Mountaire Farms Inc. has announced three executive promotions that were made in November. There are two new vice presidents—one for Live Operations, the other for Processing Operations—and a newly promoted senior director of Health Services and Food Safety.

James “Jimmy” Paulakuhn has been promoted to vice president of Live Operations and invited to join the Mountaire Executive Committee. He will be responsible for all of the Live Operations activities, including breeders, hatcheries, grow-out, feed milling, poultry nutrition, poultry health services and food safety. Paulakuhn will report to Paul Downes, president and CEO.

Paulakuhn’s previous position with Mountaire was senior director of Live Operations. He has a diverse blend of know-how across multiple animal health organizations including senior sales leadership and operational management positions.

Mark Chranowski has been promoted to vice president of Processing Operations and invited to join the executive committee. Chranowski will be responsible for all processing and rendering facilities, including food processing, quality assurance, maintenance, engineering and shipping activities. He will report to Phillip Plylar, executive VP of Sales and Operations.

Chranowski has worked in the poultry industry for 35 years and spent almost 10 years as Mountaire’s director of Processing Operations. Under his leadership, his team consistently met company objectives for performance and growth.

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Dr. G. Donald Ritter has been promoted to senior director of Health Services and Food Safety. Dr. Ritter will continue to be responsible for all Mountaire Farms’ poultry health programs and activities, and will now also be responsible for all food safety initiatives from live chicken production through finished poultry products. He will continue to report to Jimmy Paulakuhn, vice president of Live Operations.

Dr. Ritter has been Mountaire’s veterinarian and director of Health Services for 20 years, and he was responsible for poultry health programs. He has been recognized by Mountaire Farms, industry peers, academia and government officials for his results in the poultry health field.

Dr. Ritter received the Delmarva Poultry Industry’s (DPI) Edward H. Ralph Delmarva Poultry Industry Medal of Achievement Award and the USDA-APHIS Administrator's Award for his distinguished career dedicated to improving health in the poultry industry.

He is noted for his work as chairman of the National Poultry Improvement Plan Committee and for working towards the overall advancement of poultry disease management. He is also the Chairman of DPI’s Poultry Health Committee and has held this position of leadership since 2001.