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Hormel Foods Announces Retirements, Advancements


Austin, Minn.

Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE:HRL), today announced the retirement of Julie H. Craven, vice president of corporate communications, and Joe C. Swedberg, vice president of legislative affairs.

As a result, Wendy A. Watkins, global vice president of corporate communications at Delaware North Companies, will assume the position of vice president of corporate communications at Hormel Foods. Jeffrey A. Grev, director of legislative affairs, will advance to the position of vice president of legislative affairs.

“I’d like to thank Julie and Joe for their many years of service. Julie’s expertise in the area of corporate communications and Joe’s leadership in legislative affairs have been invaluable contributions to our executive team, and we wish them the best in retirement,” said Lori J. Marco, vice president of external affairs and general counsel. “Additionally, we welcome Wendy to Hormel Foods. She and Jeff bring a wealth of knowledge to these roles, and we look forward to their leadership.”

Julie H. Craven
Craven began her career at Hormel Foods in 1988 as the director of consumer affairs at the Corporate Office in Austin, Minn., after experience at Kraft Foods and Meredith Corporation. In 1995, she became a product manager in foodservice and was promoted to senior product manager in 1998. In 2001, she became the director of public relations and assumed her current role in 2005.

Wendy A. Watkins
Watkins has more than twenty years of experience in strategic communications, marketing and media relations. She began her career in public relations at Four Seasons World Resort and Community and subsequently worked at LaNier Associates agency and led corporate communications, advertising and public relations for Brandywine Enterprises, the development and real estate division of Empire America. Watkins spent ten years with the Marriott family of companies, serving as global director of corporate communications and public relations, and in 2000, joined her current company, Delaware North, leading the company’s global communications team.

Joe C. Swedberg
Swedberg began his career in sales in Denver, Colo., in 1981. He held several sales positions and in 1984, became an associate product manager in meat products at the Corporate Office. While in meat products marketing, Swedberg held several product manager and group product manager positions and became the director of marketing in 1993. He became the vice president of meat products marketing in 1999 and assumed his current role in 2003.

Jeffrey A. Grev
Grev began his career in 1984 in Grocery Products sales in Louisville, Ky. A year later, he became a sales representative for the Michigan territory and then the New England territory. In 1987, he became the manager of sales services for Grocery Products at the Corporate Office (Austin, Minn.). Grev became an associate product manager, Grocery Products, in 1988, and held several marketing positions until 1996, when he became a group product manager for Grocery Products. In 2006, he took on a special assignment to become the general manager of Valley Fresh Foods at the Corporate Office. He became the corporate manager of mergers and acquisitions in 2007 and then director of corporate development in 2013. He assumed his current role in 2014.

About Hormel Foods

Hormel Foods Corporation, based in Austin, Minn., is a multinational manufacturer and marketer of consumer-branded food and meat products, many of which are among the best known and trusted in the food industry. The company leverages its extensive expertise, innovation and high competencies in pork and turkey processing and marketing to bring branded, value-added products to the global marketplace. The company is a member of the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index, S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats for 2014, was named the 2013 Sustainable Supply Chain of the Year by Refrigerated & Frozen Foods magazine, and was again named one of “The 100 Best Corporate Citizens” by Corporate Responsibility Magazine for the sixth year in a row. Hormel Foods was also recognized as a 2015 Military Friendly Employer by G.I. Jobs magazine, and named one of the 2014 40 Best Companies for Leaders by Chief Executive magazine. The company enjoys a strong reputation among consumers, retail grocers, foodservice and industrial customers for products highly regarded for quality, taste, nutrition, convenience and value. For more information, visit