SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio, Texas-based Kiolbassa Smoked Meats announced its first non-family member president of the company, Bill Wagner.

Since 1949, when Rufus and Juanita Kiolbassa began selling smoked sausage to their local community, the business has been headed by a family member.

“This is a big step for our company because we have been a family-led organization from day one,” said Michael Kiolbassa, chief executive officer and chairman of the board. “Bill has played a pivotal role in major milestones during his time here, and his extensive expertise is vital to the future growth of the organization.”

Wagner brings over 35 years of experience in manufacturing, distribution and consumer products. In 2017, he began his career with Kiolbassa Smoked Meats as chief financial officer and was promoted to chief operating officer in 2021.

“I want to thank the Kiolbassa family for the opportunity to lead this organization,” Wagner said. “Michael Kiolbassa has built an incredible culture where our team members are respected, and they are fully engaged and live the company's core values. With that foundation, the strength of our brand, and the team working together in alignment, we are expecting to achieve great results.”

Kiolbassa made additional leadership changes, including the promotion of Michael Johnson from vice president to senior vice president of organizational development and finance.

“Michael Johnson has been a tremendous asset to the organization,” Kiolbassa said. “His knowledge of our business, both operationally and financially, have been impressive, and I am grateful for his leadership.”