Our Team

Hickory Harvest is a third-generation, family-owned business with many long-time employees who are dedicated to our mission. That means that the people who work for us either are family… or they sure do feel like it! Get to know our leadership team and see how they help us provide the best products and service possible.


Darlene Swiatkowski, Chairman Emeritus

After being a major part of Hickory Harvest from the beginning, Darlene has decided to embrace and enjoy retirement.

Joe Swiatkowski, President and CEO

Joe has been president of Hickory Harvest Foods since 2005 and in 2020, acquired the company.  Even with the added responsibilities of owning Hickory Harvest, Joe is in charge of Company Vision, Strategic Planning, and Core Value Implementation.  Working in the business since he was a teenager, Joe has held previous positions such as Director of Sales, General Manager, and Director of Operations.  During his time away from the office, he enjoys golfing, travel, and donating his time to help charitable causes.   While Hickory Harvest is near and dear to his heart, his greatest joy is spending time with his wife, three daughters, and a wonderful group of friends who have designated him as the “Nutman”.

Contact Joe

Jennifer Thompson, VP of Operations

Jennifer Thompson joined Hickory Harvest in 2021. Her academic background includes a bachelor's degree in Food Science from Purdue University as well as a Master of Business Administration from Georgia State University. She is a strategic and results driven manufacturing executive with extensive expertise in food production and food safety regulations. She has proven aptitude for increasing efficiency, improving safety performance, generating cost savings and consistently exceeding customer expectations, which will help fuel the growth for Hickory Harvest. She has volunteered for Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Girls on the Run, and annual Food Science Day at Purdue. When not working, Jennifer enjoys spending time with family and friends, hunting, cooking and relaxing at the hunting cabin.

Pete La Rose, VP of Sales

Pete joined the Hickory Harvest Foods team in 2021 and is responsible for the customer development and revenue growth of the organization. Customers of Hickory Harvest Foods will benefit from Pete's diverse background managing iconic brands, brand development and leading national sales teams while at Kraft-Heinz, Nabisco and Snyder's-Lance. Contact Pete today to discuss how he can help you develop your product portfolio, brand strategy and assortment optimization.

Amy Hunter, Human Resources Manager

Amy joined the Hickory Harvest team in 2015. With over twenty years' experience in the HR field, Amy has a strong background in employee relations and conflict resolution; along with extensive knowledge of payroll and benefits administration. Amy possesses a SHRM-CP certification along with a degree in Accounting & Finance.


You’re always welcome to tour our facility and learn more about our family, our process and what we can do to help you. Contact us any time!