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FMI, Meat Institute Select 2024 Leaders of Tomorrow

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To kick off the 2024 Annual Meat Conference that runs March 18-20 in Nashville, Tennessee, the Meat Institute and FMI – The Food Industry Association revealed the 10 winners of its 2024 Leaders of Tomorrow Program.

They include: 

  • Tammy Gonzales, Cargill; 
  • Jennifer Hicks, Mitchell Grocery Corp.
  • Nicole Koch, Seaboard Foods; 
  • Marie-Pier Labarre, Cascades; 
  • Hillary Niblock, Superior Farms; 
  • Kaylee Russell, Tyson Foods; 
  • Zachary Stadler, Associated Wholesale Grocers; 
  • Mike Van Drie, SpartanNash Co.; 
  • Liz Holt Welnhofer, Pre Brands; and
  • Michael Yeater, Albertsons Cos.; 

The winners receive registration to the Annual Meat Conference – where they will experience educational programming that details the latest developments in meat retailing and consumer trends – and be partnered with a professional industry mentor to guide them.

“These 10 Leaders of Tomorrow proved themselves to be rising stars in the industry,” said Julie Anna Potts, president and CEO of the Meat Institute. 

“It’s exciting to think about the creativity and innovation these young leaders will bring to their respective companies and to the industry as a whole.”

The Meat Institute and FMI launched this program in 2019 for the meat retail industry to recognize future leaders and help them grow and connect with current leaders in the industry.

Candidates are nominated by their supervisors. Winners are selected by a committee of retailers and packers/processors based on the following criteria:

  • Commitment to advancing the retail meat business;
  • Track record of success;
  • Individual initiative;
  • Leadership potential; and
  • Communication skills.

“It’s inspiring to witness the leaders of tomorrow shape the future of meat category management,” said Leslie G. Sarasin, president and CEO of FMI. 

“We hear their stories of nurturing sustainable supply chains, fostering positive team development and contributing to their companies’ financial growth. And most importantly, their dedication to driving impactful strategies supports consumer-centric experiences that delight meat shoppers across this nation.”

About Meat Institute

The Meat Institute is a leading voice for the meat and poultry industry. Its members process the majority of U.S. beef, pork, lamb and poultry, as well as manufacture the equipment and ingredients needed to produce safe, high quality meat and poultry products.

About FMI

As the food industry association, FMI works with and on behalf of the entire industry to advance a safer, healthier and more efficient consumer food supply chain. 

FMI brings together a range of members across the value chain – from retailers that sell to consumers, to producers that supply food and other products, as well as a wide variety of companies providing critical services – to amplify the collective work of the industry.

Read more meat news from The Shelby Report.

About the author

Sommer Stockton

Web Editor

Sommer joined The Shelby Report in January 2022 after graduating from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA with a B.A. and M.A. in Communications and Media Studies. Sommer is excited to learn about the grocery industry and share her findings with The Shelby Report's readers!

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