Carl Casale Carl M. Casale is President and Chief Executive Officer of CHS Inc., a leading energy, grains and foods company and the nation’s largest member-owned cooperative.

He assumed his position with CHS in January 2011. He previously was executive vice president and chief financial officer for Monsanto Company.

Casale, 52, is a native of Oregon’s Willamette Valley who, along with his wife, Kim, operates a family-owned blueberry farm near Aurora, Ore., which has done business with area supply and marketing cooperatives for generations.

He holds a B.S. degree in agricultural economics from Oregon State University and an executive M.B.A. from Washington University, St. Louis, Mo. The Oregon State University College of Agriculture named Casale its 2009 alumni fellow.

He has served on the board of the National 4-H Council. Casale currently serves on the boards of National Cooperative Refinery Association, Ventura Foods, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, Greater Twin Cities United Way and the Minnesota Business Partnership.


Ronald D. McFall is a partner at Stoel Rives LLP who practices cooperative, securities and corporate law in that firm’s Minneapolis office. With more than 30 years of cooperative experience, Ronald provides securities and corporate advice to cooperative and other producer-owned clients in a number of industries, including agribusiness, food processing, and renewable fuels. As part of such efforts, Ron has led many restructuring and merger and acquisition transactions. In addition to his work for producer-owned enterprises, Ron has also advised numerous consumer cooperatives on a wide variety of capitalization and governance matters. A leader in the development of value-added cooperatives, he has represented clients both in offerings exempt from registration under federal and state securities laws and in registered offerings. Ronald has particular expertise in state securities matters and has often advised clients with respect to sales agent and issuer-dealer registration or exemptions and in efforts to obtain discretionary exemptions from state securities regulators.


Jeff Stroburg Jeff Stroburg serves as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of West Central Cooperative, a position he has held since October 1999. West Central is a leading grain, agronomy, and value-added processing entity. With headquarters in Ralston, Iowa, this memberowned cooperative boasts a national and international agricultural presence.

From 2006 through 2011 Stroburg concurrently served as Renewable Energy Group’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Stroburg currently serves as Renewable Energy Group’s (REG) chairman of the board. Renewable Energy Group, Inc. is the nation’s largest producer and marketer of biodiesel, offering procurement and risk management, production operations and technology services in addition to alternative feedstock research and commercialization.

Stroburg serves on the Board of Directors for the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, Biosciences Alliance of Iowa and Iowa State University's Center for Crops Utilization Research Industry/Stakeholder Advisory Board. Stroburg is on the Board of Trustees for the Graduate Institute of Cooperative Leadership (GICL), an institute within the University of Missouri at Columbia. Stroburg is a graduate of Iowa State University.


Liam Herlihy is Group Chairman of Glanbia and was appointed to the Board on 11 September 1997 and has served 15 full years on the Board. He was nominated for appointment by Glanbia Co-operative Society Limited. Liam farms at Headborough, Knockanore, Tallow, Co. Waterford and has completed the Institute of Directors Development Programme (2006) and holds a certificate of merit in Corporate Governance from University College Dublin (‘UCD’). He is a director of The Irish Dairy Board Co-operative Limited and is a former director of Irish Co-operative Organisation Society Limited. He chairs the Nomination Committee and is a member of the Audit Committee and Remuneration Committee.


Michael Boland (Mike) holds the Koller endowed Professorship in agribusiness management at the University of Minnesota where he has teaching, research, and outreach responsibilities in agribusiness management, food marketing, and in particular, agricultural cooperatives. In addition, he is director of the University of Minnesota Food Industry Center which is funded by General Mills, Kellogg’s, SuperValu, and other food companies. He teaches classes in cooperatives, business strategy, and institutional economics. The Koller Professorship was funded by agricultural cooperatives (CHS, Land O’Lakes, CoBank, and Country Financial) and Koller friends, family, and colleagues.

Mike serves on the planning committee for the annual Farmer Cooperatives program, CoBank CEO Roundtable and CoBank’s Cooperative Marketing Leader Roundtable. He is also leading a safety assessment and culture research and education program with 11 local cooperatives and DuPont and is involved in a multi-state education program for co-op risk management and marketing programs.

He has taught in various executive education programs aimed at food economy firms (CHS Future40, Wells Fargo, Rabobank, CoBank, Informa Economics, Land O’Lakes LEAP Program, and others) and recently co-authored a book of case studies in honor of Ray Goldberg of the Harvard Business School. In addition, he has worked with agribusinesses and cooperatives in Latin America, China, South Africa, Australia, and Europe. He is a member of National Association for Business Economists.

