Kincannon & Reed Recruits CEO for Top Ag
April 7, 2023 – Executive recruitment firm Kincannon & Reed, which exclusively focuses on food, agribusiness, and the related life sciences, recently placed Jeff Hendricks as the new CEO of Southwestern Illinois cooperative Top Ag. “A strategic thinker with demonstrated success, Jeff is a proven leader that welcomes accountability,” said Jim Gerardot, managing partner at Kincannon & Reed. “Jeff is an effective communicator with the ability to work in the details as well as seeing the big picture.”
“Jeff is known for his collaborative leadership style and mentorship,” said John Wright, managing director at Kincannon & Reed. “He is an excellent team builder, knowing when his expertise isn’t enough, and works to create an enjoyable work environment where employees can succeed.”
Mr. Hendricks joins Top Ag with nearly two decades of professional experience – more than half of those within the cooperative system. He most recently served as vice president of agronomy at Crystal Valley Coop in Minnesota. Before that, Mr. Hendricks was agronomy department manager for CHS Inc.
As Top Ag’s CEO, Mr. Hendricks will work with the board of directors to lead the development and execution of the strategic plan. He is tasked with cultivating strong relationships with stakeholders and overseeing the integration of recent acquisitions. Together with the organization’s operational leaders, Mr. Hendricks will be responsible for continuing the culture of “One Top Ag” while building cohesive, high-performing teams across all locations.
Related: Kincannon & Reed Recruits CEO for California Agricultural Leadership Foundation
Farmer-owned coop Top Ag operates at 13 locations across southwestern Illinois. Emphasizing local community involvement and support, the organization takes pride in successfully serving several generations of growers and area residents.
Finding Top Talent
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.”
Mr. Gerardot has placed leaders around the globe for firms in animal health, nutrition, genetics, production, precision Ag, specialty crop biotech, finance, and industry leading non-profit organizations. After a 28 -year career in the global animal health and nutrition industry, where Mr. Gerardot held senior leadership positions with organizations such as Merck, Merial, Pfizer, Bayer and Novus International, he had the opportunity to lead start-up organizations before joining Kincannon & Reed.
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.
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 Co.
Kincannon & Reed recently placed Brent Smith as the new president and CEO of NewLeaf Symbiotics. Jon Leafstedt, Cassie Edgar, and Crystal Strauss led Kincannon & Reed’s identification, recruitment, and evaluation of a strong slate of well- qualified candidates. “Passionate and entrepreneurial, Brent is a results-oriented leader with a demonstrated track record of success,” said Mr. Leafstedt. “He is well-connected, highly knowledgeable in the space, and enjoys rolling up sleeves to execute.”
With over 25 years of experience in the agricultural industry, and background in business development, strategic marketing and innovation, Mr. Smith is an experienced executive leader with a track record of exceeding revenue, profit, and share targets, as well as building long-term value and expanding global reach. “Brent is known for his strategic planning capabilities and decision-making skills,” said Ms. Strauss. “His growth mindset and entrepreneurial nature will benefit NewLeaf as the organization continues to grow.”
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