Location: Commerce City, CO
Industry: Chemical and equipment manufacturer of food safety solutions
Food safety has been an integral part of Mark Swanson’s professional life. He has worked with some of the most respected institutions in the protein industry and since 2008, he has served as the CEO of Birko Corporation, a chemical and equipment manufacturer of food safety solutions in Commerce City.
As the leading food safety company in the protein, produce and brewery industries, the company employs cutting-edge chemistry, equipment and technology to keep the food chain pathogen-fee, under Swanson’s guidance. As a result, Birko Corporation provides an immediate ROI through chemical cost analysis, automated sanitation practices and efficient sustainable solutions.
Swanson’s leadership has contributed to steady revenue growth, even during the pandemic and he continues to pave the path for sustainable food solutions through Birko’s chemistry, equipment and technology. According to his colleagues, “Mark is a thought leader in the AG industry and has a passion for incorporating technology into the AG industry for modern, sustainable solutions.”
He believes that success is a mirror. “As a leader, your success is measured by the success of those who choose to follow your leadership, not by the individual accolades,” said Swanson. “As CEO, the only way I see to measure success is by measuring the success of the people, areas, businesses and entities you touch.”
Swanson’s efforts have showcased success. Under his guidance, Birko Corporation launched a re-branding and marketing communications campaign to establish the company as a leading food safety company in the protein, produce and brewery industries. As a byproduct of this campaign, awareness and interest increased among customers, prospects and the media, and Birko’s revenues grew exponentially. The company supplies 90% of the top 10 U.S. beef processors and more than 60% of the top 100 U.S. protein companies.
He lends his expertise to the community, both locally and nationally, serving as the chair of the U.S. Meat Export Federation’s Board of Directors and a member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the United Fresh Produce Association and the Produce Marketing Association.
Swanson believes that change is difficult for most, but the best way to lead a team through change is to help the team understand the “why.”
“In my experience, if people understand the reasoning and the ‘why’ they will generally be more accepting of the change,” he said. “Leadership is not driven by title. Leaders are the engine that drives a business.”
For his successful leadership and impact on the AG industry as the CEO of Birko Corporation, Swanson has been named a Titan of industry.
Mark has participated in over 12 Colorado triple bypass bike rides and Iron horse bike rides, covering thousands of miles of hill climbing of Colorado Mountain passes.