Quality Assurance Lead

Quality Assurance • Quality Assurance Management • Markesan, WI • Regular Full-Time

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The Markesan Quality Assurance (QA) Lead is a very hands-on role that is critical in ensuring the highest levels of safety, quality, and efficiency standards in the production grain and soy based food products. This position will lead the Quality team and function for the Markesan plant. The QA Lead ensures the quality and food safety of products produced by implementing and monitoring the quality programs and procedures in support of the Didion Milling Quality Systems and Policy. This position is cross-trained in multiple tasks related food safety compliance, customer specifications, and required documentation to increase contributions to the organization, flexibility and readiness, while also providing job enrichment and growth opportunities to incumbents. Employees entering into this role are expected to actively and purposefully grow their skill set. This position generally works an 8 hour shift M-F with flexibility expected for production and QA needs.


Personal and Work Environment SAFETY is achieved through:

  • Commitment to follow all safety procedures, GMP’s, performs risk assessments prior to commencing an unfamiliar task, seek to identify and implement proactive safety improvements, and use PPE when required such as: chemical handling, hearing protection, lock-out tag-out, harnesses, respiratory masks, etc.
  • Development and ownership of all aspects the Markesan Food Safety Culture. Ensure compliance to highest level of food safety, not limited to filling in and filing the appropriate documentation. Ex) Return to service checklists, daily production paper work, internal and external COA, ect.
  • Absolute adherence to safety procedures with use, inspection of equipment, and tools to include test equipment, lab equipment.

The highest levels of QUALITY and EFFICIENCY are achieved through passionate commitment and proactive ownership. People in this key role:

  • Committed and unfailing quality assurance leadership support through leadership of Markesan quality function and team; Markesan QA Lead will be responsible for leadership and development of all Markesan quality team members and is integral to executing the documentation and production schedule to produce a high quality product that’s shipped on time to our customers’ specifications and expectations as well as compliant facility related to documentation.
  • Lead quality function and team in all activities across all shifts based on analysis of quality metrics to result in minimal unplanned down time and a high levels of production from a quality perspective. Provide recommendations and direction to the Markesan production team based upon test results.
  • Lead and be accountable for Markesan’s food safety programs including but not limited to HACCP/HARPC, Prerequisite Programs, Preventive Controls, and FSSC 22000.
  • Participate and supply documentation in customer and regulatory audits.
  • Promptly collect, inspect, identify, evaluate, and preserve samples of manufactured or processed products to ensure compliance contract, legal, and/or customer specifications are being met.
  • Examine all relevant records, reports, and documents related to QA and compliance in order to establish facts and detect discrepancies; immediately formulate action plan to remedy any discovered variances or issues. (Person should be able to bring data to the conversation as to what happened and corrective actions on how to fix.)
  • Review and sign off on all preventive control documentation for completeness and accuracy.
  • Without error, prepare correspondence reports of inspections or investigations, and recommendations for action related to all QA functions at Markesan.
  • Partner with customer, vendors, and government entities to form positive relationships to exceed expectations related to QA of products manufactured at Markesan facility.
  • Demonstrate a proactive approach to role by anticipating and delivering on all Markesan QA and Production needs by modeling, leading, and training Markesan team members to deliver the highest of standards in QA in all areas of the Markesan facility including sustaining a food safety compliant environment and supporting high levels of area/equipment sanitation.
  • Appropriately manage all inventory and related paperwork, incoming and outgoing, to the Markesan facility.
  • Proactively create requisitions and or purchase orders as needed for items which are requested to be ordered to replenish stock levels for the lab and production areas.
  • Work with Plant Manager to review decisions concerning quality department’s inventory requirements, staffing requirements, work procedures, and duty assignments. Adjust quality team’s schedules to fulfill quality needs as needed.
  • Responsible for reporting monthly quality department inventory levels to Plant Manager and Purchasing partner. Assist Plant Manager in overseeing purchasing duties for quality supplies.
  • Work with Plant Manager to ensure that quality department staffing and product scheduling are adequate to meet company and customer needs.
  • Conducts quality team member meetings as necessary to discuss plant quality and shift performance as well as trouble shooting quality issues. Ensures that implementation of corrective actions identified occur.
  • Build and sustain strong relationships and communication with production leadership and quality team members resulting in success on all shifts which also includes filling in QA team members as needed.
  • Build and lead the rhythm and discipline for running the Markesan quality department so each shift runs flawlessly and uniformly which will include:
  • Consistent shift change rhythm
  • Consistent quality sample collection, testing, and documentation
  • Consistent training routine for all shifts’ quality team members
  • Consistent presence in the quality lab and production floor as needed that provides support and visibility to Markesan team
  • Continuously ensure all USDA, quality, food safety, and other company documentation related to Markesan’s quality is being flawlessly completed and stored out each day
  • Embraces and uses technology to drive more efficient quality testing at the plant. Ensures that quality team is fully trained and utilizing available technology for quality testing.
  • Inspire the quality department to achieve continuously greater results and develop department of team members that are technically excellent through ongoing training, cross-training/job rotation and mentoring, to include:
  • An in-depth understanding of the Markesan’s needs to guide quality team’s efforts accordingly
  • Necessary information and facilitation support for problem-prevention and sustained resolution
  • Actively preparing and engaging employees in continuous process improvement
  • Driving decision-making to the team member level
  • Setting and communicating the highest of expectations for performance
  • Constantly providing feedback on individual and team performance to these expectations
  • Maximizing everyone’s potential through continuous coaching and development
  • Building trust through establishing a personal relationship with every individual.
  • Collaboratively establishing clear, challenging goals, objectives and performance targets that support the company’s mission and vision
  • Creating a climate that respects and values each team member’s individual contributions
  • Guarantee the safest workplace through building an environment where each person feels a personal sense of responsibility for not only their safety but that of their teammates
  • Actively support all other Markesan departments as well as advance personal professional development through collaboration with Plant Manager in:
  • Leading the planning, scheduling, strategic and change initiatives
  • Leading and facilitating cross-functional action teams and projects throughout department
  • Actively seeking expanded assignments
  • Diligently endeavor to add value to the organization, the department, and the team by making positive contributions in production, quality, safety, and teamwork culture.
  • Serve as mentor by proactively increasing other team member contributions through training, on-the-job development, and coaching.
  • Assist Plant Manager in ensuring that Markesan’s quality department materials, labor and equipment are used efficiently.
  • A proactive commitment to growing and expanding skill set through training and education leading toward expert competency in use of laboratory and quality testing equipment and technologies, food safety practices, leadership, development of team members, scheduling and planning, understanding department budget, superior communication skills, and professionalism.
  • Personally committed to add value to the organization, the department, and the team by performing all tasks required to support the quality group in the efficient operation of the plant.
  • A proactive commitment to growing and expanding skill set through training and education leading toward expert competency in plant QA function, leadership, development of team members.

