National Chicken Council President Emeritus George Watts was the guest of honor at a dinner given by the Board of Directors at its recent summer meeting, with old friends giving warm tributes to his nearly 39 years at the helm of the organization.

“For my whole career, George Watts has led the premier association of our industry,” said Bernard Leonard of Tyson Foods, NCC Chairman. “George, I’m proud and honored that you stayed long enough that I could serve with you in a leadership role.”

“NCC is a strong organization today because it focuses on the needs of the industry, provides a forum for the exchange of many views, and helps people and companies come together for the best interest of the entire industry,” Leonard added. “George Watts has done more than anyone to make that vision a reality.”

Tam Etheridge, an honorary life member of the board, and the only member who was serving on the board when Watts became president in 1972, recalled that Watts thought he would serve for five or six years. Elton Maddox of Wayne Farms hailed Watts for his long service, and Adriaan Weststrate of Rabobank, who sponsored the dinner, offered a champagne toast. Mike Brown, successor to Watts as president, said Watts has a reputation for honesty and integrity. Other industry leaders appeared in a nine-minute video prepared by NCC staff.

NCC President Emeritus George Watts (right) and Barbara Watts receive scroll of honor from Chairman Bernard Leonard