In 1984 Jim Rosen founded Highland Baking Co. as a family-owned fresh delivery business here in the Chicagoland area. With over forty years of baking industry experience Jim's passion for both great bread and great service has fueled the company's growth. Under Jim's steadfast leadership the modest five-person operation has since grown to include two commercial manufacturing plants, employing hundreds of team members, with distribution services spanning the nation. Since his passing in 2015, we continue to honor Jim's legacy by providing our customers the highest quality products and exceptional customer service that have made Highland Baking Co. a respected leader in the commercial baking industry. Jim is survived by his wife of over 35 years, Gail Rosen (co-founder), three children and six grandchildren.
As a fourth generation baker, Stu Rosen continues the family tradition as Highland Baking Co.'s trusted CEO and President. Having served alongside founder Jim Rosen, Stu continues the legacy set forth by his father. He brings with him a continuing passion for bread, commitment to service and an eye for innovative baking solutions. Stu lives with his wife and four children here in the Chicagoland area.
Vice President of National Sales
John joins Highland Baking Co. with over 30 years of experience in the foodservice industry and 20 years of bakery sales experience. Having led sales teams at Sara Lee Bakery, Hazelwood Farms Bakeries and Pennant Foods, John has extensive experience in all facets of sales in the Foodservice and In-Store Bakery channels. John and his wife live in the Chicagoland area. Their oldest daughter works at De Paul University, and their youngest is attending seminary in Minneapolis, MN.
Director of Retail Business Development
James joins the Highland team with over 35 years in the food Industry. Starting as a chef, James' experience covers retail deli and bakery operations, food manufacturing, business development, innovation and NPD with such companies as Lunds/Byerly's, Sargento and International Multifoods. He's also a founder and past director of the Research Chefs Association. James has four grown children, and although a proud Minnesotan, he now calls Chicago home.
Director of National Accounts
Tracy has been in foodservice sales for over 25 years, working with Regional and National Chain Accounts. Before joining the Highland Family, she worked for Mission Foods and prior to that with Otis Spunkmeyer and Sara Lee Bakery. She has experience with a wide variety of baked goods in both commercial and non-commercial settings. She works with our National Customers collaborating with them to find the optimal solution for their menu needs. She resides in Chicago, IL.
Cheryl Rosen Wedyck
Director of Human Resources
As the daughter of Jim and Gail Rosen, Cheryl grew up in the bread business, but officially joined the company as part of the customer service department in 2002. After obtaining a degree in psychology from DePaul University, she took over the human resources department. Cheryl is married and has 2 daughters.
Plant Manager Northbrook
Joining the Highland Baking family right after finishing school, Francisco has been with us since 1998, working his way up from a Special Delivery Driver then a Sanitation Manager then a Quality Assurance Supervisor to an Assistant Plant Manager and now Plant Manager. He is married with one son.
Customer Service Supervisor
Lori joined the Highland Baking family in 2011. With over 12 years of experience working in the foodservice industry, Lori brings an extensive background from the baking industry. Lori is a lifetime Chicago resident.
Gaby Cid Leal
Director of Quality Assurance IL,SC
Gaby Cid Leal joined the Highland Baking family in 2009. She grew up in Mexico, within a family where baking was always a treat. She owned and operated a Bakery in Chicago for several years. Gaby lives in Northbrook and has two sons.
VP of Operations
Michael, a USSR émigré and holder of a degree in Food and Restaurant Management from a college in Moscow, has a long history in the foodservice industry. Starting off as a restaurant manager first in his home country and then in the US, Michael joined Highland in 1996 as our plant manager. He is married with a daughter and lives in Northbrook, IL.
Director of National Accounts
Robin has been in foodservice sales for over 20 years working with National and Regional Chain Accounts. Most recently she worked for McCormick Foods and spent time with Hormel and Sara Lee. She has experience with a wide variety of baked goods and their menu applications and through that knowledge helps chain accounts meet their menu needs through custom solutions. She lives in Arlington Heights, IL with her husband and two sons.
Stacy Jo Thompson
Director of National Accounts
Stacy Jo came to Highland Baking Co. with more than 25 years of Chain and National Account sales experience. Before joining our family, she was most recently a team member at Icelandic USA and Maplehurst Bakeries, Inc. Stacy Jo and her husband reside on the West Coast of Florida.
Research and Development
Rudolph has over 28 years in the bakery business - first opening his own retail bakery, then joining a commercial bakery in the QA area and then moving into R&D. He joined Highland as our R&D Manager. He currently resides in Pingree Grove, IL with his wife, three daughters and two grandsons.
Gail opened Highland Baking Co. along with Jim in 1984 as a five-person operation dedicated to providing a quality product and exceptional service. She lives in Northbrook and has been married to Jim for over 35 years. They have three children, six grandchildren and this business, which she has always considered her fourth child.
Boris holds a degree in mechanical engineering and has over 35 years of experience, including more than 20 years of experience in the baking industry. He has been an integral part of Highland Baking Co. since 1989. He oversees the day-to-day engineering operations and has managed all engineering aspects of Highland’s expansion throughout the years. He lives with his wife in Skokie. They have two children and three grandchildren.
Plant Manager Spartanburg
Steve has been in the foodservice industry for over 10 years and has worked at restaurants and catering companies. He began his education at Kendall College's School of Culinary Arts where he developed his traditional European-style bread baking under the tutelage of the world's top bakers. In 2007, Steve became the youngest Certified Master Baker in the US.
Director of Culinary CCP
Catherine has spent the last 17 years as a Concept Development Chef as well as a Culinary Manager and an Innovation Team Leader for several International Companies in the Bakery Manufacturing Industry. A graduate of the CIA and recipient of the Francis R. Roth Award for Outstanding Performance, Catherine's achievements include spearheading Innovation Programs based on consumer insights and the ever changing world market.