The new year will see a new executive director in place at the BC Chicken Marketing Board.
BC Chicken announced this week that Woody Siemens, currently supply chain and business development director with the BC Milk Marketing Board, would succeed Bill Vanderspek as executive director on January 4. Vanderspek retired from the chicken board August 31 but was appointed a director six weeks later.
The new role will come with significant responsibilities for Siemens, who takes the reins as BC’s poultry growers reel from a year of devastating weather events in addition to market shifts prompted by the ongoing pandemic. Government relations will also be key as the sector advocates for the AgriRecovery funds needed to address the impacts of November’s rain events.
There are also changes taking place within the sector.
“We are looking forward to working with Woody and initiating work on the key priorities identified in the chicken board’s strategic plan,” says board chair Harvey Sasaki.
Siemens brings strong credentials to the role, however.
The board selected Siemens after a three-month search process, noting in particular his recent graduation from the MBA program at the University of Guelph’s Lang School of Business in May 2021. Prior to this, he had worked as a feed sales representative with Clearbrook Grain & Milling in Abbotsford and the supply chain division of PepsiCo. The combination of agricultural and supply chain experience made him a leading candidate for a sector facing issues on both fronts.
Siemens also holds an undergraduate degree in food market analysis from UBC.
The announcement of Siemens’ appointment noted that BC Chicken’s executive assistant, Christine Rickson, had fulfilled the role of executive director following Vanderspek’s retirement.
BC Chicken lays claim to being the country’s first poultry marketing board, having been formed 60 years ago this week on December 12, 1961. It manages the production of 308 registered chicken growers, an output valued at more than $500 million annually.