At Hormel Foods, we are fortunate to have great depth of leadership. Thanks to the efforts of the management team and their willingness to mentor others, Hormel Foods is positioned to build on the company’s long tradition of success.
Jeffrey M. Ettinger is chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer (CEO) at Hormel Foods. Ettinger joined Hormel Foods in 1989 and has served in a variety of roles, including senior attorney, product manager for Hormel® chili products and treasurer. In 1999, he was named president of Jennie-O Turkey Store — the largest subsidiary of Hormel Foods, based in Willmar, Minn. Ettinger was appointed president at Hormel Foods in 2004 and CEO in 2005, where he oversees all functions and operations at the $8.8 billion multinational business.
Under Ettinger’s leadership, Hormel Foods has grown through strategic acquisitions and a continued focus on new product innovation. As a result, the company’s common stock was added to the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index in 2009, and Hormel Foods increased its annual dividend for the 48th consecutive time in November 2013. In 2012, Ettinger was named Responsible CEO of the Year by Corporate Responsibility magazine. Additionally, the company was named 2008 Processor of the Year by both the National Provisioner magazine and Food Processing magazine for its industry leadership, and Hormel Foods won the American Business Award for Most Innovative Company in 2009. The company is a member of the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, Maplecroft Climate Innovation Indexes, and the Global 1000 Sustainable Performance Leaders.
He spearheaded the company’s efforts to become more transparent regarding its corporate responsibility and sustainability initiatives. As a result of these efforts, Hormel Foods has been recognized among the 100 Best Corporate Citizens in the United States (compiled by Corporate Responsibility magazine) for five consecutive years. In addition, Ettinger is the founding chair of the company’s diversity and inclusion council, which aims to meet the growing needs of its diverse workforce and consumer base.
Ettinger is a native of Pasadena, Calif., and holds a bachelor of arts degree and law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. He served as law clerk for the Honorable Arthur Alarcón, U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit. Ettinger attended the Program for Management Development at Harvard Business School.
He serves on the boards of The Toro Company, American Meat Institute, Grocery Manufacturers Association, The Hormel Institute, The Hormel Foundation and the Minnesota Business Partnership. He and his wife, LeeAnn, have four children — three in college and one at home with them in Austin, Minn.Close
As executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO) for Hormel Foods, Jody H. Feragen oversees all financial areas of Hormel Foods Corporation including accounting, information technology, internal audit, investor relations and treasury.
Feragen joined Hormel Foods in 2000 as treasurer, assuming the title of vice president and treasurer in 2001. She was promoted to vice president of finance and treasurer in 2005 and was named senior vice president and CFO in 2007. She was promoted to executive vice president and CFO in 2010.
Feragen earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of North Dakota (Grand Forks, N.D.) and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minn.). Feragen also attended the Program for Management Development at Harvard Business School (Boston, Mass.).
In 2007, Feragen was nominated to the Hormel Foods Board of Directors. She was elected to the Patterson Companies Inc. Board of Directors and University of North Dakota Alumni Association and Foundation Boards in 2011 and 2010, respectively.Close
As executive vice president and president of Hormel Foods business units, Steven G. Binder is responsible for the company’s Refrigerated Foods, Grocery Products and consumer products sales (CPS) divisions.
Binder joined Hormel Foods in 1979 and progressed through numerous sales and management positions within the foodservice and meat products groups. In 1993, he became regional sales manager of the foodservice group. In 1996, he advanced to director of sales for the foodservice group, responsible for hiring, training and managing the company’s direct sales representatives and food broker network. In 1998, he was named vice president of the foodservice group, responsible for overseeing the growth, profitability and strategic direction of the division.
In 2000, Binder was named group vice president of the foodservice group and was appointed group vice president of Refrigerated Foods in 2007. He was named executive vice president of Refrigerated Foods in 2010 and assumed his current position in 2011.
Binder earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minn. He is a 1998 graduate of the management executive program at the Carlson School of Business, University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. In 2008, he graduated from the advanced management program at Harvard Business School (Boston, Mass).
He serves as: executive vice president of Hormel Foods Sales LLC; chairman of the board for Clougherty Packing, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hormel Foods; and chairman of the board of Precept Foods, a joint venture with Cargill Meat Solutions. Additionally, he is on the board of trustees for the Hormel Historic Home and a member of the Austin Rotary Club.Close
As group vice president for the Refrigerated Foods group at Hormel Foods, Thomas R. Day is responsible for the general management of the business unit.
