As vice president of corporate communications for Hormel Foods Corporation, Wendy Watkins oversees public affairs and strategic communications, serves as the company’s chief spokesperson and is responsible for Studio H — the company’s creative and culinary services group.
In this capacity, Watkins has overall responsibility for internal and external communications, the company’s digital presence, issues management, corporate social responsibility initiatives and the consumer response group. She serves as director of the Hormel Foods Charitable Trust, which features the company’s scholarship and matching gift programs.
Watkins joined the company as vice president of corporate communications in 2015 with more than 20 years of experience in strategic communications, marketing and media relations. Prior to joining Hormel Foods, Watkins spent 15 years as global vice president of corporate communications for Delaware North Companies, a global leader in hospitality and food service. She joined Delaware North after more than a decade in global corporate communications leadership with the Marriott family of companies, which includes Host Marriott and Host Marriott Services.
Watkins has been active in foodservice, as well as travel and tourism industry issues. For example, she was part of the launch of First Lady Michelle Obama’s childhood obesity initiative and the Chefs Move to School program. In addition, she was appointed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as a staff representative to the Department of Commerce Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, and recently completed her second term. Watkins is president of the board of directors for the Cancer Nutrition Consortium and has been recognized for her work in breast cancer advocacy, including being honored by Art beCAUSE, breast cancer research, at its annual gala. She was named a Woman of Influence in 2011.
Watkins received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She has lived in Florida, the Washington, D.C., area and New York and currently lives with her family in Austin, Minn.
She and her husband, Larry, have two children.