REQUIREMENTS to help ensure success include:

To qualify for this position, an individual must possess any combination of experience and education that would likely produce the desired job outcomes. Specific requirements include:

  • A technical school or Bachelor degree in in quality or science discipline (Food Science, Chemistry, Microbiology or related field) highly desired; equivalent work experience or current enrollment in a school program in lieu of degree considered.
  • 5+ years of quality assurance, lab technician, or food safe experience in an industrial manufacturing environment desired; experience in a similar food safe packaging environment highly desired.
  • Experience successfully leading teams including demonstration of excellent interpersonal skills including communication, conflict resolution, and development of people highly desired; willingness to seek continuing education toward development of leadership abilities required.
  • Current PCQI and HACCP certification. If not currently certified ability to receive swiftly after entering role.
  • Advanced computer competency required including typing, web browser, and Microsoft Office; advanced competency of Mapcon/ASC software or ability to learn required.
  • High attention to detail key for presenting accurate and professional documentation for all QA functions.
  • Ability to work autonomously using advanced critical thinking and troubleshooting skills to be used for strategic planning in leading production team toward efficient completion of goals.
  • Ability to proactively drive continuous improvement project creation and execution.
  • Demonstrate ownership of job function and lab equipment.
  • Demonstrate personal initiative and collaborative, team player approach.
  • Ability to read, write and speak English fluently in order to communicate effectively with team members within and external to QA department. Spanish skills a plus.
  • A positive, proactive demeanor resulting in a core value fit for our team.


  • Must be able to work in environmental factors that include noise, dust, hot weather, and cold weather.
  • Must be able to lift 55 pounds.
  • Must be able to ascend and descend stairs, ladders, and gangways on a frequent basis and be able to work while standing on a continuous basis.
  • Ability to safely work aloft (heights over 20’) including ladders, man lifts, harnesses, equipment tops and scaffolding.
  • Ability to enter confined spaces, following all safety procedures, while in performance of job duties.
  • Must be able to communicate by using and hearing 2-way radio.
  • Have dexterity and ability to maneuver equipment in tight working spaces.

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