Tom Green grew up in Malvern Arkansas, a town of just under 11,000 people southwest of Little Rock. As a young man he enrolled in Ouaouachita College and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry and Biology. This academic track peaked his interest and prepared him for a career in food science. Tom was hired as a Lab Technician for the Campbell Soup Company right out of college and worked his way up in the Quality Assurance department for Campbell’s. After 20 years with Campbell Soup and stops in Georgia and Texas, a former colleague and friend told Tom about a quality manager position in a town in Iowa working for Heinz. His wife Gina, and he decided they had never lived in the Midwest before so they would give it a three year test run, and Green accepted a position at the Heinz plant in Muscatine. Green also said his wife reminds him every winter that “we are in year 18 of that three year test.”
In 2003 after spending 5 years in Muscatine, Green took over as the Production Manager of the Heinz newly acquired Quality Chef Foods Company in Cedar Rapids. The Green’s oldest son Jon graduated from MHS and the family relocated to Cedar Rapids, his son Ben and daughter Katy each graduated from Lin-Mar High School. In 2005 Green was named Plant Manager of Quality Chef Foods, which is a company that specializes in commercial food service products. Green ran those operations in Cedar Rapids for 3 years.
In 2008 Green was offered the opportunity to come back to Muscatine as the Plant Manager of the Muscatine Heinz plant. Heinz has had a manufacturing presence in Muscatine for 123 years. Muscatine’s facility was the first expansion facility for H.J. Heinz. Muscatine’s factory first opened in 1892 and employed 23 people and they manufactured horseradish, pickles, and onions. Three years later in 1893 Muscatine started to manufacture Ketchup. In November of 2013 Heinz re-upped that commitment to Muscatine by investing 36 million dollars to a production expansion. By adding two new production lines they were able to create 100 new jobs. These new lines manufacture ketchup for distribution in the United States and Canada, and Diana’s BBQ Sauce for Canadian distribution. Green was charged with overseeing this expansion project that went from January of 2014 to October of 2014. The factory in Muscatine is right around 1 million square feet, and employees 350 people in Muscatine, and contracts out another 100 employees to support Heinz operations. The plant makes Lea & Perrins Worcester Sauce, as well as the primary production facility for Heinz Gravy, Heinz 57 and Heinz Steak Sauces. The Muscatine facility also manufactures all of the individual serving ketchup packets.
Green realizes that a strong community makes a strong business. He and his wife were excited to move back because of all the improvements they had seen in the town since they had left. The updating of the downtown, the addition of Discovery Park and other Park and Recreation improvements. Green said “The most important thing for Heinz is to provide good stable jobs with great benefits for great employees.” He also reiterated Heinz mission “To be the best Food Company, growing a better world.”