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American Meat Institute Elects 2000-2001 Officers

Thursday, October 12, 2000

Las Vegas, NV - 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 AMI’s Annual Convention featuring the Innovation Showcase, October 12-14, in Las Vegas, NV.

Elected to the chairmanship was W. Dan Wright president and CEO of Wright Brand Foods, Ltd., in Vernon, TX. 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. Wright received his B.B.A. from Southern Methodist University and his M.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin.

Serving as AMI vice chairman in 1999-2000 will be Philip Clemens, president and CEO of Hatfield, Inc., in Hatfield, PA. Clemens began working in his family business at Hatfield 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, he has held such positions as sanitation crew supervisor, data processing manager, personnel director and vice president of human resources.

Richard Searer, president of The Oscar Mayer Foods Division of Kraft Foods, in Madison WI, will assume the position of treasurer. Searer joined Kraft Foods, Inc., in 1981 as assistant product manager for Maxwell House Coffee and has since held a variety of positions within 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 The Oscar Mayer Foods Division and executive vice president and general manager of Kraft Foods.

Stewart Owens, president and COO of Bob Evans Farms Inc., in Columbus, OH, has been elected to serve as secretary. After graduating from Southern Methodist University (SMU), Owens began his career at Owens Country Sausage as an office manager at the 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.

Gregory Page, president and COO of Cargill, Inc., and AMI's 2000 chairman, becomes immediate past chairman. J. Patrick Boyle was reelected by the AMI membership to serve an eleventh year as the Institute's president and CEO.

"The upcoming year will be an important year for AMI as issues like food safety, federal regulations and the upcoming 2000 elections could impact the industry,” said AMI President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle. Boyle added, "The expertise of the new officers will be critical to the direction of both AMI and the industry."

AMI represents the interests of packers and processors of beef, pork, lamb, veal and turkey products and their suppliers throughout North America. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute provides legislative, regulatory and public relations services, conducts scientific and economic research, offers marketing and technical assistance and sponsors education programs.

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

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