As our industry and business needs continue to evolve, we have taken time to evaluate the current WinField United structure and the needs of our customer-owners. While our current structure allows us to gain continuity and consistency in sales and market execution and focus on demand creation as our differentiator, some shifts need to be made to enable our goal for WinField United to out-index the market through size, scale and influence.
We’ve spent the last 100 days learning and planning for our collective future. In that time alone, we’ve had several large meetings where we’ve gained valuable feedback from our owner and manufacturer alliances, and our employees. We believe our future will be built around proactively advancing agriculture intelligently through technology.
As we’ve taken a look at our industry, we continue to face considerable consolidation up and down the value chain, economic uncertainty at the farm gate, our owners’ desire for a coordinated account plan and a growing need for e-business adoption. It’s important we align our organization to meet these challenges and support our owners’ businesses.
To that end, we are pleased to announce the following organizational shifts. This group of people will form the leadership team of WinField United, reporting directly to Brett Bruggeman, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of WinField United:
Kyle Maple will lead sourcing and procurement alliances. This is a new role combines crop protection sourcing, procurement and rebate responsibilities and adds seed. Kyle’s extensive experience in both crop protection and seed, his network and relationships with our major alliances, and this balanced negotiating abilities make him an excellent candidate for this position.
John Romines will take the position as commercial sales lead for all of WinField United. His ability to implement and his knowledge of our owner network and his many years of sales leadership experience will benefit us as he moves into this position. Ryan Klapperich and Brad Stedman will assume key responsibilities on John’s leadership team.
Leah Anderson will join WinField United as head of the Ag Customer Team (ACT). Leah currently leads Member Relations and member governance activities at Land O’Lakes. Prior to that role she worked in several IT roles where she was responsible for delivering innovative technology-enabled solutions. Leah’s skills will strengthen our focus on E-business and account planning with our owners. Leah’s position in Member Relations will be filled in the coming weeks as we take the time necessary to find the right person for the job.
Jim Hedges will take on the role of marketing lead for Seed. Jim’s experience includes co-founding a corn and soybean seed production and sales company, which was eventually purchased by Monsanto. Jim joined Monsanto where he led Corn States, their genetics company, and later led part of their row crops business. For the last several months Jim has focused on selling seed by promoting our ag technology products.
Dave Schumacher will continue to head marketing for Crop Protection, Plant Nutrition and Performance, and Catalyst. Dave’s experience in seed and crop protection marketing at WinField United and the industry will help us drive our demand creation platforms to drive sales for our owners. His recent experience with Villa in South Africa will provide us with global insights in the crop protection industry.
Nelson Neale will continue to lead our future services platform including Secure and Winsure. He will also lead our ownership dividend program and owner segmentation strategy.
Jamie Leifker will continue responsibility for business development, which includes the “By WinField United Process.”
In addition, Dan Hennessy will continue in the role of Villa CEO, reporting to Brett, and Mike Vande Logt will continue to head up Ag Technology, APD and FGI.
E-business is a tremendous innovation Land O’Lakes and our system can leverage to compete in the marketplace even better than we have up to this point. In order to have all the information possible as we move aggressively into this area, Doug Brunt, Senior Vice President of WinField United Sales, will be transitioning to lead a new initiative to gain a comprehensive understanding of this arena. Doug is an ideal choice for this role given his background as a co-op manager, his knowledge of local co-ops and his experience working with customers in his Business Development Services and sales roles.
In total with these changes, WinField United and Land O’Lakes, Inc. are poised to continue delivering the performances that enable us to deliver strong returns to our members and reinvest in the products, services and capabilities that support and drive shared success for our entire network of farmers and independent retailers.