Steve Jurek
Steve Jurek 

GNP Company, a St. Cloud, Minn., natural chicken products manufacturer, said CEO Michael Helgeson, a third-generation leader, will retire effective November 3, 2014, Steve Jurek, current executive vice president of operations and administration, will step into the company's top leadership position of president.

Officials say that as president, Jurek replaces the CEO position with the same level of authority and responsibility, and reports to Jason Logsdon, CEO of Maschhoff Family Foods, GNP Company's parent company.  As a member of the Maschhoff Family Foods executive committee, Jurek also will help guide the vision of the combined chicken and pork businesses.

With sales of approximately $400 milllion, GNP Company produces natural chicken products under the Just BARE®, Gold'n Plump® and Sunny Roost® brand labels. GNP Company supplies premium branded and custom chicken products to retail, deli and foodservice customers nationally. 

"I wish Mike the absolute best in his retirement, and commend him on the strong company, leaders and team he is leaving behind," says Logsdon. "Steve's breadth and depth of experience and leadership make him a strong successor.  I congratulate him on his new appointment. He's a trusted leader within the organization and the poultry industry, with the business and people skills needed to thrive. I am confident in his ability to lead the growth strategies of GNP Company."

Helgeson adds, "After more than 40 years in the business, I felt the time was right for me to retire. I'm pleased with the choice of Steve Jurek as president. His strong financial background, drive for business excellence, and commitment to our customers will help the company successfully move forward while preserving the caring culture, community support, and customer-driven focus upon which our company was built. Knowing the company's future will be managed by a strong leadership team under Steve's direction, gives me great confidence in the continued success of GNP Company."

Jurek joined GNP Company (then Gold'n Plump Poultry) in 1977, holding a variety of positions before being named to his present position in 1997.

"I truly appreciate the confidence and opportunity that are being provided to me by Jason," says Jurek. "I am also very grateful for the many opportunities given to me by Mike and the Helgeson family over the years. The future we've laid out for GNP Company is extremely exciting, and one I am ready to move forward—along with the company's many experienced and talented team members. I am deeply committed to preserving the values upon which GNP Company is built, ensuring successful alignment with Maschhoff Family Foods, and pursuing our vision of becoming the 1st choice for fresh ideas in natural chicken."

Officials say Tim Wensman, GNP Company's executive vice president of Customer Processes (sales, marketing, product management and development, and supply planning), will continue in his role with expanded responsibilities, yet to be finalized, in the leadership of public relations and communications across the Maschhoff Family Foods organization.