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Board of Directors

Kris Maynard
Chief Executive Officer & Chairman of the Board 
Kris Maynard was born and raised in rural Ohio and graduated from Miami University in with a B.A. in Zoology in December, 1989. His chemical career started with Stepan Chemical Company in Chicago, Illinois the spring of 1991 after spending several months in Russia doing missions work and working numerous odd jobs during 1990. Kris and his wife Cindy were married in May of 1991 and relocated from Chicago to Atlanta, Georgia where he was assigned a territory in the Southeastern US as a distributor specialist. In May of 1996, Kris and Chris Gerlach founded Essential Ingredients.

Kris serves as the Chief Executive Officer & Chairman of the Board at Essential Ingredients. His favorite thing about Essential Ingredients is to help to shape a work environment at Ei that provides a pathway for employees to utilize their giftedness. He is also passionate about building personal relationships with customers and suppliers, understanding their businesses, and exploring creative ways to help them be more successful.

Kris and Cindy have three children; Rachael, Ryan, and Justin. Kris is an avid fisherman and hunter and, in his free time, enjoys exploring the mountains with friends and family near their farm in Ellijay, Georgia.

Entry year of Board membership: 1996
Chris Gerlach
Chris Gerlach is a Co-Founder of Essential Ingredients, and also served as Director of Business Development.  His focus was on bringing new technologies and vendor partnerships to life. Chris is the former Secretary of Florida Society of Cosmetic Chemists and has over 15 years of experience in the Personal Care and HI&I industries. Chris served in Iraq during Desert Storm, where he was awarded the Bronze Star for leadership. Chris served on active duty with Airborne & Ranger qualifications. Originally from New York, he was awarded an Army ROTC scholarship and graduated from S.U.N.Y. Brockport with a Bachelor of Science in Communications.

Entry year of Board membership: 1996
Kirk Hancock
Kirk Hancock is an experienced finance, accounting and operations executive with nearly 30 years of progressive experience including Big 5 and industry executive management positions with publicly held, privately held and start-up companies. He focuses on consulting with technology companies and their channel partners, most often working directly with business owners and their senior leadership teams with a heavy emphasis on profitable growth and business transformation. Kirk served previously, for over 13 years, as COO and CFO for Atlanta-based global consulting company North Highland with offices in 21 cities in the U.S. and London and international partnerships throughout Europe and Asia.

Kirk helped lead the employee-owned company from revenues of $32 million to over $350 million. Prior to North Highland, Kirk served in the broadband and telecom industries, the airline IT industry, the automotive parts industry, and was a manager in the Turnaround Consulting practice at Arthur Anderson. Kirk has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Auburn University and has served as Vice Chairman of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce Education and Workforce Committee.

Entry year of Board membership: 2015  
Skip Paterson
Skip Paterson has experience in a wide variety of businesses and industries, including telecommunications, energy, software, and manufacturing. Paterson has worked for ITT Cannon, Activant Solutions / Epicor, Alliant Energy, JD Edwards / PeopleSoft, KN Energy / Kinder Morgan, BellSouth / Cingular, and Parker Hannifin.  

The HR teams Skip has led have received national recognition as one of 50 Best Diversity Companies by Diversity Magazine, one of 100 Best Places to Work by Fortune Magazine, one of Top 50 Training Organizations by Training Magazine and was named Best Practice Company in HR Measurements, Watson Wyatt, and Saratoga Institute.  

Skip obtained a Bachelor of Science in General Management from Purdue University and a Master of Business Administration from Indiana University.  He is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the National Association of Corporate Directors. He holds a Certificate of Director Education and Senior Professional Human Resources.

Entry year of Board membership: 2015
Larry Sievers
Larry Sievers was raised on a farm in northwest Indiana. He received his degree in Business from Indiana University – Bloomington, is a CPA, inactive, and has attended Executive Programs at both Stanford University and The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Larry has spent the better part of the last 30+ years in leadership positions, CEO, CFO, Board membership, with Employee-Owned Companies. Additionally, Larry has held a number of volunteer advisory roles with non-profit organizations involved in education, human services and community outreach.  

Larry lives in Zionsville, Indiana with his wife Susan. He has three adult children, Kristan, in Indiana, Stephanie, in California, and Kathryn, in Colorado.  He has four grandchildren.

Entry year of Board membership: 2013
Stephen Smith
Since 1984, Stephen Smith has dedicated his private law practice primarily to employee-stock ownership plans (ESOP) and structuring ESOP transactions. Steve has been responsible for structuring over 300 ESOP transactions for public and private companies throughout the United States. He also designs and implements equity and non-equity-based incentive compensation programs for public and private companies. Steve represents ESOP sponsors, ESOP fiduciaries (including employer-appointed "committees") and independent ESOP trustees in ESOP transactions, including the sale of ESOP companies.

Steve was directly involved in drafting the S corporation ESOP enabling legislation contained in the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997. He was a co-author of the S corporation ESOP "anti-abuse" legislation known as the "Breaux/Ramstad Bill."

From 1975 through 1980, Steve served on active duty with the U.S. Air Force as a Judge Advocate. From 1980 through 2001, he continued his service as a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserve and retired in January 2001 with the rank of Colonel. For the last several years of his Reserve duty, Steve acted as a legal advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Under Secretary of Defense in connection with employee benefit plan matters affecting the Department of Defense. He designed and drafted the first "401(k)" plan for members of the Armed Services and authored the related Report to Congress.

Entry year of Board membership: 2016
Dick Wright
Dick Wright is a native of Boston, Massachusetts. He received his degree in Chemistry from Northeastern University in 1964. Dick spent the next 26 years working in Research and Development, concluding his career as Vice President of R&D. Dick began a new career as a management consultant, working with companies throughout the US that were trying to find ways to get their employees more involved in improving the performance of their businesses.

Dick lives in Kettering, Ohio with his beautiful wife of over 50 years, Mary. They have three wonderful kids: Robin, Rich, and Cindy, and nine delightful grand kids. He has been involved at Ei for 18 years and has served on the Board for over 15 years.

Entry year of Board membership: 1998