Wu Tang Clan
The Wu (short for Wu Tang Clan) is made up of the leaders in each department in the company, who stir together the passion, creativity and expertise of our fellow Kahikians to make great products for you. As a growing, entrepreneurial, private company, we lead our business with purpose and values, and we are always looking for ways to do something extraordinary to excite and inspire our fans. And doing what we do with other people who love Asian food make this “work” a lot of fun. We believe that our focus on purpose, values and fun sets us apart from other big food companies, with their obsessive focus on profits, stock price, and maintaining the status quo.
There are six of us in the Wu, and we all have a story to tell. Check us out below: …
Martin Kelly - Big Kahuna
I am Martin Kelly, and as the Big Kahuna at Kahiki, I spend my days working on strategy, culture, and helping our team to achieve great things. We have a very diverse team at Kahiki, and that diversity gives us rich perspective and lots of interesting ideas about how to excite our customers, and create a great future.
I joined Kahiki in 2014, and the special ingredient I bring to Kahiki is my passion and focus. I have always believed that you should love your work, and I love what I do at Kahiki--- I love the business, I love the Kahiki family (Ohana), and I love our food. I have been fortunate enough to have had some great experiences over the years, and those experiences have helped me work with my fellow Kahikians to develop a company full of opportunity with an extraordinarily bright future. In truth, I get up (early) every day excited about the work I do, and where we are headed as a company. I enjoy engaging in vigorous debate, testing new ideas, and challenging the status quo (while listening to Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and George Thorogood)! When I am not at Kahiki, my passions are my family, reading and craft beer, and my wife and I are frequently travelling to visit our children and grandchildren.
Here is some other info about me that might explain a few things:
Favorite Kahiki Products: Crispy Tempura-Asian Style BBQ Chicken (new!), Stir Fresh-Beef & Broccoli, Steam & Serve-Chicken Lo Mein, Family Feast-Chicken Fried Rice, Bowl & Roll-Chicken Pad Thai, Snacks & Apps-Toasted Sesame Chicken Yum Yum Stix, Savory Sides-Sesame Noodles (new!)
Favorite Craft Beer(s): Dogfishead 60 Minute IPA (my “standard”), Pyramid Snow Cap Ale (winter seasonal), Magic Hat Wacko (limited release), Four String Suncaster (local summer beer)
Favorite Quote: “If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes.” - Andrew Carnegie
Matt Szerencsits - Jikijitsu of Finance and Supply Chain
Hi, I’m Matt Szerencsits, and I am the Jikijitsu of Finance and Supply Chain. What is a Jikijitsu you might ask? Simply stated, I make sure everyone is on-time and that everything is running smoothly. We take pride in insuring our customers get what they want, when they need it, and we will go to great lengths to make sure that happens.
Some may consider me a strict disciplinarian and a bit stuffy, but those that know me best know better. I’m very competitive, been known to belt out a few verses of “Rappers Delight” without warning, and I can still do backflips on the trampoline even though I am certainly past my prime. I’ve also started a growing trend in the office by replacing my chair with a yoga ball. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. While at home I enjoy traveling around the country with my wife and children while supporting them in their many activities. Gymnastics and Track meets are two of my favorite events to attend.
I’ve been fortunate to work at Kahiki for 7 years. It’s exciting to be part of a growing company that is on an amazing trajectory with so much runway ahead of us. My favorite Kahiki products are our Yum-Yum Sticks and Potstickers.
Juanita Simpson - Dragon Boat Drummer
Aloha! Have you ever seen a Dragon Boat race? You know what I am talking about- the artistic boat that has a dragon head up front, a drummer in the back and about 20 people paddling in the same direction. Well at Kahiki, I am that Dragon Boat Drummer. Except instead of beating a drum I am playing 90’s pop and instead of 20 people I am responsible for keeping over 200 people paddling on beat and in the same direction.
I know people who gripe about going to work every day and I am proud to say that I am not in that “boat”. I love walking in to the smell of eggrolls and hearing the sounds of ping pong balls hitting the floor or someone breaking at the pool table. Most of all, I love coming in daily and leading the FOO Fighters (Fun-Open-Opportunity). Much like our Korean-Style BBQ Pork Yum-Yum Stix- we are a spicy bunch! The team is comprised of HR & Strategic Project teammates who have the right attitude and aptitude to take us to the next level.
When I am not out with the team taste testing our way through Columbus, I am at home with my husband competing for the household wheel of fortune champion title.
Mike Williams - Sōsa Gaido
Hey! I’m Mike Williams and I’m the Sōsa Gaido at Kahiki...hint it’s pronounced “guy-doe”. What is a Sōsa Gaido you ask? It loosely translates to, “Operations Guide”. My role at Kahiki is just that, guide our incredible operations team as we produce great tasting food. I take great pride in the work our team does to deliver products to our consumers meanwhile enjoying the comradery all throughout the process. I mean come on, how can I not be excited about making BOLD and EXCITING products like Yum Yum Stix, Bowl & Roll, and Family Feast?!
I’ve quite literally grown up as a Kahikian, having joined the company in 2008 as in intern in our management training program. Since then my experiences at Kahiki have taken me through a wild and rewarding journey throughout various roles in our operation during a time period Kahiki has nearly doubled in size. I bleed Scarlet and Gray having obtained a BS and MBA from THE Ohio State University so you could say I enjoy watching the football team a little. While I’m away from Kahiki, I enjoy spending time with my wife and daughter. I also can’t get enough of going to the top of any mountain and skiing or biking my way down.