By Carla Short
2018-03-162018-03-16https://wvuieleaders.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/[email protected]WVU IE200px200px
Sean Henschel was influenced to be an engineer by a high school guidance counselor. “She told me I should pursue an engineering degree because of my math/science ability.” Sean decided to pursue Petroleum Engineering as a degree because several of his classmates ahead of him had decided to be Petroleum Engineers. Coming from New Jersey, Sean considered both Penn State and WVU for his degree. He chose WVU because he had an opportunity to be on the swimming team.
After being at WVU, Sean decided to transfer from Petroleum to Industrial Engineering. “I liked IE because it seemed more practical and common sense.”
When Sean graduated, he worked for Kurt Salmon Associates (KSA), a consulting firm headquartered in Atlanta. “I did a number of projects involving productivity and site location studies.” Sean moved 12 times in 5 years. He decided he wanted to get more experience in sales. Sean moved to Los Angeles to take on more of a sales role for Kurt Salmon Associates on the west coast.
Sean’s career changed when he received a call from his brother-in-law. His wife’s family had a long standing business which was in its third generation. The business was struggling and Sean requested a leave of absence from KSA to help revitalize the business.
Eventually Sean left Kurt Salmon to become the President of Desert Pepper, the family business. “When I joined Desert Pepper, we had $1 million in sales, now we are at $18 million. You can find our salsa products in most states. I’m proud to say that we are the 9th largest salsa brand.”
Using his KSA background, Sean has helped develop a very successful food products company which has a low overheard structure. “We develop the product, packaging, and marketing plan. We contract out the manufacturing and distribution of the product.
Sean M. Henschel
B. S. I. E., West Virginia University
Morgantown WV, 1986
1992 – Present
Desert Pepper Trading Company
Operational and financial responsibility for multi-million dollar manufacturer and distributor of Southwestern foods. The company sells their products to grocery stores (Safeway, Whole Foods, Kroger, Publix, Albertsons, etc.); mass merchants (Wal Mart, Target, etc.); mail order, internet, and over 3,000 independent/natural stores.
1986 – 1992
Kurt Salmon Associates (KSA)
Supply Chain Manager for KSA’s Consumer Goods and Retail Practices. Worked with clients to develop and enhance their supply chains to achieve significant gains in strategic position, growth, profits and overall financial performance. Representative clients included L.L. Bean, Asics Tiger, Nieman Marcus, and Federated Department Stores.
Young Presidents’ Organization
Sun Bowl Board of Directors
Paso Del Norte Group
2002 SBA Person of the Year