This advisory council meets to provide advice concerning recruitment of students, the shaping of the curriculum, trends in the industry, and other priorities set by members of the council for our Ivy Executive MBA program focused in food, agriculture and biosystems. They also serve as a resource for our Ivy EMBA students and participate in events throughout the course of the program.
Jackie’s career at Bayer began in 1992, and since, she has held leadership positions all over the world. Most recently, Jackie has served as Bayer’s president of environmental science (ES), a position she’s held since 2015, and as the culture and change management lead for the Bayer/Monsanto integration. Immediately before her role leading ES, she served as the senior Bayer representative (SBR) for Australia and New Zealand. Her previous positions at Bayer include president of environmental science North America, vice president of environmental science consumer products, and head of global project management. Jackie graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Wright State University, earned her master’s degree from Rockhurst College, and holds a doctorate degree in organic chemistry from Iowa State University. She has served on the board of multiple philanthropic, community and business organizations, and enjoys traveling and spending time with her son, Matthew.
Brett Bell, Chief Operating Officer
Neil Bentley, Vice President, Global Strategic Marketing Insecticides
BASFGrowing up in a small, Southern Minnesota farming community set the stage for Neil Bentley’s tenured career in agricultural. As vice president, global strategic marketing insecticides at BASF, he is currently responsible for building the insecticides business through development of the organization’s portfolio, strategic partnerships, operational optimization, and compelling marketing initiatives.
BASF’s global insecticide portfolio includes a strong offering of compounds backed by an extensive pipeline in research and development. He oversees the pre-launch, development and commercialization of some of the world’s most innovative active ingredients used to combat invasive and destructive pests.
Bentley obtained his MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and began his career in the retail agriculture business, followed by joining BASF in 2001 as a sales representative. His experience with the global chemical company includes domestic product and segment management, overseeing global active ingredients and strategic relationships abroad and leading global and domestic marketing groups.
With more than 15 years in business marketing and product strategy, Bentley leverages his passion for navigating complex challenges in highly competitive environments to create successful, global initiatives.
He resides in Raleigh, NC with his wife Alison and children Morgan and Lucas.
Bill Even, Chief Executive Officer
National Pork Board
Prior to his employment with the National Pork Board, Bill served as the global industry relations lead for DuPont Pioneer where he managed the global corporate engagement strategy focusing on collaborative stakeholder relationships in the areas of seed, biotechnology, biofuels, and farm policy. Bill also served as commercial unit lead for DuPont Pioneer in South Dakota, North Dakota, and Minnesota. In that role he was responsible for leading the seed sales, marketing, agronomy, training, research, production, and policy needs in the region.
Prior to joining DuPont Pioneer, Bill served as South Dakota secretary of agriculture from 2007 to 2010. He managed six department divisions: Agriculture Regulatory Services, Agriculture Development, State Fair, Wildland Fire, Resource Conservation and Forestry, and Agricultural Policy.
Bill also served as deputy secretary of tourism and state development, director of the governor’s office of economic development, state energy policy director, and policy advisor for Governor Mike Rounds.
Bill holds a degree in agricultural production from Lake Area Technical Institute, a BS in agricultural business from South Dakota State University; and a juris doctorate from Drake University Law School, where he was an Opperman Scholar.
Bill and his family own and operate a fifth-generation diversified crop and livestock farm near Humboldt, South Dakota where they raise corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa, and cattle. The farm was homesteaded in 1883 by his great-grandfather and Bill began farming in 1983. Bill and his wife, Janell, have three children and live in Adel, Iowa.
Kate Guess, Senior Director of Human Resources
Vermeer CorporationKate Guess is the senior director of human resources at Vermeer Corporation. She holds responsibility for both human resources and corporate communications at the global industrial and agricultural equipment company. Prior to joining Vermeer, Kate held marketing and communication positions at Motorola, Maytag, Polaris, and Cold Stone Creamery. Kate earned a B.S. in journalism and mass communication from Iowa State University and a MBA from the University of Northern Iowa. Kate lives in Pella, Iowa with her husband and three children.
Loren Heeringa, Senior Vice President and CHRO
Land O’Lakes, Inc.
Loren serves as senior vice president and chief human resources officer for Land O’Lakes, Inc. Loren joined Land O’Lakes in 2004, bringing more than 30 years of human resources and change management experience in multiple companies and industries. Before joining the Land O’Lakes, Inc. team, he served as vice president of human resources at both Honeywell International and the University of St. Thomas. He is a board member for Camp Fire of Minnesota and the co-chair of the Board of Governors of the Minneapolis Chief Human Resources Summit. He previously served as a board member of the Twin Cities American Heart Association and was a board member of the Minnesota Human Resources Leadership Forum. Loren holds a B.A. in psychology from Hamline University and completed coursework for a PhD in industrial and organizational psychology at the University of Minnesota.
