McKee Foods Appoints John Williams President of Prairie City Bakery

CHATTANOOGA, TENN., and VERNON HILLS, ILL — McKee Foods is pleased to announce that John Williams has been appointed president of Prairie City Bakery LLC, replacing co-founder Bill Skeens, who recently retired.

A 25-year veteran of the food industry, Williams most recently served as vice president of Marketing & Innovation at Prairie City Bakery, joining the Vernon Hills-based company in 2009. During his 10-year tenure, John played a lead role in setting corporate strategy, developing and introducing new products, packaging and display design and acquiring and managing new suppliers. He also managed key corporate accounts. All of these activities and more were instrumental in growing the sales and profitability of Prairie City Bakery. John was also critical in the integration process with McKee Foods since it acquired Prairie City Bakery as a wholly-owned subsidiary in May 2019.

“I am truly excited for the opportunity to lead Prairie City Bakery into its next phase,” said Williams. “This company has a strong track record of strategic thinking paired with grassroots execution — where customer relationships, quality and service matter most. I look forward to working with the Prairie City and McKee Foods teams to ensure a prosperous and profitable future.”  

Williams previously held leadership roles with several companies, including CSM, Unilever Food Solutions, MillerCoors and Solo Cup Company.

“John has a passion for the bakery industry and a spirit of innovation that fits well with the McKee Foods vision for the future,” said Andy Lang, CEO of Prairie City Bakery LLC and CFO of McKee Foods Corporation. “I am confident that John will do a great job leading the Prairie City Bakery team and continuing to grow the business.”  

John will remain in the Prairie City Bakery office location in Vernon Hills.

About Prairie City Bakery

Founded in 1994, Prairie City Bakery is headquartered in Vernon Hills, Ill. They provide premium, fully-baked, thaw-and-sell bakery solutions to the convenience store, foodservice and in-store bakery channels nationwide. With a full line of award-winning products and a variety of individually-wrapped and foodservice solutions, Prairie City Bakery is the total package. Plus, Prairie City Bakery offers you our expertise and proven merchandising solutions to help you design a winning pastry program for your store.  Prairie City Bakery was acquired by McKee Foods in May 2019. Visit for more information.

About McKee Foods

McKee Foods, a family bakery with annual sales of about $1.4 billion, is a privately-held company based in Collegedale, Tenn. The McKee Foods story began during the height of the Great Depression when founder O.D. McKee began selling 5-cent snack cakes from the back of his car. Soon after, he and his wife, Ruth, bought a small bakery on Main Street in Chattanooga, Tenn., using the family car as collateral. Today, the company employs more than 6,200 people in Collegedale, Tenn.; Gentry, Ark.; Stuarts Draft, Va.; and Kingman, Ariz. It creates and produces Little Debbie® baked goods, Drake’s® cakes, Sunbelt Bakery® snacks and cereals and Fieldstone® Bakery food products. Visit for more information.