Industry leader of the year


Todd Simmons, left, CEO and vice chairman of Simmons Foods, receives the Poultry Federation's 2015 Industry Leader of the Year award from David Elam, Wayne Farms, and TPF’s Poultry Festival chairman.

ROGERS, Ark. — Todd Simmons, CEO and vice chairman of Simmons Foods and Affiliates in Siloam Springs, Ark., was named 2015 Industry Leader of the Year by the Poultry Federation of Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, during the 56th Annual Poultry Festival, held in Rogers, Ark., on June 19-20. 

The award has been presented by TPF since 1955 and recognizes the outstanding achievements of poultry and egg executives and their contribution to the industry. Marvin Childers, TPF president, presented the award.

Simmons has been involved in the poultry industry since birth. Following in his grandfather’s and his father’s shoes, he began working for the company at the age of 19 and after graduating from Georgetown University with a bachelor of science in business management, he returned to Northwest Arkansas to train in every area of the business.

In 2013 he was promoted to CEO and vice chairman, after serving as CEO of both the Poultry and Pet Food divisions for the previous six years.

Simmons is currently serving, or has served, in the following positions:  vice chairman of the National Chicken Council, executive committee and board of the Pet Food Institute, Arkansas Executive Forum at the University of Arkansas, U.S. Poultry and Egg Association board, American Heart Association of NWA, Walton Arts Foundation, Signature Bank of Arkansas, Work Matters, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Ozark Natural Science Center; and the Poultry Federation board of directors. Simmons has also been named to Arkansas Business’ 40 Under 40.

Simmons was instrumental in the vision of building a new Poultry Federation building in Little Rock and provided the building committee and board of directors with an analysis of the financial commitment, as well as the construction documents, the group notes. He runs the day-to-day operations of Simmons Foods with the help of more than 5,800 employees. Simmons Foods focuses on customizing chicken products in foodservice and retail and they are recognized as one of the country’s top 10 privately held poultry processors with operations in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri, the group added.

Simmons’s grandfather, Bill Simmons was named Industry Leader of the Year in 1961 and his father, Mark Simmons was named Industry Leader of the Year in 1990.  It is ironic that not only does Todd Simmons receive this award 25 years to the date following his father, he just received his 25th year award as an employee of Simmons Foods, the federation noted.

Simmons and his wife, Shelley, reside in Siloam Springs, and have two children.


TPF has also announced officers and board of directors for 2015-2016. 

  • Serving as chairman of the board is David Elam, complex manager for Wayne Farms LLC in Danville, Ark.

  • Vice chairman of the board is James Smith, senior vice president of live operations and first processing with Simmons Foods Inc. in Siloam Springs, Ark. Smith will also serve as the 2016 annual Poultry Festival Chairman.

  • Treasurer is Jim Smith, president of Keith Smith Co. Inc., in Hot Springs, Ark.

  • Secretary is Drew McGee; senior vice president/general manager raw poultry with Tyson Foods Inc., Springdale, Ark.

Board members for 2015-2016 include: Bill Folk, complex manager, Butterball LLC; Robert Garlington, George’s Inc.; Charles George, George’s Inc.; Vaughn King, Aviagen  Inc.; Wes McClure, Simmons Prepared Foods; Mike Pruitt, Cobb-Vantress Inc.; Tim Thompson, Cal-Maine Foods Inc.; Stephan Barnes, Ozark Mountain Poultry; Duane Weems, Peco Foods; Shane Acosta, Cargill; Russell Bragg, O.K. Foods; Don Burrows, Pilgrim’s; Dr. Scott Gustin, Tyson Foods; and Gary Hogue, O.K. Foods.

Two allied membership representatives serve on this year’s board of directors. They are: Preston Stiles, Conveyor Technology; and Tim Scott, Clearview Enterprises LLC.

TPF also welcomed eight new companies into its allied membership in May and June. They include: Agro Biosciences, Adams Fertilizer Equipment, Everson Spice Co., Lysoform Vetfarm, Pak-Tec Inc., P.I. Roof Maintenance Inc., Propak Corp., Southern Branding and United Country/Gibson Realty & Land Co.

Marvin Childers serves as president of the Poultry Federation.

“Our federation board of directors has a long-standing history of maintaining strong leaders who contribute to the long term prosperity of our industry,” Childers said. “We appreciate their service to our tristate association.”

TPF headquarters is located in Little Rock, Ark. Staff members in Little Rock include Paulette Nieuwenhof, business development director; Joyce Martz, accounting; and Holly Rogers, marketing & communications. John Bryan is the vice president of Missouri operations in Jefferson City. Tyler Norvell handles the Oklahoma operations in Oklahoma City.

Sales reps

Dana Summerour of Intralox and Nick Smith of Jones-Hamilton Co. were named the 2015 Sales Representatives of the Year by the Poultry Federation.

The award has been presented by TPF since 1970 and recognizes the contributions of the association’s allied members to the poultry and egg industry. 

Allied members are those companies who provide products and/or services to the poultry and egg industry.  Nominees are recommended based on their outstanding industry support and their customer service to our poultry member companies and the association, the federation said.

Summerour was chosen as the sales representative from the processing side, and Smith was chosen as the sales representative from the live production side.

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