Day joined Hormel Foods in 1981 on a relief assignment in Texas and was promoted to territory manager of meat products later that year. In 1985, he was named territory manager of foodservice and he became manager of national accounts for foodservice in 1989. He served as manager of national accounts and was named regional manager in 1992. In 1994, Day was appointed director of sales and marketing of Dubuque (Iowa) Foods. He was named director of sales for the foodservice group in 1998 and vice president of foodservice sales in 2000. Day was named senior vice president of foodservice in 2007 and was promoted to group vice president, foodservice in 2010. He assumed his current role in October of 2013.
A native of Wisconsin, Day is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas in San Antonio and is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management Executive Program in Minneapolis.
Day serves on the board of the Twin Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America.Close
Donald H. Kremin is group vice president of the Specialty Foods group at Hormel Foods and oversees the strategic direction of Diamond Crystal Brands, Inc., Century Foods International, and Hormel Foods specialty products. The Specialty Foods group includes products such as restaurant packets, nutritional food products and supplements and contract manufacturing.
Kremin joined Hormel Foods in 1984 as a sales merchandiser in Grocery Products in Lenexa, Kan. He held various sales positions in the Midwest and was named Grocery Products district manager in Milwaukee, Wis., in 1990. In 1994, he was promoted to Grocery Products regional manager for the East Central region headquartered in Detroit, Mich. In 1996, he was promoted to Grocery Products customer development manager for the Central region headquartered in Chicago, Ill.
He became the national sales manager for ethnic specialties in Grocery Products in Chicago, Ill., in 1999, and he became the director of customer development in consumer products sales (CPS) in Chicago in 2004. In 2005, Kremin was named director of the Walmart business team and vice president of CPS in Bentonville, Ark. He was promoted to vice president of Hormel Foods and senior vice president of the CPS division for the Walmart business in 2007 and assumed his current role in 2011.
Originally from Chicago, Kremin received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Northern Illinois University.
He currently serves on the advisory board of Nueva Cocina Foods, Inc.Close
As group vice president of Hormel Foods and president of Jennie-O Turkey Store, Glenn R. Leitch oversees the company’s Jennie-O Turkey Store business segment.
Leitch started his career as director of commodity sales at Jennie-O Turkey Store in 1996 and was promoted to senior vice president of the commodity and supply division at Jennie-O Turkey Store in 2001. In 2011, he was named general manager at Jennie-O Turkey Store before being promoted to his current position.
Leitch holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Manitoba (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada).
He is a member of the executive board of the National Turkey Federation.Close
As group vice president of Hormel Foods and president of Hormel Foods International Corporation (HFIC), James P. Snee oversees the company’s international division, which encompasses more than 50 countries outside the United States.
Snee joined Hormel Foods in 1989 in the foodservice division and served in various positions within the group before being named manager of inventory and distribution for the Refrigerated Foods segment in 1995. He was promoted to foodservice area manager and foodservice regional sales manager in 1996 and 1998, respectively. Snee was named director of purchasing in 2006 and vice president of affiliated business units in 2008. In 2011, he advanced to senior vice president of HFIC and assumed his current position in 2012.
Snee earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in marketing from New Mexico State University (Las Cruces, N.M.). He received his master’s degree in business administration from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn.Close
James M. Splinter is group vice president of Grocery Products. In this position, he is responsible for the general management of the company’s dry grocery business unit.
Splinter joined Dubuque Foods in 1984 and became product manager for retail sausage products in 1990. In 1995, he joined Hormel Foods as product manager for the meat products group in Austin, Minn., managing the marketing activities of Hormel® pepperoni, which earned a Best Print Media Campaign award from Food and Beverage magazine.
In 1997, he joined the Grocery Products division as group product manager for the recipe ingredient group and oversaw the brand revitalization efforts for the SPAM® family of products. In 1999, Splinter was promoted to senior vice president, sales and marketing of the retail division at Jennie-O Turkey Store. In 2003, he assumed the role of vice president of marketing for consumer products, Refrigerated Foods. He was promoted to his current position in 2010.
A native of Dubuque, Iowa, Splinter graduated from Loras College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business and is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management Executive Program in Minneapolis.Close
Larry L. Vorpahl serves as group vice president at Hormel Foods Corporation and oversees a sales force of approximately 300 people that services all formats of retail customers nationwide, selling both shelf-stable grocery and refrigerated meat products.
