John Anthony Guglielmi was born in 1939 in Highland Park, Illinois. After completing high school in Illinois, Mr. Guglielmi attended Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. At Duke Mr. Guglielmi met his future wife, Chiquita Murray, of Mocksville, NC, the daughter of North Carolina Poultry Hall of Fame member Malcolm Harry Murray.
In 1961, Mr. Guglielmi’s career in the poultry business began with a training program at Holly Farms Poultry Industries in Wilkesboro, NC. Mr. Guglielmi worked for several departments at Holly Farms during the training program, including Hatchery Operations, Grow Out Management and Sales. In 1966 Holly Farms relocated Mr. Guglielmi to Mocksville, where he learned the commodity purchasing aspects of the poultry business under M. H. Murray’s mentorship.
During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Mr. Guglielmi got involved in local and state politics. He worked diligently to educate policy makers on the needs of the poultry industry and to temper regulations that affected the industry. During this same period Mr. Guglielmi became active in the North Carolina Poultry Federation and the North Carolina Feed Manufacturers Association, quickly rising to leadership positions in both associations. Mr. Guglielmi moved through the chairs of the North Carolina Poultry Federation and became the Federation President in 1974.
In 1976, Holly Farms moved Mr. Guglielmi back to Wilkesboro to head the corporation’s Commodity Purchasing Department. The Department was challenged with the task of centralizing commodity purchasing for all of Holly Farms’ feed manufacturing facilities in North Carolina, Virginia, and Texas. Mr. Guglielmi’s success in leading the Commodity Purchasing Department resulted in his promotion to Vice President of the Corporation and later being named to Holly Farms’ Executive Committee.
A series of presidential and congressional actions in the late 1970s and early 1980s led to the deregulation of a large segment of the transportation industry. Of significance to the poultry industry, railroads and interstate trucking were deregulated. Mr. Guglielmi served as Chairman of the Traffic Committee for the Southeastern Poultry & Egg Association (now the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association) and spearheaded the Association’s work with Congress and the United States Department of Transportation. As Traffic Committee Chairman, Mr. Guglielmi supported the poultry industry by monitoring transportation the rates, surcharges and cost effectiveness of trucking and rail. The Traffic Committee under Mr. Guglielmi’s leadership commissioned a study to measure the short-term and long-term effects of deregulation the Association used for many years to guide their actions.
Mr. Guglielmi’s tremendous efforts and leadership in the poultry industry earned him the Southeastern Poultry & Egg Association’s highest award in 1978: “Workhorse of the Year.” Soon after, Mr. Guglielmi was elected to the Board of Directors and later to the Executive Committee of the Southeastern Poultry & Egg Association.
Mr. Guglielmi continued his statewide representation of the poultry industry as a member of the North Carolina Board of Agriculture. He worked closely with North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Jim Graham, advising him on regulations and policies affecting the poultry industry. In 1982, Mr. Guglielmi was elected President of Southeastern Poultry & Egg Association. In his role as President, he focused on Washington, D.C. Agriculture Secretary John Block became a central figure for Mr. Guglielmi’s efforts to ensure that the poultry industry was represented fairly in Washington.
As active as he was in his representation of the poultry industry, Mr. Guglielmi never lost sight of his commitment to his community. Mr. Guglielmi was a past member of the Mocksville Jaycees and a member of the Masons. In Wilkesboro, Mr. Guglielmi was a member of Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, serving on the church’s vestry as both Junior and Senior Warden. He also served on the Foundation Board of the Diocese of Western North Carolina.
In honor of his numerous contributions, dedicated service and tireless work on behalf of the poultry food industry, the North Carolina Poultry Federation is pleased to induct John Anthony Guglielmi into the North Carolina Poultry Hall of Fame.