Jeremy Sparks

Senior Manager, Organizational Change Management

Tyson Foods Inc.

Springdale

Age: 40


Jeremy Sparks

Jeremy Sparks is a 2013 member of the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo Hall of Fame, a major in the Air National Guard and the author of a just-released autobiography titled “Go West: 10 Principles that Guided My Cowboy Journey.”

At Tyson Foods, Sparks, who turned 40 after he was chosen as a 40 Under 40 honoree, helps employees learn new systems the company installs. It’s not bullfighting or having one’s finger on a nuclear trigger — both of which Sparks can put on his resume — but he helps people handle work changes, which can be stressful when longtime employees are suddenly required to learn a new way of doing things.

Sparks joined Tyson in 2013 after a life worthy of a book, which he released in February. A graduate of the University of Arkansas-Monticello, Sparks joined the Air Force after 9/11 and was assigned to a base in Wyoming, where he was responsible for ICBMs during the Iraq War. “I provided the deterrent insurance for the operators on the ground,” Sparks said. “I was the big stick behind them.”

All the while, Sparks was a bullfighter on the rodeo circuit; a bullfighter is the person who distracts the bull after it has thrown a cowboy. Sparks retired from rodeo in 2010 and hopes to soon earn a promotion to lieutenant colonel with the Air National Guard’s 153rd Airlift Wing.