Michelle J. Keating

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Location: Walpole, MA
Founded: 1966
Industry: Manufacturing, military distributor

Michelle J. Keating
President and CEO

Alder Foods, Inc.

Alder Foods, Inc. was founded to serve U.S. veterans, says president and CEO Michelle J. Keating. The company, which provides groceries to military commissaries worldwide, specializes in going after the next food trends, and making sure members of the military have access to them. In fact, says Keating, Alder was the first company to bring organic milk, Lactaid milk, organic yogurt and other healthier products to the military market. For Keating, working with Alder is a way to give back to “our national treasures” — the U.S. military and veterans.

Quick Tip: “The only thing that stands between you and your dream is the will to try and the belief that it is actually possible.” – Joel Brown

According to Keating, the secret to Alder’s success has been focusing on the team. For her, this means working together, respecting ideas and recommendations, and helping people get the job done. These values helped Alder make it through a major challenge in 2010, when the relationship between the company and Nestle, one of Alder’s biggest brands, came to a close. “It could have crippled our company, but because we had learned to become resilient over the years, we moved on, and within 18 months had brought the business back financially,” says Keating.

In addition to her work at Alder, Keating is president of the board for Fisher House Boston and a board member on the Emerson College Board of Overseers. What’s more, Alder supports Purple Heart Homes as another extension of its core mission.