|Susan Burns, Manager, External Communications, Bunge Limited |
Susan Burns manages external communications for Bunge Limited, a global agribusiness and food company. She helps formulate the company’s communications strategy, develops corporate and financial communications content and materials, manages media relations and serves as Bunge’s primary corporate spokesperson. She previously worked for a financial and crisis communications agency in New York City. Burns holds a Ph.D. from New York University, an M.A from the University of Chicago and a B.A. from Haverford College.
Lauren Coulter, Senior Merchant, Cargill
Lauren has spent the past 5 years in Cargill’s Corn Milling business unit holding various roles from Supply Chain Management to Commodity Trading and Merchandising. Today, she manages Cargill’s U.S. corn oil trading activity to international markets, primarily focusing on regions in the Middle East, North Africa, and South America. She is an active participate within the Cargill Women’s Network as well as the National Institute of Oilseed Products (NIOP) and the American Fats & Oils Association (AFOA). Ms. Coulter graduated with a B.S. in Supply Chain Management from the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University and enjoys volunteering with Junior Achievement, BestPrep, and the Jeremiah Program of the Twin Cities.
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Jacquie Fredericks, Executive Director, CoBank
Jacquie Fredericks serves as managing director for CoBank’s Capital Markets Division. She leads a team developing credit structures and syndication strategies that enable CoBank’s customers to finance their business plans. With more than 10 years of capital markets experience in securitization, leveraged finance and investment grade credit, her main focus remains originating, structuring and distributing syndicated debt. Working out of the bank’s national office in Denver, she also advises relationship managers across the United States as they provide financial solutions to bank customers. She serves as the chairperson of CoBank’s Finance Center of Excellence, a cross-functional team of CoBank associates working to promote the information availability of capital markets research and interest rate risk management tools. Fredericks earned a master’s of business administration degree with an emphasis in finance from the University of Colorado and a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College.
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Nicole Hancock, Partner, Stoel Rives
Nicole is a partner of the firm and chair of the firm's Agribusiness Initiative. She specializes in providing legal services to agricultural businesses that include seed companies, produce companies, agricultural processing companies, agriculture cooperatives and corporate farming operations. Nicole has experience with litigation matters, commercial contracts, product liability lawsuits, wine and beer franchise disputes, trade secret violations, unfair practices claims, consumer protection and corporate torts. Nicole also represents beer and wine distributors with local franchise law and regulatory counseling, and growers and agricultural entities with grower contracts, processing agreements, production contracts, Department of Agriculture investigations and appeals, PACA claims, and other agricultural law-related issues.
Nicole returned to Stoel Rives after working as corporate counsel for Syngenta, a global agriculture company. As corporate counsel, Nicole managed all aspects of the NAFTA vegetable seeds legal department, including counseling on general business matters, seed law, employment matters, drafting business transactional agreements, intellectual property in and out licenses, and general corporate legal counseling. Nicole also managed large complex litigation matters, which included multimillion-dollar product liability claims.
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Heidi Hawkins, Relationship Manager Food & Agribusiness, Wells Fargo
Heidi joined Wells Fargo’s National Food & Agribusiness commercial banking division in Chicago, Illinois in June 2010 as a financial analyst. She transitioned into her current position in June 2012 and is now based out of the St. Paul, Minnesota office. Heidi is responsible for food & agribusiness client management and business development in the Great Plains, primarily MN and the Dakotas. Prior to Wells Fargo, she worked as a Business Manager for Cargill Animal Nutrition. Professional association involvement includes National FFA, National Grain and Feed Association, US Poultry and Egg Association, and the Minnesota Junior Spring Classic Co-Coordinator. She graduated from the University of Minnesota - Carlson School of Management with a B.S. in Finance and Accounting.
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Robyn Heine, Leader, Global Public Affairs, Dow AgroSciences
Robyn Heine is Global Public Affairs Leader for The Dow Chemical Company’s agricultural sciences division Dow AgroSciences in Indianapolis, Indiana. In this role, she is responsible for all areas of global public affairs and corporate communications for the Dow AgroSciences business. This includes the areas of executive communications, internal and external communications, media relations, guest relations, and issue communications. She assumed this functional leader role in 2006 after having served as External Communications and Media Relations Leader since joining Dow AgroSciences in 2001.
