Mark Hickman Recognized for Service to the World Poultry Foundation
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The Hickman family’s legacy and rich history in poultry has no doubt shaped Mark’s interest to serve and support the industry with his professional experience.
“As the founder of Peco Foods, my grandfather, and later my father, taught me the poultry business from the ground up,” Hickman shared.
Peco Foods was founded in 1930 and is now among the top ten poultry producers in the U.S. The Alabama-based company produces about 24 million pounds of poultry per week and operates a retail products division providing chicken products, marketing services, and support capabilities for its clients.
It was no surprise, then, that after Hickman received his undergraduate degree in management, his master’s degree in finance, and finally his MBA from the University of Alabama, he chose a career in poultry.
Hickman’s involvement with the World Poultry Foundation began in October 2006, when the foundation was still known as the USAPEEC International Poultry Development Program (UIPDP).
Hickman was invited to accompany the leadership of the UIPDP, under the direction of Jim Sumner, to visit the Elinar-Broiler facilities in Russia. Hickman was uniquely positioned to aid this project owing to Peco Food’s long history in the Russian market. He quickly recognized the significance of the opportunity to share best practices during a time of constricted growth and economic challenge in the former Soviet Union.
His involvement helped make the project a major success, which paved the way for many future collaborations for the foundation internationally.
Hickman has served the World Poultry Foundation as treasurer since 2011, a role that has been vital in both expanding and sustaining the foundation’s projects and services over the last seven years.
“Balance sheets, investments, budgets, marketing, and strategic planning are among my areas of expertise,” he said, “It has been a privilege to share my background and experiences with the World Poultry Foundation and board as treasurer.”
Now the Chief Executive Operator and President of Peco Foods, Hickman carries on the legacy of leadership in poultry that has been passed down to him through generations of expertise and service.
In 2018, he resigned his position of treasurer on the foundation’s board, but will continue to influence and guide the foundation in the role of director-at-large.
World Poultry Foundation CEO, Randall Ennis, acknowledged Hickman’s contributions to the foundation’s mission as above-and-beyond his financial duties.
“Mark’s leadership in the development of the vision and strategic direction of the foundation, as well as his philanthropic spirit, have been a catalyst to our success,” Ennis said.
Hickman remains “100% committed” to the role and mission of the foundation, and looks forward to his continued involvement.
“This foundation is changing lives around the world by investing in sustainable projects that assist farmers, teachers, and families in underserved countries,” He said, “Among all the industry-related activities I have been involved with throughout my career, the World Poultry Foundation is one of the most rewarding.”
About the World Poultry Foundation
The World Poultry Foundation (WPF) is a non-profit organization founded in 1997 whose mission is to help solve hunger and poverty issues and promote economic development in distressed areas and emerging markets outside the United States through the production and consumption of poultry by empowering farmers in developing regions.