Mike teaches educational modules on finance, governance, and strategic thinking in boards of director leadership programs for cooperatives. These programs are taught in 14 states to more than 1000 cooperative senior employees and directors annually. In addition, he has worked with cooperatives in Latin America, China, South Africa, Australia, and Europe.


Charles F. (Chuck) Conner became president & CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) on January 22, 2009. As president of NCFC, Conner will oversee the organization’s work to promote and protect the business and public policy interests of America’s farmer-owned cooperatives. He will also provide the strategic vision for the trade association as it continues to seek new ways in which to add value for its membership.

Prior to joining NCFC, Conner had served as the Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Agriculture since mid-2005. In this capacity, he was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) overseeing day-to-day operations of the department. Conner interacted directly with President George W. Bush and his senior staff to formulate domestic and international food, trade, security and energy policy. He led development of the Bush Administration’s $300 billion Farm Bill proposal and the strategy to educate and inform industry, constituents and Congress.

From August 2007 to January 2008, Conner served as both USDA Secretary and Deputy Secretary. He played a key role in developing the Administration’s immigration policy including important changes to the H2A program.

Conner’s experience also includes the assignment of Special Assistant to the President, Executive Office of the President, from October 2001 to May 2005, working on the 2001/2 Farm Bill to develop the strategy behind the transfer of several USDA agency functions to the newly formed Department of Homeland Security.

From May 1997 to October 2001 Conner served as President of the Corn Refiners Association. He also served for 17 years as an advisor to U.S. Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana.

Conner is a graduate of Purdue University, with a Bachelor’s of Science degree and is the recipient of Purdue’s Distinguished Alumni Award. He and his wife Dru have four children.


Greg Krissek joined Kennedy and Coe in September, 2013. He has over 24 years’ experience working with agriculture, ethanol and renewable energy projects as well as related public policy.

Since January, 2012, Greg served as acting executive director of Urban Air Initiative – a Kansas not-for-profit corporation organized as a 501(c) (4) for the purpose of educating the public regarding unhealthy emissions and air quality resulting from components of gasoline and subsequent vehicle emissions. His role included participation in and oversight of fundraising, stakeholder relations, communications, and data-gathering strategies.

From 2006 to September, 2013, Greg served as Director of Government Affairs for ICM, Inc. of Colwich, Kansas, a leading technology developer, designer and builder of fuel ethanol and other biofuels facilities. In that role Greg currently served on numerous ethanol and agricultural association boards including the National Sorghum Producers and also seven ethanol plant boards of directors.

Previously Greg served in multiple roles with the Kansas Corn Commission and Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association and additionally was employed eleven years at the Kansas Department of Agriculture including service as Assistant Secretary of KDA.

Greg holds a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Rockhurst University in Kansas City as well as a law degree and MBA from the University of Denver.

Kennedy and Coe is a leading accounting and consulting firm in the agriculture, manufacturing and biofuels industries.


Rick SchwarckRick Schwarck was born and raised on a family farm in Mitchell County, Iowa and is still involved in the family farm. He currently resides five miles north of Saint Ansgar, Iowa, with his wife, Holly. They have four children. Since inception, Mr. Schwarck has served as the President, Chairman, & CEO of Absolute Energy, L.L.C., an ethanol plant located near St. Ansgar, Iowa. Prior to co-founding Absolute Energy, L.L.C., Mr. Schwarck had a successful, 30 year financial services career. He was co-owner of The Schwarck Agency, L.L.C., an insurance and investment firm. Mr. Schwarck was a 30 year member of the National Association of Insurance and Investment Advisors. Mr. Schwarck was a Certified Senior Advisor and Registered Representative of the Securities and Exchange Commission. He also serves as President of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Board Member of Growth Energy, Board Member of the Renewable Products Marketing Group (RPMG); Board Member of the RFA; Founder of Global Carbon Solutions Inc. (GCSI); Founder of Further Fuels LLC, and is involved in numerous other activities in support of the ethanol industry.


Michael Weaver Michael Weaver is a partner with the Minneapolis-based law firm of Lindquist & Vennum in the firm’s Agribusiness and Renewable Energy practice. For more than two decades, he has represented clients in the U.S. in cooperative law and renewable energy development, including complex tax and financial matters. A particular focus of his practice includes assisting farmer cooperatives and other entities in renewable energy, acquisition or construction of agribusiness processing facilities, and development of value-added joint ventures. His experience includes M&A transactions, private equity funds, corporate finance, governance, strategic planning, tax matters and government policy initiatives. By way of background, Mr. Weaver was an integral part of the Ralph Morris team that provided legal counsel to the CENEX –Harvest States Cooperatives merger in 1998, and he was principal drafter of the CHS Articles and Bylaws resulting from the merger.


