(Ames, Iowa — Monday, October 29, 2018) The Ivy College of Business is proud to announce Beth Ford (’86 management), president and CEO of Land O’Lakes, Inc., will deliver a free, public lecture on November 9 on the Iowa State University campus.
Her lecture is part of the Ivy CEO Speaker Series, launched in October 2016 to create opportunities where CEOs can connect with business students. This series provides a forum where CEOs can share their path to the top, and inspire students who are preparing for their careers.
Named to Fortune magazine’s 2018 Most Powerful Women in Business List, Ford is a dynamic and inspiring speaker with experience in supply chain management, leadership, management, and agriculture. She is the first female CEO of Land O’Lakes, one of the nation’s largest food and agricultural cooperatives, and the first openly gay woman to lead a Fortune 500 company.
The Land O’Lakes, Inc. Board of Directors announced the leadership change on July 26, with Ford assuming her new role on August 1, following the retirement of Chris Policinski. Ford brings decades of experience across six different industries as the company seeks to build on its history of sustainable growth, according to the Land O’Lakes announcement.
“It’s been exciting to watch Beth’s career grow and we are proud that she is our alumna,” said Raisbeck Endowed Dean David Spalding. “Beth has remained connected to the Ivy College of Business and has always been a loyal Cyclone.”
Ford’s experience in supply chain management, leadership, management, and agriculture make her the perfect speaker for students who have interests in a variety of careers. Land O’ Lakes has a long history with Iowa State and recruits from a variety of disciplines in business, agriculture, and engineering. Earlier this year, Land O’Lakes announced a $5 million commitment to support the student innovation center, an endowed supply chain professorship, and scholarships for agriculture students.
“Beth is a dynamic, inspiring speaker. I encourage students from all disciplines across campus to attend,” Spalding said.
Lecture title: Leadership is a Team Sport
Date: Friday, November 9
Time: 11:00 – 11:50 a.m.
Location: 1148 Richard and Joan Stark Lecture Hall, Gerdin Business Building
No registration necessary. This lecture is sponsored by the Ivy College of Business and Collegiate Women in Business student organization.
About Beth Ford
Prior to joining Land O’Lakes in 2011, Ford had excelled in executive operations management and supply chain roles at International Flavors and Fragrances, Mobil Corporation, PepsiCo and Pepsi Bottling Company, and Scholastic. Ford has more than 20 years of experience specifically in the areas of technology and R&D, as well, across these four companies. Born in Sioux City, Iowa, she earned a business degree from Iowa State University, and an MBA from Columbia University Business School. She remains involved in both universities. She has been a member of the Ivy College of Business Dean’s Advisory Council since 2003, and is on the Deming Center Board of Advisors for Columbia Business School. Ford is the ninth CEO of Land O’Lakes, which was founded in 1921. Ford and her spouse, Jill Schurtz, have three teenage children and live in Minneapolis.
At the Debbie and Jerry Ivy College of Business, we offer a wide variety of programs to maximize student potential, connect students with professionals through case competitions, interactive learning, study abroad, internships, and ultimately successful employment. We continuously add valuable programs that benefit students and their future employers, including an undergraduate major in actuarial science, a master of real estate development, and an executive MBA — all beginning in fall 2019. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accredits the college. Less than 5 percent of the world’s business programs have earned this credential.