Richard Ferranti

Executive Vice President / Chief Operating Officer

As Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Rich Products Corporation, Richard Ferranti is responsible for overseeing Rich’s five regional businesses: the United States/Canada Region (including the In-Store Bakery, Foodservice, Ingredients and Consumer Brands divisions), Asia Pacific Region, Latin America Region, Europe/Middle East Region and Africa Region. He is a member of Rich’s Executive Strategic Leadership Team, which guides the company’s business strategy and reports to the CEO.

A Rich’s associate since June 1986, Richard has held various positions throughout the organization and has considerable experience in managing organizational expansion, negotiations, and employee leadership and development. Prior to becoming COO, Richard spent five years as president of Rich’s North America Business Group. Before that, he also served 10 years as president of Rich’s International Business Group, where he was responsible for international initiatives, including exports, foreign subsidiaries and joint ventures.

Richard is involved with several industry associations, including serving as the Chairman of the Board of the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) in 2015 after numerous years as a board member, and the World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara, an international business development organization that strengthens the competitive international position of companies in upstate New York and Niagara, Ontario. He is also active with Western New York community organizations, including the Leadership Society for the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, and is a board member of Jump Soft, a technology company.

In addition to his community involvement, Richard is frequently a guest lecturer on international business and world affairs topics at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he is a member of UB’s Dean’s Advisory Board.

On Helping People Succeed

“People vastly underestimate what they can accomplish. In other words, people are afraid at times, or uncomfortable, to set higher goals, to set stretch goals. So part of what you’re trying to do, as a manager and as a leader, is to help them reach those goals and reach those objectives, and do those things that they didn’t think were possible.”

On the Role of Leadership

“The role of a leader here, and in any company, is to provide clarity about where the company is going, to communicate to people why that’s important, to help them understand what their role is in achieving those goals and objectives, and to provide them with the opportunity to grow and develop.”

On the Importance of Empathy

“You have to take the time to understand where people are coming from. You need to be empathetic to get things done. Because ultimately, as a leader, you’re trying to accomplish things with other people. They have to understand ‘the why part,’ they have to work with you very closely, and to achieve all that it takes time and energy, but in the end it’s worth it because of all you can accomplish.”