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Blue Book Services hires CEO, CFO, promotes SVP to COO

blue book ceo coo cfo

Blue Book Services has hired a new CEO and CFO and promoted a long-time manager to COO.

The 122-year-old credit, marketing, and media leader based in Carol Stream, IL, is excited to announce that Kirk Soule has been appointed the company’s new CEO.

Earlier this year, Jim Carr retired as CEO after 43 years of illustrious service and will continue on to the Board of Directors.

“I’m extremely excited about where Kirk will take Blue Book,” Carr said. “Blue Book has a fantastic heritage of dedication to our members. Kirk’s background in data and technology will enable us to blend the latest innovations with Blue Book’s core commitment of service to our community.”

Over Soule’s career, he has blended personal and professional experiences in the agricultural, fresh grocery, retail, and technology spaces. After growing up on a small family farm in Minnesota, Soule continued in various roles at Target and Walmart, and consulted for many national grocers and fortune 1000 Fresh and CPG brands.

Most recently, Soule was the Head of Strategy and Operations for 3M’s Encore data and analytics software business which he founded and led through significant growth by leveraging AI and machine learning to address multi-billion dollar deeply rooted challenges.

“I am excited about how we can utilize timely data and analytics to augment – not replace – core functions,” Soule said. “Ours is a social industry where reputation matters; technology serves as an enabler to inform connections and decisions, ultimately improving outcomes. I’ve witnessed the power of digital transformation first-hand throughout my career in the retail, fresh food, CPG and tech sectors. I am thrilled to be part of the Blue Book team and continue to build on our tremendous legacy of trust and innovation on behalf of our members.”

Soule earned an undergraduate degree from Wheaton College and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

Mark Erickson is being promoted from Senior Vice President to Chief Operating Officer, having served as Interim President following Carr’s retirement earlier this year.

In his new role, Erickson will be responsible for managing day-to-day operations of Blue Book Services across its different platforms and services.

Erickson graduated from Wheaton College and has an MBA from North Park University, Chicago. He has three decades of experience with the company, serving both the produce and lumber industries.

“It is a privilege to lead a team of hard working, experienced professionals who are committed to providing the best resources for our customers to succeed. We all recognize the weighty responsibility to continue delivering trusted, value-added information and services on which our members have relied for over a century.”

Brent Berger has been hired as Blue Book Services Chief Financial Officer. He previously served as CFO at InProduction and has more than 25 years of experience in finance, including regional grocery and perishable foods. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Northwestern University.

“I am excited to leverage the legacy of our century-plus brand and reputation to increase and augment the services we offer as we build an industry leading value proposition for our customers,” Berger said.

Editor’s note: Brent Berger resigned from Blue Book Services on July 10, 2023.