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Wisconsin 275
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Louie Gentine

Manufacturing  |  Food & Beverage
CEO
Sargento Foods Inc.  |  Plymouth

Louie Gentine  is the third-generation family owner and leader of Plymouth-based cheese maker Sargento Foods. A $1.4 billion company with over 2,000 employees, Sargento is one of the largest cheese suppliers in the U.S. Having worked in the family business during high school and college, Gentine got his professional start working as a commercial lender. He later returned to Sargento in 2000, went on to hold leadership roles in marketing, production and procurement, and was named chief executive officer in 2013. Earlier this year, Sargento announced plans to acquire Baker Cheese Factory, a family-owned company best known for its string cheese.

Education: Bachelor’s, University of Notre Dame; MBA, Loyola University Chicago

First job: “Truck washer at Sargento Foods. (I learned the) importance of hard work and what ‘elbow grease’ means, given that I had to wax the tractors.”

Book recommendation: “‘Good Night Moon’—best book to read to your children before bedtime!”

Fun fact: “I have climbed/hiked 30 of the 58 14ers in Colorado (mountain peaks over 14,000 feet) and the highest in the lower 48 states, Mt. Whitney in California.”

Nonprofit cause that has special meaning to you: “Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. My son Jack was diagnosed when he was 14 years old. My wife, Paula, and I had been supporters of JDRF before then, but for obvious reasons we have not only learned more about this great organization but have seen first-hand how JDRF has helped my son manage diabetes along with the progress they are making to finding a cure.”

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