AgGateway announced that President and CEO Rod Conner is resigning effective January 1, 2015, in order to lead the newly formed AgGateway Global Network; and that current Executive Vice President and COO Wendy Smith will move into the role of AgGateway President and CEO beginning in 2015.
Conner has served as president since 2009 and has been in AgGateway leadership for the past decade, through a period marked by significant year-to-year growth in both the association’s membership and productivity. Membership has grown in that time from fewer than a dozen companies to more than 200, and from eBusiness projects in two industry segments to current work under eight active Councils – for crop nutrition, crop protection, seed, feed, grain, precision agriculture and ag retail, as well as for the allied providers that support the industry.
Smith has worked closely with Conner through most of this growth. She has served in her current role since 2010, and before that time was an active volunteer in the organization while working as Regional Commercial Manager at BASF. Smith has over 30 years of work experience in the agricultural industry in a diverse set of roles, from research scientist and technical service training manager to new business development manager. She holds a B.S. in Plant and Soils Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a PhD in Botany from the University of California, Riverside.
“This is the best of all possible leadership transitions, with Rod Conner moving on to a new, affiliate organization to expand the AgGateway vision internationally, and with Wendy Smith moving in to take the reins. She is a talented and trusted leader who has already proven many times over her devotion to the AgGateway vision and mission,” said Randy Beard, Agronomy Input Manager at River Valley Cooperative and acting AgGateway Board Chairman.
The new non-profit AgGateway Global Network (AGN), a separate organization with its own board of directors, will expand the use of eBusiness and the collaborative efforts that AgGateway has begun in North America to other regions of the world. Through AGN, regional organizations will share and contribute to the AgGateway Open Standards and Implementation Guidelines, and will work to promote, enable and expand eBusiness in agriculture globally.