Curt Sullivan began his career in government, working as an office operations supervisor for the 1980 census and then later with the export market in Kentucky under Gov. John Y. Brown. But one day, while working with the state, a client approached Sullivan with an idea that led to him purchase a slaughter and processing facility in tiny Smith’s Grove, Ky., just outside Bowling Green. Thirty-seven years later, that idea has grown into a meat processing operation that sells its products both nationally and around the world.
Omni Custom Meats deals with some of the biggest meat suppliers in the business, including Purdue, Tyson and JDS National. The company sells exclusively to the commercial market, with items repackaged and shipped around the globe under various names and brands. One of Omni’s clients supplies meat for most of the United States’ military bases worldwide and the company’s meats have been featured on the menus of numerous cruise ships and fine dining establishments.
To meet the demand of its growing customer base, Sullivan moved his company to a 28,000-s.f. processing facility in Bowling Green in 2001.
The company’s operations have become a family affair as well. Sullivan’s wife, Sharon—who has a background in nutritional research and nursing—joined the company full-time in 1985 and serves as chief operating officer and vice president of Omni. She oversees the plant’s daily production operations and moved quickly to implement additional safety measures when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out earlier this year. As a result, all 16 of the Omni staff members have remained safe and the plant has been able to continue its production with no layoffs.
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Their son, CJ, is also part of the business. With degrees from Georgetown College in both business administration and communications, he is a valuable contributor in terms of marketing, production and administration.
Both Curt and Sharon are highly involved in the community. Curt is a founding member of the South Central Kentucky Minority Economic Development Council and Black Men United, an organization that works to mentor and develop programs for under-represented youth in the Bowling Green area. He is also a past chairman of the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce and the Intermodal Transportation Authority (ITA) and a past director of The Medical Center of Bowling Green. He currently serves as an advisory director for BB&T Bank.
Sharon serves on the board of directors with the United Way, Family Enrichment Center and the Warren County Juvenile Detention Center. Sharon has been part of Big Brothers/Big Sisters, formed a girl’s dance team, and worked with Junior Achievement at Bowling Green High School, served on the site-based council at Warren East High School and started a Girl Scout troop at Parker-Bennett-Curry Elementary School. ■