Robyn received her bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism, and earned the PRSA distinction of APR or Accredited in Public Relations in 2001. She is a 2008 graduate of the Thunderbird School of Management’s “Managerial Issues in the Global Enterprise”, an executive education short course program. She is currently enrolled in the Journalism/PR management Master’s Degree program at Indiana University/Purdue University – Indianapolis. Robyn currently serves a committee member of the CropLife International Crop Protection Communications Committee. She waspast chair and member of the Council for Biotechnology Information Public Relations Committee.
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Elizabeth Hund, Senior Vice President and Division Manager, U.S. Bank Food Industries
Elizabeth Hund, a nationally recognized agribusiness lender, head’s U.S. Bank’s Food Industries division. She leads a team that provides financial solutions for companies involved in the production, processing and distribution of food and agriculture products.
Hund joined U.S. Bank from RaboBank International, where she was responsible for the management of the Western Region. Previously she worked in Denver CO, for CoBank,National Bank for Cooperatives, where she was senior relationship manager, and for Coleman Natural Meats as chief financial officer. Prior, Hund worked as vice president of agribusiness at Colorado National Bank, which has since been acquired by U.S. Bank.
Hund received a Masters Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in finance from the University of Colorado in Boulder and a Bachelor of Science Degree in agriculture from Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS.
Active in the national agriculture community, Hund is a member of the Farm Foundation Roundtable, a director of the National Western Stock Show Association, and a fellow of the California Agricultural Leadership Program. Additionally, she is a member of the Grocery Manufacturer's Association Associate Member Council and recently joined the Women in Ag Advisory Board. She has formally served on the Dean's Advisory Council for the College of Agricultural and Environment Sciences at the University of California at Davis and on the Dean's Advisory Council for the College of Agriculture at Kansas State University, as well as the USDA Marketing Advisory Board.
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Ann Kafer, Director, Communications and Compliance, Growmark, Inc.
Ann Hastings Kafer is an honors graduate of the University of Illinois with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications. She is a 2007 high honors graduate of Lincoln Christian Seminary with a master’s of arts degree in the Bible. In addition, she has logged hours toward a Masters of Business Administration degree at Illinois State University. Her 25 years of professional experience in agribusiness includes serving as director of communications for Coles-Moultrie Electric Cooperative in Mattoon, Illinois, and as communications coordinator for the Illinois Soybean Association. She joined the Bloomington, Illinois-based regional ag supply and grain marketing cooperative GROWMARK in 1993. There, she has held the positions of publications manager, corporate communications manager, manager of career development, and director of corporate communications and marketing services. In January 2013, Ann accepted the position of director of Human Resources Administration and Compliance for GROWMARK. She is active in her church and as a speaker and author. She is a former director of the Cooperative Communicators Association (CCA) and earned CCA’s Graznak Award in 1999 as the outstanding communicator under age 36.
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Carol S. Kitchen, Senior Vice President/General Manager of Global Ingredients,
Land O'Lakes, Inc.
Kitchen was named to her current position as Senior Vice President and General Manager, Global Ingredients in January 2012. Most recently, she was Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy Business Development and International. She has 20 years of cooperative experience, previously working as Vice President, business-to-business, for Land O’Lakes Purina Feed with responsibilities for Feed’s premix business, LabDiet®, Innovative Proteins and International Development. Prior to joining Land O’Lakes, Kitchen held roles in accounting at both GROWMARK Inc., a regional cooperative, and with Arthur Andersen & Company, an accounting firm based in Chicago. She is active in Women’s Leadership initiatives for the Greater Twin Cities United Way. Kitchen holds a master’s of Business Administration from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. She received her bachelor’s degree in Accountancy from the University of Illinois and is a Certified Public Accountant.
| ||Vanessa Kummer, Past-Chairman, United Soybean Board and ND Farmer |
Vanessa, her husband, Paul, and son and daughter-in-law, Blaine and Megan, raise soybeans, corn, wheat and sugar beets on their family farm near Colfax, N.D. Their daughter, Rachael, teaches math in Denver, CO. Vanessa served nine years as a USB director, serving as USB chair in 2012. She also served as lead on various committees and work groups during her tenure. Vanessa is a director on the Women’s Farm and Forestry Alliance, is a past president of the North Dakota Soybean Growers Association and holds a business management degree from North Dakota State College of Science.
