The National Peanut Board has named Robert T. Parker IV as its new president and Chief Executive Officer.
He succeeds Raffaela Marie Fenn who announced plans earlier this year to retire from the NPB at the end of 2012.
Parker will join the NPB on Dec. 10, 2012 from Golden Peanut Company, LLC in Alpharetta, Ga., where he worked for the past 25 years in various roles of increasing responsibility, becoming an officer of the company in 1996. He currently serves as vice-president of Industry Relations and Seed.
Cindy Belch, chairman of the NPB and a peanut farmer from North Carolina said, “NPB embarked on an outstanding program of work since it was first seated 12 years ago; work that has been overwhelmingly supported by the votes of peanut farmers in two regular referendums.
“A lot of the credit to our success over this time period goes to our current President & Managing Director, Raffaela Marie Fenn, to whom we owe a debt of gratitude for her leadership.
“Obviously, it was a difficult task to try to find a leader who can carry on that fine tradition that’s been built and to help take the NPB to even greater heights in the future. But we believe Bob Parker is that person, given his knowledge and extensive experience in the peanut industry.”
Parker’s experience in the peanut industry began in Climax, Ga., where he managed a family-owned farm service and supply business and a farm. He sold that company to Golden Peanut Company and joined them as area procurement manager.
He steadily moved through the company’s ranks to region procurement manager, vice-president of logistics, vice-president of Argentine operations, vice-president of procurement and to his current position as vice-president of industry relations and seed.
Parker has been heavily involved in peanut industry activities, serving as chairman of the American Peanut Council, American Peanut Shellers Association, The Peanut Institute, and the Peanut Administrative Committee.
He also served on the boards of The Peanut Foundation and the Peanut Standards Board.
He holds a B.S. in agricultural economics from the University of Georgia.
Michael Cooper, managing partner with the global executive search firm Kincannon & Reed, conducted the nationwide search and assisted the National Peanut Board in its recruitment efforts.