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The Dawn European & AMEAP Leadership Team

The Dawn Leadership Team is a core group of senior leaders who provide the global strategic direction that shapes our company vision and goals while ensuring key business objectives are consistently met. Our corporate leadership team is based in Jackson, Michigan where they work daily on the global strategies for our team.

We also have local teams around the world who ensure that our strategies are applied at the regional level and address the specific needs of the markets they are a part of. This diverse team brings together knowledge and insight from the best food companies in the world, along with innovative thinking from other key industries such as automotive, pharmaceutical, retail and many others. Their commitment to encouraging innovation, creativity and diversity in all areas enables Dawn to deliver unexpected solutions that inspire our customers to trust us as their indispensable partner for success.

Carrie Jones-Barber
 – Chief Executive Officer
As CEO of Dawn Foods, Carrie has led Dawn to become one of the world’s premier bakery companies. She is intensely proud of Dawn’s legacy, yet focused on Dawn’s next horizon of international growth in a sustainable and profitable manner. Having started her career in medical sales, Carrie came to appreciate the true value of understanding your products completely and being able to effectively communicate their benefits to customers. This served her well upon entering Dawn in a sales role in the Florida market. She has held various cross-functional roles with progressively increasing responsibility, including CIO, where she oversaw the implementation of the company’s first global ERP system, and President of International, where she successfully led a turnaround. Carrie has introduced significant organizational change at Dawn Foods, including global strategic planning processes and change management best practices. A keen advocate of the Dawn Difference, she is a firm believer that the company’s culture spans geographic and social boundaries. Carrie loves to interact with Dawn’s customers as often as possible and, like she did as a child, enjoys taking her daughter on bakery visits.

“Dawn has the products and people that enable our customers to deliver bakery experiences that are a point of differentiation for their businesses and that will entice consumers again and again.”

Hails from:
 Jackson, MI

Our Greatest Asset: People. I think we do an excellent job in attracting and developing the best people. At Dawn, people can make a difference every day, and our people do.

Our Greatest Challenge: Balancing family culture with growth requirements. It is essential that we maintain the spirit of Team Dawn and the great sense of family, while changing as an organization and ensuring our growth metabolism is founded on processes and structures that maintain profitable growth.

Favorite Sports Team: Northwestern Wildcats. As dangerous as it is in my family to support anyone other than a Michigan team, I got my MBA at Kellogg.

Favorite Baked Good: Tuxedo Vortex Cake

Hobbies: Being with my family. I love cooking food from around the world with my daughter, skiing, bike riding, tennis, reading and traveling.

Favorite Food: Italian – I have a weakness for truffles!

Favorite Travel Destination: Any place with a palm tree and crystal clear water
Serhat Unsal
 – Chief Executive Officer
With 18 years of experience with Unilever, Serhat is excited by the immense potential for Dawn in a rapidly evolving market place. With his deep experience with strategic development and marketing, Serhat is focused on growing existing market share, exploiting the benefits of international exposure, and identifying emerging markets for opportunistic growth. When not traveling, Serhat enjoys spending time with his wife and two children.

“Dawn is a company of immense potential. We are part of a great market and have some of the best products. We strive to make the business choices globally that will convert opportunity to success.”

Hails from:
Istanbul, Turkey

Our Greatest Asset:
Our technical expertise and the ability to evolve through historic pressures and differing business models — Dawn is a resilient company.

Our Greatest Challenge: The bakery industry is in flux and fundamental changes are taking place in the market dynamics. Those changes require us to continually assess our business model, culture and direction.

Favorite Sports Team: Fenerbahce Football Club and The Toronto Maple Leafs (I lived and worked for many years in Canada, and I am proudly Canadian, which equals loving hockey!)

