Supporting the core value of prioritizing safety, Peco Foods has hired the company’s first ever Corporate Director of Health and Safety. Dr. Peter Van Derlyke brings over two decades of safety experience and accreditations to his new role and will be responsible for developing and implementing health and safety programs company wide.

“The safety of our 7,000+ team members guides our corporate actions and decisions every day and as we grow, we want to continue providing the environment and training necessary to maintain safety, ” said Peco Foods Chief Executive Officer Mark Hickman. “Having Dr. Van Derlyke as our corporate director of health and safety demonstrates our longstanding commitment to achieving the highest level of safety possible.”

Dr. Van Derlyke will be responsible for overseeing compliance with all local, state and federal workplace safety and health standards. This new position creates opportunities for mentoring plant level safety managers, developing incentives to drive continuous performance improvements, tracking performance through metrics and adjusting current practices to any new or updated policies.


With over 20 years of experience in industrial health, safety and environmental protection in the food manufacturing, chemical processing and retail industries, Van Derlyke has a proven record of implementing effective safety management techniques for companies including HP Hood, PepsiCo, BJ’s Wholesale Club and Ferro Corporation. He received his Bachelor of Science in Biology at Mansfield University, Master of Science in Environmental, Health and Safety Management from Rochester Institute of Technology and Ph.D. in Safety Sciences from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Accredited as  Certified Safety Professional and Certified Occupational Hearing Conservationist, Van Derlyke has also served as an adjunct professor at his alma mater of Mansfield University.

Headquartered in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Peco consistently ranks among the leading poultry producers in the United States. Locations in Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi include state-of-the-art processing plants, feed mills, hatcheries and live operations offices. The company employs more than 7,000 team members and has earned a strong reputation for community engagement as well as environmental sustainability and employee satisfaction.