William L. Matthaei | Chairman
William (Bill) Matthaei has worked for Roman Meal Company for more than thirty years. As CEO of this family-owned corporation in Tacoma, Washington, Bill is responsible for company oversight. He is also Chairman of Dakota Specialty Milling Company, which has its principal operations in Fargo, North Dakota. In the past, he served as Deputy Executive Secretary with the Pacific Salmon Commission, as well as three years with the U.S. Navy where he earned the rank of Lieutenant.
Bill’s education includes a BA in Economics, an MMA in Fishery Management from the University of Washington, an MBA from the University of Denver, and study toward an MS in Cereal Chemistry and Technology at North Dakota State University.
Bill is an active member of American Bakers Association, American Association of Cereal Chemists, Association of Washington Business, Tacoma Rotary Club, and sits on the board as a director of the Tacoma Pierce County YMCA.
Favorite activities includes spending time outdoors with family and friends. He is actively involved in Pacific Northwest natural resource management issues, and maintains memberships in the Nature Conservancy and American Fisheries Society.
Gary Jensen | President
Mr. Jensen is directly responsible for all aspects of the company’s day to day operation including marketing, collaboration, innovation, quality and finance. He is also a Representative Director of Roman Meal Japan, K.K.
Prior to joining the Roman Meal Company Gary was the Senior Vice President of Marketing for the Sara Lee Bakery Group. In this role Gary was responsible for marketing all of Sara Lee’s domestic bakery products. He managed a variety of related functions including market research, brand management, new product development, promotions, marketing services and public relations on branded products.
Gary began his career at Sara Lee/Earthgrains in 1986 as a Group Marketing Manager. He has also served as V. P. Sales & Marketing of the Diversified Group, Sr. V.P. Sales Western Region, and Sr. V.P. National Accounts.
Before joining Earthgrains he worked thirteen years in various sales and marketing roles for Pepperidge Farm, Inc.
Gary earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration at the University Of Texas at Dallas.
He is an active member and elder of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and has chaired several standing committees as an officer of the church.
Micah Wightman | Director of International Sales
Mr. Wightman joined the Roman Meal Company in early 2017. His primary role is to continue building relationships with our valued customer/partners in existing countries and to identify new customers in new countries who share our interest in making great tasting, nutritious, high-quality, grain-based foods that consumers around the world are asking for. In this role he has responsibility for supply chain strategies as well as the development of sales and marketing plans.
Prior to joining the Roman Meal Company Micah held various leadership positions at Daymon Worldwide. Daymon is the industry leader in engaging shoppers in in-novative ways and driving measurable lift and positive ROI for marketing programs. As a Director and Vice President at Daymon, Micah managed several of the group companies in Japan and the US.
Micah has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah in business manage-ment with an international emphasis and a minor in Japanese. He also earned an MBA in general and project management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. He is fluent in Japanese.
Micah was raised in Utah and spent most of his career based in Japan and throughout APAC. In his spare time, he enjoys being in the outdoors with family and friends.
Tsogtbayar “George” Baasandorj, Ph.D. | Director of Quality Assurance
Dr. Baasandorj joined the Roman Meal Company in early 2017. His primary role is to ensure the company continues to deliver safe, high quality products to our valued customers. In this role he has responsibility to monitor the quality of DSE products and to drive improvement in all the related processes.
George is actively involved in the development of innovative new products and has primary responsibility for product testing and scoring. His direct involvement in new product development with the R&D team plays a key role in an effort to meet the needs of our customers.
George received his M.S. in Plant Sciences and Ph.D. in Cereal Science from North Dakota State University. His research focus included dark hard vitreous kernel content, experimental flour mills, and bread baking methods on the end-use quality of Hard Red Spring wheat. Several of his research papers are published in the Cereal Chemistry Journal of the American Association of Cereal Chemists.
During his graduate studies, he was a summer student intern at the Mennel Milling Company in Fostoria, OH, where he participated in R&D activities as well as conducting research projects utilizing Mennel’s state-of-the-art pilot scale mill.
George was born and raised in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. He went to Mongolian-Turkish high school where he learned to speak Turkish. He was also a high school exchange student in Olympia, WA. His international background provides added value to our team and customers. In his spare time, he plays basketball and enjoys watching movies.
Akie Funai | International Business Specialist
Food has been an important part of Akie’s life since she was big enough to talk. Born into the family of a restaurant owner chef and an organic farmer, she developed her interest in food and travelled around the world to eat authentic, local cuisine. In her leisure time, Akie enjoys replicating these memorable dishes. She has deep appreciation for food growers, serious home cooks, and professional chefs.
Akie holds a BA in Global Business and Economics at Nagoya University of Foreign Studies. She spent a year as an exchange student at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. After a short stint at a Japanese automotive company in HR, she earned her MBA from Southeast Missouri State University.
Akie’s viewpoint on business was strongly shaped by her experience as a management consultant at PwC and IBM, where she was actively involved in identifying managerial problems, developing solutions, and implementing change at leading Japanese and international companies in the pharmaceutical, auto, food and consumer electronics industries. Akie came to the Roman Meal Company after a decade long tenure as a business researcher and a strategic advisor in food and hospitality industries. She hopes to help bring nutritious, tasty foods to the tables of consumers all over the world.