Thousands of people stand behind Hormel Foods, creating and bringing to market products that are known the world over. Employees, of course, but partners too, who care just as deeply about the company’s success.
Some, like T.J. Chung, consider themselves part of the family. T.J. has worked for Hormel Foods in Korea for 20-plus years. Jack Shao, sales and marketing manager for Japan, Korea and pork for Hormel Foods International, has worked with T.J. for most of them. Though T.J. is an outside partner, when it comes to representing Hormel Foods in Korea, he’s part of the team.
In fact, T.J. is so enmeshed in the business that when it came time to select a Pride of the Jersey recipient for the business, Jack tapped T.J. right away.
So, when T.J. was in Austin, Minn., recently, Jack ushered him in to the office of Hormel Foods President and CEO Jim Snee to receive the honorary jersey. T.J. immediately pulled it over his head, joining the Hormel Foods workers who have been called out for living the company values.
“He seeks to find winning solutions so that we all mutually benefit,” Jack says.
Two of these solutions have come in the form of lacones and capicola butts, two specialized cuts of pork that were developed specifically for the Korean market.
“We were the first major U.S. packer to customize cuts specifically for Korea,” Jack says, crediting T.J. for the role he’s played in that.
He seeks to find winning solutions so that we all mutually benefitJACK SHAO, INTERNATIONAL PORK MANAGER
Born and bred in Korea, T.J. has the advantage of understanding firsthand the culture and culinary tastes of his homeland.
“We’ve developed special products and special items,” T.J. says, adding that one of the best parts of his job is working with customers who haven’t changed in all the time he’s worked with Hormel Foods.
That, and seeing the business grow.
“When I started, we were very small,” he says. “Now we are one of the biggest pork export businesses in Korea.”