Forty Under 40: James Melton

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,250 views 

Class of 2017 Forty Under 40 James Melton Incubation Manager George's Inc.

Efficiency expert James Melton spends his days finding ways to maximize the capabilities of the George’s hatchery, while minimizing the cost of labor.

He’s only been with the company since early July, but he certainly understands the importance of the work in a competitive poultry market.

“Our goal is to compete against companies who maybe have newer facilities with our efficiencies,” he said. “If the efficiency within our process is spot-on, that’s where we’ll see cost reductions in labor, damage to products, mishandled products, that sort of thing.”

Melton said if the process in his department can be perfected during the next year, “we can think about rolling some of the methodology out to other departments.”

Melton graduated from Missouri Southern in Joplin in 2007 with a double major in history and biology. In 2009, he began a five-year career working with the global product development team at Rockline Industries in Springdale. He credited two mentors there — Doug Cole and Lori Messenbrink — for giving him a strong basis in the manufacturing industry.

Melton has also worked for Triple T Foods in Springdale as director of operations.

“The joy I get from work is when a solution works,” he said. “Going through the research and implementation and saving the company money gives me great satisfaction.”

After graduating high school and before matriculating, Melton spent two years in the U.S. Coast Guard as a petty officer. He’s also a licensed pilot, and took full control of his first airplane when he was 13 years old.

“My dad was a pilot in the Air Force; I started flying before I drove a car,” he said.