Vorpahl joined Hormel Foods in 1986 as a sales merchandiser and became a sales representative later that year. He was promoted to associate product manager in 1987, product manager in 1990, senior product manager in 1993 and group product manager in 1995. Vorpahl was promoted to director of marketing in 1996 and was named vice president of marketing in 1999. In 2003, he became vice president and general manager, Grocery Products, responsible for overseeing the company’s Grocery Products division. He was promoted to his current role in October 2005.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, he holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a comprehensive marketing major. Vorpahl is a graduate of several executive education programs, including the Executive Education Program at Harvard Business School, Minnesota Executive Program at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Management Institute at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.
Vorpahl is involved in a number of food industry organizations. He is a member of the Food Marketing Institute Associate Member Advisory Council and the Industry Affairs Council of the Grocery Manufacturers Association. Vorpahl serves as president of Consumer Products Sales, a division of Hormel Foods Sales LLC. He serves as a board member of MegaMex Foods LLC, a joint venture of Hormel Foods. Vorpahl is also a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Council at Hormel Foods.
In addition, Vorpahl is a charter member of the Marketing Advisory Council at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.Close
William F. Snyder is senior vice president of supply chain for Hormel Foods and is responsible for engineering, quality control, purchasing, industrial engineering, logistics, the company’s air and fleet transportation and Six Sigma continuous improvement.
During his 32-year career with Hormel Foods, Snyder has held a wide variety of roles that have helped him develop an understanding of supply chain collaboration and management. He joined Hormel Foods in 1980 as an industrial engineer at the Austin (Minn.) Plant and later held similar positions at the Stockton (Calif.) Plant and Seattle (Wash.) Plant.
In 1989, he transferred back to Austin as staff industrial engineer. In 1991, he was named superintendent of Grocery Products production and was named manager of industrial engineering at the Austin Plant in 1992. He was promoted to manager of the Beloit (Wis.) Plant in 1995 and to manager of the Fremont (Neb.) Plant in 1996. He returned to Austin in 1999 as vice president of operations for Refrigerated Foods and was promoted to his current position in 2005.
Snyder graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial technology.Close
Scott Aakre is vice president of corporate innovation and new product development at Hormel Foods. In this role, Aakre focuses on Hormel Foods corporate innovation processes and new product development.
Aakre joined Hormel Foods in 1990 as an assistant product manager and quickly advanced to associate product manager in 1991 and product manager in 1992. After working as a district sales manager in Philadelphia for one year, Aakre returned to the Corporate Office (Austin, Minn.) to become senior product manager of meat products in 1995. He was promoted to group product manager of meat products in 1998. In 2003, Aakre became group product manager of Grocery Products and was promoted to director of marketing for Grocery Products later that year. In 2005, he was promoted to vice president of marketing for grocery products. He assumed his current position in 2011.
A Minnesota native, Aakre earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Minnesota.
Aakre is actively involved in the local community and served with the Mower County United Way for more than 10 years.Close
Jeffrey R. Baker is vice president of marketing for the foodservice division at Hormel Foods. In this position, he is responsible for the overall development of advertising and brand positioning for the foodservice division.
In this capacity, he develops and implements the division’s strategic plan, compiles the annual operating budget, supervises the activities of new product development and pricing, and monitors the latest industry trends to ensure Hormel Foods maintains its strong presence in the foodservice arena.
Baker joined Hormel Foods in sales in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1990. After holding product manager positions for smoked meats and sausage, Baker became the meat products district manager in Buffalo, N.Y., in 2001. In 2002, he was promoted to senior product manager, meat products, and became the group product manager for meat products three years later. Baker advanced to director of fresh meats marketing and Precept Foods in 2009, and he advanced to his most recent role as vice president of marketing, foodservice in 2012.
Baker earned his bachelor of arts in Marketing from the University of Dubuque.
Baker and his wife, Diane, have three daughters and live in Austin, Minn.Close
As group vice president for the foodservice group at Hormel Foods, Deanna T. Brady is responsible for the sales and marketing of foodservice products within the United States.
In September 1996, Brady started her career with Hormel Foods as a foodservice territory manager in Minneapolis, Minn., and held various foodservice sales positions throughout the United States. In 2003, Brady was promoted to foodservice regional manager in Los Angeles, Calif. She was promoted to vice president, foodservice sales in 2007. Brady assumed her current position in October of 2013.
Brady is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics and food administration. She is a registered dietitian.Close
As vice president of affiliated business units in the Refrigerated Foods division at Hormel Foods, Mark A. Coffey oversees Burke Marketing Corp., Farmer John, Dan’s Prize, Inc., Saag’s Products and Precept Foods. Coffey started his career with Hormel Foods as a relief supervisor at the Ottumwa (Iowa) Plant in 1985.
