Smithfield Foods, Inc. has promoted Andrea Tucker to plant manager of the company’s Tar Heel facility in North Carolina. The company’s largest facility, Smithfield’s Tar Heel plant is also the largest pork processing operation in the world and was featured in FE’s “Sustainable Processor of the Year“ in November 2014.

Tucker, who has more than 20 years of experience with the company, will oversee the complex’s planning, organization, cost and continual improvements, focusing on employer of choice cultural enhancements and ensuring the location’s continued leadership in product quality.

“Andrea is a true servant leader who has achieved record levels of operational excellence, employee morale and engagement by instilling a culture of teamwork wherever she goes,” says Brady Stewart, chief operating officer for Smithfield Foods. “We are tremendously proud to have her as part of our Smithfield Family and look forward to watching her career with Smithfield continue to unfold.”

After joining Smithfield as an accountant more than two decades ago, Tucker became the company’s first female plant manager in 2019 when she was appointed to oversee its largest bacon processing facility in Wilson, N.C. Earlier that year, Tucker received a STEP Ahead Award from The Manufacturing Institute through a program honoring women leaders in manufacturing who make an impact through their advocacy, mentorship, engagement and leadership.

“I’m grateful Smithfield believes in me and for the opportunity to continue to give back to this company,” says Tucker. “My journey to becoming a plant manager didn’t happen overnight. It’s my goal to uphold our culture at Smithfield where anyone can access the same opportunities I have had through hard work and dedication. Though I will miss my Wilson team, I’m excited for this next chapter in Tar Heel.”

Donovan Owens, Tar Heel plant manager since 2018, is being promoted to a new corporate role within Smithfield.

“We thank Donovan for his many contributions at our Tar Heel facility over the last four years,” says Stewart. “Providing new opportunities for our team members to contribute and grow is an essential element of our vertically integrated business strategy and the future of our company. We are confident that Andrea and Donovan will continue to excel in their new roles.”