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Each and every day I am inspired by the thousands of employees around the globe producing beloved brands for millions of people. I am also inspired by the company’s social purpose and its focus on producing these brands with the highest level of integrity and commitment to our planet.

As senior vice president and chief communications officer for Hormel Foods Corporation, a Fortune 500 global branded food company, Watkins is responsible for all global internal and external communications, global media relations, corporate responsibility and corporate reputation management. She serves as the company’s chief spokesperson and is responsible for Studio H — the company’s creative and culinary services internal creative agency. She also serves as director of the Hormel Foods Charitable Trust and leads the company’s charitable giving efforts.

Watkins joined the company as vice president of corporate communications in 2015 with more than 25 years of experience in global strategic communications, public affairs, marketing and corporate responsibility. Prior to joining Hormel Foods, Watkins spent 15 years as global vice president of corporate communications for Delaware North Companies, a global leader in hospitality and foodservice. Prior to Delaware North, Watkins was with Marriott Corporation, including leading global communications for Host Marriott Services Corporation. She began her career in corporate communications and marketing in the banking and real estate industry, leading advertising and communications for Empire of America’s Brandywine Enterprises real estate division after starting her career at Lanier Associates, a public relations and advertising agency. Watkins assumed her current role in 2021.

Watkins has been active in the food and travel industry. She was part of the initial launch of First Lady Michelle Obama’s childhood obesity initiative and the Chefs Move to School program. She was also an advisor and staff representative to the Department of Commerce Travel and Tourism Advisory Board and US Travel CEO Roundtable. Watkins served two terms on the New York State Health Research Science Board, appointed by the Governor of New York.

Watkins has been an active leader in the communications industry and was inducted into the PRWeek Hall of Femme in 2021. She was also honored as a change-maker in the 2021 Top Women in PR Awards program. She is a member of the Forbes Communications Council, the Arthur Page Society, the Vice Presidents Forum and the CCO Council.

Watkins is a member of the board of directors for National Merit Scholarship Corporation and president of the board of directors of the Cancer Nutrition Consortium. She serves on the board of directors for Find the Cause breast cancer research foundation, a board she joined after being honored by the organization in 2014 for her advocacy work. She was named a Woman of Influence by Business First of Buffalo, and participates in numerous other charitable and community organizations.

Watkins received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Fast Facts

executive team
Board of Directors Cancer Nutrition Consortium
Years Experience
Communications and Marketing with large corporations
global food safety
2 Terms
NY Governor’s Health Research Science Board
Corporate Citizen
2021 Top Women in PR Awards
honored as a change-maker
global connection
Chefs’ Move to School Program
Committee member for program led by former 1st Lady Michelle Obama
Corporate Citizen
PRWeek Hall of Femme
inducted in 2021

Wendy’s Favorite Product

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Hormel Foods, to Wendy

  • Inspired
  • Creative
  • World-Class

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