CHICAGO – Six officers were elected to the American Meat Institute board of directors during AMI's annual board of directors meeting in Chicago.

Greg Benedict, president and COO of American Foods Group LLC, will serve as chairman for 2013-2014. He brings more than 30 years of industry experience to the post. He started his career with Rosen's Diversified Inc. in 1980. Rosen's merged its meat processing companies with American Foods Group in 2005.

David McDonald, president of OSI Group LLC, was elected vice chair. McDonald started as an intern at OSI 25 years ago, and has since served in a variety of roles at the company.

The board's treasurer will be Gary Jacobson, COO of Indiana Packers Corp. Jacobson began his career at Indiana Packers in 1993 as a plant manager. He has also served as vice president of operations and executive vice president. Before joining Indiana Packers, Jacobson held position with Dubuque Packing Company/FDL Foods and Armour & Company.

A newcomer to the board is Mike Townsley, president of Bob Evans Farms’ food products division, who will serve as secretary. Townsley joined BEF as president and COO of Owens Foods, the Owens Country Sausage in 2003, a wholly owned subsidiary of BEF since 1987.

Patrick Boyle was re-elected as AMI's president and CEO through January 2014, and James Hodges, AMI executive vice president, will serve as interim president and CEO starting Feb. 1, 2014. Boyle announced in July he would step down from his post as president and CEO after 24 years of service in the meat and poultry industry. He is the longest-serving president in AMI's 107-year history.

New directors elected to serve a three-year term include:

• Sara Lilygren, executive vice president, corporate affairs, Tyson Foods Inc.
• Andre Nogueira, CEO, JBS USA
• John Richardson, president, Sugar Creek Packing
• Sam Rovit, executive vice president, Kraft Foods Group/ Oscar Mayer