OPC elects its executives

OPC elects its executives
Oct 24, 2023

Photo above: Back row (L-R): Joe Dwyer, Henry Groenestege, Kirk McLean, and Drew De Bruyn. Front row (L-R): Abel Lopez, David Ross, and Victoria Stewart.

By Andrew Joseph, Farms.com; Photo and video by Glenn Ruegg

On October 17, 2023, the Ontario Pork Congress (OPC) held its annual general meeting at the Arden Park Hotel in Stratford, Ontario, with approximately 50 people attending the event, including Farms.com’s Glenn Ruegg, Senior Sales Associate.

The Ontario Pork Congress has, for 50 years, celebrated the community, history, and the hog industry’s future. It is a multi-day event/expo/tradeshow held in Stratford but is ultimately an Ontario, Canada, and global event celebrating all the good things about pork.

At its general meeting, it revealed the results of its executive election, with Kirk McLean remaining on for his second consecutive term as OPC president and his third term overall—2018–19, 2022–23, and 2023–24.

The new OPC Executive Committee is:

  • President: Kirk McLean;
  • 1st Vice President: Henry Groenestege (former OPC president 2021–22);
  • 2nd Vice President: Drew De Bruyn;
  • Recording Secretary: Joe Dwyer (former OPC president 2016–17);
  • Treasurer: Victoria Stewart;
  • Director: Abel Lopez;
  • Director: Dave Ross.

McLean’s re-election is a bit of a change in direction for the OPC—something perhaps predicated due to Covid-19 which played havoc with the OPC’s shows.
McLean was the last president pre-Covid and was also the last president to fully see his plans for the Congress come to fruition.

Prior to his current two-year term as president, the OPC annually elected a new member to lead without repetition.

But in this post-Covid world, McLean’s vision and leadership have been sought after by OPC members to ensure the OPC maintains the success it had as a global marketing device for the Ontario pork industry.

Having a pair of former OPC presidents, Dwyer and Groenestege, in the new executive committee certainly doesn’t hurt either.

Other events happening at the meeting included the presentation of the 2023 OPC Pork Industry Leadership Award by Joe Dwyer to the deserving winner, Murray Schlotzhauer.

Schlotzhauer is a former pork producer who lived near Stratford and always went out of his way to help the community, including the Ontario Pork Congress.

The 2024 Ontario Pork Congress will be held on June 19–20, 2024, in Stratford.

Glenn Ruegg interviewed Kirk McLean at the general meeting to discuss his vision for the upcoming year. Listen to what McLean has planned for the OPC.

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