Forty Under 40: Ryan Vessell

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 595 views 

Class of 2020 Forty Under 40 Ryan Vessell Vice President of Innovation and Growth Business Strategy Tyson Foods Inc., Springdale

Ryan Vessell worked his way through six positions, from entry-level analyst to vice president, in 11 years at Tyson Foods. Impressive, especially at a Fortune 500 company.

In March 2019, Vessell became vice president of innovation and growth business strategy when Tyson merged three legacy units to form a new team solely dedicated to new channels, new categories and new footprint growth in the fresh meats category.

“This allowed us to accelerate growth in nontraditional categories,” he said. “We’re seeing traction in the market, so there’s tangible product success. That’s been validating to our team.”

Originally from San Antonio, Vessell credits his parents with encouraging him to step out of his comfort zone to attend the University of Missouri at Rolla, where he graduated in 2007 with a business and management systems degree. He earned his MBA from the University of Arkansas in 2011.

Driven by seeing his team succeed, Vessell’s vision is for Tyson Foods to be the market leader, determining what products and categories consumers want and creating new demand streams to accomplish growth goals.

“Nothing is more rewarding than seeing something that the entire team had a hand in creating morph itself both in the market and then also in helping consumers feed their families and doing so on a mass scale,” he said.

Vessell cites the success of last year’s Hillshire Farm Dinner Sausage launch.

Under footprint growth, Vessell is responsible for a new $300 million production facility in Utah, which will start up in the next 12 to 15 months.

Vessell is on the Helen R. Walton Children’s Enrichment Center board of directors, and he enjoys playing golf, softball and spending time with family.

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