A chaplain with over 33 years of experience in ministry and programme development has been appointed as the director of chaplain services at Tyson Foods. He will be taking the place of Chaplain Karen Diefendorf, who is now retiring.

Kevin Scherer will lead and direct the programme – one of the largest private sector corporate chaplaincy programmes in the nation. The chaplaincy network includes 100+ chaplains across 22 states who offer pastoral care, counselling and assistance to team members at several of the company’s plant and office locations.

Johanna Söderström, executive vice president and chief human resources officer at Tyson Foods stated- “We’re pleased to welcome Kevin back to Tyson and to lead our chaplains,” said “He understands our culture and commitment to cultivate a faith-friendly workplace and the importance of meeting the needs of our team members.”

Kevin most recently held the position of the director of Live Better U, Walmart’s employer-based educational benefits program. From 2017 to 2019, he played an indispensable part as senior manager of Tyson Foods Upward Academy Programme, developing and launching the program. Before that, he worked for three years as a full-time chaplain at two of the facilities of the company in Springdale and Arkansas.

He has also held other positions in project development roles for a number of companies and organizations, including EMC, JCPenney, John Muir Health, R&R Solutions, the University of Arkansas, and Walmart,. Before serving in project development segment, Kevin held executive director roles for service-learning organizations set up to engage students in domestic and international community outreach and social justice awareness. He spent the initial 22 years of his career in full-time pastoral ministry at different churches in Arkansas, California, New York and Idaho.

Kevin did his Bachelor of Arts in Theology from San Diego Christian College in El Cajon, California. He received his degree in Master of Divinity from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Crestwood, New York.

In addition, Melissa Brannan is being promoted to a new position as Deputy Chaplain for Training. In this role, she will be reporting to Kevin and look after the development and execution of strategic training for each Business Unit within the company.

The programme started in 2000 and offers compassionate pastoral care to team members and their families, irrespective of their religious inclination or beliefs. The program comprises full and part-time chaplains who informally make themselves available to talk to the team members.


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