Twin Brothers Take on World of George's Inc.

by Chris Bahn  on Monday, May. 20, 2013 12:00 am  

At 30, Carl George, left, and his twin, Charles George, are the same age their father, Gary George, was when he became CEO of George’s Inc. of Springdale, the integrated poultry operation where the brothers were recently named co-CEOs.  (Photo by Beth Hall)

Some of Carl and Charles George’s earliest memories naturally involve the family business.

Charles recalls touring a new George’s Inc. facility for hours with his father, Gary, the former CEO and current chairman of the board of the Springdale poultry processing operation. Carl remembers occasionally riding to school with his grandfather, Gene, as early morning updates from local plants were delivered via handheld two-way radio.

Neither brother fully realized it at the time, but those moments were great educational opportunities and had a significant impact on where the 30-year-old twins find themselves today. Named co-CEOs of the poultry processing operation in April, Carl and Charles George picked up knowledge in their early years that is invaluable today in their current roles.

“We definitely grew up around the business,” Carl George said. “We have a great appreciation for where the company was in the old days and how it has grown. We have an understanding of what it takes to succeed.”

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Certainly, they have the right last name to lead George’s Inc., which is a fourth-generation family business, founded in 1920. But the two have also worked for years to acquire the right skills needed to run what has grown into an estimated $900 million operation with approximately 4,700 employees in Arkansas, Missouri and Virginia.

In 2009 — at age 26 — the two were named to the executive staff and served as senior vice presidents. It was then they began dividing up duties that they now hold. Carl George is in charge of live production and processing. Charles George oversees sales, accounting, human resources, quality assurance and purchasing.

Gary George, who like his sons became CEO at age 30, said he was often impressed with how the two brought fresh ideas to meetings and showed a knack for problem-solving. In fact, he said he had no doubt that his sons were ready to take over. Gary George views the brothers as much better prepared for the job than he was at their age, he said.

“They got a quick education and have seen the highs and lows of the business,” George said. “And how much better education can you get than being thrown into it? When is the right time? The right time is when you are prepared. And they are prepared.”

In addition to their early start on the management team and tagging along with their father and grandfather as kids, the duo held assorted jobs within the company as teenagers.

They’ve spent the last 15 years working in some capacity at George’s Inc., including stints at the Springdale processing plant and at a local hatchery. Those jobs afforded them a first-hand look at what goes into the integrated poultry — or “farm-to-fork” — operation.

“That’s one thing I feel like my dad and the whole management team did a good job of is focusing on teaching us as opposed to just making sure we paid our dues,” Charles George said. “They were focused on making sure we understood the business.”



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