Professor, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, University of Minnesota
Mike Boland holds the Koller Endowed Professorship in agribusiness management and information technology, and researches economic issues affecting managerial decisions of agribusiness and food industry managers. He also serves as director, of The Food Industry Center at University of Minnesota. Dr. Boland’s academic research focuses on economic issues affecting the governance of agricultural and food supply or value chains. Dr. Boland also teaches modules on governance, finance, and strategy to cooperative boards of directors and management.
Manager, People Solutions, Morrison
Jeff Boian manages Morrison’s People Solutions practice area, serving clients in industries including agribusiness, manufacturing and processing, distribution, and non-profit, focusing on executive recruiting, organizational development, outsourced and interim human resources management, and human resources advisement. Jeff’s expertise includes organizational leadership, career strategy, leadership training, and professional development.
E. Kim Coontz
Executive Director, California Center for Cooperative Development
Kim Coontz has been working with cooperatives for more than 30 years, including 14 years with the Center for Cooperatives at UC Davis. Kim's experience includes assisting groups in the start-up of cooperatives, teaching cooperative board governance seminars, providing technical assistance to cooperatives, conducting research, writing and endeavoring to find new ways to strengthen cooperatives. She has authored and co-authored more than 12 publications about cooperatives and written numerous articles.
CEO, Florida's Natural Growers
Chris Groom is the Chief Executive Officer of Florida’s Natural Growers since January of 2023. His tenure at Florida’s Natural began in 2011, initially focusing on Marketing and then Sales. In 2019, he was promoted to Chief Operating Officer, which added the areas of Agricultural Services and Operations to his responsibilities. Prior to Florida’s Natural, Chris worked in various commercial roles at Sargento Foods, Brach’s Confections, RJ Reynolds, and Citibank. Having worked in organizations with different ownership structures,
Frank Hunt III
President & Chairman, Florida's Natural Growers
Frank is a third-generation citrus grower and third generation director and board chair of Citrus World; following his grandfather, Deeley A. Hunt and his father, Frank M. Hunt II. Frank is a fifth generation Floridian.
Executive Director, Graduate Institute of Cooperative Leadership
Dr. Keri L. Jacobs is Executive Director of the Graduate Institute for Cooperative Leadership and associate professor and MFA Chair in Agribusiness at the University of Missouri. Keri’s passion is to elevate cooperatives’ success and prominence by addressing the unique needs of agricultural cooperatives nationally. Her outreach focuses on development of governance and financial acumen of directors and employees, and on raising awareness and engagement among cooperative members. Her research considers producers’ opportunities through collective action within their supply chains and the consequences of consolidation on agricultural cooperatives.
CA Business & Cooperative Programs Director, Rural Development, USDA
Regents Professor of Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University
Phil Kenkel is an agricultural economist specializing in the cooperative business model. He is recognized nationally for his work in cooperative finance, governance, and strategy. He is the current editor of the Journal of Cooperatives, chair of the Cooperatives Community of Practice on Extension and active in the national research committee on cooperatives. Dr. Kenkel has organized national webinars on cooperative finance and other issues and works with industry groups such as the CHS Center for Cooperative Growth and the Farm Credit Council. Dr. Kenkel has presented research and conducted training sessions of producer owned businesses throughout the U.S. and in Canada, Mexico, the Ukraine, Turkey, Indonesia, and China.
Principal, Business & Accounting Services, Morrison
Ana Klein, MBA, leads and directs Morrison’s Business & Accounting Services (B&A) practice. Her role includes providing services and overseeing the B&A team, serving clients in industries including food, agribusiness, trade associations, manufacturing and processing, distribution, and the non-profit sector. Ana also oversees practice development for the B&A practice, including long-term strategy, identifying and implementing service options, training, implementation of appropriate technologies, and business growth. Ana also served 18 years as CFO of Sunsweet Growers and knows the co-op world well.
President & CEO, Sunsweet Growers Inc.
Dane Lance has served as Sunsweet’s President & CEO since October 2013, following 24 years of increasing responsibility at Sunsweet ranging from Director of International Marketing, Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing, and Chief Operating Officer.
President & CEO, Farm Supply Company
Cara has been employed with Farm Supply Company since 1996. Established in 1950, Farm Supply is a farmer-owned cooperative serving the Central Coast from Paso Robles to Buellton providing quality products and services for the home, farm and ranch. Cara has held multiple roles at Farm Supply, first as a salesperson while attending Cal Poly. Upon graduation she held the position of Marketing Coordinator and in recent years was the Vice President of Communications. In July of 2017 she became the President/CEO.
Distinguished Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Davis
Dan Sumner’s career is focused on national and international agricultural economics and policy. He has published broadly in academic journals, books, and industry outlets. His research and writings have received numerous awards for research quality, quality of communication, and contribution to policy. He has served as Director of the UC Davis Agricultural Issues Center, Chair of the International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium, a consultant for farm organizations, government agencies and companies and is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences and symposia. In 1998, he was named a fellow of the American Agricultural Economics Association for his career achievements.