Austin, Minn./July 26, 2007/Business Wire -- Hormel Foods Corporation announced changes in the structure and leadership of its protein businesses, effective immediately.

Gary Ray, executive vice president of refrigerated products, has been named president, protein businesses. The position will oversee all of Hormel Foods' protein businesses, including Hormel Foods refrigerated products, Jennie-O Turkey Store and Farmer John.

"This is an ideal opportunity to capitalize on Gary's unparalleled knowledge and experience in the protein business," said Jeffrey Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer.

"We are confident that this new structure will provide greater focus, fresh perspective and enhanced coordination across the company's diverse protein businesses," Ettinger said.

In addition to Ray's advancement, the company announced that Steven G. Binder, group vice president of foodservice, was named group vice president of Hormel Foods refrigerated products. In his new position, he will assume broader responsibilities for the company's refrigerated products operations, including meat products, foodservice, fresh pork, Saag's and Dan's Prize. Thomas R. Day, vice president of foodservice, was named senior vice president of foodservice and will be responsible for all Hormel Foods foodservice sales and marketing functions. Deanna T. Brady, foodservice regional sales manager-west, was named vice president of foodservice sales. She will oversee all of the Hormel Foods' foodservice sales force, and report to Day.

Ray began his career with Hormel Foods in 1968 in Fort Dodge, Iowa, where he progressed through several supervisory positions within the grocery products and meat products areas. In 1980, Ray relocated to Austin, Minn., as production manager for the grocery products division. He was promoted to director of production for the grocery products division in 1985, and became responsible for the manufacturing of all grocery product items.

In 1986, he advanced to director of manufacturing of the operations group. After serving two years in that position, he was promoted to vice president of manufacturing, and one year later, in 1989, was appointed senior vice president of the operations group. In 1990, Ray became group vice president of operations. He was named executive vice president of operations in 1992 and appointed to his current position in 1999.

Ray attended Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb. He serves on the board of directors for Hormel Foods, Farmer John, Precept Foods, LLC, The Hormel Institute, Austin Medical Center and Community Bank Austin.

Binder has devoted his 28-year career primarily to the foodservice group. Starting as a foodservice sales representative in Jacksonville, Fla., in July 1979, Binder served in various sales positions until being named foodservice area manager in Cincinnati, Ohio, in October 1990. Three years later, he transferred to the corporate offices in Austin as regional sales manager of the southeastern region and corporate national accounts manager. In December 1996, Binder was promoted to director of foodservice sales. Two years later, he was elected vice president of foodservice. He was named group vice president of foodservice in October 2000.

Binder graduated from Southwest State University, Marshall, Minn., in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration.

A 26-year employee, Day began with Hormel Foods in January 1981 as a meat products sales representative in San Antonio, Texas, and, in August 1984, became foodservice sales representative at San Antonio. In April 1989, he was named foodservice national accounts manager at the corporate offices and, in August 1992, was advanced to foodservice regional sales manager of the southeastern and western regions and corporate national accounts manager. He was named director of foodservice sales in October 1998, and promoted to vice president of foodservice sales in September 2000.

Day earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree at the University of Wisconsin in Eau Claire in 1980, and a Masters of Business Administration degree at the University of Texas in San Antonio in 1988.

Brady began her career with Hormel Foods in September 1996 as a foodservice territory manager in the Metro area, and over the ensuing years, has held various foodservice sales positions across the United States. In June 2003, Brady was promoted to her current position as foodservice regional manager in Los Angeles, Calif.

Brady is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics and food administration, and is also a registered dietitian. She is a native of El Segundo, Calif.

From the July 30, 2007, Prepared Foods e-Flash