Gemstone Foods has appointed Heath Loyd as its president and chief operating officer.

"I am extremely pleased to join a company with so much opportunity for growth," said Loyd. "Gemstone's established leaders are prepared to further expand the business by offering innovative, cost effective products and solutions while ensuring quality and service for all of our customers."

Loyd joins Gemstone after 20 years of success in the poultry industry; most recently at Wayne Farms, where he was responsible for facility operations, and at Pilgrim's as vice president of Prepared Foods. Loyd began his career at Cagle's after earning a B.S. degree in Poultry Science from Auburn University.

With the addition of Loyd to the experienced leadership team, Gemstone is in a strong position for future expansion, the company stated in a press release. The addition of Loyd illustrates Gemstone's commitment and dedication to making Gemstone an industry leader.

Gemstone Foods is a protein processor with multiple plant operations specializing in custom portioning and packaging for some of the nation's largest fast food chains and suppliers. The company is headquartered in Decatur, Alabama.