Matt Nielsen

Matt Nielsen is a third-generation owner, serving as Vice President of Strategic Initiatives. He began working in the family business when he was 15 years old, sweeping floors and cleaning tanks; today his responsibilities include overseeing all operations at the company’s headquarters and manufacturing facility in Waukegan, Illinois, as well as its manufacturing facility in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.

Matt holds a bachelor’s degree in management from Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Matt lives in Lake Bluff, Illinois with his wife, Amy, and their son, Tyler. Within the community, Matt is an active member of the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Lions Club NFP. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Lake Bluff Barbecue Society, competing in the annual Ribfest competition, where his team was twice crowned Grand Champion. In his free time, Matt enjoys spending time with his family, supporting charitable work, golfing, riding his motorcycle and cooking, particularly authentic, competition BBQ.

Boards, Committees, Memberships, Recognitions

  • Nielsen-Massey Foundation Board of Directors, Vice President-Treasurer
  • Specialty Food Association Board of Directors, Vice Chair
    • Admissions Committee Chair
    • Compensation Committee Chair
  • Specialty Food Foundation Board of Directors
  • Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) member
  • International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) member
  • Loyola University Family Business Center member
  • Gourmet News magazine specialty food industry “20 Under 40” awardee (2006)
  • Wayland Academy Alumni Achievement Award (2015)