Tyson Foods Board of Directors
Chairman of the Board
Chairman since 1998, Director since 1984
John brings to Tyson Foods’ board critical understanding of the company, its operations and the food processing industry.
He has devoted his entire working career to Tyson Foods. The grandson of the company’s founder, John has been part of the company since he was a teenager, has worked in almost every department, and eventually became the company’s chief executive officer. He currently serves as Chairman of the board and has a substantial financial interest in Tyson Foods through his interest in the Tyson Limited Partnership, which retains control of the company.
John has been crucial in building the company into a global leader with a conscience, focused on feeding the world great food, made with the utmost respect. Under his leadership, Tyson Foods has expanded its portfolio of products beyond chicken through major acquisitions. In 2001, the company purchased IBP, inc., the nation’s largest beef and pork processor. In 2014, Tyson Foods acquired The Hillshire Brands Company, a leading producer of branded, prepared foods. The combination of Tyson and Hillshire created a single company with more than $40 billion in annual sales and a portfolio of recognized brands, such as Tyson®, Jimmy Dean®, Hillshire Farm®, Sara Lee®, Ball Park®, Wright®, Aidells® and State Fair®.
John and other senior managers led the development of Tyson Foods’ “Core Values," which set goals and standards. The company strives to be an honorable company that employs diverse people and is respectful of their faith. His work has helped Tyson Foods take pride in the safety and quality of its products, and its dedication to meet customers’ and consumers’ needs. The company feeds families, the nation and the world with trusted food products.
He is actively involved in several philanthropic endeavors, including Tyson Foods’ charitable giving, which focuses on health and human services, community development, education, hunger relief and supporting military veterans. John has received numerous awards and recognitions for his commitment to the common good, improvement of local communities and the world at large. He is a graduate of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.
Kathleen M. Bader
Director since 2011
Kathleen brings to the board extensive leadership experience, including exposure to commodities and international businesses.
She was president and chief executive officer of NatureWorks, LLC, which makes fiber and packaging raw materials from renewable sources. She retired in 2006.
Kathleen also spent more than 30 years with Dow Chemical, holding various management positions in the company’s global and North American operations, including global business president of a $4.2 billion plastics portfolio.
She has been on the board of Textron, Inc., a multi-industry company with operations in aircraft, defense, industrial products and finance, since 2004.
Previously, she was a director for Halliburton, Co., one of the world’s largest oilfield service companies. She also served on the President’s Homeland Security Advisory Council and recently completed an eight year term on the board of Habitat for Humanity International.
Gaurdie E. Banister Jr.
Director since 2011
Gaurdie brings extensive leadership and international business experience to Tyson Foods’ board.
Since 2007, he has been the president and chief executive officer of Aera Energy LLC, one of California’s largest oil and gas producers. Aera is jointly owned by major energy companies Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil.
Gaurdie began his career with Shell in 1980. He was involved in strategic planning, information technology and acquisitions during his 27 years with the company.
He started at Shell as an offshore facilities engineer and subsequently held a variety of executive level jobs including vice president for the company’s Asia Pacific region.
Director since 1999
Jim’s professional experience, financial background and service as a director of public companies provide him and the board of Tyson Foods with a unique perspective.
He is the founding partner of Voyent Partners, LLC, a capital venture firm. Jim serves on the board of 3D Systems, Corp., a prototyping machines manufacturer, and Luminex, Corp., a biological testing technologies developer.
Jim has also served on the board of ACI Worldwide, Inc., an international provider of payment systems, and Emdeon, Corp., a payment services company.
Jim qualifies as an “audit committee financial expert” under the rules of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, based upon his experience and education in accounting, controls and audit committee function. He also has extensive knowledge of capital markets and corporate finance.
Kevin M. McNamara
Director since 2007
Kevin’s financial expertise and professional career are critical to Tyson Foods’ board, audit committee and compensation committee.
He is the founding principal of McNamara Family Ventures, a family investment office providing venture and growth capital to health care companies. Since early 2013 he has also served as an operating partner in Health Evolution Partners, a private equity firm focused on healthcare; and has served as chairman of Agilum Healthcare Intelligence since November 2011. Since 2007 has served as a director of Luminex Corp.
