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Kris Maynard

Co-Founder & CEO | Essential Ingredients

March 11, 2019

Growing with Purpose Podcast: "I'm Here to Tell You We Sold the Company" with Kris Maynard

On this episode of the Growing with Purpose podcast, host Paul Spiegelman talks with Kris Maynard, co-founder and CEO of Essential Ingredients.

For twenty-three years, Kris Maynard has been at the helm of Essential Ingredients, building it into one of the most successful Small Giants companies around. With $114 million in revenue, 84 employees, and more growth around the corner, it's no wonder Essential Ingredients was named one of 2017's Forbes Small Giants. And although Essential Ingredients is in the chemical business, Kris truly believes that they don't sell chemicals — they sell relationships. So why did Kris walk into a room in 2011 and tell his employees that they had sold the business? (Hint: it's not what you think!)

In this episode, hear Kris' journey from humble Midwestern beginnings to falling in love in Russia and ultimately, to purpose-driven leadership. Tune in to Kris's story below:


Show Notes: 

[3:18] We Sell Relationships, Not Chemicals
[6:30] Creating Clarity in Your Culture
[9:02] The Midwestern Work Ethic
[14:51] The Power of Integrity and Honesty
[17:28] I'm Here to Tell You I Sold the Company
[24:19] Going Toe to Toe with Multi-billion Dollar Companies
[31:13] Developing a 100-Year Path

 Book that Influenced Kris's Leadership:
Good to Great by Jim Collins


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About Kris Maynard

Kris Maynard was born and raised in rural Ohio and graduated from Miami University in with a Bachelor of Arts in Zoology in December 1989. His chemical career started with Stepan Chemical Company in Chicago, Illinois in the spring of 1991 after spending several months in Russia doing missions work and working numerous odd jobs during 1990. Kris and his wife, Cindy, were married in May of 1991 and relocated from Chicago to Atlanta, Georgia where he was assigned a territory in the Southeastern United States as a distributor specialist. In May of 1996, Kris and Chris Gerlach founded Essential Ingredients. Kris serves as the Chief Executive Officer & Chairman of the Board at Essential Ingredients. His favorite thing about Essential Ingredients is to help to shape a work environment that provides a pathway for employees to utilize their giftedness. He is also passionate about building personal relationships with customers and suppliers, understanding their businesses, and exploring creative ways to help them be more successful. Kris and Cindy have three children; Rachael, Ryan, and Justin. Kris is an avid fisherman and hunter and, in his free time, enjoys exploring the mountains with friends and family near their farm in Ellijay, Georgia.