The Jensen Meat Company, founded in 1958 in San Diego, California and recently named a top-25 frozen food processor in the U.S., has appointed Abel Olivera as its CEO, according to company co-owner Jeff Hamann. Olivera, who has been with Jensen since 2005 and served as COO since 2011, will assume the CEO position that has been open for the past two years.

“After we acquired Jensen in 2011 (from then Jensen CEO Bob Jensen), the company has been entrusted to Abel, who has instituted a fast-paced five-year plan that’s led to new heights in food quality, marketing and sales while reinforcing our industry-best safety standards,” says Hamann. “As COO, Abel has built a knowledgeable, passionate team that is focused on sustainability, production innovation and transparency in operations – from the ranch to our customers.”

Jensen, which has been processing ground beef products for nearly six decades, outgrew its Vista, Calif., operation and moved down the road to a 150,000-sq.-ft. building in Otay Mesa in July 2013. The facility, designed by Olivera, his executive team and employees produces more than 75 million pounds of ground beef annually and manages more than 250 SKUs of retail, restaurant, school and food service products. Jensen’s products are distributed nationally in IQF and fresh patties under Jensen and private-label brands for some of the nation’s largest retailers, including Sam’s Club, Walmart and Kroger.

“We’ve instituted a culture that understands that our business is not just about the Jensen name; it’s about the commitment and the heart of the people behind the brand,” says Olivera, a board member of the North American Meat Institute. “One person can’t run this company, which is the reason every single one of our nearly 300 employees must be a food safety expert.”

Olivera, who moved from Mexico to Southern California at age two, began his pre-Jensen career as a computer programmer and nearly a decade ago became Jensen’s Operations Manager. Since then, Olivera has overseen continuous years of double-digit growth and, in 2013, spearhead the company’s $15 million relocation and new equipment investment, including the design and deployment of an industry-first computerized grinding line.

“Through the team’s hard work, we’ve been on a fast-track for growth. We’ve got one of the most modern plants west of the Mississippi, we’re launching a new line of retail products (“Jensen Legend”) in mid-summer, and we’re instituting our first full-scale advertising program,” says Olivera. “Even with these changes, though, we always focus on the basics I learned from my mentor, Bob Jensen: safety, quality and integrity.”

Source: Jensen Meat Co.