From the start, the Certified Angus Beef ® brand has been led by family farmers and ranchers. The idea they once shared has developed over 40 years to a world-recognized brand known for consistent, reliable quality. Today, a group of family ranchers continues to guide the beef brand’s progress as members of the Certified Angus Beef LLC Board of Directors. The newly elected 2018-19 board members gathered in December at the brand’s headquarters in Wooster, Ohio, to grow their understanding of the brand, meet staff members and see firsthand the staff’s roles in serving ranchers, meat companies, food distributors, retailers and chefs.
The nine board members hail from different parts of the country, but they share a determination for ensuring the brand’s long-term success in delivering great-tasting beef to consumers and supporting family farmers and ranchers in rural communities nationwide. In addition to raising cattle, board members have added experience as business leaders, meat packers, meat retailing, food distribution and even restaurant ownership, bringing farm-to-table knowledge of the beef community to shaping the brand’s future.
“It’s an honor to work alongside these beef community leaders to guide the brand, and in doing so, share their passion and pride in raising the best Angus beef with consumers,” said John Stika, the beef brand’s president. “The relationships we share with our board, the American Angus Association® and its farmer members are central to our focus on quality from farm to table.”
At the December meeting, the board gathered around the table to discuss the brand’s future while developing camaraderie and sharing family meals prepared at the Certified Angus Beef ® Culinary Center. Board members also joined the staff for breakfast on Wednesday morning and discussed the importance of the synergies between the Association’s cattle and beef marketing teams.
“What you guys do for us is nothing short of phenomenal,” said board member, cattle rancher and restaurateur Jonathon Perry, from Tennessee. “We create a product. You create demand for that product. What you do every day brings these two sides together, so customers see true value in this brand.”
Kip Palmer, who is the beef merchandising representative on the board and CEO of licensed distributor Palmer Foods in New York, added, “What we do is to help families, farmers, agriculture, distributors, retailers and restaurateurs."
“There’s a flight toward quality, and as a brand, we’re in a fantastic place to continue growing their success,” Palmer said.
Board members for 2018-19 are: Gerald Connealy, chairman, Nebraska; John Grimes, Ohio; James Henderson, Texas; Mike McCravy, Georgia; Jonathon Perry, Tennessee; Mick Varilek, South Dakota; and Kip Palmer, New York, who is an elected representative from the beef merchandising industry. John F. Stika, president of Certified Angus Beef LLC, and Allen Moczygemba, CEO of the American Angus Association®, also serve on the board, with Moczygemba serving as the board’s vice chairman.
The board’s visit was held in conjunction with leaders from the American Angus Association®, the brand’s parent organization representing the nation’s Angus cattle families. Association representatives were: John Pfeiffer, president of the Association’s board of directors; Jim Brinkley, new board member; Chris Stallo, COO; Kenny Miller, CFO; Chris Engle, director of AngusLink; Rick Cozzitoro, president of Angus Productions Inc.; and Tara Adwell, new staff member.