IFS Blog

IFS Faces - Our Dynamic Duo in Market Development

In our IFS Faces Blog, we usually introduce one outstanding colleague. This time, we are even more excited to present not just one but two exceptional individuals who have recently joined the IFS Team: Mario Schuster and Holly Hatam, who have started with us as Director and Deputy Director of Market Development. This blog explores their backgrounds, expertise, and shared commitment to driving our company's market development strategies to new heights.

Meet Mario Schuster, Director of Market Development

Building on versatile expertise in food retail

In my professional career, I gained a broad range of management experience in traditional retailing as well as the digital retail ecosystem of food and non-food. In the last ten years, I focussed on implementing new digital business models and launching new products and services. I have worked in Spain, Portugal, and Germany in leading positions in the retail sector. A conceptual approach, a hands-on mentality, and a strong will to achieve set goals with the team are as much a characteristic of my professional development as the ability to integrate innovations and take responsibility.

Setting the course for IFS in international markets

At IFS, I am responsible for the strategic and operational development of IFS and its products and services in the global marketplace. I will explore the opportunities and potential in different countries with the local IFS Representatives. The market development team and I will also manage cross-functional projects focused on specific markets and key account management for particular target groups.

Take IFS to the next level

My primary motivation for taking up this position with IFS is to start a new professional challenge with one of the market leaders in food certification. Exploring new business areas and being active in markets worldwide fascinates me. I have worked in the food retail industry for many years and will use my professional expertise to take IFS to the next level in close cooperation with the entire IFS Team.

Introducing Holly Hatam, Deputy Director of Market Development

Expanding into the certification business

My ability to adapt and excel in various roles with an open mind has shaped my career. I was active in sales and management assistance in different positions and industries before entering the certification business 13 years ago. I developed, revised, and marketed the standards and services at BSI. It remains intriguing to me to see how certification helps a company continuously improve its processes, products, and capacity building.

Taking the customer's perspective

In my subsequent management positions at BSI Group and Bureau Veritas in Germany, the ability to see things from the customer's point of view and to think creatively helped me exceed customer expectations and build strong relationships. I appreciate the benefits of working within a solid and extensive network of auditors, assessors, trainers, and consultants, especially when advising key clients and developing tailored solutions for specialised industries. I was happy to learn that the strength of the network is also a crucial part of the IFS success story.

Building partnerships to drive IFS's success

Mario Schuster and I will focus on building strategic partnerships and strengthening a stakeholder-focused approach together with the IFS Team. Collaborating with and supporting the industry, retailers, suppliers, certification bodies, training providers and consultants is the key to successful growth. I especially look forward to connecting with all stakeholders.

Setting course towards a bright future

We are delighted that Mario and Holly have joined IFS. Their professional backgrounds give them a deep understanding of the intricacies of the respective markets and innovative mindsets that align perfectly with our goals. Their strategic thinking and ability to identify untapped opportunities will undoubtedly contribute to IFS's continued success and set our future course.

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