June 14, 2018 – Executive search firm Kincannon & Reed continues its global expansion with the addition of five managing partners, bringing its partner group to 12 members.
The new managing partners join a partner team that includes Gregory Duerksen, Jon Leafstedt, Fred Medero, David Turner, Ellen von Fange, Gary Weihs and Michael Whitney.
“We are thrilled and delighted that these talented leaders have stepped up to the partner level,” said Mr. Duerksen, chairman and CEO. “Our newly expanded leadership team is continued evidence of Kincannon & Reed’s confidence and investment in the firm’s future and strengthens our ability to serve our global client base.”
“These individuals deepen our world-class expertise in key, fast-growing segments of the agribusiness, food and life sciences value chain that is our focus,” he said. “I could not be more proud to work alongside these high-caliber individuals as we help our clients build top-performing teams for the future.”
Jim Gerardot becomes the global practice leader for animal inputs. He is based in St. Louis. Mr. Gerardot joined the firm in 2013 after more than 28 years in the global animal health and nutrition industry where he had been a senior executive in top-tier companies including Merck, Merial, Pfizer, Bayer and Novus International. He held global marketing and commercial operations leadership roles in North America, Europe and Latin America. Mr. Gerardot has participated in the World Food Prize as a Borlaug Dialogue panelist, served on the Global IFIF/FEFANA Specialty Feed Ingredient Project Management Board and most recently served as chairman of the American Feed Industry Association Sustainability Oversight Committee.
Heiri Gugger takes over as Kincannon & Reed’s practice lead for crop inputs, with a particular focus on biotech and startups. He is based in Research Triangle Park, NC. In addition to having been president for Syngenta Crop Protection and CEO of Paradigm Genetics, he served 11 years on the North Carolina Biotechnology Center board of directors. He is also a former board vice chair of CropLife America and a member of the Food and Agriculture Governing Body for BIO. Dr. Gugger joined Kincannon & Reed in 2012.
Roger Peeters is managing partner focused on senior-level placements for crop input, crop production and R&D leadership. He is based in Weert, the Netherlands. Dr. Peeters combines his scientific and MBA credentials to conduct executive search for senior leaders in crop input, crop production, food and R&D. He has held director positions in product development and strategy for Bayer, DNA GreenGroup and Syngenta. His areas of expertise include biotech, functional foods, food safety and quality, licensing and plant breeding. Dr. Peeters joined Kincannon & Reed in 2015.
Janet Wightman is the new practice lead for fertilizer. Her focus is on recruitment of finance and C-suite-level positions and is based in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Ms. Wightman is a former senior executive in the financial services industry with a focus on the agribusiness sector. She now serves companies and associations in the crop input and financial services arenas. She previously served as president and CEO of Victoria Park Capital Inc. Among other roles, she was the first president and CEO of Investment Saskatchewan and was COO of Farm Credit Canada. She holds the governance designation awarded by the Institute of Corporate Directors and has served on several private and public company and non-profit boards. Ms. Wightman came to Kincannon & Reed in 2011.
Lastly, Ed Yuhas becomes practice lead for dairy and pet care sectors, based in Columbus, OH. Mr. Yuhas is a specialist in the dairy and pet care sectors. He has more than 30 years of experience in the companion animal / pet care, food and lawn and garden categories, primarily in consumer packaged goods. He has held leadership positions in companies ranging from private equity-backed start-ups to Fortune 500 firms such as Mars Inc., Nestlé USA, Spectrum Brands, Borden and Aurora Foods. Mr. Yuhas joined Kincannon & Reed in 2014.
Founded in 1981, Kincannon & Reed focuses exclusively on the food, agribusiness and life sciences sectors. The firm, which has offices in the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific, recently placed former Cargill executive Manoj Sahoo as chief commercial officer of Calyxt Inc., a fast-growing, consumer-oriented agricultural company.
Global Growth Mode
Agribusinesses worldwide face a host of challenges as they navigate their complicated mission of feeding the growing world population. This has led to high demand for new leaders among food businesses and agricultural organizations. Kincannon & Reed has responded by increasing its own headcount over the past year.
At the end of 2017, the firm added Attila von Hankó as managing director, further enlarging its team of animal health industry veterans. He is based in Bremen, Germany, where he focuses on senior executive recruitment for animal health clients across Europe and Asia. Mr. von Hankó’s 30-year career includes significant global expertise in strategic and operational development.
In addition, the firm has expanded in Brazil with the addition Ricardo Casiuch as managing director. He serves clients in the crop inputs sector. His background includes executive positions in agribusiness and biotechnology for Brazilian, American, Canadian and Italian multinational companies.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media