Rare opportunity to lead and grow an organization at the intersection of tech, commerce, and trade in Illinois
The Illinois Soybean Association has retained Kincannon & Reed to launch a national search for a best in class executive who can provide overall leadership and management for the Illinois soybean industry. The Illinois Soybean Association’s next CEO will represent more than 43,000 soybean farmers in Illinois.
About the Association
The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) is a statewide organization that enables Illinois soybean producers to be the most knowledgeable and profitable soybean producers in the world. ISA represents the soybean farmers in Illinois through two roles: The Illinois Soybean Board (ISB), through the soybean checkoff, funds market development, soybean production and profitability research, promotion, issues management and analysis, communications and The Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG) manages membership and advocacy efforts that support Illinois soybean grower interests in local areas, Springfield and Washington, D.C.
About the Position
The CEO provides overall leadership and management for ISG/ISB’s strategic plan and business operations including its annual marketing, communications, advocacy and research efforts. The successful candidate has a global mindset towards agricultural markets, economics and political dynamics; with the ability to adapt behavior and decision making to the realities of that marketplace. S/he will influence strategy, oversee execution and provide oversight for governance, organizational leadership, and financial integrity.
Specific responsibilities include:
- Position the organization for growth, development and relevancy by executing on the organization’s vision,
strategy, innovation, and analysis of trends in the global soybean and value chain industries.
o Engage and work, in collaboration with the Board of Directors, on matters of governance, mission,
vision and strategy.
o Direct ISG’s/ISB’s strategic process and planning to progress toward achieving strategic objectives
through effective performance measurements aligned with the organizational values.
- Oversee all programs, services and activities in the domestic and international markets including
development, promotions, research, communications, issues management/analysis and education.
- Serve as the Chief Spokesperson for the organization while creating a positive culture and maintaining a
highly credible profile of the organizations’ strategic goals, objectives and achievements.
- Direct efforts to foster and create new alliances, partnerships and collaborations with other organizations
within the soybean and value chain industries including United Soybean Board, American Soybean
Association, the USDA, and the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
- Maintain overall fiscal accuracy of accounts and records in addition to revenue development and financial
sustainability while acting as fiduciary agent with respect to the dues for the Association and for collection
and distribution of Illinois checkoff funds.
Other important parameters for this position include:
- The position reports to the Illinois Soybean Board.
- The position is supported by a team of 8 direct reports and total staff of 15 full-time employees and approximately 60 contractors.
- The post is located in Bloomington, Illinois.
- Approximately 30% travel, the first year.
The Illinois Soybean Association CEO is a global strategic thinker responsible for the overall leadership and
management of the strategy and business operations for the Illinois soybean industry. With a global
mindset towards agricultural markets, economics and political dynamics they will lead a team of approximately 75,
representing 43,000 Illinois Soybean Farmers by delivering on the marketing, communications, advocacy
and research efforts in accordance with the policies, goals and objectives established by the Board.
- Minimum of 10 years of success in the management and oversight of a business, nonprofit organization, or government agency or a significant subdivision of such an entity; preferably with an Agricultural
- Proven success in managing budgets and leading fiscal management activities.
- Demonstrated ability to collaborate and influence others as well as experience leading diverse teams in
a collaborative environment with the ability to attract, retain, and motivate high caliber talent.
- Proven success working with a volunteer board.
- Experienced Public Speaker.
- A strategic thinker who understands the importance of a clear vision and focused mission with measurable outcomes.
- Strong presentation, communication skills, and executive presence including the ability to
communicate up and down.
- Ability to work in a team environment working closely with staff, board, contractors and volunteers at all levels.
- Advanced understanding of government policy related to the ag industry, legislative and regulatory issues, and a network of relationships, industry contacts, and industry respect.
- Solid understanding of domestic and international market development, promotions, policy, research and communications in agriculture and how it relates to soybean producers, the global value chain, global policy, and the global public. Familiarity with oilseeds, biofuels, and exports are all a plus.
- Sound judgment and unquestionable integrity.
- Affinity and passion for farmers and agriculture.
- An inclusive leader with high emotional intelligence. Intuitively knows when to lead from the front, and when to step into the background to support direct producer advocacy for greater impact.
- Focus on leadership, hands-on initiative, and results: ability to understand desired end results, motivate employees, lead by example, and organize, adapt, and manage resources to achieve goals.
BS or BA in Agribusiness, Business, Communications, Public Affairs, Political Science or related field required. MS or MBA preferred.
For consideration as a candidate or to suggest a prospective candidate, please contact in confidence:
Lisa Johnson, Managing Director, +1 773 628 7738 (o) +1 312 735 7172 (m) firstname.lastname@example.org
Carolyn Schubert, Managing Director, +1 815 527 7997 (o) +1 312 622 3201(m) email@example.com
Mike Ells, Senior Associate, +1 620 909 9249 (o) +1 602 229 8202 (m) firstname.lastname@example.org