George Olney, Chief Operating Officer, iRely, is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin School of Business (1992), and received his CPA in 1993. He audited commodities for the National Futures Association, a U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission counterpart. George has founded and owned two software implementation companies.


Larry Romuald has spent 40 years in cooperative finance, and now serves as the Vice President, Finance for Cooperative Resources International, where he is responsible for all financial and information technology areas of CRI and its subsidiaries. He is also the elected Treasurer of CRI. CRI delivers artificial insemination services for beef and dairy cattle, dairy records processing, and livestock marketing services.

Romuald serves as an Outside Director to AgStar Financial Services, ACA, and is current Chairman of the Farm Credit Foundation. He is past national president and national director of the National Association of Accountants for Cooperatives, and is a member of the Accounting and Auditing committee that is researching domestic and international cooperative accounting standards.

He is active in many community service organizations, and has served on the Shawano-Gresham School Board and the Wisconsin Joint Legislative Council studying child care economics.

He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay, and is a Wisconsin Certified Public Accountant.


Dermot Hayes is the Pioneer Hi-Bred International Chair in Agribusiness, professor of economics, and professor of finance at Iowa State University. He obtained an Agricultural Science degree from the University College Dublin in 1981 and a Ph.D in Agricultural Economics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1986. He has distinguished himself with many awards at the college and university levels for his work as a teacher and researcher. In 2006 he received a "Publication of Enduring Quality" award from the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. AAEA named him a Fellow in 2007, its highest recognition for distinction in the discipline. Besides his analysis of U.S. farm policy and international agricultural trade, his other research interests include food safety, livestock modeling, demand analysis, and commodity markets. Since 1995 he has been the trade economist for the National Pork Producers Association.


Joe Mahon is an economist and analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, a role he has held since 2010. Prior to that, he was a staff writer and analyst for Fed publications the Region and fedgazette. Mahon's primary responsibilities involve tracking several sectors of the Ninth District economy—an area that covers Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Montana and portions of Wisconsin and Michigan—for the Fed. Sectors he follows include agriculture, manufacturing, energy and mining. He also performs special analyses at the request of the bank's senior management and the board of directors. He holds degrees in economics and journalism from the University of Minnesota, and is a graduate student in the University's applied economics and statistics departments.


Molly Jahn Molly Jahn is a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, holding appointments in the Department of Agronomy, the Laboratory of Genetics, and the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment. From 2006-2011, she served as dean of the University of Wisconsin's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. In 2009-10, she was called to Washington, DC to provide interim leadership as Deputy and Acting Under Secretary of Research, Education and Economics at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Her research programs at University of Wisconsin and Cornell University have produced vegetable varieties grown commercially and for subsistence on six continents. In 2011, she was selected to represent the U.S. on the Commission for Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change.

Jahn has published widely including a recent book on Biotechnology and Sustainable Agriculture, serves on numerous boards, and scientific advisory panels including the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources at the U.S. National Research Council/National Academies of Science. She is a Co-editor in Chief of the new open access journal BMC Agriculture and Food Security, and she chairs the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Energy and Environmental Sciences Directorates at DOE's Oak Ridge National Lab. She consults for agribusiness and food companies, actuarial sciences, for philanthropic organizations and venture capital.


Christine WalshChristine Walsh is Vice President, Sales and Marketing, PointZero Retail.

She brings more than 30 years of experience leading research, marketing, merchandising, product development and design departments for private and publically held corporations - specifically in the food retail and wholesale sectors. She led programs for Federated Group/Daymon Worldwide, Supervalu, and Diedrich Walsh Marketing Group before moving with her clients to join a virtual agency, PointZero Retail.

Christine has participated in a number of private and public advisory boards, and has represented her companies on various committees for industry associations. She has delivered numerous conference presentations featuring industry-related topics such as market and consumer trends, branding and marketing, department and product trends, the value of research, and more.

Christine also currently serves as an adjunct professor at Concordia University – St. Paul, MN, teaching International Marketing and Consumer Behavior. She holds a M.A. and a B.S. from the University of Minnesota, as well as a Food Executive Certificate from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.