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Norman Fries Distinguished Lectureship Series

University Libraries
presents the 2024 Fries Lecture

A Career in Two Industries:
Growing Up in Ice Cream and Evolving into Film

Stratton Leopold

Monday, April 22 at 7 p.m.

Stratton Leopold has been in the film business for more than 40 years, producing major, hi-budget motion pictures. He has nearly 60 film and television credits to his name ranging from executive producer and producer to casting director and actor. 

Stratton was a vice president at Paramount Pictures and executive produced numerous commercially successful films, including “Mission Impossible III” (Tom Cruise), “The Sum of All Fears” (Ben Affleck, Morgan Freeman) and “Paycheck,” (Ben Affleck, Uma Thurman), among others. 

Stratton is a member of the Directors Guild of America and Producers Guild of America. He is also a member and past chairman of the Georgia Film Advisory Board, which oversees the state’s $9.5 billion film and TV industry. 

At present, Stratton is independently producing films, including “Neon Highway,” starring Beau Bridges, which premiered in March. He is also working on an adaptation of a nonfiction New York Times bestseller and the best-selling memoir, La Americana. 

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Zoom meeting passcode: 329034

The lecture is being held via Zoom.
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The annual Norman Fries Distinguished Lectureship Series is sponsored by an endowment established to honor Mr. Fries, the founder of Claxton Poultry and former senior statesman of the poultry industry in Georgia. He passed away in December 2001.

Mr. Fries built his business from scratch—one truck, one cooler and one employee—into one of the nation’s largest poultry production plants with 1,600 employees, more than 300 family farm suppliers and an international market. Throughout his 50-plus years in the poultry business, one constant marked Mr. Fries’ career: a solid commitment to remaining an independent poultry producer. He served as past president and director of the Georgia Poultry Federation and director of the National Broiler Council and the Georgia Improvement Lab. He was also a life member of the Georgia Poultry Federation Poultry Leaders Roundtable.

As a boy growing up in Savannah, Mr. Fries ran bicycle deliveries of fresh chicken from his father’s City Market store to homes downtown. After serving in the Navy in World War II and earning a college degree, Mr. Fries returned to Savannah to start his own business. Mr. Fries recognized that retail poultry was changing from his father’s freshly dressed, home-delivered birds to store-bought, prepackaged, fresh poultry. In 1959, he opened Claxton Poultry, which today is one of the largest fully -integrated poultry plants in America.

Fries Lecture Series Archive