WEST LIBERTY, Iowa – West Liberty Foods CEO Ed Garrett, who has helped lead the company’s growth and expansion for the past two decades, will retire on Tuesday, May 31.
The company announced Mr. Garrett’s retirement in a news release on Wednesday, May 3.
“Ed has been instrumental for West Liberty Foods,” Paul Hill, chairman of the West Liberty Foods Board of Directors, said in the release. “Ed’s leadership has allowed West Liberty Foods to grow into the organization we are today. We thank Ed for his long-standing commitment to our organization, and wish him the very best that retirement life has to offer.”
Mr. Garrett began his career with West Liberty Foods in 1999 as the vice president of operations. He was promoted to president and CEO in 2004. Throughout his tenure, Mr. Garrett has led the organization to several prestigious awards including the Dupont Qualicon Food Quality Award in 2008, Subway’s Vendor of the Year in 2012, and Refrigerated & Frozen Foods’ Processor of the Year in 2017, among many others.
He also was honored with leadership awards in 2007 and 2013, and was recognized in 2013 by Meatingplace Magazine as a Knowlton Award Honoree. His most recent recognition by the National Provisioner named him a recipient of their “25 Years, 25 Icons” Award.
“My time spent with the West Liberty Foods family has been so rewarding,” Mr. Garrett said in the release. “I’ve spent 23 years surrounded by the hardest working people in the industry, and I look forward to seeing our next generation of leadership succeed just the same.”
Under Mr. Garrett’s leadership, West Liberty Foods expanded to three additional locations in Iowa, Utah, and Illinois and its workforce grew from 820 to 2,700 team members. The company also successfully achieved Landfill Free verification, meaning less than 1% of its total waste goes to landfills.
His impending retirement comes as the company is working on plans to build a new production facility in the West Liberty area.
West Liberty Foods is a leading co-packer, private label manufacturer, and food-service supplier of sliced deli meats, and fully cooked products. It raises about 5 million turkeys every year.