Kincannon & Reed Recruits CEO for Burcon NutraScience Corporation

December 15, 2022 – 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. Executive recruitment firm Kincannon & Reed, which exclusively focuses on food, agribusiness, and the related life sciences, recently placed  alternative and specialty protein space veteran Kip Underwood as CEO of Burcon NutraScience Corporation, a global leader in plant-based proteins and ingredients technologies.

“Kip is a highly strategic, growth-oriented leader with a solid foundation of experience within the industry,” said Janet Wightman, managing partner. “He brings a strong network of relationships built over the course of his career, something Burcon will benefit greatly from.”

“Kip has a proven track record in delivering results.,” said  John Wright, managing director. “He is highly personable and energetic but doesn’t shy from the hard conversations and difficult decisions.”

“Kip is a proven leader of global food ingredient businesses with decades of specialty protein experience and an impressive track record of driving sustainable profitable growth,” said Peter H. Kappel, chairman of the board. “Kip’s consumer-centric mindset, go-to-market expertise and passion for building high-performance cultures make him the ideal leader for Burcon’s next growth chapter. Burcon’s board is confident that his deep industry knowledge and collective skillset will help the company in monetizing its intellectual property, executing strategic partnership initiatives, and bringing to market Burcon’s innovative protein technologies, to ultimately drive enhanced value for our shareholders.”

Prior to joining Burcon, Mr. Underwood’s experience spanned nearly every aspect of the business from operations to sales. His roles have included GM and VP of aales, as well as VP, specialty protein business. Having led a number of teams in his tenure, Mr. Underwood brings valuable experience developing talent and building high performing teams.

In his new role, Mr. Underwood is tasked with leading the growth of the company. Working closely with the board and senior leadership, he is responsible for the development and execution of the organization’s strategic plan. He will provide oversight and build critical relationships within the industry.

“I am honored to join Burcon. As a pioneer in the development of plant-based proteins, Burcon is well positioned to meet the market needs for better, plant-based foods,” said Mr. Underwood. “I see tremendous potential in leveraging its deep expertise and innovation capabilities to drive long-term growth and value creation for the Company and its shareholders. Plant-based foods are an integral piece to creating a more sustainable food system. Burcon can lead the way with its next generation plant protein ingredients. I look forward to working closely with the Board and the entire team to shape the next chapter of Burcon.”

Related: Kincannon & Reed Recruits CEO for California Agricultural Leadership Foundation

Burcon NutraScience Corporation is a Canada-based research and development leader in innovative technologies centered on functional, renewable plant proteins and ingredients. The company has steadily developed a portfolio of patents that originate from its core protein extraction and purification technology over the past two decades.

Proven Recruiters

Founded in 1981, Kincannon & Reed serves clients throughout the world from locations in the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. The firm is based in Arlington, VA. Kincannon & Reed’s mission is: “We recruit leaders for organizations that feed the world and keep it healthy.”

Kincannon & Reed Recruits CEO for Highline Mushrooms
Kincannon & Reed recently placed Jose Cambon as the new CEO of Highline Mushrooms. “Jose is an ambitious, driven leader who enjoys a challenge,” said Janet Wightman, managing partner. “He is a strategic thinker with an impressive track record of building innovative teams that deliver results.” Mr. Cambon joins the company with more than two decades of experience, with the past 10 years in the mushroom sector in Australia. Prior to joining Highline Mushrooms, he held a series of progressively senior roles with Costa Group over the past decade. Most recently, he was GM of Vertical Farming.

Having placed more than 125 executives to date, Ms. Wightman brings expertise in search as well as deep executive experience. Her focus is on agricultural technology and inputs, finance and capital, global agribusiness, private equity organizations, and production and associations. Prior to joining Kincannon & Reed, she was president and CEO of Victoria Park Capital Inc., an investment management firm. Ms. Wightman 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.

Mr. Wright brings extensive experience as an executive and entrepreneur focused on the crop inputs and production sectors.  His network and connections throughout the industry are strong. Prior to K&R Mr. Wright led organizations such as Agriliance LLC, Helm Fertilizer, and Keytrade North America, as well as being President, Founder and Co-Owner of Solce Fertilizer Company.

Related: Kincannon & Reed Recruits President for the Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils 

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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