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Rapid Growth Results in Two Key Promotions at Beauty Products Formulator Leading Edge Innovations

In recognition of their contribution to the market success and financial growth of Leading Edge Innovations, LLC (LEI) over the past four years, the company has announced the promotion of Michael Ross to the position of Vice President of Research & Development and Manufacturing, and Jill Crandall to the position of Vice President of Marketing and Contract Manufacturing Services.

These key personnel have been with the company from the outset and have been instrumental in its achievement of the company’s accomplishments. “A company is only as successful as the capabilities and contributions of its employees” states Jim Wilmott, Chief Scientific Officer and General Manager.

When LEI was established in 2008, Wilmott fervently believed that the company had a transformational market plan with game-changing science to offer to a variety of health and beauty care companies who were clamoring for innovative products. He was also well aware of the high failure rate of start-up companies, especially in the these highly competitive markets. “However, when you have a passion and drive to bring forth innovation, sometimes you’re compelled to go for it,” explains Wilmott. He further states that no company can be successful without finding people who share and embrace the passion and dedicate themselves into making it a reality. “Thankfully, we have great, talented people who share the vision, and have put forth the effort to getting LEI off and running.”

Jill and Michael are [KW1] both long-standing and accomplished professionals in consumer product development and manufacturing. Michael Ross brings more than 20 years of experience in the creative design, development and manufacture of new products for the health and personal care industry to his new role. He has a strong background in raw material product development, nanotechnology and regulatory affairs. Prior to joining LEI, he served as Manager of Development Services for Collaborative Laboratories, Senior Scientist at Chanel, and Director of R&D/Director of Regulatory and Safety for Distinctive Cosmetic Ingredients. Michael received a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from The State University of New York at Oswego, post graduate credits towards an MBA from The State University of New York at Stony Brook, and has completed numerous professional advancement courses within the Personal Care Industry.

Jill Crandall’s career is equally accomplished, as she brings more than 25 years of experience on the contract manufacturing side of the beauty business. Her breadth of knowledge and experience covers the entire supply chain, from product concept to delivery. Jill has worked with dozens of brands in multiple channels of distribution, covering all categories of personal care products. As Marketing Product Director at Outsourcing Services Group, Jill led marketing and new product development for OSG companies, including Kolmar Laboratories, Aerosol Services, Acupac Packaging, and Piedmont Laboratories. Her expertise includes marketing, product concept development and product evaluation, customer service, new business development and project management package procurement and in-depth knowledge of the manufacturing, filling and assembly process. Jill has spent many years developing customer strategies using a combination of need gap analysis, market surveillance and insights into trend forecasting and working with brands to launch new products into the market and support their supply chain needs.

Of the recent promotions, Wilmott commented, “They are certainly justified, and critical at this point in LEI’s expansion. As we build our leadership team, we are also welcoming new employees at all levels of the company to play important roles to support our next level of growth. Both Michael and Jill have proven that they have the ability and expertise to grow with the company, and they have done so every step of the way. I’m grateful for the contributions they have already made, and we’re excited to move forward on the next leg of our journey together as we continue to bring forth new formulations that represent safer, aesthetically unique, and more effective solutions for consumers worldwide.” In addition, Chris Delaney, a representative of J. Burke Capital Partners (LEI’s main equity sponsor) and member of LEI’s board commented “These promotions are not only a reflection of Michael and Jill’s hard work in the past that has enabled the company’s tremendous growth, but also a reflection that both managers possess the drive, expertise and leadership qualities necessary to continue the company’s momentum well into the future. LEI is fortunate to have them.”

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