News Release

Irasa Downing Appointed Corporate Director of Human Resources at MGP Ingredients


ATCHISON, Kan., April 21, 2008—Irasa Downing has been named corporate director of human resources at MGP Ingredients, Inc. (MGPI). In assuming the role, she becomes responsible for the development, implementation and administration of the company's policies pertinent to employment, employee relations, compensation and benefits and employee development training.

"We are very excited to have Irasa join our team at MGPI," said David Rindom, vice president of human resources. "She brings a wealth of human resource knowledge and experience that we can put to immediate use. She initially is leading our competency modeling team to assist employees in further developing their skills and talents, while also managing staffing, organizational planning and recruitment."

Downing most recently spent five years as manager of human resources for Energizer Battery, Inc., St. Louis, Mo. In this capacity, her primary responsibilities included recruitment, management of employee compensation programs, assisting with employee benefits programs, performance management, and career development and training. In addition, Downing was responsible for assisting in the development of Energizer Battery's North America compensation program and then managing the program. She also managed legal compliance and the development of affirmative action plans and recruitment functions, as well as executed the restructuring of job specific competency models across all business units in North America.

From 2002 to 2003, Downing was employed by Charter Communications, Inc., St. Louis. She was the senior human resources generalist, providing counseling to leaders of the organization on human resources hiring practices, Equal Employment Opportunity laws, policies and procedures, as well as managing recruitment functions for the corporate headquarters. Between 2000 and 2001, Downing was a recruiting specialist for World Wide Technologies, Inc. in St. Louis. Prior to that, she served three years as account manager for Aerotek, Inc., St. Louis.

"I am honored to be a part of MGP Ingredients, which truly is a growing, innovative, customer and community focused organization," said Downing. "When I looked at joining MGPI, I looked at the leadership, culture, ethics and values to ensure that they aligned with my own. I was very impressed with the company overall and its ability to make an impact in the marketplace, as well as the community. For me, it is always about the culture of the organization that separates them from its competition. MGPI has truly differentiated itself in this capacity, as well as leading with proven ground-breaking and forward-thinking strategies."

Downing is a graduate of Central Missouri State University, Warrensburg, where she received a bachelor's degree in criminal justice administration. She is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management, National Human Resources Association- St. Louis Chapter, Comp and Benefits Network, St. Louis Recruiters Roundtable and World at Work.