Dan Zelenka has been promoted to vice president of laboratory services for Tyson Foods, Inc., replacing Neal Apple who retired in mid-December.

Zelenka began his career with Tyson Foods in 1986 as a geneticist and has made significant contributions to the company’s use of statistical process control in operations, food safety and quality management programs. In his new role, Zelenka will continue to lead the statistics and experimental design team, in addition to his new laboratory services responsibilities.

Laboratory Services is a network of 18 laboratories, providing Tyson Foods and its customers with research, analytical, chemistry, microbiology and serology services. The group performs more than 280,000 tests per month and ensures that from farm to table, food safety and quality are a top priority.

“Dan’s extensive knowledge of our plants, people and processes make him the right person to manage the dynamic team involved in our world-class laboratories,” said Rick Roop, senior vice president, food safety and quality assurance for Tyson Foods.”

Zelenka earned a bachelor’s in agriculture at the University of Illinois, a master’s in poultry science from Virginia Tech, and a doctorate in genetics, also from Virginia Tech.