Business breakout sessions

Business breakout sessions

CHS Energy breakout session:

Creating connections to build customer experience

Today’s customers don’t just shop on price, they take the entire experience into account. This requires businesses to not only offer products, but create a memorable, seamless experience for customers. Take a closer look at customer experience and the macro factors that influence it across all industries. A panel of cooperative energy experts will discuss market disruptors for energy customers and how they are addressing the challenges.


Dave HoltomAs CEO, Dave Holtom oversees operations at Valley Wide Cooperative, a $540 million farm supply cooperative serving growers in four states from central Utah to western Oregon with 40 locations, 800 employees and 3,500 members. Valley Wide’s business consists of energy (refined fuels, lubes and propane), agronomy and retail. Previously, he served as general manager for FUO in Woonsocket, S.D. (now Agtegra) and was agronomy department manager for two cooperatives in Wisconsin.

Kristi SchwakeKristi Schwake oversees enterprise strategic planning and related market analytics for CHS. Her team builds strategic focus for the organization using strategic tools and methodologies and a consistent approach to planning across the enterprise. Schwake joined CHS in 2013. She began her career as a CPA in the Grant Thornton Strategic Federal Tax Services group and spent several years at Holiday Companies and SALO in accounting and finance roles.

Matt ChandlerAn accomplished leader and entrepreneur, Michael Chandler has led Alpha Leonis Consulting since 2017. His expertise in innovation, service design, business transformation and customer experience is sought after by Fortune 100 and mid-market companies in the industries of agriculture, life sciences, healthcare and employer benefits.

Mike McMahonAs CEO, Mike McMahon oversees operations at Federated Co-ops. The co-op operates 59 locations in Minnesota and Wisconsin and has more than 5,500 members and over 35,000 customers. Federated’s business consists of energy (refined fuels and propane), agronomy and retail. McMahon has worked in management, operations and sales at Schwan Home Service, Tree of Life, PepsiCo, Ralston Purina Company and Apex Oil Company. He joined Federated in 2015.

Scott SvacinaScott Svacina oversees the refined fuels and lubricants sales strategy and sales teams. This includes oversight of the CHS certified energy specialist (CES) program, as well as the business development managers and sales enablement team. In his nearly 20 years at CHS, he has held roles across the refined fuels and lubricants business units, including leading and managing both CES and Cenex® Lubricants Terminals (CLT) sales teams, as well as overseeing the automated fuel delivery business.

Steve HaaseSteve Haase oversees 36 Cenex Zip Trip stores, which are corporate-owned convenience stores, in a five-state area. He has more than 25 years of retail experience, with the last 14 years at CHS. Haase began his career in the Retail Solutions Department and eventually served as manager of the department. Steve served five years in the U.S. Navy.


CHS Agronomy breakout session:

Leveraging market trends and the expanded CHS Agronomy portfolio

Learn about capabilities of the expanded CHS Agronomy platform and how it provides cooperative owners with more products and services to create value for farmers. CHS Agronomy experts will provide updates on global crop nutrients markets and crop protection trends.


Gary HalvorsonGary Halvorson is senior vice president of CHS Agronomy. Halvorson is responsible for all aspects of agronomy from commodity and specialty fertilizers to seed, crop protection, and precision ag technology and services. Halvorson has more than 20 years of experience in various agronomy roles and previously worked for Cargill. He joined CHS in 1999 and held various leadership roles with CHS in Milton, N.D., and Dakota Ag Services in Minot, N.D., before becoming general manager for CHS Ag Services in Warren, Minn. Halvorson currently sits on the boards of the Agricultural Retailers Association and CHS Capital and represents CHS on the United Prairie board of directors.

Jeremy ReedAs regional sales director for CHS Agronomy, Jeremy Reed oversees crop protection sales in the western part of the United States. He has more than 20 years of experience in the crop protection business and previously worked at West Central Distribution, LLC, as regional sales director. Prior to joining West Central, he held various positions in sales and sales management at Bayer Crop Science. Reed grew up on a cattle, soybean and corn farm in southeast Iowa.

