John Schloenfellinger stands at the new Dietz & Watson distribution center in Philadelphia with the Operation Executive of the Year award. 

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  – Known for his innovative solutions and operational expertise, John Schoenfellinger, vice president of engineering with Philadelphia-based Dietz & Watson Inc., is the recipient of MEAT+POULTRY’s Operations Executive of the Year award. Schoenfellinger was presented with a commemorative plaque earlier this week in recognition of his career accomplishments and will be the subject of M+P’s cover story in the August issue.

Schoenfellinger has worked at D&W since 1990 and has not only improved operations at the flagship plant in Philadelphia, but also at the company’s facility in Baltimore that it bought from Parks Sausage in 1999, as well as an artisan cheese plant in Corfu, New York. He also oversees operations at D&W’s new distribution center in Philadelphia. His background in the meat industry dates back to when he was 4 years old. He remembers accompanying his father to work at several meat plants where he learned the art of curing and smoking meat and the operations side of meat processing.

No stranger to the processing floor, Schoenfellinger has successfully created solutions from scratch through the years, including the invention of a beefsteak cutter while working with Hebrew National and a unitized ham mold system at D&W. At the company’s landlocked plant in Philadelphia, space is limited and Schoenfellinger says his focus is on “throughput per square foot.”

“I’m passionate about this industry and value my role at Dietz & Watson,” Schoenfellinger says. “Being recognized by the industry’s leading trade magazine with an award like this is humbling and I share the honor with the committed team I work with.”

M+P’s annual Operations Executive of the Year award is presented in recognition of a career dedicated to pursuing operational excellence and providing leadership while delivering innovative solutions. Previous award winners include: Henry Morris (Smithfield Foods); Freddy Mortenson (Plumrose USA); Dan Milovanovic (OSI Group); and Danny Dupree (Bar-S Foods).