The National Renderers Association (NRA) presented James M. Andreoli, president of Baker Commodities Inc., with the Don Franco Distinguished Service Award at its convention in October. The award honors Andreoli for his outstanding work in the rendering industry over his lengthy career.
In 1951, Andreoli joined what was then called the Baker Rendering Company as a bookkeeper, working his normal office shift then volunteering to work in the plant after hours. He was appointed president in 1971 and bought the company in 1985. An early lesson he practices and taught his three sons – Jim Jr., Tony, and Andy – is that “everyone in the company is as important as the next.” His sons are now renderers alongside their father at Baker Commodities, which employs over 700 people throughout the United States (US).
Andreoli has been an innovator in rendering production, logistics, and marketing. He jointly developed the first continuous rendering system with Keith Engineering that is still used today. They also invented the Duke press. Andreoli has been a champion for the rendering industry and a major supporter of NRA and the Pacific Coast Renderers Association, serving on boards of directors and numerous committees. When problems for the industry arose due to bovine spongiform encephalopathy regulatory overreach and biodiesel feedstock equality, he was among the first to demand and monetarily support the work needed.
Andreoli’s contributions to people and communities have also included work with two foundations. The Jerome Foundation, founded by the Jerome family who started Baker, is dedicated to the care and protection of children in the United States and Philippines. The Andreoli Foundation supports US charities that promote care and education for children. Together these foundations have helped tens of thousands of children over the years with everything from much-needed surgeries to scholarships.
The Don Franco Distinguished Service Award was established by NRA in 2015 to honor a member, staff, or friend of the association for meritorious service to the rendering industry. Franco had a distinguished and lengthy career in government and the private sector, including in the rendering industry and agriculture. He served as both vice president of NRA’s scientific services and president of the Animal Protein Producers Industry from January 1992 until his retirement in December 2002. Franco was one of the editors of The Original Recyclers and a contributing author to Essential Rendering in 2006. He cared deeply about the rendering industry and the plight of poverty in third-world countries. Franco passed away in January 2015.
December 2016 RENDER | back