Favorite Baked Good:

Hobbies: Tennis, skiing, cycling, computer programming, photography and architecture

Favorite Food: Grilled fish

Favorite Travel Destination: Brazil
Gabrielle Kalkwijk
 – President, Global Manufacturing Operations

With over 25 years of experience in the food manufacturing industry, Gabrielle leverages her strong leadership skills and operational expertise to drive efficiency and effectiveness across Dawn’s manufacturing plants.  As a member of the Dawn Leadership Team, Gabrielle is focused on developing and implementing consistent processes and calibrated systems throughout Dawn’s global manufacturing footprint.

Her passion for leading, collaborating and connecting with people has led her to develop strong, cross-functional teams, which have delivered powerful results. Joining Dawn in 2012 as Vice President of Operations in Europe & AMEAP (Africa, Middle East and Asian Pacific), Gabrielle contributed to significantly increasing Dawn’s operational efficiency, improved quality assurance and ensured that the safety of Team Members was always put first.

Gabrielle lives in the Netherlands and enjoys spending time with her family. She especially loves to go horseback riding with her daughter in the forest near their home. 

“My passion is all about leadership; achieving results by connecting people. In my global role, I look forward to delivering this passion throughout the World of Dawn and taking us to the next level.”

Hails from:
The Netherlands

Our Greatest Asset: Our people, our culture, our teams.

Our Greatest Challenge: We have a great example of diversity in culture and gender, so like any other big global company, communication and understanding of these cultural differences is crucial for our success.

Favorite Sports Team/Figure: Max Verstappen (Belgian-Dutch Formula One racing driver), what a talent – no fear.

Favorite Baked Good:  Raspberry/White Chocolate cookie; the best cookie we have. You can’t resist.

Hobbies: Horseback riding with my daughter and out in the forest. Sailing. Walking with the dogs in nature. Spending time with my family.

Favorite Food: Fresh fish and tasty healthy salads.

Favorite Travel Destination: I love to travel and explore new destinations; preferably nature destinations vs cities. Our trip to Alaska a few years ago was a great experience.

Steven Verweij
 – President, Europe & AMEAP
As President of Dawn Foods Europe and AMEAP (Africa, Middle East and Asian Pacific), Steven’s role is to drive strategic and profitable growth in this region by building strong customer relationships through Dawn’s relevant product portfolio, services, strong innovation and value added concepts — helping to fulfill the mission of growing the Dawn brand globally. Steven joined Dawn in 2014 as vice president of Western Europe. Prior to joining Dawn, Steven spent most of his career with Unilever, where he held positions in International Marketing and International Sales, as well as senior leadership roles. The larger part of his career he worked outside the Netherlands.

“Dawn is making a critical step in its growth strategy by moving to a true global company, because we are committed to taking local market factors and cultural influences into consideration when thinking about serving our customers. By thinking globally while implementing regionally, we will optimally combine global synergies and local opportunities. It will mean a change to the business approach, but I know that Dawn is up to this challenge.”

Hails from: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Our Greatest Asset: Our greatest asset is the broadness of our portfolio and the quality of our products, specifically in dry mixes. We provide absolute value in producing the leading mixes that customers around the world appreciate. I also believe that the specific Dawn business model, combining both production and distribution, is a real asset. The core values that stem from a family-run business help us to stand out.

Our Greatest Challenge: We have defined a strong and clear strategy for our global business, and now we must execute it with focus, dedication and 100% excellence. We are moving forward by putting a leadership structure in place and by taking a more cohesive approach to how we view the business. We are thinking globally. This is more complexity, but it will give us huge advantages long term. I know we will succeed.

Favorite Sports Team: Formula One racing, where normally I would support Team Ferrari, but now with Max Verstappen (a Dutch racing talent) joining Red Bull, I have changed.

Favorite Baked Good: Donuts

Hobbies: Beyond working, I enjoy sports like field hockey and tennis, but I hardly have the time for it. So mostly I do running to clear my mind. I typically run a 10K every run, one or two times a week. I also love to work in the garden and spend time with my family.

Favorite Food: Indonesian food

Favorite Travel Destination: I travel so much and therefore I like to be at home with my wife and two children. When I do travel, then I love Spain. I lived in Barcelona for almost seven years and it is my favorite destination.