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American Meat Institute Elects 2001-2002 Officers

Thursday, October 18, 2001

The American Meat Institute (AMI) today elected the six officers that will guide the organization through what promises to be a critical year for the meat industry. The announcement came during AMI's Annual Business Meeting, which was held during Worldwide Food Expo ‘01, October 18-21, in Chicago, IL.

Elected to the chairmanship for 2001-2002 was Phil Clemens, chairman and chief executive officer of Hatfield Quality Meats, in Hatfield, PA. Clemens began working in his family business at Hatfield Quality Meats, on a part-time basis in 1962, then worked his way up the corporate ladder to be named president in 1994 and CEO in 1995. At Hatfield Quality Meats, he has held such positions as sanitation crew supervisor, data processing manager, personnel director and vice president of human resources.

Serving as AMI vice chairman in 2001-2002 will be Richard A. Searer, of the Oscar Mayer Division of Kraft Foods, Inc. Searer joined Kraft Foods, Inc., in 1981 as assistant product manager for Maxwell House Coffee and has since held a variety of positions with Oscar Mayer Foods and Kraft. In 1993, Searer was named executive vice president and general manager for the consumer products division of Oscar Mayer Foods. In 1996, Searer was named president of Oscar Mayer Foods Division and executive vice president and general manager of Kraft Foods.

Stewart Owens, chairman, president and chief operating officer of Bob Evans Farms Inc., in Columbus, OH, was elected treasurer. After graduating from Southern Methodist University (SMU), Owens began his career as an office manager at Owens Country Sausage, a company founded by his grandparents. In 1984, he was promoted to president of Owens Country Sausage. After Bob Evans Farms Inc., acquired Owens Country Sausage in 1987, Owens joined the Board Of Directors. In 1994, he was named executive vice president and COO of Bob Evans Farms Inc., and in 1995 he was named president.

William Buckner, corporate vice president of Cargill, Inc., and president of Excel Corporation, in Wichita, KS, will serve as secretary. A veteran of the Canadian meat processing industry who served as 1997 president of the Canadian Meat Council, Buckner joined Cargill in 1987. Buckner oversaw the construction of a beef processing plant in Alberta, Canada, and served as general manager until 1994. Buckner moved to Wichita in 1994 when he became president of Cargill’s worldwide beef operations. He was named president of Excel Corporation in 1998 and elected corporate vice president of Cargill in 2000.

W. Dan Wright, president and CEO of Wright Brand Foods, Inc., in Vernon, TX, and AMI's 2001 chairman, becomes immediate past chairman. Prior to joining his family’s meat processing business in 1978, Wright, a certified public accountant, spent six years with Arthur Young & Company in London, England, and Dallas, TX.

J. Patrick Boyle was reelected by the AMI membership to serve a thirteenth term as the Institute's president and CEO.

For more information contact:
Janet Riley
Vice President, Public Affairs
Josee Daoust
Manager, Public Affairs

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