HOWARD I. HALPERN, Chairman
As a pioneer in the industry, Howard Halpern is an acknowledged leader in the business of meat and seafood distribution. His role as an innovator and entrepreneur is well established. Howard was one of the first in the country to distribute boxed beef and he is credited with being a major force behind the development of fresh portion-cut steaks. His work with Kansas State University resulted in a dry aging process that is used to this day. Howard’s constant efforts to improve the process every step of the way – sourcing, packaging, equipment, supplies – have made the industry better and safer.
Howard’s accomplishments and accolades are many. He holds an Honorary Doctorate from Johnson and Wales and was named The Escoffier Society’s Man of the Year. He has worked with the U.S. Olympic committee and has had numerous leadership positions in industry and nonprofit organizations. His business acumen was noted when he won Regional Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young. Howard has led numerous professional and student culinary teams to medal finishes. As chairman of Halperns’, he shares his insight and experience with the most dynamic team of professionals assembled in the industry.
KIRK HALPERN, CMO
Active in his family’s business since childhood, Kirk Halpern has witnessed the growth of the industry and understands its challenges as well as its potential. He holds a unique vision for his company and insists on a hands-on approach to every step in the process. Kirk served on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Meat Purveyors and holds a degree from Duke Law School. As CMO and Founder of Halperns’, Kirk carries on a family tradition that began over 50 years ago with drive, spirit and vision.
With more than 35 years of experience in the food service industry, Lynne has worked alongside Howard Halpern since the inception of the family’s original meat company. Her guidance has been integral to its success. With a keen eye for strategy, she now guides Halperns’ development and marketing efforts.
Over the years, Lynne has united her personal interest in gastronomy and love of community to lead and support Atlanta’s culinary scene and countless charities. She has served on numerous boards of Atlanta’s premier nonprofit entities. She is president of The Lynne M. and Howard I. Halpern Foundation, one of her greatest passions, which supports civic efforts in Atlanta and throughout the country. Lynne was named President of the Year by The Chaine des Rotisseurs, and also received the organization’s highest honor, “The Good of the World” award. She was also recognized as Volunteer of the Year by Cartier.
RAY HICKS, President & CEO
Ray Hicks brings 35 years of experience and strong leadership qualities to the executive team. After graduating from Georgia State University with a BA in Accounting Ray served as Senior Vice President of Merchandising, General Manger, Operations manager and Sales Executive for two major Food Service distributors in the Southeast before joining Halperns at its inception where he serves as President and Chief Executive Officer.
RAY FARMER, EVP
Ray Farmer is a Certified Executive Chef and three-time medal winner at the Culinary Olympics in Frankfurt, Germany. His experience has established the culinary-based approach that separates Halperns’ from its competitors. Ray has been a member of the American Culinary Federation for 30 years, is a Certified ACF judge and a past President of the Atlanta chapter.
JODY HICKS, VP
Jody Hicks has a passion for customer service, developed during her 30 years in the food distribution industry. With experience in sales, purchasing and administration, she insists that her excellent track record of ensuring customer satisfaction and retention is a result of truly enjoying her work.