Orion Promotes Watkins to President

Will continue to serve as CFO, director

Published in CSP Daily News

Steve Watkins

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Hank Suerth, chief executive officer of Orion Food Systems, has announced that chief financial officer Steve Watkins has been promoted to president. Orion is the international foodservice provider of leading brands such as Hot Stuff and Lettieri's.

Watkins, who has been a significant member of the Orion management team for 25 years, will also continue to serve as Orion's CFO and director.

"Steve has played a pivotal role in providing leadership and maintaining the company's commitment to foodservice excellence," said Suerth, "He has taken on numerous responsibilities in several key management capacities for over two decades. Steve's talent, tenure and qualifications place him in a solid position to help lead the company as president/CFO.

Watkins began his career as a financial analyst for then Orion parent company Schwan's Sales Enterprises, and he was part of the original management team that launched Orion Food Systems.

He has held management positions in sales and marketing, national and international franchising and finance and accounting. Watkins was instrumental in facilitating Orion's master franchise agreement in the Middle East, and he was managing director for the company's international presence in both the U.K. and France. Before his appointment to the presidency of Orion/Lettieri's, Watkins was CFO and director of Orion, as well as general manager for Lettieri's Foods.

"Orion Food Systems pioneered the concept of developing high quality foodservice products and brands in C-stores, on military bases and in other high-traffic locations almost twenty-five years ago," said Watkins, "I had the privilege to part of that initiative that laid the foundation for the company, and am very excited about being part of the leadership team that takes Orion, our franchise partners and customers to the next level of foodservice success."

In addition to being president and CFO of Orion Food Systems/Lettieri's, Watkins also serves on the board of directors for Sanford Health Plan, part of a nonprofit integrated health care delivery system composed of 150 facilities including hospitals, clinics, long-term and managed care, research centers and other medical facilities.

Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Orion franchises or licenses Hot Stuff Foods concepts in more than 1,000 locations throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. Orion Foods Systems also offers Lettieri's Food To Go through distributors across the United States.