Our People

It’s no secret our people are our most important ingredient.

Executive Team

Our experienced executive team leads by example and sets the tone for the entire company.

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Eric Johnson

President & CEO

Eric purchased the Baldwin Ice Cream Company in 1992. At the time, it was a small ice cream brand with a long history in Chicago, dating back to 1921. Over the next several years, he expanded the company’s distribution and sales. In 1997, he created Baldwin Richardson Foods (BRF) when he acquired Richardson Foods from the Quaker Oats Company. In 2001, the company entered the industrial ingredients business when it became the sole supplier of fillings for a global breakfast brand.

Eric received his Bachelor of Arts and Science from Babson College and attended the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. He was awarded the Ronald McDonald House Charities Crystal Heart Award in 2011 and the Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame from Babson College in 2016. He serves on the board of directors of SUPERVALU and Lincoln National Corporation, where he also chairs the finance committee. Eric also serves on the board of trustees for Babson College and the Urban League of Rochester. He is the proud father of four children. 

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Erin Tolefree

Executive Vice President

Erin joined BRF in 2001 and served in numerous senior management and sales positions prior to assuming her current role. In her capacity as Executive VP, she leads the Marketing, Customer Service, Innovation, Commercialization, R&D and Supply Chain teams.

Erin is a longtime participant in the Women’s Foodservice Forum and a 10-year veteran of Vistage, a national leadership roundtable for key executives. She serves as chairwoman for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester and heads its strategic planning committee. Erin also volunteers on the board and marketing committee for the Urban League of Rochester. In 2015, she was featured on the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle’s list of Women to Watch and was recognized as an Athena Young Professional Award finalist in 2016. She recently joined Rochester’s Forty Under 40 class.

Erin holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics and a minor in Spanish from Spelman College in Atlanta. 

Fun fact: I have completed the Chicago Marathon twice, along with 12 half marathons
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Cindy Andrews

Vice President of Human Resources

Cindy joined BRF in 2013 with more than 25 years of human resources experience and more than 12 years of experience in manufacturing. Her areas of expertise include organizational development, performance management and talent management. Previously, Cindy served as director of human resources for the Laboratory Consumables Division of Thermo Fisher Scientific.

She serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Shepherd Home, a two-bedroom hospice. Cindy earned a master’s in strategic leadership and a bachelor’s in organizational management from Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, New York. 

Fun fact: I love to fly fish and I know how to tie my own flies.
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Sherry Barsamian

Senior Director of Operations

Sherry joined BRF in 2013 after more than 18 years of food manufacturing leadership at Keebler, Kellogg’s, Pepsi, Kraft Foods and Mondelez International. She’s had management responsibility for safety, environmental regulatory, production, quality, delivery, engineering, maintenance, supply chain, and TPM and L6S programs.

She is a member of Operational Excellence (OpEx), a state-of-readiness blog where impassioned change agents exchange ideas and best practices, and seek guidance. She is also a member of the Manufacturing Operations Management forum on new manufacturing technology. 

Sherry has a bachelor’s in finance from the University of South Carolina and bachelor’s in economics from Campbell University in North Carolina. 

Fun fact: I love music and play the acoustic guitar.
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Meet a few members of our BRF family. 

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Microbiological Technician

I love the variety of daily tasks. My role in testing and reporting reaches from procurement to shipping. I feel very fortunate because I get to meet almost everyone in the company!

Everyone takes a genuine interest in supporting your growth. No matter what your role is, the leadership and executive team are all within reach and have open doors. Everyone is friendly and it feels like you’re part of a family. 

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General Accounting Specialist/Payroll

BRF is a company that values people, family and service to our customers. It’s evident every day as you walk through our hallways and see so many friendly faces. Everyone you meet is eager to help.

Since I started at BRF, I’ve had multiple opportunities to volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House. That’s always a great experience. Giving back to the community is very important for the whole company and it’s really contagious here. 

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Senior Financial Analyst

I like coming to work because people work together with a common set of shared values to improve the business as a whole. I’ve been able to work with many different people in a variety of fields on a diverse set of problems. It keeps my job very interesting.

As an analyst, my job requires data. BRF has invested in some great tools—like SAP and Redzone—with which to obtain and view data. It’s really exciting to find new ways to use the data to improve our business results. 

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Materials Supervisor

I truly enjoy helping others with special projects. It helps them accomplish their goals and it gives me extra insight on how other departments function and how all the pieces fit together.

I started part-time as a temp employee after high school. But what keeps me here is the way management helps employees grow with BRF. When someone shows potential or interest in something, they’ll get real encouragement to pursue it. 

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Contract Compliance Administrator

I was first attracted to BRF for the opportunity to continuously learn and broaden my horizons. Now that I’m here, I’ve learned that the culture here is one-of-a-kind. I’m proud to be part of it.

The managers here know that people are at their best when they feel respected, empowered and valued for their talents, skills and passions. The company proves this every day with all kinds of activities, training and events. 

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Supply Chain Planning Manager

It’s a great feeling to work together to accomplish goals. The different functional teams at BRF don’t make decisions in a silo. We always work together to determine the best path to take for the business. The culture is open, friendly and focused. Whenever you ask for support, employees jump in without hesitation to help you.

I also participate in the Employee Engagement Committee. The committee fosters a family-like culture at the company’s four sites. We also support charitable causes that aid local families in need. It’s great to be part of efforts like that. 

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