Mark Peters, CEO, Butterball Farms Inc.

Mark PetersSemifinalist, Consumer Products

As the second-generation CEO of Butterball Farms Inc., Mark Peters has successfully managed to build upon the success of his father and grow the company into an industry leader.

According to business experts, family businesses survive through a second generation only 30 percent of the time. Through hard work, the influence of a number of mentors and leveraging a proven product, Peters has beaten those odds. He has successfully led Butterball Farms and positioned it for significant growth moving forward.

As the founding CEO, the strength of Peters’ father was entrepreneurship, not delegation, so when Peters suddenly became CEO upon his father’s death in 1995, he admittedly struggled to keep a debt-free company afloat. Within the first two years, the company was nearly bankrupt.

However, by looking at the company in his own way, Peters was able to put his own experience and talents to work. Ultimately, he didn’t just stabilize Butterball Farms, he put it on a path to growth.

The current Butterball Farms management team is a reflection of Peters, which is a complete, 180-degree change from when he first took over. Defined by their hard work, experience, intelligence and values, Peters gives his management team significant autonomy as it handles a majority of the day-to-day business. Peters’ delegation philosophy allows him to focus on the future growth of the company.

In short, the key to his management team is trust in his people — that they are the right people for the job, will do the best possible work with minimal supervision from Peters and will adhere to executing on Peters’ strategy and vision for the future of Butterball Farms.

HOW TO REACH: Butterball Farms Inc.,