Jim Olson has over 35 years’ experience in the food and beverage industry in North American and international markets, and over 17 years in senior executive roles for major global manufacturers. His accomplishments include evaluating and integrating acquisitions, supply chain optimization, business reorganization, manufacturing plant start-ups and labor relations.
From 2002 to 2006 he was Senior Vice President of Operations for PepsiCo International responsible for their operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Prior, 2000 to 2002, he was Vice President Operations for E&J Gallo Winery, one of the largest global wine production companies. From 1990 to 1992, Jim was Vice President of Operations for Frito-Lay International in Canada, followed by assignments in the UK and Latin America from 1993 to 1999.
Since 2011, Jim has been a member of the Board of Directors of Maple Leaf Foods. Previously, he served as a director of Winn-Dixie Stores from 2007 to 2012 and PepsiCo’s Snack Ventures Europe from 2002 to 2004. He has extensive committee experience including previously chairing Maple Leaf’s Compensation committee and currently chair of their Sustainability and Safety Committee as well as assignments on audit and nominating and corporate governance committees.
In not for profit, Jim is a director and member of the executive committee of the United Way of Forsyth County, North Carolina since 2014 and a former director of the United Way of Central Carolinas. Other experience includes serving as a director of the European Snack Food Association from 2002 to 2005.
Jim is a member of NACD (National Association of Corporate Directors) and recipient of NACD Fellowship, the highest echelon of corporate-director qualifications. As a Board Leadership Fellow, Jim is recognized for his expertise on corporate governance and commitment to excellence in the boardroom, notably, the importance of continued education to enhance boardroom skills. Backed by more than 35 years of NACD’s authoritative thought leadership, NACD Fellowship is a comprehensive and continuous program of study that empowers directors with the latest insights, intelligence and leading boardroom practices. Jim earned and maintains these distinguished credentials, acknowledged by investors, regulators and peers as the gold standard for board directors.
Recognized for advancing exemplary board leadership and his expertise on education in governance, Jim is a frequent faculty panelist during NACD events including: local chapter education events and expert panelist for national workshops, such as "Director Professionalism," and at the International Global Governance Conference, held annually in Washington, DC.