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Perdue Chairman recognized for leadership and corporate responsibility

Maryland Governor's International Leadership Award recognizes Perdue Chairman for business leadership and corporate responsibility
Jim Perdue, Chairman of Maryland headquartered Perdue, Incorporated, was selected as the winner of Maryland's 2010 Governor's International Leadership Award. Mr. Perdue will be honored at the World Trade Center Institute's prestigious celebration held Thursday, March 11, 2010 at the Jim Rouse Visionary Arts Museum in Baltimore.

The Governor's International Leadership Award, the highest award given in Maryland, recognizes decades of sustained and exemplary global leadership, with a significant positive impact on Maryland and the state's global footprint. The winners consistently demonstrate creativity and innovative strategies to drive industry leadership and world-class results.

“Under Jim's leadership, Perdue Farms has shown financial strength, innovation in environmental stewardship, and community outreach, and is a model of successful Maryland enterprise that continues to thrive in these tough economic times," said Governor Martin O'Malley. "This award serves as recognition of Jim's contribution to our state, as he has added momentum to the overall effort of Maryland firms on the global horizon."

Annually, only one Marylander is chosen to receive the Governor's International Leadership Award. This year, Jim Perdue will join the ranks of prior Governor's International Leadership Award winners, most recently Dr. Robert Gallo (Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine), J.W. Marriott Jr., (Chairman & CEO Marriott International), and Chip Mason (Chairman & CEO, Legg Mason).

After earning his Ph.D. in fisheries from University of Washington and working in aquaculture, Jim Perdue returned to Maryland - and his family's business - in 1983. He then continued to earn an Executive MBA from Salisbury University.

In 1991, he was named Chairman and took over leadership of the company from his father, Frank Perdue. As the third generation to lead the family owned company, Jim continues to build upon the foundation of quality and integrity that has guided the company since it was founded in 1920, while continuing to provide innovative leadership.

“You've got to continuously improve," said Jim. "I'm proud to say that tradition really does continue to this day."

Celebrating its 90th year, Perdue has grown from a backyard table-egg business to a company with total sales of $4.6 billion. Perdue credits the company's success on a people-first philosophy. "In setting our goals, we focus on People, Products and Profitability in that order, and for good reason," said Perdue. "Both Dad and I understood the fact that it is the 22,000 Perdue associates who have made this company successful."

Today, Perdue is much more than fresh chicken sold in grocery stores. Through an ever-growing roster of fresh and frozen value-added products, Perdue is providing meal solutions to consumers and foodservice operators across the country - and in dozens of countries around the globe.

Through it all, Perdue has remained a family-owned business, which Jim Perdue credits for the company's willingness to focus on long-term benefits over short-term profits. "At Perdue," according to Jim, "quality goes beyond products and services. It is the measure of our character."
Following that belief, the company has become an industry leader in corporate responsibility. Its ergonomics and safety programs have become a model for the industry, and Perdue's workplace safety record is consistently better than the average for the entire manufacturing sector. The company's Health Improvement Program (HIP) was honored with a C. Everett Koop Health Award and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary's Innovation in Prevention Award. In addition, Perdue was the first meat and poultry company to establish a process for regularly donating to the Feeding America food bank system.

The company has developed several innovative environmental programs to address the challenges facing the Chesapeake Bay. Through its Clean Waters Environmental Initiative, Perdue entered into an historic partnership with EPA where both jointly help the independent farmers who grow chickens for Perdue to comply with environmental regulations and best practices. Through its many Environmental Sustainability programs, the company is greening its entire supply chain, while reaching out to environmental programs within its communities.

“I'm especially proud that our commitment to quality in everything we do is shared by all of our associates," said Jim. "It's part of our culture."

About the International Leadership Awards Event:
Date: March 11, 2010 Time: 5:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Location: Jim Rouse Visionary Center, a part of the American Visionary Arts Museum,
800 Key Highway, Baltimore, MD 21230
Refreshments/International Buffet and Music Celebration
About WTCI: Established in Baltimore in 1989 to help connect Maryland to the globe, today the World Trade Center Institute (WTCI) is the region's largest international business organization. WTCI strives to drive the growth of Maryland's global business community through global connections, events, and extensive international business services. Financed jointly by area businesses and the State of Maryland, WTCI operates as a non-profit membership organization. For more information visit www.wtci.org


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