President & CEO
Laurette Rondenet is the President and CEO of Edlong. Under Laurette’s leadership, Edlong has experienced unprecedented growth in the highly competitive flavors category. She leads the organization with a commitment to nurturing long-term, integrated relationships with both customers and employees, and in bringing value to the customer with innovative products and attentive service that truly differentiates Edlong. The company’s mission is, “To enrich the lives of those we touch.” This is accomplished everyday through the foods Edlong’s flavors are in, and the people’s lives impacted. Laurette is an exceptional leader who is passionate about every employee having a voice in our work and future, and on a greater lever, feeding the world. Laurette has a B.S. in Food and Nutrition from Purdue University. She began her career with the Ball Corporation in Consumer Affairs, followed by positions with several food manufacturers prior to joining Edlong. In 1993, she started her journey at Edlong through customer service and sales positions followed by leadership roles that expanded her experience across the multiple functions. She was named President in 2001, and subsequently CEO in 2008. Laurette is an active member of Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) and was elected to the Board of Directors in 2017; President’s Forum (SAGE); Women Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) Enterprise Forum; Society of Fellows of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA); the International Women’s Forum (IWF); the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), and most recently asked to join the C200 Women’s Executive Leadership Organization. Laurette Rondenet is one of ten outstanding business leaders who were inducted into the University of Illinois at Chicago’s (UIC) 2014 Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame. In March 2017, she was honored to be selected for NAWBO Chicago’s Woman Business Owner of the Year Award. Laurette was also a 2018 Midwest Regional Finalist for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year.
What three words best describe you?
Passionate, resilient and empathetic.
What was your first job?
Keebler. I worked in R&D as an elf. It was the best job ever; I got free cookies!
If you could give your “teenage self” some advice, what would it be?
The choices you make now have a huge impact on the rest of your life. Choose well.
Name an item on your bucket list that you still need to accomplish.
Meet Howard Schultz and Oprah.
Whose legacy has made an impact on you?
My father. I was blessed enough to earn his trust that I should be the keeper of the flame. He left me a wonderful flame to keep.
What is one “fun fact” not many people know about you?
When I was 10, I helped set a Guinness World Record for the most skiers behind one boat!