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Sandra Mancuso, Commodity Analyst, Kraft Foods
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Arleen Nand, Partner, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
Arleen Nand is a partner in the finance and restructuring group. She represents commercial, cooperative and investment banks, hedge funds and corporations in complex debt financings and other structured finance transactions.Arleen has structured numerous financial transactions, including multi-currency and cross-border credit facilities, syndicated loan transactions, asset based and cash flow financings, convertible debt facilities, senior and mezzanine financings and leveraged lease financings. She has advised private equity funds and other clients in transactions involving various domestic and foreign collateral issues, including credit facilities secured by rolling stock, maritime vessels, aircraft, coal reserves, oil rigs and carbon credits.Arleen also serves as co-head of the firm's agribusiness finance practice and is a leader of the firm's nationally recognized food and agriculture industry team.
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Amber Northcut, Agrium Women's Leadership Group, Agrium
Amber joined Agrium in 2012 in a newly created role for the Agrium Women’s Leadership Group (AWLG). The vision of the AWLG is to recognize, develop and enable the potential of women in Agrium. Amber supports the AWLG Council and Volunteer Chapters in the development of mentoring, networking, and learning opportunities to help women in Agrium take charge of their own careers.
Prior to her role with Agrium, Amber worked for the Government of Alberta in the Human Services Ministry as a Partnership Development Manager. Her role was to work with businesses, communities, and not-for-profit organizations throughout the province to develop and enhance programs for children and youth. She received her MBA from the University of Calgary in 2002 and also holds a BFA from the University of Victoria.
"I believe that we do a great disservice to our industry and to ourselves if we do not encourage more women to participate in this sector. If we want to compete on a local, national, and global level we have to attract the best and brightest employees and yet we are under-represented with regards to the number of women in this sector. Women in Agribusiness helps foster an environment where women can connect and learn from each other. It is the networking opportunity that is desperately needed for women in Agriculture. It's a chance to not feel isolated as we do our best to increase the gender representation of qualified employees".
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Renee Peets, Senior Director, Cheese & Dairy Procurement, Kraft Foods, Inc.
Renée Peets is a supply chain professional and Certified Public Accountant with more than 18 years of experience in public accounting and private industry, specializing in high-growth manufacturing environments. She joined Kraft Foods as the Senior Director of Cheese & Dairy Procurement in April of 2012, and is responsible for the procurement and risk management of $3 Billion of cheese and other dairy ingredients for Kraft’s North American dairy business. Most recently, she was the Vice President of Global Supply Chain & Quality Assurance for Le Pain Quotidien, a Belgian Bakery Café concept with 175 restaurants in 17 different countries. Prior to that, she spent 10 years with Friendly Ice Cream Corporation, a vertically integrated restaurant company and ice cream manufacturer with distribution in over 7,500 retail locations. She joined Friendly’s in their Foodservice Accounting division, then changed her focus to Procurement, and at the time of leaving Friendly’s, Renée was the Senior Director of Purchasing, responsible for the team sourcing 100% of the food, packaging and services for the chain. She graduated magna cum laude from Western New England College with a degree in Accounting, and spent 6 years out of college with Deloitte & Touche, working in the Audit function, with a focus on the manufacturing industry. She is a member of the Board of the National Cheese Institute and the Dairy Institute of California, as well as the Women in Agribusiness.
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Victoria Salin, Associate Professor & CFO, AFCERC, Texas A&M University
Victoria Salin is an Associate Professor in the Department of AgriculturalEconomics at Texas A&M University specializing in agribusiness management and finance. She teaches managerial economics, land economics, and financial management in the agribusiness programs at the university. Dr. Salin is chief financial officer of the Agribusiness, Food, & Consumer EconomicsResearch Center and manages the budget of the Center.She leads the research and outreach projects of the Center relating to food safety, traceability, financial markets, and strategic management. Recent research projects examine supply chain management and the role of RFID technology, efficient transportation in private sector food safety programs,business social networks for safer foods, micro finance and credit rationing,and risk exposures of lending institutions.
Salin is a past-chair ofthe Food Safety & Nutrition Section of the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association. Salin also serves on the Scientific Advisory Council of the World Food Logistics Organization and on the Board of Directors of the State of Texas Agricultural Finance Authority.
Salin grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with a degree in political science and history. She then completed a Master of Arts from the University of Virginia in government and foreign affairs. She has professional experience in editorial positions with private industry and theEconomic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. She also served as an international trade analyst at the U.S. International Trade Commissionbefore pursuing a degree in agricultural economics. She received her Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1996, with specialties in agribusiness finance and international trade. Dr. Salin joined the faculty at Texas A&M in 1996.
