WASHINGTON – Bernard Leonard, group vice president of Food Service, Tyson Foods Inc., Springdale, Ark., was installed Oct. 6 as chairman of the National Chicken Council (NCC). Lampkin Butts, president of Sanderson Farms, Laurel, Miss., took office as vice chairman, and Bill Lovette, president and chief operating officer of Case Foods, Troutman, N.C., became secretary-treasurer.

The new officers were installed during the NCC Annual Conference held in Washington, D.C. Officers serve one-year terms.

In 1998, Leonard joined Tyson Foods when Tyson acquired Hudson Foods, where he was vice president of broiler sales and operations. With Tyson, he became vice president of operations, then moved into sales and operations as vice president and senior vice president, and became head of Food Service in November 2006.

After graduating from the University of Mississippi in 1973, Butts began his career with Sanderson Farms that same year. He worked in the company's management training program and held positions of processing division manager, director of processing and sales, and vice-president, sales, before being elected to the board of directors in 1998. He became president and chief operating officer in 2004.

Butts has served on the NCC board since 2004 and has also served on the boards of the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association and the Mississippi Poultry Association. He became secretary-treasurer last year.

Lovette is a member of the board of directors of Case Foods as well as serving as president and COO. He began his career in the poultry business in 1982 with Valmac Industries, which was later acquired by Tyson Foods. He has served in many leadership roles in the industry, including chairman of the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association and the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association.

George Watts of Alexandria, Va., was elected to another term as president of NCC, a post he has held since 1972.