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American Meat Institute Elects New Officers

Friday, October 8, 2010

Bolton Landing, N.Y. ─ The American Meat Institute (AMI) has elected the six officers who will guide the organization through the next year. The election was held at AMI’s Annual Business Meeting in Bolton Landing, N.Y.

Elected to the chairmanship for 2010-2011 is Dennis Vignieri, president and CEO of Kenosha Beef International, Ltd.  Vignieri has served with the company since 1978.  Prior to his current position, he served as the director of transportation for 14 years. He has been a member of the Kenosha Beef Board of Directors since 1984.

Larry Odom, chairman, president and CEO of Odom’s Tennessee Pride Sausage Inc., will serve as vice chairman for 2010-2011.  Odom has worked in various positions for Odom’s Tennessee Pride Sausage, Inc., for 36 years, including food service regional manager, quality assurance manager and later as director of quality assurance over a three plant operation.  He was plant manager from 1982-1985.  Odom became executive vice president in 1985 and president in 1992.  Odom was promoted in 2001 to chairman and CEO.

Elected to serve as treasurer for the 2010-2011 term is Nick Meriggioli.  Meriggioli is president of Oscar Mayer, a Kraft Foods Business Unit.  From 2001-2006, Meriggioli served as senior vice president of marketing for the Oscar Mayer Business Unit.  Prior to that, Meriggioli spent three years (1998-2001) in the Kraft Cheese and Dairy Business Unit in a number of marketing positions including director of strategy and business director for the Philadelphia Cream Cheese business.

Greg Benedict, president and COO, American Foods Group LLC will serve as secretary.  Benedict has been in the industry more than 30 years. He began his career in 1980 with Rosen’s Diversified Inc. In 2005, Rosen’s Diversified LLC merged its meat processing companies with American Foods Group Inc. to create American Foods Group LLC.  He currently oversees all aspects of the company’s operations.

Jeffrey Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and CEO of Hormel Foods Corporation, becomes immediate past chairman.  He began his career with Hormel Foods in 1989 as a corporate attorney and has served in numerous leadership positions at Hormel Foods and Jennie-O Turkey Store. Ettinger was named president and chief operating officer of Hormel Foods in 2004 and was elected chief executive officer in 2005. He was elected chairman of the board for Hormel Foods in November 2006.

J. Patrick Boyle was reelected by the AMI membership to serve a 22nd term as the Institute’s president and CEO.

“There are many great challenges and opportunities facing the meat and poultry industry this year, like continued progress in food safety, proposed changes in industry structure, regaining new export markets, the expansion of corn-based ethanol and immigration reform,” said Boyle.  “The proven leadership and diverse, hands-on industry experience of these new AMI officers will be a major asset in our efforts to continue to advance this industry.  I look forward to working with them to achieve our common goals,” he added.

AMI represents the interests of packers and processors of beef, pork, lamb, veal and turkey products and their suppliers throughout North America. Together, AMI’s members produce 95 percent of the beef, pork, lamb and veal products and 70 percent of the turkey products in the United States. The Institute provides legislative, regulatory, public relations, technical, scientific and educational services to the meat and poultry packing and processing industry.



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