He held a variety of positions at several locations before moving to the Corporate Office (Austin, Minn.) in 1991 as product manufacturing manager for cured and smoked meats. Coffey was promoted to plant manager at the Houston (Texas) Plant in 1995 and held this position at Dold Foods (Wichita, Kan.), Osceola (Iowa) Food and the Fremont (Neb.) Plant before being named plant manager of the Austin (Minn.) Plant in 2005. He was named to his current position in 2011.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in business and systems management from Central College in Pella, Iowa.
Coffey serves on the board of directors of Clougherty Packing, Dan’s Prize, Burke Marketing Corp. and Precept Foods.Close
As vice president of Hormel Foods and senior vice president of the consumer products sales (CPS) division, Patrick J.Connor is responsible for all sales activities surrounding the Walmart business.
Connor joined Hormel Foods as a Grocery Products sales representative in 1996. He was promoted to various positions before being named Grocery Products district team leader in 2001. He held this position until 2004 when he became the director of the Albertsons business team. Connor advanced to director of customer development for the Central team for CPS in 2006. He assumed his current role in 2011.
He received his bachelor’s degree from Winona State University (Winona, Minn.) and is currently finishing the Minnesota Executive Program at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis). He has also attended the Food Industry Management Program at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and Cornell University (Ithaca, N.Y.).
He and his wife, Barb, have a son and two daughters.Close
As vice president of corporate communications for Hormel Foods Corporation, Julie H. Craven oversees all communications and community relations activities, serves as the company’s chief spokesperson and is responsible for Studio H — the company’s creative and culinary services group.
In this capacity, Craven has overall responsibility for media relations, employee communications, the company’s digital presence, issues management, corporate responsibility initiatives and the consumer response group. She serves as administrator to the Hormel Foods Charitable Trust, which features the company’s scholarship and matching gift programs.
Craven joined the company as director of consumer affairs in 1988, transferred to foodservice as a product manager in 1995 and was promoted to senior product manager three years later. She was promoted to director of corporate communications in 2001 and to vice president in 2005. Prior to joining Hormel Foods, Craven gained operations and marketing services experience at Kraft Foods and international marketing and trade association experience with a USDA funded agricultural commodity program. She was a food editor at Meredith Corporation for Better Homes & Gardens special interest publications.
Craven is a native of Cedar Falls, Iowa, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in nutrition and dietetics from Iowa State University in Ames and is a registered dietitian. She earned a master’s degree in food science and nutrition from the University of Missouri.
Craven is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the Arthur W. Page Society, Minnesota Women’s Economic Roundtable, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Minnesota Dietetic Association, Public Relations Society of America, Institute for Public Relations and International Association of Business Communicators. In addition, she is chairman of the Grocery Manufacturers of America communications committee.Close
As the vice president of operations for the Grocery Products division at Hormel Foods, Michael L. Devine is responsible for the Grocery Products processing plants and co-packer operations.
Devine started with Hormel Foods in 1976 as a management trainee at the Fort Dodge (Iowa) Plant. He was promoted to production supervisor of the Beloit (Wis.) Plant in 1976. In 1985, he became the Hormel Foods operations coordinator/manager at Lakeside Foods (Plainview, Minn.).
In 1994, Devine was named product manufacturing manager of Grocery Products in Austin, Minn. He relocated to Stockton, Calif., in 1996 and became plant manager. Devine was promoted to director of Grocery Products operations strategy in 2007, and was named to his current position in 2008.
A native of Chebanse, Ill., Devine received his bachelor’s degree in industrial management from the Milwaukee School of Engineering (Milwaukee, Wis.).Close
Bryan D. Farnsworth is vice president of quality management for Hormel Foods and is responsible for overseeing company quality, plant regulatory and food safety activities.
With 32 years of experience at Hormel Foods, Farnsworth has been involved in all aspects of quality control within the company and has developed a keen vision for the role of quality management within the organization. He started his career in 1981 as a quality control trainee in Fremont, Neb., where he was quickly promoted to quality control engineer. Throughout the next 10 years, Farnsworth held various quality and process control positions at several of the company’s locations, including Austin, Minn., and Beloit, Wis. In 1991, he became director of quality control for Jennie-O Foods (Willmar, Minn.). He stayed with Jennie-O Foods for five years, where he also held plant management positions at the Willmar and Montevideo, Minn., locations. In 1996, Farnsworth was named director of quality management for Hormel Foods and was promoted to vice president of quality management in 2005.
