The Hormel Foundation reveals new roles for top positions

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(ABC 6 News) – The Hormel Foundation’s Board of Directors announced it has approved new executive committee positions.

Bonnie Rietz will serve as Acting Chair and Roland “Rollie” Gentzler as Vice Chair in response to Jeff Ettinger’s recent appointment as interim president of the University of Minnesota.

RELATED: U of M Regents approve contract for interim president Jeff Ettinger

Rietz will be the first woman to hold the top position for The Hormel Foundation, established in 1941. She was the first woman elected to Mayor of Austin serving 10 years and the first woman appointed as Vice Chair of The Hormel Foundation.

“I am truly honored to support the Foundation and our community in this way,” said Rietz. “The work of The Hormel Foundation is something I deeply appreciate. We have an incredibly talented and dedicated staff and board of directors and we will continue to work together for the benefit of people in our community.”

Ettinger, who ran as a Democrat in Minnesota’s First Congressional District last fall, also spent 27 years at Hormel Foods in Austin, 11 years as the company’s CEO, before moving to the position as Chair of the Board of Directors for The Hormel Foundation. Rietz said Ettinger will continue to advise The Hormel Foundation board, but will recuse himself in involvement of decisions related to The Hormel Institute and the major FAARM (Future Advanced Agriculture Research in Minnesota) project.

Gentzler will take on the role of Vice Chair and also continue to serve as Treasurer. Previously Gentzler was the Vice President for Hormel Foods Corp. finance department and its Treasurer. Joining the company in 1976, Gentzler was responsible for financial analysis, risk management, cash management, tax, operations research and credit.

He joined The Hormel Foundation board of directors in 2017 and as Treasurer is responsible for overseeing the financial functions of the Foundation.

“We will diligently continue the work of The Hormel Foundation during the time that Jeff is serving as Interim President of University of Minnesota,” said Gentzler. “As chair, he has put people, processes and programs in place to ensure as a team we are stewarding funds and making decisions for the highest and best impact.”

Steven T. Rizzi Jr., a partner at the law firm of Adams, Rizzi and Sween, will continue to serve as Secretary.

The Board of Regents have said they expect Ettinger’s term to last about a year.

“During this time, we will continue to support our dedicated nonprofits to ensure the highest impact can be made,” said Rietz. “And we deeply thank all of Hormel Foods’ employees who make The Hormel Foundation’s work possible.”

For more information about The Hormel Foundation, CLICK HERE.