ST. LOUIS, May 9, 2019 – Benson Hill Biosystems, a crop improvement company unlocking the natural diversity of plants, announced today that its Board of Directors has appointed Deanie Elsner, former executive at Kellogg’s and Kraft, and Michelle Gloeckler, former executive at Walmart and at The Hershey Company, as new board members with the assist from executive search firm Caldwell. The appointment reflects Benson Hill’s commitment to empower innovators throughout the food and agriculture value chain to develop better choices for consumers and farmers.
“What attracted me to Benson Hill Biosystems was the opportunity to solve product challenges with improved ingredient streams such as the need for higher fiber, lower sugar and less bitterness enabled through crop design,” stated Elsner. “Benson Hill has coupled advances in AI and genomics to help companies develop crop solutions for more healthy and sustainable food products. For the food industry at the nexus of unprecedented societal and environmental pressures, this kind of innovation and collaborative thinking opens new opportunities to deliver against these new consumer challenges.”
Elsner has worked with some of the most notable companies in the consumer products industry including Kellogg’s, Kraft Foods, Quaker Oats, Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble. She is currently CEO of Charlotte’s Web and serves on the Board of Directors for Owens Corning, a Fortune 500 industrial manufacturing company. She was recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of the 50 most influential Global CMOs and was recognized by ADWEEK as one of the 12 Stars of Ad Tech Shaping the Future.
Michelle Gloeckler has extensive experience in retail and consumer goods with leadership roles at Walmart, where she led their health and wellness unit as well as its US Manufacturing initiative, and The Hershey Company. In 2015, Fortunenamed Gloeckler to its list of Most Powerful Women, and she has been recognized by the industry as a Top Woman in Grocery, Mass Merchandising and Shopper Marketing. Gloeckler currently serves on the boards of PEEP Performance and her alma mater The University of Michigan DAC, LSA.
“Consumers are increasingly prioritizing the connection between food and health and how their shopping choices impact the environment,” stated Gloeckler. “Partnering with Benson Hill gives food companies and retailers an expanded ability to develop better products by starting with the best ingredients. I’m delighted to join the Board of Directors to help drive this connection between food and the farm.”
Benson Hill’s CropOS™ computational platform and powerful portfolio of predictive breeding and CRISPR genome editing technologies enable organizations across the food and agriculture value chain to tap natural genetic diversity as the most sustainable means of creating product innovation differentiation. Its partners range from traditional seed companies to ingredient and food companies engaged through a diverse range of partnership models based on technical and business needs.
“We are thrilled to welcome Deanie and Michelle to our Board of Directors as we execute our commitment to improve food production systems and rise to the dynamic opportunities being driven by consumers,” said Matthew Crisp, CEO and co-founder of Benson Hill. “Their wealth of knowledge and insight will help guide our efforts to empower grocery retailers, food manufacturers and ingredient companies with the technology and supply chain solutions they need to deliver better choices for people and our planet.”
About Benson Hill Biosystems
Benson Hill empowers innovators with a revolutionary crop design platform to develop healthier and more sustainable food and ingredients. Our CropOS™ platform combines machine learning and big data with genome editing and plant biology to drastically accelerate and simplify the product development process. More information can be found online at www.bensonhillbio.com. Follow us on Twitter at @BensonHillBio.
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