NTF Chairman Says the Industry Has the Tools to Take Turkey “Center Stage”

February 14, 2006
Orlando, FL

Sherrie Rosenblatt, National Turkey Federation
202-898-0100 ext. 227, srosenblatt@turkeyfed.org
or Lisa Brackett, Devine & Pearson
617-472-2700 ext. 135 l_brackett@devine-pearson.com

The National Turkey Federation’s (NTF) Board of Directors today elected Mike Briggs to serve as the federation’s 2006 chairman. Briggs is the president of Willow Brook Foods, Inc., in Springfield, Mo.

During his acceptance speech, Briggs spoke about how the convention gave the industry the tools to help turkey to take “center stage” and to let the “star protein” shine brightly in the coming year and beyond.

As president of Willow Brook Foods, Briggs is responsible for setting strategic direction for the company. In 1999, Briggs negotiated the successful acquisition of two plants in Springfield, Mo., and one in Albert Lea, Minn., which created Willow Brook Foods.

Willow Brook Foods, the 15th largest turkey processor in the United States, has a total annual revenue that exceeds $225 million in sales. Willow Brook employees 800 people at its processing and further processing facilities in Springfield. Willow Brook Foods strives to be a leader among deli, retail, warehouse club and foodservice protein manufacturers.

Prior to Willow brook, Briggs was vice president and general manager of Hudson Foods. Before joining Hudson Foods, he was deli national sales manager for Bil Mar Foods, a Sara Lee Corporation. As the company’s director of marketing, Briggs developed the Sara Lee Deli concept.

Briggs is active in his community, serving as past board president of Ozarks Food harvest and The Poultry Federation located in Little Rock, Ark.. He currently is a board member of the United Way of the Ozarks and chairman of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce. Briggs is a graduate of Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Mich., with a degree in business administration.

During Saturday’s Board meeting at the NTF’s Annual Convention, the Directors also elected Ted Seger, Farbest Foods, Inc., as vice chairman; and Paul Hill, West Liberty Foods, as secretary-treasurer. Pete Rothfork, Turkey Valley Farms, assumes the position of immediate past-chairman.

During the convention, the Board also elected Randy Day, Perdue Farms; Richard Huisinga, Willmar Poultry Company Inc; Richard Sarvas, ConAgra Foods; and Mike Tolbert, Jennie-O Turkey Store, to the Executive Committee (EC). Day, Huisinga and Tolbert served on the EC for a year as appointed members.

In addition, reelected EC members are Yubert Envia, Foster Farms; Ron Morris, Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation; Walter “Gator” Pelletier, Goldsboro Milling Company; and Ron Prestage, Prestage Farms.

After the board meeting, the EC elected John O’Carroll, Cargill Meat Solutions, as an EC member-at-large.

The National Turkey Federation (NTF) is the national advocate for all segments of the turkey industry, providing services and conducting activities that increase demand for its members' products by protecting and enhancing their ability to profitably provide wholesome, high-quality, nutritious products. Its award-winning web site, www.eatturkey.com, offers consumers, food professionals and the media an extensive library of information including healthy eating and restaurant trends, turkey cuts and purchasing tips, turkey nutrition and cooking techniques, and turkey facts and trivia. Additionally, the site presents a searchable database of more than 1,500 recipes, offers a recipe E-mail program and provides special seasonal and holiday ideas. The National Turkey Federation is headquartered in Washington, D.C.