Bernard Leonard, group vice president/Food Service, Tyson Foods has been installed as Chairman of the National Chicken Council, the trade association for the chicken production and processing industry. Lampkin Butts, president of Sanderson Farms took office as Vice Chairman, and Bill Lovette, president and chief operating officer of Case Foods became Secretary-Treasurer.
The new officers were installed during the NCC Annual Conference held in Washington, DC, and attended by members of the industry from across the country. Officers serve one-year terms.
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 became head of Food Service in November 2006. Since beginning his career in the poultry industry in 1975, Leonard has served in various positions with industry associations. He is a former member of the board and executive committee of the Alabama Poultry & Egg Association. He spent 12 years on the board of the US Poultry & Egg Association, serving as an officer for four years culminating with a term as chairman in 1999. He joined the NCC 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. Leonard is a graduate of the University of Georgia.
Butts graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1973 and began his career with Sanderson Farms the same year. He worked in the company's management training program and held positions of processing division manager, director of processing and sales, and vice-president, sales, before being elected to the board of directors in 1998. He became president and chief operating officer in 2004. Butts has served on the NCC board since 2004 and has also served on the boards of the US Poultry & Egg Association and the Mississippi Poultry Association. He became Secretary-Treasurer last year.
Lovette is a member of the board of directors of Case Foods as well as serving as president and COO. He began his career in the poultry business in 1982 with Valmac Industries, which was later acquired by Tyson Foods. He has served in many leadership roles in the industry, including chairman of the US Poultry & Egg Association and the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association. Lovette is a graduate of Texas A&M University and Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program.
The National Chicken Council represents integrated chicken producer-processors, the companies that produce, process and market chickens. Member companies of NCC account for more than 95% of the chicken sold in the United States.