The National Poultry & Food Distributors Association (NPFDA) has announced the winners of NPFDA’s Top three Awards. Lee Wilson of Pilgrim's Pride, Tarry Winfrey of Lehar sales/Pac-Agri, and Jim Sumner of USAPEEC, were recognized during the NPFDA Annual Convention in Atlanta on January 26, 2012.

NPFDA awarded the 2011 NPFDA Member of the Yea to Lee Wilson of Pilgrim’s. Wilson has been a dedicated member of the poultry industry a long time NPFDA member as well as a member of various other poultry and related associations. He serves on the NPFDA Board of Directors and various committees.

Wilson began in the poultry industry as a meat buyer for Safeway. He joined Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation in the mid-80s, initially hired as sales manager for the Dallas plant. In 1991 he became director of fast food sales for Pilgrim’s Pride. In 1998 he was appointed director of retail/deli sales. He is responsible for the development of Pilgrim’s Retail/Deli Sales program.

Tarry Winfrey was presented with the NPFDA Honorary Lifetime Member Award. He is one of only two people to have ever been awarded with the NPFDA Honorary Lifetime Member Award.

Winfrey spent his entire career, beginning in 1956 at the age of 17, with Lehar Sales Co. of Oakland, Calif. He began his career at an entry level position and rose through the ranks over the years to Lehar’s executive vice president. Lehar has been involved with NPFDA since its inception and Winfrey has been a large part of NPFDA’s success.

Winfrey has always been a sort of “Goodwill Ambassador” for NPFDA and its members. He has served on the NPFDA Board of Directors, chaired several committees, and is a Past President of NPFDA. He was selected as NPFDA’s 1998 Member of the Year. Winfrey will be retiring from Lehar Sales/Pac-Agri.

NPFDA presented Mr. James H. Sumner, President of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, with awarding the NPFDA Poultry Industry Lifetime Achievement Award. Sumner has served as President of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC) since February 1990. USAPEEC is a non-profit membership organization that represents the leading poultry processing companies, trading companies, and affiliated organizations involved in exporting U.S. poultry and egg products.

When Sumner joined USAPEEC, the organization was little-known, even within the industry, and poultry and egg exports were an afterthought to most companies. Total poultry and egg exports at that time totaled about $700 million. Today, exports for 2011 approached $4 billion.

In 2005, Sumner was elected president of the International Poultry Council, an organization he helped to create. Sumner has been appointed by the past five Secretaries of Agriculture and U.S. Trade Representatives to serve on the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee. He also serves as the Export Advisor to the American Egg Board, President of UIPDP (the USAPEEC International Poultry Development Program), and serves on the Executive Committee of the U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council.

Source: NPFDA