Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. announced that Sally J. Smith, president and CEO, was recognized by the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association with the prestigious Gold Plate Award, selected from among the nine 2009 Silver Plate recipients, for outstanding and innovative talent in foodservice operation.

“I am extremely honored to have been chosen as the recipient of this award, particularly from the pool of such accomplished industry leaders and Silver Plate winners,” commented Smith. “I want to extend a special thank you to the IFMA, and my sincere thanks and congratulations to the entire Buffalo Wild Wings team who is responsible for the success and phenomenal growth of our company.”

Smith joined Buffalo Wild Wings as chief financial officer in 1994 and was appointed chief executive officer in 1996. At that time, the company had less than 75 restaurants and through her leadership has grown it to nearly 600 locations across 40 states. During that time, Smith also developed the company’s infrastructure, creating comprehensive Finance, Marketing and Human Resources departments, and aligned the franchise system so that all Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants represented a consistent brand focused on creating a unique guest experience. Her commitment to Buffalo Wild Wing’s success continues to provide shareholder value, and for the first time last year the company achieved over $1 billion in sales.

She has been an active board member of the National Restaurant Association since 1996, and currently serves as treasurer. She was recently named one of the “Top 40 to Watch” by Finance & Commerce magazine.

Smith was first awarded industry honors in the Chain Full-Service category of the IFMA 2009 Silver Plate Awards before taking home the Gold Plate. She accepted the Gold Plate Award Monday night at the annual IFMA Chicago banquet.

Buffalo Wild Wings was recognized as the National Provisioner's Foodservice Operator of the Year in 2008. To read that article, go to http://www.provisioneronline.com/Articles/Feature_Article/BNP_GUID_9-5-2006_A_10000000000000344652

Source: Buffalo Wild Wings Inc.

National Beef launches Black Canyon Grillmasters program

National Beef Packing Co. LLC announced the launch of its Black Canyon Grillmasters Program, a retail program that it hopes will drive excitement for the spring and summer grilling seasons. The Black Canyon Grillmasters Program uses a variety of strategies to position retailers as the market destination for grilling season. The program includes new item and recipe support, Grillmaster branded package labeling and in-store signage and merchandising and retailer training support.

“The Black Canyon Grillmasters Program is an integrated program that allows us to make the spring and summer grilling seasons exciting for our customers,” said Mike Mazzone, meat & deli director of Forth Foods, Huntington, West Virginia. “The program allows us to deliver a strong brand message that differentiates us and drive strong sales and profits.”

The program includes new items from the Chuck Roll and Inside Round, such as Denver Steak, Tuscan Steak, Santa Fe Steak and Country Style Ribs among others. Together, these new cuts and old favorites will create excitement and interest among consumers, driving sales for weekly every-day grilling and improving retailer margin mix, the company says.

National Beef will support retailers who serve up Black Canyon Grillmasters in a variety of ways. Retailers will receive the tools they need to be recognized as the Master Grilling Authority through press kits that will explain the program and the cuts thoroughly. National Beef will also conduct trainings at the retail level. Training will include providing cutting guides and cut descriptions to help retailers explain points of difference better.

“We are committed to working with our retailers to build a brand that will be synonymous with summer grilling,” said Kent McCormick, business manager of Black Canyon program at National Beef.” We believe in Black Canyon Grillmasters and we are sure that our retail partners will be excited about the program, too.”

Source: National Beef Packing Co. LLC

Tyson CEO search may take months

Tyson's interim CEO said the company may be a few months away from naming a permanent executive, adding that Tyson may look outside the company for the right person. Leland Tollett, interim CEO since this January, said in an e-mail to Tyson, “As I've previously said, our goal is to select someone from our existing talent pool. Viable internal candidates continue to be evaluated by the Tyson Board of Directors, which has not ruled out the possibility of considering external candidates."

Analysts have pointed to three in-house favorites for the position: Donnie Smith, who oversees chicken and prepared foods; James Lochner, who runs the beef and pork units; and Rick Greubel, who is in charge of Tyson's international business.

Source: Reuters

NAMP announces details of second North American E. coli conference

Responding to a renewed focus by the entire North American meat processing industry and governments in the U.S., Canada and Mexico to reduce the number of recalls and illnesses related toE. coliO157:H7, the North American Meat Processors Association (NAMP) is partnering with other associations and trade media in the three countries to organize a special North American conference for beef further processors on Aug. 18 – 19 at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel near Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. Every major meat industry association and trade media partnered on last year’s conference, which drew more than 165 people.

Featured speakers this year include:
* Dr. Dan Engeljohn, Deputy Assistant Administrator, FSIS Office of Policy & Program Development, USDA which is responsible for generating U.S. government regulations on E. coli O157:H7 control,
* Dr. Ken Petersen, Assistant Administrator, FSIS Office of Field Operations, USDA,
* Dr. Jim Marsden, Regent’s Distinguished Professor of Meat Science at Kansas State University, and recognized E. coli prevention authority,
* Bobby Palesano, Vice President of Technical Services, International HACCP Alliance,
* Bob Hibbert, Partner, K&L Gates law firm and authority on USDA regulations,
* Dr. Wendy Warren-Serna, Ph. D., Director of Technical Services, Food Safety Net Services,
* Barbara J. Masters, Senior Policy Advisor, Olsson Frank Weeda law firm and former FSIS Administrator,
* Plus many other industry and government authorities.

The conference will feature a technical session on microbiological testing and interventions on Tuesday, Aug. 18, from 12 noon to 5:30 pm CDT, focusing on what testing means, exploring intervention technologies, real world use of interventions and testing, current and future USDA FSIS policies with Dr. Engeljohn.

An evening reception with table top exhibits of companies providing testing and intervention services follows from 5:30 – 7:30 pm CDT.

Wednesday features special sessions for attendees from Canada and Mexico, and general sessions on regulations and risk, from 7 am to 3 pm CDT, and will focus on: FSIS field operations; E. coli adulteration and deciphering USDA FSIS policies and regulations; identifying risk and exposure in your process; preparing for a recall: lessons from the past; communicating with suppliers; best tools and strategies, and lessons learned from E. coli O157:H7 Food Safety Assessments.

The conference is designed for processors who produce ground beef, mechanically tenderized steaks and other non-intact beef products. A block of rooms have been set aside at significantly discounted rates - $30 below the rates at last year’s conference.

Until Aug. 1, the registration fee for the two-day conference is $449 for members of NAMP and other sponsoring associations, and $549 for non-members. Sponsorship opportunities are available for companies that provide testing and intervention services. For more information and complete program details, go to www.namp.com, or call NAMP at (800) 368-3043 ext. 103.

Source: North American Meat Processors Association