MBOLD, a coalition of companies and innovators focused on generating practical solutions to global food and agriculture challenges, announced that Schwan’s Company CEO Dimitrios Smyrnios has been named the coalition’s new chairman. Smyrnios succeeds Jeff Harmening, chairman and CEO of General Mills, who has chaired the coalition since 2018. MBOLD is an initiative of the GREATER MSP Partnership.
“As business leaders, we have a responsibility to work together to address the growing challenges facing the sustainability of food and agriculture globally,” said Smyrnios. “MBOLD continues to show that we can achieve real and practical solutions for our environment. I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead MBOLD in continuing this important mission.”
“This partnership has shown that working together, we can find and collaborate on solutions that make a positive difference for our state and beyond," said Harmening. "I'm excited about what’s ahead as Dimitrios leads this important coalition into the future.”
Smyrnios is CEO of Schwan’s Company, an affiliate of Korean conglomerate CJ CheilJedang (CJCJ). He also serves as executive chairman of CJCJ Food, Americas, providing strategic and operational oversight of CJCJ's food businesses in the Americas. Since joining Schwan’s in 2013, Smyrnios has led a transformation of the business to become a high-growth food company serving the grocery and food-service industries.
“MBOLD is thrilled to have Dimitrios at the helm as we embark on our next phase of collaboration around climate change and sustainability,” said JoAnne Berkenkamp, managing director of MBOLD at GREATER MSP. “We are also grateful for Jeff Harmening’s outstanding leadership and his continued commitment to our work.”
Under Harmening’s leadership, MBOLD launched a nationally acclaimed circular economy initiative to cut plastic waste and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Through this groundbreaking collaboration between General Mills, Schwan’s Company, Target, Ecolab, Cargill and the University of Minnesota, the initiative catalyzed development of a new $30 million, state-of-the-art flexible film recycling plant in Rogers, Minnesota, that will open later this year. Harmening also drove MBOLD’s work to advance the adoption of regenerative agriculture practices, accelerate innovations in the protein sustainability sector, and help small food and agriculture companies thrive.
MBOLD is part of the GREATER MSP Partnership. It is a coalition of Minnesota-based food and agriculture business leaders and innovators working to accelerate solutions to the most pressing challenges facing food and agriculture. MBOLD members include General Mills, Schwan’s Co., Cargill, Target, Compeer Financial, the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota AgriGrowth Council, the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, Naturally Minnesota and McKinsey & Co. MBOLD companies reach consumers in more than 125 countries around the world, with collective revenues of more than $300 billion per year. GREATER MSP isa partnership of more than 4,500 individuals from more than 300 leading businesses, universities, cities, counties and philanthropic organizations working together to accelerate the competitiveness and inclusive growth of the15-county Minneapolis–Saint Paul regional economy.
Communications Director, GREATER MSP