Former Tyson Foods Chaplain Returns to Lead More Than 100 Chaplains
Springdale, Ark. – May 4, 2021 – A chaplain with more than 33 years of experience in ministry and program development has been named director of chaplain services at Tyson Foods. He replaces Chaplain Karen Diefendorf, who is retiring.
Kevin Scherer will lead and direct Tyson Foods’ chaplaincy program – one of the largest private sector corporate chaplaincy programs in the country. Tyson’s chaplaincy network includes more than 100 chaplains across 22 states who provide pastoral care, counseling and support to team members at many of the company’s plant and office locations.
“We’re pleased to welcome Kevin back to Tyson and to lead our chaplains,” said Johanna Söderström, executive vice president and chief human resources officer at Tyson Foods. “He understands our culture and commitment to cultivate a faith-friendly workplace and the importance of meeting the needs of our team members.”
Kevin most recently served as director of Live Better U, Walmart’s employer-based educational benefits program. From 2017 to 2019, he played an integral role as senior manager of Tyson Foods' Upward Academy program, developing and launching the program. Prior to that, he worked three years as a full-time chaplain at two of the company’s Springdale, Arkansas, facilities.
He has held other positions in project development roles for a variety of companies and organizations, including EMC, Walmart, R&R Solutions, JCPenney, John Muir Health and the University of Arkansas. Before working in project development, Kevin held executive director roles for service-learning organizations designed to engage students in domestic and international community outreach and social justice awareness. He spent the first 22 years of his career in full-time pastoral ministry at various churches in California, Arkansas, New York and Idaho.
Kevin earned his Bachelor of Arts in Theology from San Diego Christian College in El Cajon, California. He earned his Master of Divinity from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Crestwood, New York.
Additionally, Melissa Brannan is being promoted to a new position as Deputy Chaplain for Training. In this role, she will report to Kevin and oversee the development and execution of strategic training for each Business Unit within the company.
Tyson Foods’ chaplaincy program began in 2000 and provides compassionate pastoral care to team members and their families, regardless of their religious affiliation or beliefs. The program includes full and part-time chaplains who informally make themselves available to talk to team members.
About Tyson Foods
Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN) is one of the world’s largest food companies and a recognized leader in protein. Founded in 1935 by John W. Tyson and grown under three generations of family leadership, the company has a broad portfolio of products and brands like Tyson®, Jimmy Dean®, Hillshire Farm®, Ball Park®, Wright®, Aidells®, ibp®, and State Fair®. Tyson Foods innovates continually to make protein more sustainable, tailor food for everywhere it’s available and raise the world’s expectations for how much good food can do. Headquartered in Springdale, Arkansas, the company has 139,000 team members. Through its Core Values, Tyson Foods strives to operate with integrity, create value for its shareholders, customers, communities and team members and serve as a steward of the animals, land and environment entrusted to it. Visit TYSONFOODS.COM to learn more.
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