George Watts, president of the National Chicken Council, has been named the 2002 recipient of the National Poultry and Food Distributors Associations’ POULTRY INDUSTRY LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD. Watts received the honor at an awards breakfast here today.
“We wanted to recognize George Watts for ably representing the industry in Washington and working effectively with all segments in the best interest of the chicken industry,” said Kristin McWhorter, NPFDA Executive Director.
Watts joins Abit Massey, executive director of the Georgia Poultry Federation (2001) and J. Douglas Cagle, chairman and CEO of Cagle’s, Inc., (2000) as the most recent recipients of the award, which has been presented every year since 1991. Other recipients include the late Norman W. Fries, Claxton Poultry Farms, 1999; James T. “Red” Hudson, Hudson Foods, Inc., 1998; Albin S. Johnson, Columbia Farms, Inc., 1997; Lonnie “Bo” Pilgrim, Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, 1996; Joe Hatfield, Fieldale Farms Corporation, 1995; Henry Saglio, Avian Farms, 1994; Don Tyson, Tyson Foods, Inc., 1993; Lloyd Peterson, Peterson Farms, 1992; and Frank Perdue, Perdue Farms, 1991.
In presenting the award, Tam Etheridge, chairman of Choctaw Maid Farms and chairman of the National Chicken Council from 1972 to 1974, said Watts has been a highly effective representative and advocate for the U.S. broiler industry in Washington for the past 30 years.
“His reputation for integrity and effectiveness with government officials, members of Congress and his colleague in the association business have served the broiler industry well,” Etheridge said.
Watts has been president of NCC since 1972, after serving as Administrative Assistant and Legislative Assistant for two Members of Congress from Georgia. He is a Georgia native and received his degree from the University of Georgia, where he majored in journalism and minored in political science.
He is a past president of the Georgia State Society, a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Food and Agriculture Committee, a former president and director of the Commodity Club of Washington, former chairman of the Food Group (an organization of representatives of associations for food and agriculture industries), former vice president and director of the University of Georgia Alumni Society, and a member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). Watts is also an advisory member of the Board of Directors for the International Poultry Development Program broiler project in Russia.
In 1990, Watts was named among the 100 most influential people in Washington’s private sector by the leading business magazine in the nation’s capital. Washingtonian magazine listed him as number 18 among the top 50 trade association executives in Washington in 1994 and number 15 in 1999.
He is married with three children and currently resides in Alexandria, Virginia.