Farnsworth graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science degree in manufacturing administration and is a graduate of the management executive program at the Carlson School of Business, University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minn.).
Farnsworth is active with the American Meat Institute, serving as a member and former chairman of the AMI Inspection Committee, which addresses issues involving federal inspection of livestock, poultry and processed meat products. He is also a member of the Global Food Safety Initiative Foundation Board.Close
Roland G. Gentzler serves as the vice president for the finance department and as company treasurer at Hormel Foods. In these roles, Gentzler is responsible for financial analysis, risk management, cash management, tax, operations research and credit.
Gentzler joined the company in 1976 as an accountant at the Austin (Minn.) Plant. He assumed the position of manager of general accounting and claims at the Fort Dodge (Iowa) Plant later that year. He became the office manager for the Dallas (Texas) Plant in 1980 and was promoted to office manager at the Ottumwa (Iowa) Plant in 1984. In 1987, he moved to the Corporate Office (Austin, Minn.) as the supervisor of internal auditing. He was promoted to accounting manager for FDL Foods (Dubuque, Iowa) in 1988. In 1993, Gentzler moved to accounting coordinator and was named the director of finance for FDL Foods in 1994. Gentzler moved back to the Corporate Office in 1995 as the manager of cost accounting. He was promoted to assistant controller in 2000 and advanced to business unit controller for the Refrigerated Foods division later that year. He was named to his current role in 2007.
Gentzler received a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of South Dakota (Vermillion, S.D.).
He currently serves on the board for the Austin YMCA and is a member of the Association for Financial Professionals and Minnesota Treasury Management Association. Gentzler is also a board member for Farmer John and Precept Foods LLC.Close
As vice president, corporate development, Halvin is responsible for focusing on corporate direction and growth by continuing to oversee corporate strategy and the mergers and acquisitions process.
Halvin started his career with Hormel Foods in 1985 as the cost accounting manager at Farm Fresh Catfish Company (Hollandale, Miss.). In 1990, he advanced to corporate cost analyst at the Corporate Office (Austin, Minn.) where he was responsible for overseeing cost information for various parts of the corporation.
In 1996, he was named manager of the tax department where he was responsible for compliance and the filing of all federal, state and local returns. In 1999, he advanced to assistant controller, and in 2000 to treasurer of the company.
In late 2000, he was named director of Economic Value Added and given additional responsibilities as director of investor relations in 2001. The addition of mergers and acquisitions and strategy was effective in 2007. Halvin was named director of corporate development in 2008 and assumed his current role in 2012.
Halvin holds a bachelor of arts degree with a concentration in accounting from Midland Lutheran College (Fremont, Neb.). He is originally from Red Oak, Iowa.
Halvin is a member of the Mower County United Way Distribution Committee.Close
As vice president and corporate secretary, Brian D. Johnson handles all aspects of corporate governance as well as securities and financing matters for Hormel Foods. He also serves on the disclosure, compliance and employee benefits committees.
Johnson joined Hormel Foods in 1995 as a corporate attorney and was promoted to senior attorney in 2000. He was named assistant secretary in 2005 and corporate secretary in 2007. Johnson became vice president and corporate secretary in 2010. Johnson graduated from Minnesota State University (Mankato, Minn.) in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science degree, cum laude, with majors in accounting, finance and real estate/insurance and minors in economics and political science. He earned designation as a Certified Public Accountant in 1984.
Johnson graduated magna cum laude and Order of the Coif with a juris doctor degree from the University of Minnesota Law School (Minneapolis) in 1991. He is a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association, Association of Corporate Counsel and Society of Corporate Secretaries & Governance Professionals.
Johnson volunteers in the local community, serving on a variety of civic and church boards and committees. He is currently chairman of the Austin Area Joint Airport Zoning Board.Close
As vice president of human resources, David P. Juhlke is responsible for employee relations, industrial relations, diversity and inclusion, benefits, safety and security, learning and development, workers’ compensation, professional employment and compensation for the more than 19,800 employees at Hormel Foods.
Juhlke joined the company in 1983 as an industrial engineer at the Ottumwa (Iowa) Plant. He then moved to Corporate Office (Austin, Minn.) and assumed responsibility for compensation. In 1993, he was named manager of personnel at the Beloit (Wis.) Plant and was promoted to director of human resources for Jennie-O Foods in Willmar, Minn, in 1996. Five years later, he became vice president of human resources and administration for the Jennie-O Turkey Store and directed the consolidation of human resources programs and practices following the merger of Jennie-O Foods and The Turkey Store. Juhlke returned to the Corporate Office in 2005 as vice president of human resources.
