Chief Financial Officer Opportunity at Successful Agricultural Cooperative

With over $1.5 billion in sales and 200 million yearly bushels of grain receipts, they are the largest local agricultural cooperative in the United States, providing grain and agronomy services in South and North Dakota.  The Company’s rapid growth and multiple market opportunities have created the need to take its financial capabilities to the next level and to expand the depth of its senior executive leadership team.  Kincannon & Reed has been retained to recruit a superior financial executive for the role of Chief Financial Officer.

The Company

This cooperative was formed in February 2018 from a unification of two legacy-rich, farmer-owned cooperatives. Both cooperatives formed at the turn of the 20th Century to serve their pioneer customers and communities. Across the sparsely settled countryside, the economic advantages of joining together gave rise to the cooperative legacy of service, value and working together. Over the years, generations of members have worked and adapted to the changes that have occurred throughout agriculture.

They serve more than 60 communities with 900 employees in North and South Dakota.  Their devotion to superior service, relentless innovation and member success is at the forefront of everything they do. They give members access to the best products, services and in-field assistance to maximize their production. They are dedicated to employee safety and member well-being in all that they do. They are committed to supporting members and their communities for generations to come.

They are headquartered in South Dakota, and offer grain services, agronomy services, aerial application services, fuel, animal feed, and precision ag hardware and software products and services. The cooperative has approximately 6,770 member-owners and more than 20,000 equity holders.

The Position

Reporting to the CEO, the CFO will work closely with the leadership team to shape the financial environment, overseeing all financial reporting, accounting, budgeting, risk, treasury, legal and tax-related requirements, and conducting various non-financial administrative functions and processes.

Specific responsibilities include

  • Direct all aspects of accounting operations, overseeing all transactions related to the general ledger, receivables, payables, payroll and financial reporting.
  • Assist senior management in financial planning and results management. Work with other team members to understand revenue and cost drivers and define appropriate reports for tracking and decision making.
  • Analyze the company’s financial results with respect to profits, trends, costs and compliance with budgets. Issue regular status and ad hoc reports to senior management.
  • Develop and maintain all necessary accounting policies and systems, including general ledger and financial reporting ensuring that records are maintained in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
  • Coordinate, prepare and review monthly, quarterly, and annual reports.
  • Coordinate and/or prepare tax schedules, returns and information.
  • Coordination and execution of annual financial statement audits.
  • Ensure accounting systems are proficient and able to scale with the growth of the business.
  • Maintain a strong control environment.
  • Manage all tax planning and compliance with all required federal, state, local, payroll, property and other applicable taxes.
  • Manage the legal function.

Other important parameters for this position include:

·        Position reports to CEO.
·        The position is supported by a team of six direct reports and total staff of 41.
·        Position is located in South Dakota
·        Minimal travel required

Candidate Profile

The cooperative seeks a seasoned finance executive with strong people leadership experience and the ability to deliver information that leads to superior business decisions.  Professional experience in agriculture or food value chain companies is strongly preferred, particularly in commodity-based organizations with logistics and processing.  The successful candidate will bring credibility and an increased level of professionalism and financial rigor to the company.  The selected candidate will be self-motivated, a good listener, a ‘truth teller,’ more strategic than tactical, and a strong people leader.

Education and Experience

  • Demonstrated track record in a financial leadership role with a commodity-based company. Experience in Ag retail, grain, plant food, crop protection and related services helpful.
  • Experience with at least $500m in annual revenues or in subsidiaries of large corporations.
  • Mark to market accounting, hedge accounting and risk management experience required.
  • Expertise in evaluating and strengthening financial reporting, metrics reporting, internal controls, cash flow forecasts and budget processes. Patronage and COOP accounting experience desired.
  • Experience in effectively making prudent strategic and tactical investment decisions in an environment that is quickly scaling businesses through organic growth and acquisitions.
  • Degree in accounting or finance related field and 15+ years of experience. MBA or Certified Public Accountant or Certified Management Accountant designations preferred.

Skills & Abilities

  • Demonstrated strategic thinker regarding competitive strategy, business models, and financial management. Proven leader at financial planning, modeling, banking, and cash movement.
  • Strong written and oral communication as well as general business and analytical skills to immediately become a significant contributor of the leadership team. Converts ideas into financial models and presentations.
  • Demonstrated success in applying business acumen to anticipate uncertainty, manage risk, embrace change, and drive sound decision-making throughout the organization. Strong ability to think creatively and effectively solve challenges.
  • Collaborative approach internally (accounting/finance team, cross-functional personnel, executive team) and externally (financial institutions, independent auditors, board, insurance providers, vendors).
  • Strong leadership skills with a demonstrated solid track record of working apolitically and successfully in a collaborative team environment.
  • Strong people management skills with a demonstrated ability to motivate team members at all levels to create a dynamic environment with productive staff. Focused on talent development and engagement.

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