It’s not surprising that Steve Binder was caught off guard when his name was announced as the first Pride of the Jersey recipient at the corporate headquarters of Hormel Foods. President and CEO Jim Snee describes him as someone who “never asks for accolades.”
“I like to think about how many great people have dedicated their entire career to Hormel Foods, in many cases joining the company right out of high school or college. And today, I have the privilege of choosing the first recipient the way you would choose a captain of a team,” he said during the jersey ceremony.
It wasn’t the first time Steve laid eyes on the shirt that’s being passed around each Hormel Foods location. He happened to walk by Snee’s office when Vice President of Corporate Communications Wendy Watkins was showing him the jersey. On the day of the town-hall meeting, Steve grabbed a seat in the back of the room.
“I had seen the presentation the evening before at the annual shareholders meeting. After the fact, I learned Wendy and team were keeping an eye on me to make sure I was there,” he says.
Steve didn’t hesitate to put the jersey on and wear it the rest of the day. He admits he was proud, but also reluctant to get it dirty. And there was the responsibility of choosing who would wear it next.
“It was a little bit of a burden because there are so many qualified people,” he says.
I truly believe the best years are ahead of us. The talent has never been better.Steve Binder
Steve is somewhat of a fixture at Hormel Foods. He started with the company 38 years ago when he was fresh out of college and soon demonstrated his leadership abilities and business acumen. He now holds the title of executive vice president and president of Hormel Business Units. Steve’s list of accomplishments is long and impressive. One of the achievements he’s most proud of is bringing the company’s cultural beliefs to the foodservice group and the retail businesses many years ago.
A native Chicagoan, Steve came to Minnesota to attend college on a swimming scholarship. He and his wife raised two sons and still enjoy their time with them. Steve continues to swim, though he no longer does so competitively. He also enjoys bird hunting, fly fishing, golf and trips with co-workers.
It’s been quite a journey with Hormel Foods. Yet, there are no good-old days for this Hormel Foods worker. The present and the future are every bit as important as the past.
“Being with the company for a long time, I think the world of it. I truly believe the best years are ahead of us. The talent has never been better,” he says.
Pride of the Jersey is a yearlong effort to celebrate the culture, the people and the purpose of Hormel Foods. Inspired People. Inspired Food.™