He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stout (Menomonie) and holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology with an emphasis in manufacturing engineering.Close
Lori J. Marco is vice president of external affairs and general counsel at Hormel Foods.
As vice president of external affairs and general counsel, Marco oversees law, corporate communications and legislative and regulatory affairs. She is the chief legal officer at Hormel Foods and leads all aspects of the company’s law department.
Marco is also responsible for managing risk on a daily basis and overseeing all corporate transactions, litigation and corporate governance and securities. Marco started her career at Hormel Foods in 2004 as a corporate attorney and was named senior attorney in 2007. Prior to joining Hormel Foods, she practiced at the private law firm of Briggs and Morgan, P.A., in Minneapolis, Minn., where she concentrated on intellectual property litigation.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from the University of Minnesota, Morris, and a law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School. Marco is also a registered patent attorney.
Marco is a member of the following professional organizations: American Bar Association, Minnesota State Bar Association, American Intellectual Property Law Association and Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association.Close
Luis G. Marconi is the vice president of marketing for grocery products at Hormel Foods. In this role, he is responsible for setting brand strategy, developing consumer communications, overseeing brand and divisional budgets and profit-and-loss statements as well as leading and developing a team of marketing product managers.
The portfolio of brands he oversees includes flagship brands such as Hormel® chili, the SPAM® family of products, Hormel® Compleats® microwave meals, Valley Fresh® chicken and Dinty Moore® stew. In addition, he works with the MegaMex Foods portfolio of products, which includes the Herdez®, La Victoria®, CHI-CHI’S® and Doña María® Mexican brands and product lines, and sits on the joint-venture’s Board of Directors.
Marconi began his career with Hormel Foods in 2000 as the manager of international sales and marketing in the international division. He advanced in 2006 to a senior role in the Grocery Products division as manager of international joint ventures. In 2009, when the MegaMex Foods joint venture was formed, Marconi was appointed managing director by the Board of Managers.
He graduated from Pontifical Xavierian University in Cali, Columbia with a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering and received his master of business administration degree from Icesi University.Close
As vice president of Research and Development at Hormel Foods, Phillip L. Minerich oversees product development, packaging, food safety and lab services.
Throughout his 36-year career with Hormel Foods, Minerich has developed expertise in food science and technology, packaging and application of food safety intervention technologies and systems. He joined Hormel Foods in the quality control department at the Austin (Minn.) Plant in 1976. After holding various supervisory positions at the Austin Plant and Davenport (Iowa) Plant, Minerich was named corporate manager of sanitation at the Corporate Office (Austin, Minn.) in 1983.
In 1988, Minerich joined the Research and Development division as a food technologist and advanced to senior food technologist three years later. In 1996, he was promoted to research scientist of packaging and advanced to development leader of new inventions in 2002. He was promoted to director of research in 2003 and was responsible for product and process development and packaging. He was appointed to his current position in 2006.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Minerich received a Bachelor of Science degree in food technology at The Ohio State University in Columbus. He earned his master's and doctorate degrees in food science at the University of Minnesota.
Minerich is a member of the Board of Advisors for the: Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia; Minnesota Food Safety and Defense Task Force; Executive Advisory Board for the Institute for Food Safety and Health; Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Councils for the Grocery Manufacturers Association; and Nonthermal Processing Division of the Institute of Food Technologists. He is also an industry representative for the University of Minnesota Food Science and Nutrition Advisory Council and the National Center for Food Protection and Defense.
He has been awarded three patents.Close
Kurt F. Mueller is vice president of sales in the consumer products sales (CPS) division at Hormel Foods Corporation.
With 33 years of experience at Hormel Foods, Mueller developed his marketing expertise through working in various sales and marketing capacities at the company. He joined Hormel Foods in the Refrigerated Foods meat products division in 1979 in Shreveport, La., and later advanced to other sales positions in San Antonio and Austin, Texas. In 1983, Mueller relocated to the Corporate Office (Austin, Minn.) as a brand manager for products such as Hormel® Black Label® bacon and fresh pork. Five years later, Mueller returned to sales to manage a territory covering Wisconsin, Illinois and western Indiana. In 1991, he was promoted to marketing director for Dubuque Foods, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hormel Foods.
After four years with Dubuque Foods, Mueller returned to the Corporate Office to manage a newly formed logistics and customer service department in the Refrigerated Foods division. A year later, he advanced to lead another newly formed department as director of pork sales and marketing. He was appointed a vice president in 1999 and advanced to senior vice president, business planning, CPS, in 2004. He has held his current position since 2012.
