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Simmons foods to expand line, add jobs

November 5, 2020 at 1:50 a.m.

Firm set to expand pet food operation

Simmons Foods Inc., a chicken processor based in Siloam Springs, has announced plans to expand its canned pet food operation.

The company is scheduled to have additional production capacity starting next year in “the Arkansas region,” a news release said.

Plans include a new wet pet food operation that is expected to create 100 jobs with a July 2021 start date.

Another, larger wet pet food operation is also in the works and is set for completion late next year. Simmons Foods said it has invested $100 million in recent growth plans, which included an Emporia, Kan., processing plant last year and a high-speed canning line that went online last month.

“We are excited this winning formula allows us to continue to grow and enable our customers’ success,” Simmons Pet Food President Scott Salmon said in a statement. The subsidiary has private-label pet food contracts with Walmart Inc. and others.

To make room for these plans, the company closed a New Jersey pet food plant in August, affecting 176 workers, according to a notice posted by New Jersey’s labor department. Last year, Simmons said it would “optimize its operations” for cost reasons.

— Nathan Owens

UPS’ board names two new members

ATLANTA — UPS announced the appointment of two new members to its board of directors, in the latest changes to add more expertise and diversity to the panel.

UPS said Microsoft U.S. President Kate Johnson and GE Power Portfolio head Russell Stokes will join the board immediately.

John Stankey, who has been on the UPS board since 2014, will leave that position to focus on his job as chief executive officer of AT&T, a role he has held since July.

UPS board Chairman William Johnson said in a written statement that Kate Johnson and Stokes “bring expertise that will enhance our board’s governance and stewardship of UPS.”

UPS CEO Carol Tome said in a written statement that 25% of the board of directors is “ethnically diverse” and that 40% of board members are women.

“Our goal is to drive inclusive leadership and, ultimately, even better governance, decision making and performance,” Tome said. Tome has been CEO since June.

— Cox Newspapers

State index closes with a loss of 4.52

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Wednesday at 430.16, down 4.52.

“Equities rallied sharply from the opening bell with the health care and technology sectors outperforming due to expectations that the Republican party would retain control over the United States Senate regardless of the outcome of the presidential election,” said Leon Lants, managing director at Stephens Inc.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

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