About Us

Along with a support and research staff, Carlson Food Careers has a winning combination that presents our candidates in a professional and confidential manner to our multi-national clients.  Our success is based on developing personal relationships which are built on honesty, integrity and a high level of customer service. As a result we have placed hundreds of people in new positions, most of which are still in those positions leading successful careers.

Prior to starting Carlson Food Careers recruiting company, Van Carlson was Vice President of Midwest Accounts for DRAGOCO, Inc., a multi-national flavor and fragrance manufacturer. At DRAGOCO, he was part of a technical and sales team that built a territory from zero to $14 million in domestic sales and was a valuable partner and preferred supplier with seven of the top 25 food companies in the U.S. This required a close working relationship with: product development, process engineers, packaging development and the supply chain organization which included production, operations, customer service, purchasing and marketing.

Earlier in Van’s career, he was a new product and process developer for both Pillsbury and Archer Daniels Midland. Leading projects from concept through commercialization has given him invaluable insight into the staffing needs of food manufacturers.

“I have known Van for a few years now and have had several conversations over the years. If the opportunity he had did not interest me he would spend more time trying to understand what my needs were and would only approach me the next time when something that would fit my expectations came up.

He knows the industry very well and has good contacts and has a very good insight about the organizations he works with and can give a clear picture about the culture and key insights that will help you decide if this is the right organization you want to join and grow.

He explained to me both the merits and potential risk of the opportunity and helped evaluate them in an unbiased way. He has never tried to convince me but provided me guidance to make the right decisions. Working with Van I was able to find the right opportunity and it has been a great experience. He has followed up with me several times after my acceptance of the offer to ensure things are going well and the transition is smooth.

It has been a great experience working with Van, with his help I was able to identify the right organization and role. Now I have started in my new role and am loving it! ”

- Senthil Ganesh

“Thank you for taking the time to help me find a new opportunity. Throughout the process you did an exceptional job of both keeping me in the loop and preparing me for the next step of the process. Your strong relationship with my new employer and knowledge of the position helped me to understand the direction of the company and how I could fit in as part of the team. Throughout the process I was able to relax about the stressful details and focus in on the important aspects of the job hunt.”

- Andy Sirianni

“The best recruiter I have ever worked with!

I have known Van for two years and recently had the opportunity to work with him. I have been very impressed by Van’s professionalism. He builds win-win matches for both parties. Van knows the food industry extremely well, benefits from a very broad network and has an excellent reputation. He has been recommended by many as a go-to recruiter.

During the entire recruiting process, he was very honest and clear about the position requirements, positioning in the organization, and the skills and competencies required. He provided clear guidance to me throughout the whole process, and provided constructive advice for interview preparation. He was also able to effectively obtain feedback from his client’s company when questions arose.

I strongly recommend Van. He is a reliable, trustworthy recruiter who can definitely help obtain your ideal next move.”

- Catherine Roue

“I am so grateful to you that you were so patient and reassuring with me through this whole process. You have a real talent for matching people with great companies with a range of options: company culture, industry expertise, locations, etc. You have a great team and I will always do whatever I can to further your success.”

- Placed Candidate