CEO of local chocolate company stepping down

Indianapolis-based Endangered Species Chocolate Co. said on Tuesday that Wayne Zink is vacating his position as CEO to lead the company’s not-for-profit foundation.

Replacing him as CEO is Curt Vander Meer. He joined the company in 2005 and most recently served as chief operating officer.

As head of the foundation, Zink will serve to further Endangered Species’ commitment to cacao farmers in Ecuador and the Ivory Coast. The foundation’s projects enable the company to work directly with the farmers to promote “ethical trade practices.”

Zink also will serve as chairman of Endangered Species’ board of directors.

Endangered Species moved from Oregon to Indianapolis in 2005. Zink and Randolph Deer, two local businessmen, paid $1.7 million for 51 percent of the gourmet chocolate company.

The company's chocolate bars and other treats are made in a 43,000-square-foot plant at 5846 W. 73rd St. in Park 100.

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