Age as of March 1, 2019: 59
Residence Location: Leon, KS
Place of Operation: Leon, KS
Business Experience: My wife and I own and operate Walnut River Ranch, located in the tall grass region of Kansas. We cash rent cattle and row crop to local ranchers and farmers and produce some of the best grass hay in the world (big bluestem) shipping it to Colorado, Texas, Missouri, Arizona, and New Mexico. Additional: 30 years of experience in the entrepreneurial and Fortune 500 world (PepsiCo Corporation, New York) and 12+ years of local and state government having served the past 3 governors of Kansas.
Education: MBA – business
Current Boards: American AgCredit – Term ending May 2019
Strategic & Visionary Thinking: Strategic thinking is the ability to take your eyes off of the immediate and focus on the unseen. It is the need to try and anticipate future, unplanned events and risk. I have operated within this area as the Board Chair of Butler County government and also as a governor appointed member of the Kansas Parks and Tourism cabinet. In addition, as a current member of the American AgCredit board, a great deal of time and focus is spent on trying to anticipate potential risks yet unseen.
Corporate Governance: I served as a member of the Wichita Area Builders Association governance committee, served as Board Chair for Butler County Government, served as Chair of the Governance Committee for the American AgCredit board of directors, and served as one of seven governor appointed members for the Kansas Parks and Tourism Board. I also have the honor to teach, as a university adjunct professor, our nation’s finest Air Force enlisted personnel, classes and work sessions on strategic planning and governance.
Financial Expertise: My wife and I currently own and operate Walnut River Ranch along with all of its required financial, tax, and governmental reporting. I also spent a tour of duty in the Fortune 500 world, namely with the PepsiCo Corporation, in the finance and audit department. In addition, as Board Chair for Butler County government, my responsibility was to oversee, understand, sign off on, and certify annual tax and budgetary filings that were submitted to the State of Kansas.
Communication: Through my company, Capital Partners Group LLC, and my role as a university adjunct professor, I have delivered over 100+ workshop and training sessions covering topics such as: better customer service, employee performance management, increasing effective time management, and others. Most of these sessions are a result of a need for local companies and organizations, many Ag related, to improve their operating efficiencies and procedures.
Technology: I am proficient with and a user of most all commonly available modalities: cell phones, computers, iPad, etc… I am actively involved in the development and design of web based learning management systems at the post-secondary university level primarily aimed at Air Force enlisted personnel through Southwestern Colleges Professional Studies division. I routinely utilize all matter of financial and web based reporting for our ranching business.
Human Resource Management: As Board Chair for Butler County government I had the functional responsibility to oversee, and adjust if needed, in collaboration with one of 12 direct reports, a county wide operation of 400 employees. This included: recruitment, talent search, programming, planning, federal reporting, state reporting and compliance, and forecasting planned future needs. In addition, as Chair of the American AgCredit Governance Committee, we are tasked with monitoring skills and experience requirements.
Risk Management: As a member of the American AgCredit Board of Directors we routinely and intently focus on risk. Questions that orient around risks to our shareholders are the primary focus. Trying to anticipate those risks and more importantly how to protect our shareholders is where most effort is spent. The risks presented by commodity, technology, capital funding, macro environments, and dozens of other areas are all touch points that receive considerable time and effort.
Leadership: I have served as Board Chair for Butler County Kansas Government, have served in local and state government in elected and appointed positions, most recently serving as a governor appointed member for the Kansas Parks and Tourism cabinet, and have proudly served my fellow shareholders as a member of the American AgCredit board of directors. I also am very honored to have been selected to teach and train our nation’s finest Air Force enlisted personnel in the areas of strategic planning.
Candidate Statement: I currently am serving on the AAC board and will finish my first term in May of 2019.
I have worked in agricultural related fields since my youth and currently, along with my wife, own and operate Walnut River Ranch located in the southern flint hills, tallgrass prairie region of Kansas. Having served on several Ag related boards for the state of Kansas (renewable energy, wildlife, tourism) I see the challenges faced by our farmers, ranchers, and producers in today’s climate and have worked for advancements and policies that aid them directly in their operations. It is critical that today’s agribusiness producers have access to readily available, competitive rate capital, additional diversified markets for their products, and access to new technologies and processes that increase efficiencies and resulting profitability. This, along with an increasingly challenging political environment at the state and federal level, requires someone to advocate for them and to base business decisions always with the thought in mind of: “how does this help the local rancher or farmer”. When I am making decisions on the AAC board now I always keep that thought in mind as the primary motivator.