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Thursday, August 9, 2012 - Page updated at 07:30 p.m.
Jerry Dowd, president of Trident Seafoods, dies at 60
By Karl Baker
Seattle Times business reporter
Jerry Dowd helped guide one of the country's largest seafood companies and give Seattle another billion-dollar business.
The president of Seattle-based Trident Seafoods died Monday, after suffering a heart attack while on a fly-fishing trip with his family in Southwest Alaska. He was 60.
A veteran in the meat and fish industry, Mr. Dowd held top positions with Tyson Foods and ConAgra before he moved to Trident in 2004, initially as an adviser. He became president of domestic operations in 2006.
Tom Sunderland, vice president of marketing at Seattle-based Ocean Beauty Seafoods, said Mr. Dowd's prior career in the poultry business gave him a refreshing viewpoint that aided Trident's sales strategies.
"He was one of the very few people at a senior level (in the seafood industry) who had a perspective from the outside," Sunderland said. "He was really smart."
Mr. Dowd had been working on what the company called "a major expansion of Trident's China operations," aiming to increase Chinese consumption of Trident seafood.
Randy Eronimous, Trident's vice president of marketing, said Mr. Dowd "spent a significant portion of his life on an airplane for the company."
Joe Bundrant, executive vice president at Trident, cited Mr. Dowd's "tireless drive" and called him a friend and mentor.
During his 20 years at Tyson Foods, Mr. Dowd rose to senior vice president of that company's Foodservice Division. Sales in the division grew to $2.7 billion from $100 million during Dowd's time there, according to a Trident statement.
ConAgra's poultry unit — acquired by Pilgrim's Pride in 2003 — also expanded under Mr. Dowd's leadership beginning in 1999.
"I worked with Jerry for 16 years, and he was one of the most passionate people I've worked with in business. When it came to a customer need, he spared no energy," said Bill Lovette, Pilgrim's CEO, through a spokesperson.
A Trident statement said the company "grew substantially as a direct result" of Mr. Dowd's work.
Mr. Dowd is survived by his wife, Patti; his brother, Tommy; and sisters Margaret, Ronnie and Kathleen; his children, Sean and Meghan; son-in-law Roger; and granddaughters Patti Mae and Mary Anne, according to Trident founder Chuck Bundrant in a statement. His family was not available for comment.
Karl Baker: 206-464-2046 or email@example.com
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