Family-owned American Pop Corn Co. Appoints First Non-Family Member to President

Feb. 28, 2024
The 110-year-old manufacturer of Jolly Time Pop Corn has added three independent members to its leadership team while the fifth generation of the Smith family will retain ownership.

The American Pop Corn Co. has announced several transitions in its leadership team that support its decision to remain a family-owned company, according to a release. The 110-year-old company, which manufactures Jolly Time Pop Corn products, will add independent members to its board of directors for the first time, as fourth-generation owners Carlton and Garrett “Gary” Smith shift away from day-to-day management.

The company also has decided to name a non-family member to be president for the first time in its history, appointing Steve Huisenga to the role. In addition, Edward J. “Ted” Townley has been promoted to senior vice president of operations and treasurer, and David Sitzmann will be the company’s senior vice president of production.

The American Pop Corn Co. reviewed more than 400 candidates for the three independent board member positions, the company stated, to join Carlton and Garry on the board. It is expected the three new members of the board will contribute to the company’s growth, operational efficiency and innovation.

The Smith family will retain complete ownership of the company, with all 11 cousins from the fifth generation of the family reaffirming its dedication to the company’s cause. These transitions are effective immediately.

About the Author

Andy Hanacek | Senior Editor

Andy Hanacek has covered meat, poultry, bakery and snack foods as a B2B editor for nearly 20 years, and has toured hundreds of processing plants and food companies, sharing stories of innovation and technological advancement throughout the food supply chain. In 2018, he won a Folio:Eddie Award for his unique "From the Editor's Desk" video blogs, and he has brought home additional awards from Folio and ASBPE over the years. In addition, Hanacek led the Meat Industry Hall of Fame for several years and was vice president of communications for We R Food Safety, a food safety software and consulting company.

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