Julie Craven and Joe Swedberg, former Hormel employees
Julie Craven and Joe Swedberg

AUSTIN, Minn. – Julie Craven, vice president of corporate communications, and Joe Swedberg, vice president of legislative affairs for Hormel Foods Corp., have retired. As a result, Wendy Watkins, global vice president of corporate communications at Delaware North Companies, assumes the position of vice president of corporate communications. Jeffrey Grev, director of legislative affairs, will become vice president of legislative affairs.

“I’d like to thank Julie and Joe for their many years of service. Julie’s expertise in the area of corporate communications and Joe’s leadership in legislative affairs have been invaluable contributions to our executive team, and we wish them the best in retirement,” said Lori Marco, vice president of external affairs and general counsel. “Additionally, we welcome Wendy to Hormel Foods. She and Jeff bring a wealth of knowledge to these roles, and we look forward to their leadership.”

Craven began her Hormel Foods career in 1988 as the director of consumer affairs at Hormel’s corporate office in Austin, Minn., after being employed at Kraft Foods and Meredith Corporation. In 1995, she became a product manager in foodservice and was promoted to senior product manager in 1998. In 2001, she became the director of public relations and assumed her current role in 2005. Watkins has more than 20 years of experience in strategic communications, marketing and media relations.

Swedberg began his career in sales in Denver, Colo., in 1981. He held several sales positions and in 1984, became an associate product manager in meat products at the corporate office. While in meat products marketing, Swedberg held several product manager and group product manager positions and became the director of marketing in 1993. He became the vice president of meat products marketing in 1999 and assumed his current role in 2003.

Meanwhile, Grev began his career in 1984 in Grocery Products sales in Louisville, Ky. One year later, he became a sales representative for the Michigan territory and then the New England territory. In 1987, he became the manager of sales services for Grocery Products at the corporate office. Grev became an associate product manager, Grocery Products, in 1988, and held several marketing positions until 1996, when he became a group product manager for Grocery Products. In 2006, he took on a special assignment to become the general manager of Valley Fresh Foods at the corporate Office. He became the corporate manager of mergers and acquisitions in 2007 and then director of corporate development in 2013. He assumed his current role in 2014.