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Mary Shelman, Director, Agribusiness Program, Harvard Business School
Mary Shelman is Director of Harvard Business School’s Agribusiness Program which includes the renowned HBS Agribusiness Seminar, an executive education program that attracts 200 CEO’s and senior managers from the world’s leading food and agribusiness firms each year. She has led similar programs for Harvard Business School and other organizations in Europe, Latin America and Asia.
Mary is recognized as a strategic pathfinder in the global food and agribusiness sector. She offers a particular competency in diagnosing the forces of change shaping the future of the industry and in identifying transformational approaches. Working with CEO’s of industry-leading firms such as Nestlé, Barilla, Bunge, Alltech, Fonterra, Olam and Yum! China, Mary has authored more than 50 case studies highlighting situations of strategic change and transformational leadership. Her work has been published in Harvard Business Review, Market Leader, and the International Food and Agribusiness Management Review.Actively engaging with these themes, Mary has served as a director of a number of fast-growth food and agribusiness firms. For 10 years she was Chairman of the Board of RiceTec, Inc., now the dominant US rice seed company with over 60% market share. She has been a board member of RiceTec AG, Stiftung Furst Liechtenstein, and the USA Rice Millers Association as well as a number of other organizations. Currently she advises the Irish government’s Food Marketing Board (Bord Bia) on the future direction of the Irish food industry, co-authoring Pathways for Growth which has played a pivotal role in revitalizing the sector.
Mary is a regular keynote speaker on themes of food and agribusiness. She is the current President of the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA).A native of Kentucky where she still owns a farm, Mary holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering with High Distinction from the University of Kentucky and an MBA with Distinction from Harvard Business School.
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Jessica Simmons, Marketing Communications Lead, Monsanto Company
Jessica Simmons is the Corporate Marketing Communications Director for Monsanto Company. In this role, Jessica leads marketing for the Monsanto brand as well as award winning national television and print advertising campaigns that advocate on behalf of farmers and modern agriculture. In addition, she leads efforts in community relations, corporate social responsibility and reputation research for the company. She is an attorney and a member of the bar in Missouri and the District of Columbia.
A graduate of the University of Missouri and a devoted Tigers fan, Jessica began her career in Washington, D.C. reporting on environmental law and policy issues at the U.S. Supreme Court. Following Washington, she returned to Missouri working as the governmental affairs and policy director for the Missouri Secretary of State’s office where she wrote legislation, lobbied and was responsible for the communications and media relations strategies for legislative matters.
Her experience in writing and strategic planning led her to a position as chief legal officer and senior editor at Noble Communications in Springfield, MO. At Noble, she worked on print and interactive communications for many clients including Pizza Hut, Sargento, Doritos and Taco Bell. She provided legal counsel on a variety of corporate matters including intellectual property, business and communications law issues.
Jessica is on the board of directors for KidSmart St. Louis, and volunteers at several community organizations including the St. Louis Food Bank, Variety and Girls on the Run. She grew up in Springfield, MO and holds degrees in communication, journalism and law. She enjoys cooking, reading, gardening and spending time with family and friends.
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Michelle Smith, Trait Product Development Leader, Dow AgroSciences LLC
Michelle Smith leads the Monocot Traits Development team in Dow AgroSciences Research and Development. This team is responsible for the early stage development, optimization and implementation of capabilities related to trait product development of corn and other monocots. Michelle is a member of the Dow AgroSciences Women’s Innovation Network, and has championed coaching as a means to develop leadership skills for aspiring women at Dow AgroSciences since 2010. She is enthusiastic about Women in Agribusiness and welcomes participating on the WIA Advisory Board in order to network with other women leaders in agriculture, understand challenges for women’s advancement across the industry, and positively impact the business of agriculture by providing professional development opportunities for women.
Michelle has over 20 years experience in R&D and is a certified Six-Sigma Black Belt. Michelle received her B.A. degree from Hollins University and her Master's degree in entomology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She serves as Treasurer for the Medical, Urban and Veterinary Entomology Section of the Entomological Society of America.
