Smithfield Foods names two to board after one member resigns

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Smithfield Foods Inc. has elected two new members to its board of directors after another member resigned because of conflicting business and public commitments.

The board elected Richard T. Crowder, professor of international trade at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, and Margaret G. Lewis, president of HCA’s Capital Division.

Gaoning Ning, chairman of COFCO Ltd., China’s largest agricultural trading and processing company, resigned effective March 2 because of conflicting business responsibilities.

“We would like to thank Mr. Ning for his service as a board member for the past two and a half years, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors,” Smithfield CEO Larry Pope said in a statement. “As the leading consumer of pork, China remains an important export market for Smithfield, and we look forward to continuing to foster our relationship with COFCO. We maintain a positive outlook for U.S. pork exports and foresee many future business opportunities for Smithfield and China.”

Crowder was chief agriculture negotiator at the Office of U.S. Trade Representative from January 2006 until May 2007 and was senior adviser to the U.S. Trade Representative from May 2007 until April 2008.

Lewis began her career with HCA in 1978 and held several nursing and quality management positions until she became chief nursing office of HCA’s Richmond Division in 1997. She served as COO of CJW Medical Center in 1998 and CEO in 2001.

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