Coast Packing President & Chairman Ron Gustafson Honored as North American Meat Institute Establishes Named Scholarship

Industry: Food & Drink

NAMI Scholarship Foundation Honors Gustafson’s Service to the Industry and the Organization; Grant to Award Student Recipients $5,000

Vernon, CA (PRUnderground) August 8th, 2018

In recognition of a career distinguished by service to the industry and the community, the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) Scholarship Foundation has established a grant in the name of Coast Packing Company President and Chairman Ron Gustafson, the company announced today.

The Ron Gustafson Scholarship consists of a $5,000 award honoring Gustafson, the founding president of the Scholarship Foundation and a meat industry leader.  Each year, the NAMI Scholarship Foundation awards scholarships to eligible sophomores, juniors and seniors attending accredited four-year colleges or universities who are enrolled in an approved animal, meat or food science degree or culinary arts program.

The NAMI Scholarship Foundation received nearly 70 applications for the 2018-2019 academic year.  Eleven high-performing undergraduate students received a combined total of $55,000 to pursue degrees in animal, meat and food science, or in a culinary arts program for the 2017-2018 school year.

Gustafson played an integral role in building Coast Packing’s executive and management team, improving its facilities and modernizing production.  Coast is the number one supplier of animal fat shortenings – lard and beef tallow – in the Western U.S.  He is President Emeritus of the NAMI Scholarship Foundation, and has served as a director of both the Western States Meat Packers Association (WSMPA) and National Meat Association, a predecessor organization to NAMI.  Gustafson’s family has a long history in the meat industry.  His grandfather, Anton Rieder, owned Coast Packing and was a founding member of WSMPA.  His son Eric currently serves as Coast’s Chief Executive Officer and is on NAMI’s Executive Board and Board of Directors.

“Through the establishment of the Ron Gustafson Scholarship, the NAMI Scholarship Foundation celebrates the unparalleled dedication and service of this industry pioneer,” said NAMI Scholarship Foundation President Mike Gangel.  “Ron’s crucial role in building and strengthening the Scholarship Foundation has helped many bright future industry leaders achieve their academic and extracurricular goals.”

“I could not be more proud of the accomplishments of the NAMI Scholarship Foundation, the student recipients of Foundation grants, and the industry for making this kind of commitment to our next generation of leaders,” Gustafson said.  “I am deeply moved by the honor and humbled by the kindness and support of the NAMI organization.”

Gustafson received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Industrial Technology from California State University, Los Angeles, and a secondary teaching credential from the State of California in 1968.  After two years in the U. S. Army, he rejoined the company full-time in October 1970 and received his MBA from Pepperdine University in 1982.  Gustafson was a CAP mentor at the USC Marshall School of Business for 18 years.

He is treasurer of three organizations: the Jonathan Heritage Foundation, the Los Angeles Railroad Historical Foundation and the San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society.  He also serves on the board of the Neighborhood Music School.  He has six grandchildren.

The NAMI Scholarship Foundation is supported by Institute members and industry allies. Donations, which are tax deductible, should be sent to NAMI Scholarship Foundation, 1150 Connecticut Ave., NW 12th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20036. Questions regarding the NAMI Scholarship Foundation can be directed to KatieRose McCullough, Ph.D., MPH at

About Coast Packing Company

Now marking its 100th year in business, Coast Packing Company (, a closely held corporation, is the number one supplier of animal fat shortenings – particularly lard and beef tallow — in the Western United States. The company sells to major manufacturers, distributors, retailers, smaller food service operations and leading bakeries. The company participates actively in diverse ethnic markets – from Hispanic retail chains, with its VIVA brand, to various Asian specialty markets. Based in Vernon, Calif., Coast Packing Company is regional, national and, increasingly, global. In some cases, supplier relationships are multigenerational, extending back 50 years and more. Coast is a founding member of the Healthy Fats Coalition (

For more information about Coast Packing Company, visit: Follow us via social media on Facebook at, Twitter @coastpackingco and Pinterest

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Press Contact

Ken Greenberg
Contact Us

Image Gallery