Vanessa Stewart, Technical Service - Feed Quality, Novus International Inc
Vanessa Stewart has been with Novus International Inc. since 2000. She began her Novus career working in the feed lab. She managed the feed lab for 6 years and has held increasingly responsible positions within Novus as part of the companion animal and North America sales teams. She is currently working with the technical services group for the North America sales team. Prior to joining Novus, Vanessa worked for a mining company as chief chemist and also as an educator at junior and senior high school levels. Vanessa graduated from Southern Illinois University with a B.A. in chemistry.
Diane Stinson, Regional Vice President, ProAg
Diane Stinson is the Regional Vice President for the Des Moines, IA and Anoka, MN offices of ProAg, a progressive leader in the crop insurance industry. She is responsible for the supervision of all operations and the servicing of numerous insurance products within the upper Midwestern region of 6 states. Diane has 25 years of experience in the crop insurance industry including roles as a claims processor, software training specialist, underwriting & claims supervisor, and regional marketing manager.
Diane’s career has focused on mentoring her employees to better themselves and the companies they work for. Her greatest accomplishments focus around when her team members succeed and advance on their career ladder. Diane is currently a Women in Agribusiness National Advisory Board member and sees this as a great opportunity to contribute to women’s participation and growth in the diverse field of agriculture.
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Susan Sutherland, Senior Director, Agricultural Commodities, CME Group
Susan Sutherland is Senior Director, Agricultural Products for CME Group. In this role she is responsible for managing the Grain and Oilseed contract portfolio for the exchange. In doing so Susan works with the various functional areas within CME Group as well as exchange customers including commodity importers, commercial firms, agricultural associations and commodity traders.
Susan has over 20 years of experience in commodity risk management, hedging, market analysis and ingredient procurement. Prior to joining CME Group, Susan worked for the CBOT where she was responsible for commodity business development.
Before joining CBOT, Susan worked at a global FCM in commodity risk management consulting and brokerage. She also worked in procurement and commodity analysis with the Quaker Oats Company and Keebler Company.
Susan received her bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics, her master’s in Agricultural Economics and MBA from the University of Illinois.
Susan views her involvement with WIA as a way to contribute to the growth of women’s participation in the expanding and globally critical field of agriculture.
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Sheryl Wallace, Vice President, Hedging Products’ Global Manager, Cargill Risk Management
Sheryl was appointed Vice President and Global Product Line Manager of Cargill Risk Management’s (CRM) Hedging Products’ business in September 2010. Prior to this role, Sheryl led CRM’s commercial activities for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. She was based in Geneva, Switzerland for 3 years and recently returned to the United States.
Sheryl joined Cargill in 1996 as a Merchant in the Oilseeds’ division and was based in Iowa Falls, IA. She continued in merchandising and trading roles with assignments in Cedar Rapids, IA and Minneapolis, MN. In 1999, she began building out the North American risk management business while working in collaborative roles for Cargill’s Horizon Milling (flour milling) and Dressing, Sauces, and Oils’ business units. During the following 5 years, she held progressive leadership roles within CRM that included responsibility for North and Latin America.
Sheryl graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business, from the Carlson School of Management, at the University of Minnesota. During 2009-2012, she served on the Board of Directors for Cargill Financial Services Europe Limited.
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Karen Yost, President, American Agri-Women
Karen is a 3rd generation Montanan who has always been deeply involved in the agriculture industry. She and her husband, George, have four children and four grandchildren. They own and operate Nutra-Lix, Inc., a feed supplement company in Billings. They also produce rodeo events with Yost Events during the summer months.
During her term as president of American Agri-Women, Karen has focused on increasing the organization’s memberships and expanding awareness of women’s roles in agriculture and in policy-making. “AAW is a force for truth, a reasoned, non-partisan voice for the agricultural community to the public”. “I can think of no better reason to become involved. It is time for consumers to rely upon truth in agriculture and confidence of our products.”
Karen was co-chair of the AAW 2003 Montana Convention and has served as president, secretary and editor of the Montana Agri-Women newsletter. Her involvement with AAW includes past Livestock chair, VP of Communications, AAW Strategic Planning Committee, and StART chair. She is currently serving as past president of MAW. Karen is a member of the American Feed Industry Association, the Montana Stockgrowers Association, the United States Cattlemen’s Association, the Montana Cattlewomen, the Montana Farm Bureau, the Billings Chamber of Commerce, and Faith Chapel church. Karen recently was awarded the “Ag Advocate of the Year” in her community.