BALTIMORE, MD. –Jim Perdue, chairman of the board of Perdue Incorporated, was presented with the Governor's International Leadership Award by Martin O'Malley, governor of Maryland.
Each year the award is given to an individual who leads a well-known Maryland company or institution and has shown sustained and admirable business leadership over many years. In making the presentation, Gov. O'Malley said Perdue Farms "continues to be one of the great corporate citizens of our state." He added that Jim Perdue has shown "decades of exemplary global leadership" and is someone whose counsel he values.
"Jim is one of the people I turn to for advice on a variety of issues," Gov. O'Malley said.
Mr. Perdue was also called "a great man and outstanding leader," but the honoree deflected the praise and said he accepted the award on behalf of the company's 21,000 associates. He also thanked the independent farm families who raise chickens for Perdue and those from whom Perdue buys over 27 million bushels of grain annually.
It was especially meaningful to receive the recognition this year as the company celebrates its 90th anniversary, Mr. Perdue said.
"My grandfather built our business on quality, integrity and trust," he added, noting that while the business may have changed over the years, "values do not." Mr. Perdue pointed to those values as the reason behind the company's focus on environmental issues.
"Back when my grandfather was cutting the leather from old boots to make hinges for chicken house doors, he wasn't thinking 'reduce, reuse and recycle,'” he said. “Yet, his frugality and sense of stewardship is the foundation for our environmental sustainability initiatives that we are so proud of today."
Mr. Perdue cited as an example his company's first-in-the-nation partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Waters Environmental Initiative, that helps farmers understand how best to comply with environmental regulations and best practices.