Following the resignations of three executive staff this summer, Minnesota’s turkey organizations are working with an outside consulting firm on long-range strategic plans.
In an online Sept. 27 letter to the state’s turkey industry, board directors with the Minnesota Turkey Growers and the Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council explained that they have been “in the process of restructuring the two organizations with the intent to refocus our efforts on the interests and needs of the Minnesota turkey industry.”
The boards started the process after several members expressed concern regarding the current and future direction of our two organizations.
Concern was voiced after the resignation of longtime executive director Steve Olson, who resigned from his position in the summer, and the resignations in mid-September by communications director and interim executive director Lara Durben and events coordinator/exhibits manager Teresa Sorenson. The board’s letter noted that Durben and Sorenson moved on to other job opportunities. The two have started their own business, an events management company.
“We appreciate all that they have done for our organizations and the Minnesota turkey industry and wish them well in their new endeavors,” the letter stated. “The sudden resignation of these three individuals has left a temporary void regarding the staffing levels in the office but at the same time has provided us with the opportunity to restructure our missions from the ground up.”
The board’s letter said they “remain committed to the Minnesota turkey industry and are looking for ways to streamline our efforts and budget while remaining focused on the priorities of research, grower education, and supporting our growers.”
An outside consulting firm has been hired to help with the long-range planning. Once that is done, they will start the process of searching for a new executive director.
“We are moving as quickly and diligently as we can and ask our members to please be patient with us as we continue through our strategic planning process and executive director search,” the letter concluded. “We will be reaching out to our members and other key stakeholders throughout this process.”