George Faison, former Partner & Chief Operating Officer for DeBragga and Spitler (retired from DeBragga 1/31/15), has always had a passion for great meat, meaning meat that is unspoiled, unaltered, often wild, and sustainable. His career, spanning more than thirty three years working with the finest, purest ingredients, mostly meats, is an extension of his dedication to the animal, developed as a youth in Texas.
As a son of the Lone Star state, George Faison learned as a youth to honor nature through scouting activities and as a hunter.
Following in family footsteps to college at Washington and Lee, George went on to get his MBA from Columbia University. He immediately went to work for Les Trois Petits Cochons, the first maker of natural pates in the U.S.
After three years working in the national sales and operations arena, he and a former student and friend from Columbia moved on to open the company that would wake up our nation’s palate by introducing luxury products like foie gras, organic poultry and game meats into our collective diet. That company was D’Artagnan, Inc. where George was President and Co-owner for 20 years. Founded in 1984 on the premise of clean, unique and sustainable, the company would grow to make other luxury ingredients widely available, such as wild mushrooms, truffles and company branded meat products like pates and sausages. George became a partner and COO at DeBragga and Spitler in the fall of 2006.
During his time as a leader at DeBragga, Mr. Faison was able to pursue many of his passions. Chief among these is to revive heritage breeds, and to clean up our food supply by getting the drugs out of the animals we consume. He is an outspoken advocate of “clean” meats from animals raised humanely and without any hormones, antibiotics or animal by-products in the feed. To support these efforts, Faison was keynote speaker at the Niman Ranch Hog Farmers Appreciation Dinner (500 attendees in Iowa, Sept. 2014), and as a panelist at the Change Food Salon in New York, an offshoot of TEDx (Nov. 2014).
As a food industry leader, Faison served for six years on the Board of Directors for the National Association of the Specialty Food Trade, where he co-chaired the membership committee and the strategic planning committee; a highlight was instituting the association’s multi-cultural initiative. He also served for three years on the National Board of Directors of the American Institute of Food & Wine, where he chaired the Finance Committee. Faison was proud to Emcee the AIWF’s Thirtieth Anniversary event in Napa Valley, CA, in 2011.
George has been honored for achievement by his peers with both the Food Arts magazine Silver Spoon Award, and the Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America, The James Beard Foundation. In 2005, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Bon Appétit magazine.
George loves to hunt, ski, garden and cook. He is also a Certified Co-leader of the Mankind Project. He resides in the wilds of New Jersey with wife, Stephanie. Son, George “Spud” Faison VI, works in the sustainable seafood industry, and daughter Lisa is married and currently living in Savannah, GA.