ALEXANDRIA, VA. — The North American Renderers Association (NARA) has appointed Kent J. Swisher as incoming president and chief executive officer, effective Dec. 31. Swisher will also serve as president of the rendering industry’s research entity, the Fats and Proteins Research Foundation (FPRF).

Swisher will succeed Nancy Foster, current president and chief executive officer of NARA, upon her retirement.

“Renderers will benefit from Kent’s extensive experience and knowledge as NARA’s new president and CEO,” Foster said. “NARA will be well positioned for the future as he leads the industry forward.”

Kent Swisher, incoming president and chief executive officer of the North American Renderers Association, effective Dec. 31.Kent Swisher, incoming president and chief executive officer of the North American Renderers Association, effective Dec. 31. (Source: LinkedIn) 

Swisher offers years of experience in agriculture, rendering, export marketing, trade policy, regulatory affairs and management. He is no stranger to NARA, having directed the organization’s export market development programs for more than 18 years. He currently serves as senior vice president for international programs.

“Kent will be a strong asset for the rendering industry and the North American Renderers Association as our next president and CEO,” said Doyle Leefers, NARA chairman and director of variety meats and rendered products at the National Beef Packing Company, LLC. “His years of experience in international market development will complement the current staff to provide high value for our membership in the years ahead.”

In his current role, Swisher is focused on implementing international marketing and market access programs for products rendered in the United States, including representing NARA members on trade negotiations. He oversees the organization’s offices in Hong Kong, Mexico City and several other global consultants.

Swisher is also a member of the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Trade Advisory Committee on Animals and Animal Products. Earlier in his career, he held positions with the Continental Grain Company, US Grains Council, and the American Seed Trade Association.

Throughout his service at NARA, Swisher has contributed to more than 40 publications specific to the rendering industry, including an annual market report published in Render magazine. He is an active speaker and member of the World Renderers Organization (WRO).

“I am honored and humbled to be chosen for this position,” Swisher said. “I look forward to continuing my work at NARA in this new role alongside our many dedicated and talented members, staff, and consultants. I know that together we can achieve great things for the rendering industry.”

Swisher will also become secretariat of the WRO in addition to his leadership appointment with NARA.

Read more about personnel changes throughout the industry.