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 Board of Directors Meeting in Washington, D.C.
Elected to the chairmanship for 2011-2012 is Larry Odom, chairman, president and CEO of Odom’s Tennessee Pride Sausage Inc. 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.
Nick Meriggioli, president of Oscar Mayer, a Kraft Foods Business Unit, will serve as vice chairman. Meriggioli has been president of Oscar Mayer since 2008. Prior to that Meriggioli was vice president of marketing and strategy for the brand.
Elected to serve as treasurer for the 2011-2012 term is Greg Benedict. Benedict, president and COO, American Foods Group LLC, 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.
Gary Jacobson, president, COO of Indiana Packers, is a new incoming officer and will serve as secretary. Jacobson joined the company in 1993 as plant manager and has served as vice president of operations and executive vice president. Prior to joining Indiana Packers, Jacobson held positions with Dubuque Packing Company/FDL Foods and Armour & Company.
Dennis Vignieri, president and CEO of Kenosha Beef International, Ltd., becomes immediate past chairman. 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.
J. Patrick Boyle was reelected by the AMI membership to serve a 23rd 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 and immigration reform,” said Boyle. "The collective expertise of the new officers will be critical in determining the priorities and providing direction for both AMI and the industry and I look forward to working with them to advance our common interest and achieve the industry’s shared goals,” he added.