Industry History: 25 Years, 25 Icons

The National Provisioner honors 25 industry icons who made a significant impact since 1991, in conjunction with its 125th Anniversary this year.

by: Andy Hanacek

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In conjunction with the coverage of The National Provisioner’s 125th Anniversary, we chose to honor 25 icons who made their mark on industry since 1991. It’s one thing to select all-time icons of industry, but we decided to limit our list to individuals who shaped the industry in the past 25 years only.

Icons were nominated by industry peers and final selections were determined by the editorial staff of The National Provisioner. To be sure, a list of industry icons will spark debate — why was X not on the list? How did you choose Y to be on this list? In an industry as far-reaching and legendary as the meat and poultry industry, there are likely to be differences of opinion.

We believe we have chosen an excellent list — who would be on yours? Let the debate begin:


Cardinal Meat Specialists

Cator has worked for Cardinal Meat Specialists for more than 30 years, and today is the president/owner of the company his father founded in 1966. Cator led the Cardinal team that developed the company’s Kettle Cooked process, which eliminates warmed-over flavor profiles and provides a long shelf life and a tender product by using the meat’s own juices, rather than pumping it with water. Under Cator’s watch, Cardinal Meat Specialists has built upon its reputation as an innovator in food safety, processing and product development. Four years ago, Cardinal teamed up with Sysco and Certified Angus Beef to develop its Natural Texture Forming patty-making progress, which offered an innovative, faster-cooking burger to the marketplace. Cardinal was the first Canadian beef processor to receive the HACCP designation in 1998, and the first to utilize DNA lab technology for microbiology (2003). Cator is a past president of the North American Meat Processors Association (NAMP) and has remained visible and involved in its descendant associations (post-mergers).

You can with Cardinal