Kevin previously served as the vice chairman of Leon Medical Centers, a healthcare provider for Medicare patients, but he continues to serve on the Leon Medical Centers board of directors. From 2005 to 2009 he was executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer of HealthSpring, Inc., a managed care company.
Kevin’s financial expertise and professional experience are critical to the Tyson Foods Board, the audit committee and the compensation committee. He qualifies as an “audit committee financial expert” under the rules of the SEC based upon his experience overseeing financial reporting processes, internal accounting and financial controls, as well as managing independent auditor engagements.
Brad T. Sauer
Director since 2008
Brad offers Tyson Foods’ board an extensive and varied perspective due to his multidisciplinary career and management expertise.
From 2004 to October 2012, Brad was executive vice president of health care business at 3M Co., a diversified technology company ranked on the Fortune 500. In such capacity, he was responsible for 3M’s worldwide healthcare operations. In October 2012, became executive vice president of 3M industrial business group. In May 2014, he retired from 3M Co.
Brad’s management expertise spans many disciplines, including sales and marketing, technology and product innovation, as well as manufacturing quality and processes. He is highly qualified to understand Tyson Foods’ challenges and opportunities.
Director since 2014
Donnie’s enthusiasm for Tyson Foods is contagious among the company's 124,000 Team Members. Appointed to his role as president and CEO in 2009, his passion is the hallmark of his tenure at the company, which he joined in 1980. Daily he guides Tyson Foods to be a company with a conscience, focused on feeding the world great, affordable food, while also making a positive difference in people’s lives.
Through his career, Donnie has worked to learn every angle of the Tyson Foods business. He joined Tyson, working in poultry operations for seven years in Tennessee before moving to the company’s headquarters in Springdale, Ark., where he started as a commodity buyer. He was named director of commodity purchasing in 1991 and during the next several years added complementary responsibilities to his management portfolio: logistics, purchasing and information systems in 2006; and engineering, food safety and quality assurance, and environmental health and safety in 2007. He moved into the company's consumer products division in 2008 and was named senior group vice president of poultry and prepared foods in early 2009, the same year he was appointed as president and CEO.
A native of Tennessee, Donnie graduated from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville with a bachelor’s degree in animal science.
Robert C. Thurber
Director since 2009
Robert’s vast understanding of the food service industry provides Tyson Foods’ board with crucial insight to address the company’s opportunities and challenges.
Robert is also a director of Capstone Bancshares, Inc., a financial institution in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and of Church Brothers Produce, a grower, processor and shipper of fresh vegetables located in Salinas, Calif.
He served as vice president of purchasing for Sysco Corporation, the nation’s largest food service marketing and distribution company, from 1987 until he retired in 2007.
Robert held various executive positions with Sysco and, as vice president, was responsible for managing a staff of hundreds of people and directing numerous acquisitions.
Barbara A. Tyson
Director since 1988
Barbara provides the board with in-depth insight into the company’s business and operations developed through years of experience as a Tyson Foods’ director and corporate officer.
She became a consultant to the company in 2002, after she retired as a Tyson Foods’ vice president.
Barbara has helped the board develop the company’s long-term strategy and build Tyson Foods into a worldwide leader in meat and poultry production.
She has contributed to Tyson Foods' understanding of the issues and the opportunities in bringing quality meat and poultry to tables globally. Barbara has also helped shape the company’s vision to sustainably improve diets, lives and communities around the world.
Barbara has a substantial personal interest in Tyson Foods as the sole income beneficiary of the Randal W. Tyson Testamentary Trust, which is a limited partner in the Tyson Limited Partnership.
Albert C. Zapanta
Director since 2004
Al’s broad management and leadership experience in both the private and public sectors gives him a unique understanding of Tyson Foods’ challenges in the global marketplace.
He has been the president and chief executive officer of the United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce since 1993 and is responsible for operations in both countries.
A retired U.S. Army Major General, Al entered the private sector after a distinguished military career. He served as Director, Government Affairs for ARCO for 18 years before retiring.
Al graduated from the University of Southern California, Harvard Graduate School of Business, the Inter-American Defense College and the National War College in Washington, D.C. He also has an extensive public service career, having been appointed by President Gerald Ford as Assistant Secretary of the Interior and by President George W. Bush as Chairman, Reserve Forces Policy Board, Department of Defense and as a private sector delegate to the U.S.-Mexico Partnership for Prosperity. He speaks Spanish fluently.