November 11, 2016 – Morris Bixby Group, an agribusiness focused search firm, has appointed Allen Smith as managing partner of its new executive division, Morris Bixby Executive. Mr. Smith has an extensive background in the field of agriculture, having managed business units in the U.S., Canada, Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa. Now based in St. Louis, he will lead Morris Bixby’s executive search business involved with all aspects of agriculture, including seed, biotechnology, chemistry, fertilizer and digital agriculture.
He started his career in sales and marketing with American Cyanamid / BASF. Over the course of the next 15 years, he moved into various global commercial leadership roles, including general manager of Canada based in Toronto and vice president of Canada, Asia and global specialty products. While living in Singapore, he joined Monsanto, first managing its Southeast Asia business and then advancing to VP for the Asia Pacific region. He then served as the company’s VP Europe, Middle East & Africa region. Other roles in Monsanto included strategic accounts and global business development.
“Allen brings Morris Bixby Executive an extraordinary level of leadership advisory experience, as well as strong high level client relationships,” said Morris Bixby Group president Jay Morris. “We are excited to have him lead our executive search business as we continue to expand our capabilities to serve agriculture clients. He brings diverse expertise in multiple areas, including general management, executive coaching, leadership development, talent selection and performance management, both in the U.S. and internationally,” Mr. Morris added. Morris Bixby Group specializes in placing middle to upper level candidates in crop protection, seeds / traits, animal health, grain, food, and energy.
Some Recent Search Activity
A number of agriculture businesses have been turning to executive search firms to find new leaders in recent months. Here is a look at some recent recruiting activity from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:
- Taylor Winfield placed Constance Cullman as president and chief executive officer of Farm Foundation. The organization works as a catalyst for sound public policy by providing objective information to foster a deeper understanding of issues shaping the future for agriculture, food systems and rural regions.
- Hobson Leavy recruited Paul Gunn as CEO of Smales Farm. With a strong, sustainable community at its core, Smales Farm’s open spaces, access to transport, green technology and dynamic buildings are people-focused, encouraging innovative interaction.
- Barton Executive Search tapped Chris Neugent to serve as a member of Welch’s board of directors. Headquartered in Concord, MA, Welch’s is the processing and marketing subsidiary of the National Grape Cooperative. Welch’s is owned by 1,000 family farmers across America and in Ontario who make up this cooperative.
- Kincannon & Reed recruited Federico A. Tripodi as CEO of Calyxt, Inc., a Minnesota-based company developing healthier food products to benefit both consumers and growers. The firm also recently placed Lucas Lentsch as CEO of the Midwest Dairy Association, a non-profit organization which manages dairy farmer checkoff funds in a 10-state region.
- 3P Consultants Pvt. Ltd recruited Anil Nawal as chief financial officer of Excel Crop Care Ltd. Excel Crop Care is an India-based farming solutions provider. The company offers solutions in soil health, seed treatment, crop protection and pest management, as well as post-harvest treatment.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media