Westrock Hires Leaders for Global Manufacturing, Conway Plant

Westrock Hires Leaders for Global Manufacturing, Conway Plant

Westrock Coffee Co. of Little Rock announced it had expanded its senior leadership team and hired a manager for its 524,000-SF facility in Conway.

Nicolas Lorenz is joining the publicly traded company (Nasdaq: WEST) as executive vice president in manufacturing and will be based in Little Rock. He'll oversee the manufacturing of all products distributed from the company’s global enterprise to its blue-chip customers.

Lorenz previously worked for PACCOR Packaging Solutions of Düsseldorf, Germany, where he was chief commercial officer, vice president of sales and managing director in the company's northern Europe market. Before then, Lorenz held executive positions at Shalina Healthcare DMCC in Dubai and at Ditra, Scitra and Abiat Oleo Industries in the United Arab Emirates, the largest contract manufacturer in the Middle East.

Westrock's ready-to-drink packaging facility in Conway will be led by Cedric Smith, who was named vice president and plant manager. He'll oversee the start-up, build-out and operation of the former Kimberly-Clark plant, which Westrock acquired last yearThe plant will use advanced robotics and other state-of-the-art equipment to manufacture products including canned and bottled cold brew coffees, assorted teas, juice-based products and single-serve coffee cups, and to create and test new beverages. 

Smith joins Westrock from Dairy Farmers of America, where he was the assistant plant manager for one of the company's top volume producing ready-to-drink facilities in Springfield, Missouri. He previously held roles at Dawn Foods Products Inc., Nestle USA, Prepared Foods, and Eagle Family Foods, Inc.

The first phase of plant renovations is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2023.

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