Head cheese at Grande to retire

Wayne Matzke announces retirement, leadership restructuring plans for 2017

Sean P. Johnson
Posted by of Insight Publications

Wayne Matzke, who as president and CEO of Grande Cheese guided the company through an extended period of expansion that included a new corporate headquarters in Fond du Lac, will retire in February.

“I’ve spent 17 great years with Grande and it has been an honor and privilege to lead the firm,” Matzke said in a press release announcing his retirement. “I am extremely proud of this company’s growth, development and its many successes which were all attained while remembering our commitments to associates, trademark excellence, our history and traditions. We are now poised for the future and it is the right time to transition to the next generation of company leadership.”

Matzke appears on the cover of Insight on Business’ October issue featuring the food services company.

Matzke’s duties will be restructured and divided between a chief executive officer and a newly formed company position of chief operating officer. “With our continued growth in products and markets, it makes sense to restructure in this manner to provide a strong foundation for the future,” Matzke said.

Todd Koss, Grande’s current chief financial officer, will become the CEO. Koss has been with Grande for 16 years, also having served as director of strategic planning. Prior to joining Grande he held several leadership positions at Procter & Gamble and worked in banking as well. Koss has an MBA in Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was a WARF fellow recipient. He also has a bachelor of science-finance degree from UW-La Crosse. Koss has served on a number of nonprofit boards including the Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corp., the UW-Fond du Lac Foundation Board and the UW-La Crosse College of Business Administration Advisory Board.

Ryan Cropper, Grande’s current group vice president-trademark products, has been named COO. Cropper has been with Grande for eight years and served as the firm’s vice president of human resources and director of financial analysis and planning.
Prior to joining Grande, he held leadership roles at Schneider National, Kimberly-Clark and Hewlett-Packard. Cropper has an MBA in Strategic Finance, Organizational Design and Economics from Brigham Young University. His bachelor’s degree is in economics from the University of Utah.

“I am confident the new structure and leaders will build upon the foundation developed over the past 17 years. Great things are ahead for Grande,” Matzke said.