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Joseph M. Stewart: Biography

Joseph M. Stewart is cofounder and chief executive officer of Stewart Industries, LLC. Stewart Industries is an automotive sub-assembly manufacturing business specializing in the assembly of small component parts for major automotive manufacturers. He is also trustee of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, one of the largest philanthropic organizations in the U.S., with assets close to $6 billion.

Stewart was an executive officer of Kellogg Company for more than 20 years. He recently retired from the company as senior vice president corporate affairs and chief ethics officer. He joined Kellogg Company in January 1980 as director of child nutrition programs in the Foodservice Marketing Department of the U.S. Food Products Division. He was promoted to director of corporate communications in the Public Affairs Division in October 1981 and in January 1985 was promoted to vice president of public affairs.

Previously, Stewart was director of food services for Washington, D.C. public schools and state director of child nutrition programs for the District of Columbia. During his tenure in Washington, Stewart testified on several occasions before Congress on child nutrition legislation. In 1974, he received the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association's Silver Plate Award for having the best school food program in the United States. He was twice appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to the Agriculture Extension Users Advisory Board.

Over the years, Stewart has held numerous profit and not-for-profit board and chair appointments with local and national organizations. Currently, he serves on the boards of the National Resource Center for the Healing of Racism; the Battle Creek Urban League; Southern University System Foundation; Medical Education for South African Blacks; the Auto Club of Michigan; Stewart Industries; Pyper Products; Westbrook Hospital, and Standard Federal Bank Regional. He was chairman of the governing board, Calhoun County Health Improvement Program, and served on the advisory board of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Hygiene; the Grand Valley State University Board of Control; the board of the Foundation for American Communications, and the chair of the board of Battle Creek Health System.

Stewart is a native of Maringouin, Louisiana. He received a bachelor's degree in foods and nutrition from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was awarded an honorary doctorate of science degree from Southern University, and an honorary doctorate degree of public service from Albion College.

Stewart and his wife, Clara, live in Battle Creek. They have two children.

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