Brandon Kennedy, Supply Base Manager
Brandon Kennedy is a supply base manager within the Indirect Materials & Services (IM&S) group at John Deere. In this position, he is responsible for creating and managing the sourcing strategy for all fabrication and maintenance tools for all John Deere factories worldwide. In addition to his job at John Deere, Brandon is the chair of the John Deere National Society of Black Engineers Steering (NSBE) Committee and is a volunteer for the National Black MBA Association recruiting team within John Deere. Previously, he has held positions within John Deere as a warehouse supervisor and inventory control manager for the John Deere Reman organization in Springfield, MO; supply management specialist at the John Deere Des Moines Works in Ankeny, IA; and as a supplier development engineer for John Deere Power Systems in Waterloo, IA.
Mr. Kennedy was a member of the concurrent Engineering/MBA program at Iowa State University (ISU) where he earned his BS in mechanical engineering and MBA with a supply chain management specialization. Additionally, Brandon was very active as an entrepreneur on-campus during his time at ISU and was a founding member and former President/CEO of the student owned business, The Barista Café.
In his spare time, Brandon likes to attend sporting events, read, ride motorcycles, travel, and volunteer in the community. Some of his community involvement includes, but is not limited to volunteering for Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Boys & Girls Club, and the National Society of Black Engineers.
Justin Kirchhoff, Managing Director and Head of Private Equity
Summit Agricultural Group
Christine Lauridsen Sand, Executive Vice President
The Lauridsen Group, Inc.Christine is an executive vice president at The Lauridsen Group, Inc. (LGI) where she leads growth projects including acquisitions and provides general management oversight of the LGI operating companies. LGI is a family owned holding company with seven independent operating companies dedicated to enhancing human and animal health and nutrition. Christine started her career working as a corporate financial analyst at William Blair, a Chicago based investment bank. Christine received a B.S. in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University and a MBA from Harvard University. Christine grew up in Ames and greatly appreciated the diversity and resources of Iowa State University. Today, Christine lives in Des Moines where she is active in the community, serving as vice chair of Des Moines Performing Arts and as a board member of the Des Moines Airport Authority.
Sheryl Meshke, Co-President and Chief Executive Officer
Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI)Prior to Sheryl’s appointment as co-president and chief executive officer, she served as the senior executive vice president charged with establishing strategic initiatives aimed at strengthening the performance and value of the Midwest dairy cooperative with nearly $2 billion in annual sales. Throughout her 27-year career she has held numerous positions throughout the company, responsible for strategic planning, public affairs, human resources and communications.
Meshke currently serves on the board of directors of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, the National Milk Producers Federation, and the Minnesota AgriGrowth Council. She was appointed by Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton to serve two terms on the Minnesota Dairy Research, Teaching and Consumer Education Authority and was elected chairman of the group. She is past president of The Cooperative Foundation, Cooperative Communicators Association, and the Minnesota FFA Foundation.
Meshke holds a B.S. in agriculture from South Dakota State University and a MBA from the University of St. Thomas. She is a fifth-generation farmer, operating a hog and sheep farm near Lake Crystal, Minn., with her husband Blake Meshke. They have two grown sons, Derek and Brent Meshke
AMPI is headquartered in New Ulm, Minn., and owned by dairy farm families from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota. AMPI members market about 6 billion pounds of milk and own 10 Midwest-based manufacturing plants where 10 percent of the nation’s American-type cheese and butter is produced. The cooperative’s award-winning cheese, butter, and powdered dairy products are marketed to foodservice, retail, and food ingredient customers.
Daniel Oh, President & CEO
OEI, Inc.Daniel J. Oh is the president and CEO of OEI, Inc. He currently serves as chair and board director of the Ames Economic Development Commission. Oh previously held the position of president and CEO for Renewable Energy Group, Inc. (REG) from 2011 – 2017.
He has served on numerous boards, including the Iowa Biodiesel Board, Ames Chamber of Commerce, and the Ivy College of Business MBA Advisory Council.
He received an MBA from The University of Chicago and a B.S. in economics from the US Military Academy at West Point.
