Retires from Sanderson Farms Board of Directors

After 15 years of serving on Sanderson Farms’ board of directors, Fred Banks has announced he will retire when his current term ends at the 2022 annual shareholders’ meeting. Banks has served as an independent member of the company’s board of directors since 2007.

“His extensive legal experience as a practicing lawyer, judge and legislator provided an important perspective in the development and implementation of our governance best practices,” said Joe F. Sanderson Jr., chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Sanderson Farms. “We are grateful for Fred’s contributions toward increasing long-term shareholder value.”

In addition to serving on the company’s board of directors, Banks dedicated his career to practicing law, including serving as a senior partner at Phelps Dunbar LLP in Jackson, Mississippi, where he currently practices general commercial litigation. Throughout his legal career, Banks has represented corporate clients in a variety of matters including consumer lending, trade secret infringement, property taxation, first amendment issues and contract disputes. He also has extensive experience as a judge, having served as a Presiding Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court for Hinds and Yazoo counties from 1985 until 1991.

“Fred is a tireless advocate and a respected leader in Mississippi, known for his commitment to diversity and legal aid services for those in need,” continued Sanderson. “We were fortunate to benefit from this expertise as he played a pivotal role in shaping and supporting Sanderson Farms’ diversity, equity and inclusion policies and practices.”

Aside from his legal expertise, Banks served as a representative for the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1976 until 1985, serving as chair of the house ethics committee, house judiciary committee and the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus. Banks was appointed by the governor to serve on the Mississippi Board of Bar Admissions and by numerous appointing authorities to serve on a variety of commissions at the state and federal level. He was also a leader in numerous civic and philanthropic organizations both in Mississippi and nationally, including serving on the board of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, chairman of the board of the Mississippi Center for Justice, as well as serving on the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum’s advisory commission.

Throughout his career, Banks has been named among Chambers USA’s America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and the Mid-South Super Lawyers list. In 2010, he was named Lawyer of the Year by the Mississippi Business Journal and later, in 2021, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mississippi Bar. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and a Juris Doctor from Howard University School of Law in 1968.

“In every way, Fred has been the embodiment of our company culture of mutual respect, collaboration, trust and fairness,” said Sanderson. “We are grateful for his important work in serving on our audit, compensation and nominating, and governance committees. We thank him for the considerable insight and wisdom he provided as a board member and wish Fred and his family all the best in retirement.”