The newly formed North American Meat Institute (NAMI) announced the eight officers who will guide the organization in the next year during its first-ever board of directors meeting at the 2015 International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dave McDonald, president and chief operating officer of OSI Group, will serve as the first chairman of the board, while Brian Coelho, president of Central Valley Meat Co., will serve as vice chairman. The board’s treasurer is Mike Townsley, president and interim CEO of Bob Evans Farms. Cardinal Meat Specialists, Ltd. Vice President of Operations John Vatri assumed the position of secretary.

American Foods Group President and chief operating officer Greg Benedict, Beef Products Inc. Director of Sales Mike Hesse and Gahn Meat Company President Tony Gahn, Jr. will jointly serve as immediate past chairmen.


“I look forward to working with the new officers and the entire Board to respond to key industry priorities in the year ahead,” said NAMI President and CEO Barry Carpenter. “Their collective expertise will provide guidance to NAMI and to the entire industry to ensure that we work together to advance our common interests and achieve our shared goals.”

The NAMI board of directors is comprised of industry leaders representing the organization’s packer, processor and supplier member companies.

NAMI formed after board members for the American Meat Institute and North American Meat Association voted to merge the two organizations.