ST. MARYS, Ga. — The National Protein and Food Distributors Association honored two industry leaders during its Awards Reception at the Annual Protein Convention at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta, Ga. in January.
Laurie Pate, president of Foodlinx in Brentwood, Calif., was awarded the coveted NPFDA Member of the Year Award.
Joe Monroe, general manager of Columbia Meats in West Columbia, S.C., was awarded the NPFDA Lifetime Achievement Award.
Pate has been a very dynamic member of NPFDA and is a long-time volunteer for the NPFDA Scholarship Foundation’s Annual Silent Auction, the group noted. She has also served on the NPFDA Board of Directors since 2019. Pate got an early start in the protein industry working at a wholesale food distributor while still in high school. It is here where she developed many of the relationships in the South Pacific Islands that she has to this day. She collaborated with people from Guam, Saipan, the Marshall Islands, Tonga, the Cook Islands, American Samoa, Western Samoa, the Philippines, and many more. After many years in the industry, she joined partners to form Foodlinx in 2010.
Monroe got into the chicken business right out of college. Through his network he met Albin Johnson and Frank Monroe, an association he credits with fostering his knowledge and love of the poultry business. Before long, he became corporate sales manager of Columbia Farms. He held several different industry positions, but it was not until he returned home to South Carolina that he partnered with Dan and Jerry Sloan to expand distribution centers in Greenville and West Columbia, S.C., and Morristown, Tenn. Monroe and his oldest son, Glennon, began to run and grow the Columbia Meats distribution center as they do today. Monroe was elected to the NPFDA Board of Directors in 2001 and was named Member of the Year in 2005. He served as president of NPFDA in 2008-2009. In 2003, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the South Carolina Poultry Federation and served as chair in 2005-2006.
“Congratulations to Laurie Pate and Joe Monroe on their much-deserved recognition to the protein industry and the NPFDA organization,” said NPFDA Board Chair Jeff Paschall.
For more information about NPFDA, visit npfda.org.