutraBlend Foods is a product of Jerry’s vision and forward-thinking strategic approach. While his companies have grown and flourished over the years, he treats all his employees like family and offers respectful consideration to all.

LinkedIn

Ben Butzer

Ben Butzer bio photo

Ben Butzer

Controller


Based on out of our Lancaster operation, Ben joined NutraBlend Foods in October 2015. His background includes the role of Senior Controller with several years experience in public accounting working with a variety of different sized companies. Ben holds a Masters in Business Administration as well as the Certified Public Accountant designation. He is responsible for all of the accounting operations of the company in both Canada and the United States.

LinkedIn

Michele Defrain

Michele Defrain bio photo

Michele Defrain

Human Resources Manager, Grober Group of Companies


In her role as the Human Resources Manager, Michele leads the HR practice for the Grober Group of Companies in both Canada and the United States. This includes the management of Health and Safety/WSIB, Staff, Recruiting and Retention Strategies. She brings more than 20 years of HR leadership experience to NutraBlend Foods ensuring legislative compliance and facilitating strategic HR initiatives.

LinkedIn

Mark Freiburger

Mark Freiburger bio photo

Mark Freiburger

Senior Buyer


With a varied background in accounting, manufacturing, distribution, and a decade of supply chain and commodity market experience, Mark is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Purchasing Department and commodity buying. This broad experience enables the Procurement Team to effectively source raw materials at a competitive advantage.  Mark is also a member of the Supply Chain Management Association. 

 

LinkedIn

John Hazelton

John Hazelton bio photo

John Hazelton

Lancaster Plant Manager


Previous roles such as Maintenance Engineering Manager/Safety Manager, allow John to bring over 25 years experience building and leading high performance teams to his current position as NBF’s US operation Plant Manager. John is a strategic planner, skilled in budget management and effective workforce and expense reduction,Kaizen events, as well as coaching and mentoring.

LinkedIn

Saqib Javaid

Saqib Javaid bio photo

Saqib Javaid

Director, Quality Management Systems, Regulatory & Product Development Departments


Saqib is responsible for managing quality/QMS for NBF’s Canadian and US operations as well as product development and regulatory affairs. With a Masters of Science & Technology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Saqib brings in-depth expertise and training to his leadership role at NBF.

LinkedIn

Mike Keery

Mike Keery bio photo

Mike Keery

Canadian Sales & Business Manager


Working in sales and marketing roles in the food, wine and spirits industry for major Canadian companies since 2002, Mike is a high achiever who is results-driven and brings deep experience in customer service, marketing and a strategic planning to his current role. Mike’s sense of fun and joy for life bubbles over in everything he does, making it a great experience for all who interact with him.

LinkedIn

Chris Kydd

Chris Kydd bio photo

Chris Kydd

Canadian (Brantford-based) Plant Manager


Chris is responsible for the Brantford Manufacturing facility. With over 25 years of management experience in the food manufacturing industry, Chris brings his process knowledge and a drive for continuous improvement to his role at NBF.

LinkedIn

Mark Labine

Mark Labine bio photo

Mark Labine

President, NutraBlend Foods


As President of NBF, Mark has a passion for fitness and nutrition that stems from his educational background and years of dedication to creating the highest quality and best tasting sports nutrition products. With over 17 years experience in this young, but growing industry, Mark brings his business savvy and can do attitude to every aspect of his work.

LinkedIn

Mark McLeod

Mark McLeod bio photo

Mark McLeod

Director of Business Development


Mark has been working in manufacturing and production management since 2001 and brings knowledge, leadership and charisma to his current business development role at NBF. Working in our Fort Lauderdale satellite office, Mark oversees our US business development.

LinkedIn

John Ritu

John Ritu bio photo

John Ritu

Chief Financial Officer


John has extensive experience in financial services and is the Chief Financial Officer of the Grober Group of Companies including NutraBlend Foods. After graduating from Wilfrid Laurier University with an Honours Degree in Business Administration, he articled at Ernst & Young where his work with the firm focused primarily in the manufacturing sector. John also holds the designations of Chartered Public Accountant as well as Chartered Accountant. He plays a key role in ensuring the financial oversight of NutraBlend Foods.

Jodi Roberts

Jodi Roberts bio photo

Jodi Roberts

Sales Manager and Business Development


Working for the company since 2005, Jodi is all heart and extremely passionate about customer service. She looks for ways to ensure we are always providing an exceptional experience for all our customers. Focused on driving new sales, Jodi also studies the sales and product performance for our entire customer base.

LinkedIn

Bernie Tapp

Bernie Tapp bio photo

Bernie Tapp

Vice-President, NutraBlend Foods


As Vice President of NBF, Bernie brings extensive expertise in supply chain and project management as well as operational effectiveness to his current role. He helps teams develop and prosper by aligning a strong vision with a focused mission and executing on SMART goals. This approach drives success for both NBF and the clients we serve.

Bernie achieved a Black Belt in Shorin Ryu Karate and is a veteran instructor with over 25 years’ experience teaching Karate, Boxing, Kickboxing and Fitness.

LinkedIn

Kristy Todtenhagen

Kristy Todtenhagen bio photo

Kristy Todtenhagen

Manager Systems and Customer Service


Working in food manufacturing since 2002, Kristy brings a wealth of knowledge to her role as Manager Systems and Customer Service. Since joining NutraBlend Foods in 2012, Kristy has held a number of key roles in operations, materials management, and more recently as the manager of corporate planning. She holds an Masters in Business Administration from Medaille College  as well as a BS, Business Administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She excels at finding ways to maximize the effective use of our manufacturing operations software systems.

LinkedIn

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