Kincannon & Reed Recruits President and COO for Clarkson Grain Company

December 1, 2023 – Executive recruitment firm Kincannon & Reed, which exclusively focuses on food, agribusiness, and the related life sciences, recently placed Kevin Pray as the organization’s new president and chief operating officer of Clarkson Grain Company. The assignment was led by managing partner John Wright and managing director Carolyn Schubert. “A seasoned ag professional, Kevin’s strong background in both commercial and operational roles gives him a unique perspective on the business and the sector,” Ms. Schubert said. “His innate ability to think strategically and connect dots others miss make him a great fit for the role at Clarkson Grain Company.”

“Kevin is a collaborative leader known for building consensus and being a mentor to his team,” said Mr. Wright. “Accountable and tenacious, Kevin has a passion for growth and for customer success, something that will benefit him in his new role.”

Prior to joining Clarkson Grain, Mr. Pray served as the president and general manager for SEMO Milling. His robust career in the industry includes several different functional roles ranging from merchandising to management with Cargill and ConAgra Mills as well as Miller Milling Company and RiceBran Technologies.

In his new role with Clarkson Grain, Mr. Pray will collaborate closely with the board and CEO to manage and guide the strategic direction of the organization. While fostering a culture of success that embodies the company’s values, he is responsible for building a diverse, high-performing team.

Clarkson Grain has been an industry pioneer in the production and supply of non-GMO and organic corn and soybeans for the past 40 years. The niche product focus and rigorous supply chain management are possible because of the organization’s farmer partners.

Serving the Food, Agribusiness, and the Related Life Sciences Sectors

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.”

Related: Kincannon & Reed Recruits VP of HR for Highline Mushrooms

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 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.

Ms. Schubert brings nearly 20 years of experience in the recruitment of board members, CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, general counsel, and other senior-level executives across a broad range of industries. Her background includes leadership positions with Egon Zehnder International, serving their global board & CEO practice. She began her career with the law firm of Lord, Bissell & Brook, working in the International Insurance Practice Group.

Past Assignment

Kincannon & Reed recently helped to fill two key leadership roles for AgReliant Genetics in Westfield, IN. Brian Barker is the new chief executive officer and president of the biotechnology research company, and David Pugh, who was hired a few weeks earlier, is chief financial officer and vice president of finance. Leading the assignment for the search firm were Jon Leafstedt, managing partner, and Crystal Strauss, director. Most recently, Mr. Barker was vice president, future ERP global leader at Corteva Agriscience, a publicly traded, global pure-play agriculture company. As vice president of finance and CFO, Mr. Pugh drives development of key, long-range strategies to help ensure that financial performance objectives are achieved.

As the largest North American company focused solely on seed, AgReliant invests heavily in genetic innovation to deliver one-of-a-kind seeds with differential characteristics for plant health, harvestability, grain quality, and yield. Dedicated to delivering high quality, high performing hybrids, the organization offers a broad product portfolio of corn, soybeans, sorghum, and alfalfa. Founded in 2000, AgReliant is a 50-50 joint venture owned by two of the top five seed companies in the world: KWS (Einbeck, Germany) and Groupe Limagrain (Saint-Beauzire, France).

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

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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