Cobb-Vantress, a leading global poultry genetics company, announces four new leaders have joined the Cobb leadership team to help propel its strategic plans forward.

“The appointment of these four key leadership positions brings a new breadth and depth to Cobb that will help drive our company as we elevate our focus on delivering the best customer experience, while being hyper-focused on genetic progress through innovation and technology,” said Joyce J. Lee, president of Cobb. 

Dr. William Herring joins as Vice President Research and Development

Dr. Herring comes to Cobb with over 25 years of experience, holding a variety of R&D leadership roles with companies like Genus PIC and Smithfield Premium Genetics Group. In addition to his professional experience, he also served on the faculties at the University of Missouri, the University of Florida (Marianna) and North Carolina State University. He will lead Cobb’s global R&D team and partner with all levels of the organization to develop, implement and execute strategic direction for our current product offerings and development of new products. Dr. Herring obtained a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Auburn University and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in genetics from the University of Georgia. 

Ben Church joins as Vice President Engagement

Church joins Cobb with more than 20 years’ experience in leading communications, brand strategy, investor relations and customer experience for human biotech, biopharma and animal health companies including Novartis, Zoetis and Pfizer. Prior to Cobb, Ben was head of investor relations and corporate communications for Esperion--a biotech/pharmaceutical company focused on cardiovascular risk prevention therapies. He will lead all efforts related to corporate strategy, marketing, brand management, communications, industry affairs and World Technical Services.Church is a graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in Agricultural and Natural Resources Communications. 

Ray Ables joins as Vice President Live Production

Ables comes to Cobb with over 30 years’ experience in the poultry industry, having numerous leadership roles in Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi. He most recently served as complex manager for Tyson Foods, Mississippi Live Production. Throughout his career, he has achieved strong business results while demonstrating servant leadership and ensuring the safety of the people under his care. He is a graduate of the LINC program, an advanced leadership program at Tyson Foods designed to empower our high-potential leaders as organizational and industry champions who contribute significantly to the performance and profitability of the company.

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Ables has served on numerous boards and industry associations, as well as leading corporate efforts to support global non-profits such as World Vision, ASAP and OneEgg to help communities find ways to utilize chickens and eggs to improve lives.

He will be responsible for all activities related to poultry live production in North America. This includes farm and hatchery operations, nutrition and feed milling, and transportation across the entire genetic pipeline—pedigree, GGP and GP production. Ables is a graduate of Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in poultry science.

Dr. Robin Jarquin is promoted to Vice President Commercial

Dr. Jarquin joined Cobb in 2005, serving as a microbiologist and has held multiple leadership positions during his tenure from sales and marketing to technical service efforts in the CAMEX region and most recently as director of World Technical Services. Over the course of his 17-year career, Robin has built a deep understanding of Cobb’s products, services and customers.

He will now be responsible for all commercial activities in Cobb’s North American region. This includes servicing existing accounts and establishing new business partnerships in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. He will also have responsibility for the technical services team, which works closely with Cobb customers to provide technical support and implement best management practices, while providing market and customer needs to the Cobb leadership team for the purpose of developing long-term product strategies.

Dr. Jarquin earned multiple degrees from the University of Arkansas, including bachelor’s and master’s degrees in poultry science and a Ph.D. in poultry science.