SANTA CRUZ >> One of the largest private employers in the city of Santa Cruz has a new CEO.
Santa Cruz Nutritionals, a contract manufacturer of gummy-based vitamins, grew to 500 employees in 2016.
Now Carlyn Solomon is succeeding Mike Westhusing, CEO for the past 10 years.
The growth came after Santa Cruz Nutritionals was acquired by RoundTable Ventures, a venture capital firm, in 2013.
“We are going in a rapid growth direction to ‘make health and wellness more enjoyable’ via supplements, energy gummies, probiotics and pharmaceuticals,” said Jack McGrogan, human resources director at Santa Cruz Nutritionals.
Until November, Solomon was chief operating officer at Hill-Rom in Chicago, a medical technology company with 7,000 employees in 100 counties.
Before that, he spent nine years at Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences, where he was corporate vice president for the critical care and vascular businesses, vice president of corporate strategy and general manager of cardiac surgery systems. He spent 18 years at Baxter International, a health care company based in Illinois.
Santa Cruz Nutritionals touts its manufacturing facility on Delaware Avenue as state of the art. The company also has a probiotic gummy facility in Acton Vale, Quebec, Canada.
As of April, there were 7,000 manufacturing jobs in Santa Cruz County, according to the state Employment Development Department, 3,600 making durable goods and 3,400 in nondurable goods, such as the gummy products.
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