Leadership in poultry
science and innovation.

Pioneers in poultry genetics

From our top-level executives, to our world-class research and development team, each member plays a crucial role in driving our mission forward.

Our Leadership
Meet our team of passionate, innovative leaders committed to driving Cobb's progress in the industry. Their expertise and strategic decision-making lay the foundation for our culture, operational excellence, and our commitment to a sustainable future.
Joyce J. Lee
President
Joyce is the executive leading the overall global business and performance of Cobb. She steers our premier genetics company to responsibly and efficiently feed the world through genetic innovation. Her results oriented leadership impacts over 30% of all chickens consumed worldwide. The team Joyce leads brings together genetics, animal health and technology in a differentiated way to create value for the entire food chain.

The enterprise consists of over 4,000 team members across six continents dedicated to ensuring we are a top source of the most sought-after protein to help feed families worldwide. Joyce is currently leading an initiative to develop our first-of-its kind Proving Grounds, which is a step change in reliably predicting our genetics at scale for customers. Joyce joined Cobb in 2022.

Prior to joining Cobb, Joyce served as a senior executive officer at Elanco, Bayer, Zoetis and Pfizer. She has held executive, regional and country level leadership positions across these well-known publicly-held companies. A proven transformational P&L leader, she has capabilities ranging across global human and animal medicine. Her experience includes leading the formation of the poultry business of Pfizer Animal Health into a leading supplier of products and services, including the integration of Embrex®, making the company a leader in technology along with products. Further, she led the companion animal business of Bayer and Elanco and drove the value creation of some of the leading brands in the highly attractive pet care category, along with beef, dairy, pork and global aquaculture. Her further experience includes consumer package goods and digital commerce. She began her career in the railway business with CSX Technology and CSX Financial Services divisions.

She serves on the Member Board of Directors for Balchem Corporation (NASDAQ: BCPC), Baylor University Hankamer School of Business, and Grand Street Settlement in New York City.

Joyce graduated from Baylor University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Jacksonville University with an MBA.

Joyce and her husband have lived around the globe and currently reside near our global headquarters in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.
Dr. William Herring
Vice President, Research and Development
Dr. Herring leads the global discovery efforts to accelerate genetic progress and introduce it at scale in over 100 countries. He develops our genetic improvement strategies by building upon over a century’s worth of data and genetic advancement, his daily effort amplifies the availability of the world’s fastest growing protein.  He leads a team of scientists, engineers and innovators focused on the need to produce food utilizing traits that maximize the efficient conversion of genetics to useable food while combining the best science and technology available to make it happen. He is instrumental in helping develop our first of its kind Proving Grounds which is a step change in terms of predicting our genetics at scale reliably for customers. William joined Cobb in 2022.

William has over 30 plus years of experience and leadership in livestock and poultry genetic improvement. Prior to joining Cobb, William held roles at PIC, a genetic improvement company as well as roles within the genetics team at Pfizer Animal Health (now Zoetis).

William obtained a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from Auburn University and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of Georgia. 

In his spare time, he enjoys helping with the genetic improvement program at this family’s beef operation.
Roy Mutimer
Vice President Cobb Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific
Roy leads diverse, far-reaching commercial businesses across Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. His responsibilities include managing our business across a wide array of commercial set-ups and customer types. He works to tailor our offering for the unique needs of his customers.

Roy joined Cobb in 1995. In his tenure with Cobb, Roy has held various roles in the UK and USA with responsibilities spanning across commercial, Laboratories, Quality Assurance, Animal Welfare.

Born and raised on a farm in England, Roy began his career with the UK Government Veterinary Investigation Service in 1981, completing his bachelor’s degree in Applied Microbiology in the UK.

Roy enjoys spending time with his wife and three children and getting out into the great outdoors.
Ben Church
Vice President Strategy, Marketing and Genetic Excellence
Ben is responsible for leading our strategic planning and marketing functions, as well as driving the transformation of Cobb with data and digitization. He is accountable for accelerating our influence and reputation in the market and overall industry. His team also promotes genetic excellence at Cobb ensuring we have a world-class team of technical experts and key opinion leaders to elevate the experience of both our customers and the industry. Ben joined Cobb in 2022.

