Joseph James Slawek believes in the relentless pursuit of excellence. The chairman and CEO of FONA International Inc. has made that a part of his company’s vision, mission and values, and he expects every employee at his food flavoring company to join him in the pursuit.
The quest for excellence spurs Slawek’s goal of doubling FONA’s growth every four years, which is above the standard industry growth rate. FONA challenges the largest global competitors, and through the development of the next generation of leaders, Slawek ensures the continuation of FONA’s high standards and growth of return for all stakeholders: employees, customers and ownership.
Slawek’s focus on excellence and sense of responsibility have helped him push his company through adversity. He focuses his teams on a goal when challenges arise, providing resources and empowering his employees to make decisions that guide FONA’s response to a challenge. Slawek knows that the employees and management in a business can’t be afraid of failures. He believes that a fear of mediocrity and complacency should really drive a business, because it’s stagnation and diminishing standards that truly breed trouble.
Slawek’s entrepreneurial spirit has not only led to a new kind of flavor company, but it has also led to many new programs that connect FONA and its customers. The program that has drawn the most attention in the industry is the company’s Flavor University program, which helps foodservice professionals gain a practical knowledge of food and beverage flavors and how they’re used in product development. The classes are tuition free, provided as a service to food industry professionals.
Because Slawek is able to think beyond immediate constraints, he is able to see what is possible and put his company on the fast track to achieving it.
How to reach: FONA International, (630) 578-8600 or www.fona.com