NEW YORK – After approximately 27 years working at Baldor Specialty Foods, Michael Muzyk, president of the food distribution company announced on June 12, that he will retire at the end of 2023. After studying culinary arts at the Culinary Institute of America and working in the kitchens of fine-dining restaurants for several years, Muzyk joined Baldor in 1996, working as a salesman when the company was based in Maspeth, Queens.

Over the years he worked closely with Kevin Murphy, Baldor’s founder and chief executive officer and he was elevated to the roles of vice president and then president. In 2013, Muzyk was instrumental in the company’s leadership change after the unexpected death of Murphy, as he helped the founder’s son, TJ Murphy transition to CEO and owner, roles he continues to hold today.

After years of success under the next generation’s leadership, Muzyk said the time is right for him to step down and spend more time with family and friends.

“Seeing the strong leader TJ has become and the leadership team he now has behind him, I know this is the right time to move on,” he said.   

During his tenure, Muzyk is credited with playing a critical role in Baldor’s growth, including establishing its new 290,000-square-foot headquarters in the Bronx’s Hunts Point and expanding its distribution from Main to Virginia and adding regional distribution operations in Boston, Washington, DC, and Philadelphia. He also helped expand the company’s portfolio beyond produce to include meat, poultry, seafood and processed fruits and vegetables.

In preparing for his retirement, Muzyk and Murphy agreed there would not be a replacement stepping in as the next president but in the past year-and-a-half, they have added eight people to key positions in vice president and senior vice president roles with plans to add several more executives in the months to come.

“I couldn’t expect anyone to fill Michael’s shoes,” said Murphy. “He’s one of one.”

Muzyk plans to spend his remaining months ensuring a seamless transition for Baldor’s customers and its staff, including assisting in the hiring process of the remaining executives and sharing his institutional knowledge.  

Murphy said he is thankful to have worked with Muzyk and for his contributions to the family business.

“I’ve known Michael most of my life, and I can say that his dedication to Baldor over the years has been astounding,” Murphy said. “His career here has been defined by his huge heart and his unwavering commitment to our customers, vendors, and employees. He’s touched thousands of lives and careers, including my own. I’m personally so grateful for his many contributions and his help transitioning this company from my father to me, and I wish him the best on a well-deserved retirement."