Prior to Cobb, Ben was executive director of investor relations and corporate communications at Esperion, a biotech company working in the cardiovascular space. He was global head of external communications at Sandoz, a division of Novartis that introduced biosimilars, a new class of medicines on a global scale. In addition he spent his early career at Pfizer Animal Health (now Zoetis) launching innovative first of kind medicines in both livestock and companion animals, many of which are now market leading products.

He graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources and Agriculture Communications.

He enjoys spending time on the farm with his heritage breed of beef cattle and hiking.
Chris Lewellen
Chief Financial Officer
Chris’s responsibilities include managing financial planning and budgeting processes across our global operation to ensure alignment with the company's vision and objectives, preparing and presenting financial reports, statements. He provides strategic advice and guidance to other senior leaders on financial matters like growth strategies, capital allocation, cost reduction, and profitability across our global markets. Additionally, he leads our market financial statutory reporting requirements for Cobb.

Chris returned to Cobb in 2022 from Tyson. With over 33 years of experience in the poultry industry, he comes to Cobb from Tyson where he held various roles of increasing responsibility including Divisional Operations Controller and Sr. Business Unit Controller. Chris began his career in the poultry industry with Cargill, Inc. 

Chris holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Northeastern State University in Oklahoma.

Chris and his wife enjoy spending time with their four children and golfing.
Vic De Martino
Managing Director, Global Strategic Sales and Operations Planning
Vic leads the allocation of our top genetics and product supply chain, while maximizing the total customer experience on a global scale. His team works with our sales organization to ensure our supply meets demand over the short and long term, which leads to a continuous, uninterrupted flow of available protein for consumers. Additionally, his responsibilities include navigating the complex import and export regulations worldwide. Vic joined Cobb in 2022.

Prior to joining Cobb, Vic was Director of Sales Strategy & Planning for Tyson Foods. He started his career at Sara Lee/Hillshire Brands (later acquired by Tyson) in 2003. After several successful assignments in marketing and sales he moved into planning. Earlier in his career he worked for Arthur Andersen and IBM, where he honed his financial acumen and developed strong project management and process improvement skills.
Vic graduated from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign with a bachelor’s degree in Business Finance, and later earned an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Vic enjoys traveling and spending time with his family.
Kendall Layman
Managing Director of Global IT and Corporate Facilities
Kendall leads a team that is responsible for planning, implementing and managing the overall use of information technologies within Cobb. His team ensures the proper systems, support and security our company. His responsibilities also include organizing our data, which is a unique opportunity to truly maximize information flow end-to end. Additionally, the global footprint of Cobb is extensive and he ensures our facilities are ready with the environment and equipment necessary to ensure the continuity of our operations, most of which have constant operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Kendall joined Cobb in 2007. Prior to Cobb, Kendall held roles at Tyson Foods where he joined in 1999. With over 37 years of experience in the computer industry, he has been in the poultry industry for 25 years. Prior to joining Tyson, Kendall started his career as a computer operator in the United States Air Force. After leaving the Air Force he worked as a computer operator, programmer/analyst, programming consultant, and IT department manager for companies located in Oklahoma, Arizona and Arkansas.

He received management information systems training from the Community College of the Air Force and achieved an AAS degree in Computer Science from Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.

Kendall has been married to his wife for 39 years, has two grown children and four grandchildren.
Billy Pharis
Senior Council, Law Department
Billy leads Cobb on all manners of legal issues both domestically and internationally and is known for his ability to connect business strategies. He has over fifteen years of legal experience as a dedicated team-first business attorney with a broad range of experience in risk analysis, negotiations, commercial transactions, ethics and compliance, corporate governance, litigation and administrative management.

Billy joined Cobb in 2018. Billy obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas. Prior to settling down to his legal career in corporate America, Billy was a professional basketball player in Denmark for two years and in Lebanon for six years.

