New officers elected at National Chicken Council

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — Bernard Leonard, group vice-president/Food Service, Tyson Foods, Inc., Springdale, Ark., was elected chairman of the National Chicken Council, the trade association for the chicken production and processing industry. Lampkin Butts, president of Sanderson Farms, Laurel, Miss., was named vice-chairman, and Bill Lovette, president and chief operating officer of Case Foods, Troutman, N.C., was named secretary-treasurer. Each officer will serve a one-year term.

Mr. Leonard joined Tyson Foods in 1998 when Tyson acquired Hudson Foods, where he was vice-president of broiler sales and operations. With Tyson, he became vice president of operations, then moved into sales and operations as vice-president and senior vice-president, and he became head of Food Service in November 2006.

Since beginning his career in the poultry industry in 1975, Mr. Leonard has served in various positions with industry associations. He spent 12 years on the board of the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, serving as an officer for four years culminating with a term as chairman in 1999. He joined the N.C.C. board of directors in June 2007 and was elected to the executive committee in February 2008. He became secretary-treasurer in 2008 and moved up to vice-chairman last year.

Mr. Butts has been with Sanderson Farms since 1973, and he worked in the company’s management training program and held positions of processing division manager, director of processing and sales, and vice-president of sales, before being elected to the board of directors in 1998. He became president and chief operating officer in 2004. He has served on the N.C.C. board since 2004 and also has served on the boards of the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association and the Mississippi Poultry Association. He became secretary-treasurer of the N.C.C. last year.

Mr. Lovette is a member of the board of directors of Case Foods as well as president and c.o.o. He began his career in the poultry business in 1982 with Valmac Industries, which was later acquired by Tyson Foods. He has held many leadership roles in the industry, including chairman of the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association and the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association.

George Watts of Alexandria, Va., was elected to another term as president of the N.C.C., a post he has held since 1972.

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