Two Protein Industry Leaders Honored at NPFDA’s Annual Awards Reception

ST MARYS, GA – The National Protein and Food Distributors Association (NPFDA) honored two industry leaders during its Awards Reception at the Annual Protein Convention at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta on January 26. 

Laurie Pate, President of Foodlinx in Brentwood, California, was awarded the coveted NPFDA Member of the Year Award. Joe Monroe, General Manager of Columbia Meats in West Columbia, South Carolina, was awarded the NPFDA Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Laurie has been a very dynamic member of NPFDA and is a long-time volunteer for the NPFDA Scholarship Foundation’s Annual Silent Auction. She has also served on the NPFDA Board of Directors since 2019. Laurie got an early start in the protein industry working at a wholesale food distributor while still in high school. It is here where she developed many of the relationships in the South Pacific Islands that she has to this day. She collaborated with people from Guam, Saipan, The Marshall Islands, Tonga, The Cook Islands, American Samoa, Western Samoa, the Philippines, and many more. After many years in the industry, Laurie joined partners to form Foodlinx in 2010. 

Joe got into the chicken business right out of college. Through his network he met Albin Johnson and Frank Monroe, an association he credits with fostering his knowledge and love of the poultry business. Before long, Joe became Corporate Sales Manager of Columbia Farms. He held several different industry positions, but it was not until Joe returned home to South Carolina that he partnered with Dan and Jerry Sloan to expand distribution centers in Greenville and West Columbia, South Carolina and Morristown, Tennessee. Joe and his oldest son, Glennon, began to run and grow the Columbia Meats distribution center as they do today. Joe was elected to the NPFDA Board of Directors in 2001 and was honored to be named Member of the Year in 2005. He served as President of NPFDA in 2008-2009. In 2003, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the South Carolina Poultry Federation and served as Chair in 2005 – 2006.  

NPFDA Board Chair Jeff Paschall said: “Congratulations to Laurie Pate and Joe Monroe on their much-deserved recognition to the protein industry and the NPFDA organization. “ 

About NPFDA 

The National Protein and Food Distributors Association (NPFDA) formerly known as National Poultry and Food Distributors Association, is a non-profit trade association based in St. Mary’s, Georgia which has been in existence since 1967. It is currently comprised of poultry and food suppliers, retailers, processors, transportation companies and marketers with a membership of 280 industry firms from throughout the country. The association’s goal is to provide platforms for all members to get together and network, grow and learn from one another, and develop lasting business relationships. NPFDA’s mission is to provide a forum for food distributors, processors, and allied industries that fosters long term relationships through the exchange of ideas. For more information, visit or call (912) 439-3603. Follow us on Twitter @NPFDA1 or via Facebook at