Mark Porter Talks Teamwork, Siouxland and Bacon
Mark Porter leads Seaboard Triumph Foods from the COO Chair, although he is hardly ever caught sitting down. His background includes having managed manufacturing networks and operations for food companies as well as eight years as a Submarine Operations Officer in the U.S. Navy. “After my military service, I transitioned to the food industry and found exactly what I was looking for in a high-speed, challenging, and rewarding career,” said Porter. “I can’t imagine working in any other industry.”
An Oklahoma native, Porter and his wife, DeAnna, moved to Sioux City in 2016 not knowing what to expect, and have found so much to love about the Siouxland area. “My wife and I have lived all over the United States, and Siouxland is our favorite place to be,” he said. “It’s not too small, not too large. It’s not too hot in the summer and not too cold (well, maybe a little too cold) in the winter. It’s filled with good restaurants, shopping, and excellent entertainment at the Tyson and Orpheum. What’s not to love?”
Upon his arrival in Sioux City, Porter quickly began assembling the leadership team for the facility. “People are our number one priority and it is critical to our success to ensure that we all live and breathe this same shared value from the leadership down throughout the organization. We are a people company that happens to process pork,” said Porter.
Another focus for Porter and the leadership team has been to identify opportunities to support local organizations and events. “We embrace the role we have as stewards of our community and Siouxland is not just where we work, but also where we live. Being a good citizen is so important that resources were allocated for community support before the facility was finished,” said Porter. “I want our current and future employees to be proud of not only what we produce within our walls, but also what we as a company stand for in corporate citizenship. We are a product of this great community. When it thrives, we do too.”
Siouxland was a great location for the facility, with its rich history in food processing and after Porter signed on to take the helm of the Sioux City facility, he began to engage local farmers, building the relationships STF will need to meet the growing demand for high-quality pork. He also reached out to local businesses and government leaders to lay the foundations for the common relationships that are critical to STF’s success.
The facility will be one of the largest pork suppliers in the United States. “The only thing we waste is the squeal,” Porter likes to say. “We’ll not only feed the world with billions of pounds of pork, but also be a major supplier into pet food, animal feed and pharmaceutical industries.”
“I would have to say the biggest accomplishment to date has been the amazing team that is assembling around me,” he said. “I couldn’t be more proud of the talent we have here, or more humbled by their faith and trust in me.” As hiring continues, Porter urges those considering employment to apply, promising a completely different work and social environment from other processing facilities. “There’s no question we’re going to work hard,” he adds, “but we’re going to play hard, too.”
When he’s not directing construction and hiring efforts at the facility, Mark enjoys a slow-smoked pork butt with coleslaw, and bacon any way he can get it.
Learn more about Mark and his team.