December 14, 2017 – Executive search firm Kincannon & Reed has placed Tony Arnold as CEO of Willowood USA in Broomfield, CO. He replaces Brian Heinze, who founded the company and led the business since its inception in 2009. Managing partners Jon Leafstedt and Gary Weihs led the assignment.
“I want to welcome Tony to the Willowood team,” said Kevin Mitchell, chairman of the company’s board of directors and a managing partner for Lariat Partners. “He is the right leader to position Willowood for continued growth. Tony’s experience in building organizations, commercializing technology and driving results fit perfectly with the goal to further enhance the value Willowood brings to its customers.”
Mr. Arnold brings over 25 years of experience in the agriculture industry, holding a variety of leadership positions with American Cyanamid, BASF and Dupont. Most recently, he was the president and CEO of the Solae Company, Nutrition Physiology Company and Upfront Management.
“The Willowood team has built a strong foundation for future growth, including a broad portfolio of high-quality products, a cost-effective supply chain, and a commitment to excellent customer service,” said Mr. Arnold. “As growers experience low commodity prices and a desire to reduce input costs, Willowood is uniquely positioned to work with distribution partners to provide them with affordable, yet high-quality alternative products.”
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Willowood is one of the fastest-growing generic crop protection companies in U.S. agriculture. It manufactures post-patent crop protection herbicides, fungicides, insecticides and plant growth regulators for the agriculture, turf, specialty crop and vegetation management industries.
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.
Mr. Leafstedt, who has deep expertise in agricultural and bio technology, helps associations, cooperatives, and early-stage companies to define their talent needs and recruit senior leadership. Mr. Weihs has broad experience in both the food value chain and the renewables sector. He currently leads the firm’s renewables practice and is co-leader of the North America dairy team.
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 in recent months.
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Just recently, 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.
Kincannon & Reed also added Lisa Johnson as managing director in Chicago. Ms. Johnson is a member of the food and ingredients team. She leads recruiting and succession assignments for the firm’s clients seeking general managers, presidents and CEOs, as well as senior functional executives in marketing, sales, finance, business development and R&D.
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