Butterball has promoted two longtime members of its operations team—Neal Walsh has been appointed chief operating officer (COO) and Bill Folk has been appointed to vice president of operations. Both appointments took effect at the end of 2020.
As COO, Walsh works collaboratively to drive results and have direct responsibility for company operations across Butterball’s six turkey processing facilities and all operational support functions. He focuses on executing Butterball’s strategic company priorities and long-range operations plan and is an executive champion in driving Butterball’s culture of continuous improvement.
Walsh has been with Butterball since 2007 and has held several roles of increasing responsibility within the company’s operations team. He played a key role in Butterball’s business growth as vice president of strategic business initiatives and purchasing prior to his promotion to vice president of operations in April 2019. As vice president of Operations, Neal built a strong team focused on internal and external customers and delivering operational excellence.
Replacing Walsh as vice president of operations is Bill Folk, who was previously the complex general manager for Butterball’s Mount Olive, NC processing facility. A search is underway for his replacement. As vice president of operations, Bill provides leadership for the company’s supply chain operational excellence team and delivers a vision and operational strategies that align with company goals. He oversees all company processing operations, prioritizing team member safety, food safety, and quality, and fosters a culture of engagement, innovation and continuous improvement.
Bill has been with Butterball, LLC, since its formation in 2006 and with the brand under ConAgra since 1991. He brings substantial experience in plant and live operations management, accounting and human resources. Bill has been a key figure within Butterball’s operations leadership through his complex manager roles at the Mount Olive, NC and Huntsville, AR facilities.
“Bill and Neal share a passion for operational excellence that make them both natural fits for these leadership roles. They have proven themselves to be incredibly valuable contributors to our organization,” said Butterball President and Chief Executive Officer Jay Jandrain. “Neal has a notable track record for achieving major cost savings initiatives and efficiencies while always keeping the desires of our customers and consumers top of mind. And Bill is well-recognized for his ability to develop team members and build the inclusive environment necessary to achieve success. I am incredibly confident in their abilities to lead our organization to continued growth and improvement.”
Headquartered in Garner, N.C., Butterball is the largest producer of turkey products in the U.S. – producing more than 1 billion pounds of turkey each year. For more than 60 years, the company has provided foodservice and retail products to customers and consumers around the world. As an industry leader in quality, food safety and animal well-being, the company employs numerous processes to ensure the health of flocks and implements recognized prevention measures to exceed food safety standards. Butterball products are currently distributed throughout the U.S. and in more than 45 countries. Butterball operates six processing plants located in North Carolina, Arkansas and Missouri.