Jerry Clark As sales director, Jerry Clark is responsible for the oversight, leadership and execution of the CHS wholesale crop nutrient sales business and strategy. Clark joined CHS as an account manager in 1996, and held positions as regional sales manager and regional director for crop nutrients prior to assuming his current role in 2017. Clark also has cooperative management experience, having worked as a retail branch manager for an Indiana cooperative prior to joining CHS. For more than a decade, Clark operated a grain and livestock farm in partnership with his brother.

Roger BakerRoger Baker leads the strategic direction, management and oversight of CHS Agronomy’s globally integrated crop nutrient supply chain and supply and trading team. Since joining CHS Agronomy, Baker has advanced CHS relationships with domestic and international fertilizer suppliers and has helped maximize the benefit of our CF Nitrogen investment. Prior to his current leadership role, Roger was responsible for all wheat merchandising. He also managed the grain marketing central hedge desk, central research and trade, and business development in Canada. Baker joined CHS in 1994 as procurement merchandiser and relocated to Geneva, Switzerland, in August 2011, where he was vice president and general manager for CHS Europe.

Todd HubbleAs regional sales director for CHS Agronomy, Todd Hubble oversees wholesale crop protection sales in the Midwest. His experience includes four years as a regional sales director at West Central Distribution, LLC. Prior to joining West Central, Hubble oversaw distribution strategy and the National Account Management team at Valent USA. Hubble grew up on a small cattle farm in Stillman Valley, Ill., and earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

CHS Global Grain Marketing/CHS Processing and Food Ingredients breakout session:

Staying relevant in today’s changing ag environment

Creating supply chain efficiencies finds today’s cooperatives managers examining every aspect of their businesses to remove waste and improve operations. They are exploring and implementing new and different ways to manage logistics, infrastructure, transportation and technology. Four cooperative managers will share strategies they’re using to stay relevant to customers, employees and communities. Will Stafford, CHS ag and trade policy expert in Washington, D.C., will provide an update on trade agreements and negotiations.


Dave Christiansen serves as president and CEO of MKC, a position he has held since January 2004. Based in Moundridge, Kan., MKC has 34 locations with more than 375 employees and more than 10,000 members. Prior to joining MKC in 1973, Christiansen served as vice president for ag inputs at Panhandle Co-op, Scottsbluff, Neb.; and was president and CEO of Ag Partners Co-op, Hiawatha, Kan. He currently is chairman of the United Benefits Group as well as Producer Ag LLC, Farm Kan LLC and Team Marketing Alliance LLC, and serves on the boards for the Arthur Capper Cooperative Center at Kansas State University and McPherson College Board of Trustees. He is also a member of the CHS Member Advisory Committee.

Jesse McCollum is chief executive officer at West Central Ag Services in Ulen, Minn. During fiscal year 2019, West Central Ag Services handled 50 million bushels of grain and more than $125 million in agronomy inputs and services. West Central is widely regarded as one of the area’s leading cooperatives, based in part on McCollum’s strong leadership and risk management expertise. McCollum began his elevator management career at Tri-County Cooperative, a predecessor company of West Central Ag Services. He and his oldest son operate their family farm, providing a broad perspective on production agriculture.

Matt BroekemeierMatt Broekemeier is general manager at CHS Holdrege in Holdrege, Neb.; a position he has held since November 2019. He joined the Holdrege location in 2013 as sales development manager. Prior to his current role, he was the agronomy division manager and interim general manager. Prior to joining CHS Holdrege, he held leadership positions in seed, safety and energy risk management at Aurora Cooperative, in his hometown of Aurora, Neb. He also worked as a CHS certified energy specialist, based at Elmwood, Neb.; a position where he increased diesel volumes by more than one million gallons.


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