For his outstanding work managing the Hormel® Always Tender® brand, Mueller was honored as “Brand Marketer of the Year” by Brandweek magazine in 1999.
Mueller holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a marketing emphasis from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire.
He is chair of the Business Advisory Council for the College of Business at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire and is also active with Boy Scouts of America and is involved in the Austin chapter of the Knights of Columbus.Close
Research and Development
As vice president of Research and Development at Hormel Foods, Kevin L. Myers oversees product development, packaging, food safety sciences and lab services.
Myers came to Hormel Foods with 11 years of experience in the food industry, holding management positions in food technology, research science, and new product development.
In 2001, he started with the company as a research scientist for fresh and value added meats at research and development. He was promoted to development leader of fresh and processed meats in 2005, and a year later, was promoted to group manager of product development. In 2012, he became the director of product, process, and package development and assumed his current role in October of 2013.
A native of Mount Ayr, Iowa, Myers received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education at Iowa State University, where he also earned his master's and doctorate degrees in Meat Science and Food Science.
Myers is a member of Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton’s Food Safety and Defense Task Force. He is also a member of the American Meat Science Association and the Institute of Food Technologists.
Myers is the lead author of two recently published scientific papers in Meat Science: Effects of high hydrostatic pressure and varying concentrations of sodium nitrite from traditional and vegetable-based sources on the growth of Listeria monocytogenes on ready-to-eat (RTE) sliced ham; and The effect of high hydrostatic pressure, sodium nitrite and salt concentration on the growth of Listeria monocytogenes on RTE ham and turkey.Close
Jeffrey A. Nuytten is vice president of operations in the Refrigerated Foods division at Hormel Foods Corporation.
With 33 years of experience at Hormel Foods, Nuytten has developed his operations expertise through working in various foreman, superintendent and plant manager capacities at the company. In 1979, he joined Hormel Foods at the Fort Dodge (Iowa) facility. Nuytten held foreman positions at Fort Dodge and the Fremont (Neb.) Plant until he became the plant superintendent at Dold Foods (Wichita, Kan.) in 1987.
In 1992, he transferred to the Austin (Minn.) Plant as the superintendent of cured and smoked meats production. From 1994 to 2004, he held plant manager positions at Dold Foods, Osceola (Iowa) Food and the Austin Plant. In 2004, he was named the vice president of operations at Jennie-O Turkey Store, Inc. Nuytten advanced to his current role in 2012.
Nuytten holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business management from St. Cloud State University.Close
Vice President, Sales
As vice president of sales for the foodservice group, Mark J. Ourada oversees all of the foodservice sales force at Hormel Foods.
Ourada began his career at Hormel Foods in 1988, as a relief sales and merchandiser in Minneapolis, Minn., and was promoted to sales representative and territory manager the same year. A year later, he became a foodservice sales representative in San Antonio, Texas. In 1993, he became the foodservice account manager in Denver, Colo., and in 1995 was promoted to foodservice account executive. In 1998, he moved back to Minneapolis, Minn., as a foodservice area manager, and in 2001 advanced to area manager, foodservice sales in Cincinnati, Ohio and became the regional sales manager there in 2005. He assumed his current role in October of 2013.
Ourada is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse where he received a bachelor of science degree in marketing.Close
James R. Schroeder is vice president of engineering at Hormel Foods. In his position, he oversees all aspects of engineering for the company, including design, construction and commissioning of plant facilities and equipment, plant engineering and maintenance as well as environmental engineering.
Schroeder started his career with Hormel Foods in 1984 at the Fremont (Neb.) Plant where he held a number of supervisory positions. In 1990, he became plant engineer at the Beloit (Wis.) Plant and in 1994 assumed the role as manager of plant engineering at the Austin (Minn.) Plant. In 1998, he was promoted to special assignments engineer and then to manager of corporate engineering projects at the Corporate Office in Austin, Minn. He was named manager of projects and plant engineering at the Corporate Office in 1999, and advanced to his current position in 2009.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial and management systems engineering from the University of Nebraska. Schroeder is a graduate of several executive education programs, including the Engineering Management Program at the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University and the Minnesota Management Institute at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. In addition, he has earned several professional certifications from the Association for Facilities Engineering and the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals.
