Commerce Ventures LLC, a neutral, web-based exchange for buyers and sellers of beef, pork and poultry products, today announced the appointment of Kevin M. Nemetz as chief executive officer.

Nemetz’s primary responsibility is spearheading the company’s marketplace launch scheduled for first quarter 2001. He also oversees all efforts pertaining to management-level hiring decisions, develops partnership efforts and provides overall strategic direction and leadership for the company.

”Kevin brings a tremendous mix of management and food industry experience to his new position at Commerce Ventures,” said Richard Bond, president and chief operating officer of IBP Inc. ”We are confident that Commerce Ventures will become a leader in the beef, pork and poultry industry under his guidance.”

Nemetz began his career in 1979 at Procter and Gamble Distributing Company where he spent thirteen years in numerous sales and marketing management positions of increasing responsibility in the soap and detergent division. Nemetz served in the company’s Chicago and Cincinnati headquarters responsible for the business development of strategic alliances and special assignments such as promotion simplification and negotiation training. He was also selected to lead the development of a sales organization in Prague, Czechoslovakia and achieved the Chairman’s Award for business team development.

In 1992, Nemetz moved to Ralston Purina and Ralston Foods, a division of Ralcorp Holding Company. While there, his positions included director of sales planning and vice president of national accounts. In 1996, Nemetz moved to Coopers and Lybrand L.L.P. where he consulted senior level management of Fortune 50-500 companies as a sales and marketing strategy manager.

Nemetz then joined Dean Foods Incorporated in 1998 as a corporate vice president and officer to oversee all aspects of the company’s food products division. In August 2000, Nemetz was named president of Pennant Foods, a $180 million manufacturer and distributor of frozen dough, desserts and pastry products. The company changed ownership in October 2000 and was integrated into an established division, providing an opportunity for Nemetz to consider other management opportunities.

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”I am delighted to be part of such an enterprising company from the start,” said Nemetz. ”Commerce Ventures is going to offer meat and poultry buyers and sellers a practical solution to make their jobs more efficient and allow for greater strategic execution. I look forward to leading the company and our management team to deliver breakthrough results to the meat industry.”

Commerce Ventures will operate as a neutral, web-based exchange open to the entire industry, providing a place for buyers and sellers to connect with each other. The five founding partners include: IBP Inc, Excel Corporation (Cargill’s red meat business), Tyson Foods Inc., Gold Kist Inc. and Farmland National Beef and Farmland Foods (Farmland Industries Inc.’s red meat business).