AUSTIN, Minn. – Dr. Phillip Minerich will retire from his post as vice president of research and development at Hormel Foods effective Dec. 31, the company announced Sept. 24. Dr. Kevin Myers, currently director of product and process development, research and development, will succeed Minerich effective Oct. 28.

Minerich's career at Hormel began in 1976, when he started as a quality-control trainee at the Austin, Minn. plant. Since then, he has held numerous leadership positions within the company, including corporate manager of sanitation. In 1984, he returned to the Austin plant and held several foreman position and in 1988 transferred to R&D to become a food technologist. Minerich became a senior food technologist in 1991, and then a research scientist in packaging. In 2002, he became the development leader of new food-safety interventions and a year later was promoted to director of product and process development and packaging. Minerich became vice president of R&D in 2005.

“We have been so fortunate to have Phil as a member of our team for more than 37 years and as vice president of research and development for the past eight years,” said Jeffrey Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and CEO at Hormel Foods. “He has significantly advanced our food science capabilities and inspired a major leap forward in new product innovation. On behalf of the company, we wish him the best of luck in his retirement. In addition, congratulations to Kevin on his advancement. He has demonstrated the leadership skills to drive change and produce results.”

Myers started at Hormel in 2001 as a research scientist for fresh meat at research and development. He became development leader of fresh and processed meats in 2005, and later was promoted to group manager of product development. He has served since 2012 in his current role as director of product and process development.