In his spare time, he enjoys coaching his children’s youth sports and cheering on the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Ray Ables
Vice President Live Production North America
Ray is responsible for all activities related to poultry live production in North America. One of the most dynamic portions of our business, his organization includes farm, hatchery operations, nutrition, feed milling, and transportation. Ray’s team has influence across the entire genetic pipeline ranging from pedigree, GGP, and GP production. He has over 32 years of poultry experience and is known for high performance. The team’s ability to produce and grow quality, saleable live product is the lifeblood of our company and industry. He is instrumental in helping develop our first of its kind Proving Grounds which is a step change in terms of predicting our genetics at scale reliably for customers. Ray joined Cobb in July 2022.

Prior to joining Cobb he had most recently served as Complex Manager for Tyson Foods, Mississippi Live Operations. Before that he had served in numerous leadership roles in Arkansas and Alabama. Throughout his career, Ray achieved strong business results while demonstrating servant leadership and ensuring the safety of the people under his care. He has served on numerous boards and industry associations, as well as leading corporate efforts to support global non-profits such as World Vision, ASAP and OneEgg to help communities find ways to utilize chickens and eggs to improve lives.

Ray is a graduate of Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in Poultry Science. 

He and his wife Jennifer of 30 years have two adult children.
Dr. Gene Shepherd
Managing Director of World Quality Assurance and Veterinary Services
Dr. Shepherd leads our Quality Care team, which is comprised of our global Quality Assurance, Veterinary Services and Laboratory teams. As our lead veterinarian, he sets our global health programs, oversees domestic and global quality assurance policies and animal welfare compliance. Also under his leadership are our Veterinary Services and Laboratory Services teams, which are known for their attention to detail and high quality standards. He also leads our rigorous biosecurity program which protects our ability to meet our customer’s demands for high quality, trusted protein.

Gene joined Cobb in 2014. He joined Cobb as an internal veterinarian responsible for bird health at our production facilities in the eastern U.S. and was promoted to his current role in 2017. Prior to joining Cobb, Gene spent three years with Genus PIC, a swine primary breeder, where he was Manager of Health Assurance.

Gene holds a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, both from Oklahoma State University.

Gene and his wife, Jennifer, enjoy spending time with their children and traveling.
Bernardo Gallo
Vice President Latin America and Canada
Bernardo is the commercial leader of our Latin America business and is responsible for driving business with a team across Latin America and Canada. His region includes our biggest international market, Brazil, where Cobb has leading marketing share and its biggest footprint outside of the United States. His area includes a mix of other established and emerging markets within our industry with significant growth opportunities.

Bernardo joined Cobb in 2016. Most recently, he served as our technical leader in South America. He has broad experience spanning across multiple leadership roles with international scope within Cobb as well as previous company experience across live production, sales, technical leadership, nutrition, and veterinarian services with Tyson, BRF, Cargill and Globoaves. He started his career with Tyson in 2011 as a Live Production Director.

Bernardo is a Brazilian native and poultry veterinarian, with a Veterinarian degree from Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul as well as MBA’s in General Business, Finance and Controlling and People Management.

In his spare time, Bernardo enjoys spending time with his family, eating barbeque and watching the Gremio soccer team.

Our Values

Shaping our success, one value at a time.
Our values aren't just words on a page - they're the driving force behind every decision we make, every project we undertake, and every interaction we have. Rooted in family, driven by excellence, shaped by innovation, and upheld by integrity, these principles bring our mission to life and forge the culture of respect and camaraderie that defines us at Cobb.
01
Family
We believe in treating each other and our customers like family. We communicate openly and respectfully and focus on the best possible result for each other and the company. We value the knowledge, skills, ideas and capabilities of every individual.
02
Integrity
We believe doing the right thing is always the right choice. We’ve earned trust for more than a century by doing business honestly, ethically, legally, safely and sustainably. We keep our promises and take responsibility for our actions and results.
03
Innovation
We believe creative thinking, curiosity and collaboration inspire the best business solutions and products. We prepare for and adapt to future trends and needs. We’re open minded, welcome new ideas, encourage responsible risk taking and embrace lifelong learning.
04
Being the Best
We believe in working hard and thinking customer-first. We give our best every day and set and achieve high standards in everything we do. We manage resources wisely and challenge ourselves to seek continuous improvement and new opportunities.

Global supply network

Our global footprint spans 5 continents and we have biosecure operations in 10 countries. Through our global distribution network, our products are available in over 100 countries.