Director of Business Development
|Chris Gerlach was born in
Lake Charles, Louisiana and was raised in upstate NY. There he
was awarded an Army ROTC scholarship and graduated from S.U.N.Y.
Brockport with a Bachelors of Science degree in Communications.
Post graduation, Chris served on active duty with Airborne &
Ranger qualifications. He served in Iraq during Desert Storm,
where he was awarded the Bronze Star for leadership.
Chris is a Co-Founder of Essential Ingredients, Inc and has over
15 years of experience in the personal care and HI&I
industries. He currently serves as the Director of Business
Development where he focuses on bringing new technologies and
vendor partnerships to life within Essential Ingredients. Chris
is a Georgia resident and has served as an officer of the
Florida SCC for several years. Chris is a strong servant leader
who embraces honesty, integrity, trust, respect, excellence for
performance and the desire to do what is right. Chris is happily
married to his wife Nancy since 1988. They have 3 children:
Ashley, Adam and Aaron. He enjoys spending time with his family
and also loves to sing and play the guitar.
Director of Supplier Relations
|Kris Maynard was born and
raised in rural Ohio and graduated from Miami University in with
a BA degree 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
Kris’s primary role is as Director of Supplier Relations where
he works to make sure their suppliers are delighted with the
service they receive from Essential Ingredients. His favorite
thing about Essential Ingredients is to build relationships with
customers and suppliers and to help others in his sphere of
influence to be successful. Kris still enjoys selling so he also
maintains a number of direct accounts in the local area.
Kris and Cindy have three children; Rachael, Ryan, and Justin.
Kris is an avid fisherman and hunter and enjoys most outdoor
activities and trying to stay fit. He also serves on several
other Boards including a charity called MPACT
(www.missionpact.org) where the focus is to get personal care
and personal hygiene products to the poor and needy around the
Director of Sales
|Mike Crum was raised on a
farm in Central Illinois. He started college as a premed student
and was encouraged by a professor to consider the chemical
industry. Since the market for doctors was saturated at the
time, he took his professors advice and he graduated with a
Natural Science / Chemistry degree from Illinois Wesleyan
University. After graduating, Mike accepted a job with a company
called Stepan and that is where his chemical career officially
started. Mike’s role is Director of Sales, where he develops and
manages sales strategies. He has over 20 years of experience in
the chemical field and is also a member of the Society of
Cosmetic Chemists – Carolina Chapter.
Mike enjoys spending time with his lovely wife Pamela and his
two daughters Samantha and Emily. Exercising is a regular
routine in his life and he also takes pleasure in golfing and
Director of Operations
|Born in South Carolina, Justin L.
graduated from The Citadel in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science
Degree in Computer Science. Justin serves as Director of
Operations and Chief Operating Officer for Essential
Ingredients. Prior to joining Essential Ingredients, Justin
served in Director level roles in Human Resources at BellSouth.
He was certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources
(SPHR) by the Society of Human Resource Management and also has
a Management Certificate from the University Of Michigan School
Justin has been married to Elizabeth Martin Jordan since 1989
and they have four children: Rebecca, Hannah, Will and Sarah