Jeff Rowe, President Global Seeds and North America and China
Prior to joining Syngenta, Jeff was vice president, strategic services and planning at DuPont Pioneer (2015–2016) and also sat on the company’s leadership team (DPLT). Before, he was regional director for DuPont Pioneer Europe (2011–2015), vice president biotech affairs and regulatory (2008–2011) and corporate counsel (2001–2008). Jeff started his career with Pioneer in 1995 in supply management.
He has a B.D. in agricultural economics from the Iowa State University, a juris doctorate from Drake Law School, and a global executive MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business and the London School of Economics.
From 2012-2015, Jeff served on the board of directors of the European Seed Association (ESA). In 2013 he was elected to the U.S.- Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) Executive Committee.
Jeff is from a row crop and livestock farm in Illinois where his family has been farming for more than four generations.
Emily (Sukup) Schmitt, General Counsel
Sukup Manufacturing CompanyEmily (Sukup) Schmitt is the general counsel for Sukup Manufacturing Co., making her one of six family members to be active in the business. Emily holds a degree in business management from Iowa State University (GO CYCLONES!) and a juris doctor from the University of Iowa College of Law. Emily and her husband Andy have two daughters. Emily has been a large proponent for improving and growing the family business, with one of her most recent charges being the philanthropic Sukup Safe T Home®. She is also very involved outside of the business, currently holding seats on seven board of directors and committees within Iowa.
Rob Shuey, Senior Vice President-International
Tyson Fresh Meats
Rob has 38 years of experience with Tyson Fresh Meats, starting with IBP, Inc. in 1981. He has held positions in carcass sales and merchandising, trim sales, national account sales, beef pricing, hides and tannery margin management, and a prior engagement in international from 2005 to 2009, before returning to the International group in June 2016.
Rob is a native of Springfield, Ohio, and graduated from Oklahoma State University (Go Pokes) with a B.S. in animal science-business option. He was recently recognized by the animal science department as a graduate of distinction. Rob resides in Dakota Dunes, SD., with wife Mary and son Spencer Tripp, who is a student at South Dakota State University.
Myron Stine, President
Stine Seed Company
Myron Stine joined Stine Seed Company in 1994 and proudly supports the family business by providing direction in marketing strategies and sales force infrastructure. Myron understands the importance of working hard and developing relationships. With a background in crop science, sales, and marketing, Myron has worked his way up through the organization, starting his career on the family farm and then serving as district sales manager, regional sales manager, national sales director, and vice president of sales and marketing. He is now president of Stine Seed Company.
Myron holds a B.S. in crop science from McPherson College in McPherson, Kansas.
Services and Honors
2007 to Present: McPherson College Auto Restoration Advisory Board
2009-2013: Board of Trustees, McPherson College
2011- Present: FFA Stine Seed Enrichment Center Committee, Des Moines Area Community College
2013-2014: Committee Chair, Des Moines Concours d’Elegance
2013 to Present: Board of Trustees, Iowa Automotive Heritage Foundation
2014: Board of Directors, Cultivation Corridor
2018: Iowa State Executive MBA Advisory Board
Cindi Summers, Senior Vice President of Human Resources
Casey’s General StoresCindi currently oversees the human resources, payroll, and training and development departments for Casey’s General Stores. She has spent much of her career at Fortune 500 companies in the retail, manufacturing, and financial services industries. She is PHR and SHRM-CP certified and holds an AS as a legal assistant, a BBA in management with a minor in entrepreneurship, and has a MBL in business leadership. Cindi serves as a deputy on the Iowa Business Council, a member of the NACS Convention Committee, and the board of directors for the Des Moines Area YMCA.
Marv Wilson, Seed Platform Business Development and Licensing Lead
For DuPont Pioneer, he was director of platform management. He led research program management, governance, and resource planning and business development.
He joined Pioneer in 2003 as a senior marketing manager of global oilseeds. From 2004 through 2013 he was director of global oilseeds and field crops, led Pioneer’s North American marketing operations group, served as director of North America product strategy, and was director of agricultural biotech operations.
Marv grew up on a central Iowa grain and livestock farm near Radcliffe. After graduating from Iowa State University with a B.S. in agricultural business, he went to work for Asgrow Seed Company holding positions in sales and marketing and served as U.S. corn business leader before joining Monsanto as global trait planning leader.
He joined the Iowa Soybean Association in 1999 and was executive vice president for the Iowa Soybean Promotion Board. He earned his MBA from Iowa State University in December 2001.
For questions regarding our Ivy Executive MBA Advisory Council, please contact Amanda Severson at firstname.lastname@example.org