Within the Austin, Minn. community, Schroeder is an active member and the past president of The Church Council at St. Olaf Lutheran Church. He also serves as a member of the Board of Commissioners for Austin Utilities.Close
As senior vice president of sales for the consumer products sales division and vice president of Hormel Foods Sales, Patrick J. Schwab oversees the sales functions for all retail customers throughout the eastern half of the United States.
Schwab joined Hormel foods in 1986. He held several sales positions in Atlanta, Ga., Cincinnati, Ohio, and Buffalo, N.Y., before becoming national sales manager of pork primals at the Corporate Office in Austin, Minn., in 1993. Schwab advanced to corporate manager of fresh pork sales, planning and logistics in 2000 and to director of fresh meat sales in 2004. He was director of fresh meats and margin optimization in 2009 and advanced to his current role in 2012.
Schwab is a native of Cedar Falls, Iowa and a graduate of University of Northern Iowa where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing.Close
As vice president and controller at Hormel Foods, James N. Sheehan is responsible for financial policies, internal controls, Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 compliance and financial reporting as well as the general accounting, cost and business unit accounting functions of the company. Notably, he led the successful sale of Vista International Packaging and Algona Food Equipment Company.
An employee of Hormel Foods for more than 30 years, Sheehan started as an accountant in the Fremont (Neb.) Plant and was quickly promoted to manager of data processing. He advanced to other positions including manager of general accounting, office manager at several locations and controller of Vista International Packaging. Since 1988, Sheehan has held positions at the Corporate Office (Austin, Minn.), including corporate credit manager for claims and Hormel Financial Services. In 1998, he became president of Hormel Financial Services where he was instrumental in developing and implementing Hormel Financial Services functions and several financial systems. Prior to being named to his current position, Sheehan was treasurer at Hormel Foods.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Missouri Western State University (St. Joseph, Mo.), and is a graduate of the Minnesota Executive Program at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis). Sheehan is involved in the Financial Executive Institute and the Institute of Management Accountants. He also serves on the Gelco Expense Management advisory board.
In addition to his professional involvement, Sheehan is an active member of the community as the treasurer of both the Austin Area Catholic School Foundation and the Austin Country Club. He is also a former board member of the Mower County Red Cross, the Mower County United Way and the Austin Public Library.Close
Joe C. Swedberg is vice president of legislative affairs for Hormel Foods. In this capacity, Swedberg oversees all state and federal legislative affairs, regulatory affairs and packaging design.
Swedberg has been with Hormel Foods for 31 years, starting his career with the company as a sales representative in 1981. He advanced to associate product manager in the meat products group in 1984 and was promoted to product manager of consumer hams the following year. In 1988, he was named group product manager of meat products. He continued to advance through positions in the meat products group, being named to regional sales manager in 1990, director of marketing in 1993 and vice president of marketing in 1999. He assumed his current position in 2003.
An Iowa native, Swedberg grew up on a cattle and grain farm. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls.
Swedberg serves as a board member and past chairman of the board of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the board of the Minnesota Agri-Growth Council, board member of the Minnesota Zoo, member of the Advisory Leadership Circle for the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, Farm Foundation Roundtable member, Development Corporation of Austin board member and former president of the Austin YMCA board of directors. He served on Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty’s Livestock Advisory Task Force from 2004-2005 and was appointed by Governor Pawlenty to the Minnesota Sesquicentennial Commission in 2006. In 2007, he was named to Governor Pawlenty’s Commission on New Americans.
Joe and his wife, Amy, have two children.Close
Steven J. Venenga is the vice president of marketing for meat products for Hormel Foods in Austin, Minn.
In his role, Venenga is responsible for managing all brand-building marketing activities, including the associated marketing budget and new product development activities. He also manages the profit and loss statement of the meat products division and develops a staff of marketing product managers. He assumed his current role in 2011.
Venenga joined the company in 1996 when he joined Jennie-O Turkey Store, Inc. as a product marketing manager. He subsequently held several marketing positions within the company. With more than 15 years of combined experience in food product marketing at both Hormel Foods and Jennie-O Turkey Store, Venenga was involved with the brand integration of the Jennie-O Turkey Store® brand and a number of retail product launches, which include Jennie-O Turkey Store® marinated breast tenderloins, Jennie-O Turkey Store® Oven Ready™ turkeys and Jennie-O Turkey Store® turkey burgers.
He earned a Master of Business Administration in marketing and finance from the University of Iowa (Iowa City, Iowa) after graduating from Simpson College (Indianola, Iowa) with a bachelor’s degree in management and economics.
He and his wife, Kimber, enjoy spending time with their kids.Close