Our Management

Our Management

A strengthened management team, now under the leadership of President and CEO Bill Lovette, has placed the company in a position for success.
Bill Lovette, President and Chief Executive Officer

Bill Lovette, President and Chief Executive Officer

Bill Lovette joined Pilgrim's as President and Chief Executive Officer on January 3, 2011. He served as president and chief operating officer of Case Foods for the past two years. Before that, Bill spent 25 years with Tyson Foods in various roles in senior management, including President of its International Business Unit, President of its Foodservice Business Unit and Sr. Group Vice President of Poultry and Prepared Foods.

Jayson Penn, Executive Vice President, Commercial Business Group

Jayson Penn, Executive Vice President of Sales & Operations

Jayson Penn joined Pilgrim's in March of 2011 as Senior Vice President of the Commercial Business Group, bringing more than 23 years of experience in the poultry industry, and was later promoted to his current role as Executive Vice President of Sales & Operations. Mr. Penn began his career in his family's poultry further-processing operations, has held sales and management positions at Sanderson Farms and Marshall Durbin Companies, and served as Director of Sales at Case Foods. In addition, Mr. Penn recently served on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council.

Chad Baker, Executive Vice President of Prepared Foods

Chad Baker, Executive Vice President of Prepared Foods

Chad Baker joined Pilgrim's as Executive Vice President of Prepared Foods in March 2014. Mr. Baker came to Pilgrim's with more than 20 years of experience in the food industry including senior level positions at Smithfield Foods and Hormel Foods. He most recently served as Senior Vice President for the Retail/Foodservice Brands at Smithfield. Mr. Baker holds an MBA from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA.

Walt Shafer, Executive Vice President of Sales & Operations

Walt Shafer, Head of Operations Support

Walt Shafer serves as Head of Operations Support for Pilgrim's, a position he has held since April 2011. In this role, he oversees the following areas of our business: commercial, retail and fresh foodservice; live operations and technical services; protein conversion; engineering services; and business development. Walt was named EVP of Operations in February 2009, having served as Senior Division Vice President, Case Ready, since 2008. He was named Senior Division Vice President, Supply Operations in 2007 after serving as Executive Vice President, Prepared Foods since 2005. He previously served as Senior Vice President, Prepared Foods Regional Operations from 2004 to 2005, and as Senior Vice President of Chicken Operations for the company's Eastern Division from 2001 to 2004.

Fabio Sandri, Chief Financial Officer

Fabio Sandri, Chief Financial Officer

Fabio Sandri joined Pilgrim's as Chief Financial Officer in June 2011. He previously served as CFO of Estacio Participações, the largest private post-secondary educational institution in Brazil, a post he had held since April 2010. Prior to that, he spent nearly two years as the chief financial officer of Imbra SA, a provider of dental services based in São Paolo, Brazil. From 2005 to 2008, Mr. Sandri served as strategy director and corporate controller for Braskem S.A., a New York Stock Exchange-listed petrochemical company headquartered in Camaçari, Brazil. He earned a Master's in Business Administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a degree in electrical engineering from Escola Politécnica da Universidade de São Paulo.

Charles von der Heyde, President of Pilgrim's Mexico

Charles von der Heyde, President of Pilgrim's de Mexico

Charles von der Heyde joined Pilgrim's in February, 2010 as Senior Vice President of Commodity Risk Management, Feed Ingredient Purchasing and Export Sales. In January of 2012, he was promoted to President of Pilgrim's de Mexico. Mr. von der Heyde comes to Pilgrim's from Bunge LTD in Brazil, where he had worked for more than 29 years. Bunge, a leading agribusiness and food company with integrated operations that circle the globe, is one of Brazil's largest agricultural exporters, oilseed processors and wheat millers.

Kendra Waldbusser, Senior Vice President of Food Safety and Quality Assurance

Kendra Waldbusser, Head of Food Safety and Quality Assurance

Kendra Waldbusser has served as Head of Food Safety and Quality Assurance since joining Pilgrim's in March 2010. Ms. Waldbusser previously worked as director of quality assurance for renewable products at Tyson Foods. During her 13 years with Tyson, she also held a variety of other positions, including product manager for Pet Products Marketing – Renewable Products Division; Divisional Quality Assurance Manager – Foodservice Poultry and Regional Quality Assurance Manager - Foodservice Poultry.

Doug Schult, Senior Vice President of Human Resources

Doug Schult, Head of Human Resources

Doug Schult joined Pilgrim's as Head of Human Resources in June of 2012. Doug brings 32 years of Human Resources experience in the protein industry. Doug's protein background includes, beef, pork, poultry, and the commercial egg industry. Most recently he was the Head of Human Resources Business Unit Support for JBS USA, where has spent the last twelve years of his career. Prior to joining what is now JBS USA, he was the Vice President of Human Resources for Seaboard Corporation. In addition to heading up Pilgrim's Human Resources, Doug also Heads up Labor Relations for JBS and Pilgrim's.

Greg Tatum, Senior Vice President, Byproducts

Greg Tatum, Head of Protein Conversion

Greg Tatum joined Pilgrim's in 2009 as Senior Vice President of Business Development. He brings more than 34 years of poultry experience to the company. Prior to joining Pilgrim's, Mr. Tatum served nearly five years as chief financial officer of Claxton Poultry in Claxton, Ga. Before that, he spent four years as vice president of business development at American Proteins in Cumming, Ga. He also served as director of business development at Seaboard Farms in Athens, Ga. for 11 years, until it was acquired by ConAgra.

Aaron Wiegand, Senior Vice President, Commodity Risk Management and Feed Ingredients

Aaron Wiegand, Head of Commodity Risk Management and Feed Ingredient Purchasing

Aaron Wiegand joined Pilgrim's in 2013 heading our Commodity Risk Management and Feed Ingredient Procurement team. Aaron came from Bunge, where he was the Director of Bunge's Corn Product Line based in Geneva, Switzerland. He had previously served in various capacities with Bunge including VP of Risk Management, Rail Trading Manager, and Regional Commercial Manager, among others. He also served as Commodity Manager for Northeast Missouri Grain LLC, a corn-based ethanol producer. He graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in Agriculture.

Jose Antonio Valdes, General Director, Pilgrim's de Mexico

Jose Antonio Valdes, General Director, Pilgrim's de Mexico

Jose Antonio Valdes joined Pilgrim's de Mexico in April 2011 as Sales and Marketing Director, bringing 20 years of experience in the Mexican poultry industry, and was later promoted to his current role as General Director of Pilgrim's de Mexico. He previously served as the Sales Director for Avicarnes de Monterrey. Prior to that, he worked for 15 years at Trasgo, S.A., where he held a variety of roles. He has also held positions at Necochea Internacional de Laminados, S.A.; Cia. Vinivola del Vergel, S.A.; and the University of Coahuila State. He earned a degree in industrial chemical engineering from the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey.