Board of Directors
Green Plains’ Board of Directors consists of 11 members, divided into three groups. Each year, a different group of directors is elected at the annual meeting of shareholders to serve a three-year term. James Crowley, Gordon Glade and Gene Edwards were elected at the 2019 meeting to serve until 2022. Todd Becker, Thomas Manuel, Brian Peterson and Alain Treuer were elected at the 2018 meeting to serve until 2021. Wayne Hoovestol, Jim Anderson and Ejnar Knudsen were elected at the 2020 meeting to serve until 2023.
Wayne Hoovestol has served as a director since March 2006 and Chairman of the Board since October 2008. Mr. Hoovestol served as our Chief Operating Officer from January 2007 to February 2007, Chief Executive Officer from February 2007 to December 2008 and Chief Strategy Officer from March 2009 to November 2009. Mr. Hoovestol is no longer an employee of the company. Mr. Hoovestol began operating Hoovestol Inc., a trucking company, in 1978. He is also President of Lone Mountain Truck Leasing, which he founded in 2005. Mr. Hoovestol became involved with the ethanol industry as an investor in 1995, and has served on the boards of two other ethanol companies. Mr. Hoovestol also served on the board of CapSource Financial, Inc., a truck trailer sales and leasing company, from May 2005 to March 2007.
Alain Treuer has served as a director since October 2008 and Vice Chairman of the Board since August 2015. He also serves as Chairman of the Board's Compensation Committee and on the Nominating & Governance Committee. Mr. Treuer is the founder of VBV LLC, which was a joint venture formed in 2006 with a vision to develop and expand ethanol production in a vertical manner in the U.S. The strategy and vision set forth with the merger of VBV LLC and Green Plains in 2008 is the foundation that Green Plains executes today. Mr Treuer serves also since 2006 as Trivon’s (VirginConnect/ VirginConnect Mobile) Chairman of the Board’s Compensation Committee. TRIVON is a member of the VIRGIN family of Sir Richard Branson. Mr. Treuer is also since 2005 Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Tellac Reuert Partners (TRP) SA, a global Investment firm. Prior to joining TRP SA, he was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of TIGC, a global telecommunications company that he founded in 1992 and sold in 2001. Mr. Treuer is a serial entrepreneur with nearly 30 years of vast experiences in various industries around the globe. Mr. Treuer has a Masters degree in Business Administration from the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University in New York and is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO).
Jim Anderson has served as a director since October 2008 and also serves on the Audit and Compensation Committees. Mr. Anderson is Chief Executive Officer of Moly-Cop, a position he has held since November 2017. Previously, he served as Managing Director and Operating Partner at CHAMP Private Equity. Prior to that, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of The Gavilon Group, LLC from October 2014 until February 2016 and Chief Operating Officer, Fertilizer before that. From September 2006 to February 2010, he served as Chief Executive Officer and member of the board of directors at United Malt Holdings, a producer of malt for use in the brewing and distilling industries. Before that, beginning in April 2003, Mr. Anderson served as Chief Operating Officer / Executive Vice President of CT Malt, a joint venture between ConAgra Foods, Inc. and Tiger Brands of South Africa. Mr. Anderson’s experience in the agricultural processing and trading business includes serving as Senior Vice President and President of ConAgra Grain Companies. His career also includes association with the firm Ferruzzi USA and as Operations Manager at Pillsbury. He also served as a Board Member of the North American Export Grain Association and the National Grain and Feed Association. Mr. Anderson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a Finance emphasis from the University of Wisconsin, Platteville.
Todd Becker is president, chief executive officer and director of Green Plains Inc. and Green Plains Partners.
Green Plains Inc. (NASDAQ: GPRE) is a leading biorefining company focused on the development and utilization of fermentation, agricultural, biological and mechanical technologies in the processing of annually renewable crops into sustainable value-added ingredients and energy products. This includes the production of cleaner low carbon biofuels, renewable feedstocks for advanced biofuels and renewable diesel, and high purity alcohols for use in cleaners, disinfectants and consumer products. Green Plains is an innovative producer of high value Ultra-High Protein and novel ingredients for animal and aquaculture diets to help satisfy a growing global appetite for sustainable proteins. The Company also owns a 48.9% limited partner interest and a 2.0% general partner interest in Green Plains Partners LP. Since 2007, Mr. Becker has led the company through rapid growth to become one of the largest low carbon biofuel producers in the world, with 1.1 billion gallons of operating capacity.
Mr. Becker has 33 years of extensive experience in general management, risk management, supply chain management, and operations in numerous commodity processing businesses, along with significant international experience in agricultural and energy markets. He spent ten years with ConAgra Foods in various management positions, including vice president of International Marketing for ConAgra Trade Group and President of ConAgra Grain Canada. Mr. Becker served on the Board of Directors for Hillshire Brands from the time of its formation as an independent company in 2012 to its $8.5 billion sale to Tyson Foods in August 2014 and played an instrumental role as a board member in that transaction. He also served on the audit and compensation committee.
At Green Plains over the last 14 years, Todd has used his management, finance and innovation skills to improve business performance across a diverse range of categories and verticals, with a focus on innovation and disciplined execution. After executing on a full portfolio optimization plan followed by an operational improvement and cost reduction program, he has embarked the company on a Total Transformation Plan as he moves them away from commodity processing and focuses on innovation of high quality, high margin renewable and sustainable products and feedstocks with recurring and predictable high-quality earnings streams.
Mr. Becker earned a Master’s degree in Finance from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance from the University of Kansas.
Todd is 55 years old, married with 4 daughters ages 18, 14, 14, and 11.
Gene Edwards was appointed as a director in June 2014, and also serves on the Audit and Compensation Committees. Mr. Edwards served as Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer of Valero Energy Corporation until his retirement in April 2014. He began his 32-year career at Valero as an analyst in Planning and Economics and spent his tenure with Valero in managerial positions in Planning and Economics, Refinery Operations, Business Development and Marketing. Mr. Edwards was a key driver in Valero’s entry into the ethanol business and helped the segment become a successful part of its overall business. He served on the board of directors of CST Brands, Inc. from May 2013 to December 2013. Mr. Edwards holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Tulane University and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Ejnar Knudsen joined the company as a director in May 2016. Mr. Knudsen is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of AGR Partners, and oversees the firm's strategy with investments totaling over $400 million in food processors, manufacturers and agribusinesses. From 2009 to 2012, Mr. Knudsen was co-portfolio manager of Passport Capital's Agriculture Fund. Prior to Passport Capital, Mr. Knudsen served as Executive Vice President of Western Milling, a grain and feed milling company that grew from a small California startup to over $1 billion in sales. Mr. Knudsen also spent ten years with Rabobank, in its New York office, managing a loan portfolio and venture capital investments as well as providing corporate advisory services. Mr. Knudsen serves as Director of Opal Foods, Icicle Seafoods, Ridley Corp (RIC.ASX) and Materra Farming. Mr. Knudsen received his Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University and is a CFA charterholder.
Thomas Manuel has served as a director since May 2015, and also serves on the Compensation and Nominating & Governance Committees. Mr. Manuel has served as Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Nu-Tek Food Science LLC, a food ingredients processing company, since August 2011. Prior to that, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Aventine Renewable Energy, Inc., an ethanol producer from March 2010 to August 2011. From May 2002 to August 2011, Mr. Manuel served as Managing Director of International Strategy Advisors, LLC, providing transaction advisory services to private equity investors in the agribusiness and food industries. From 1977 until 2002, Mr. Manuel held various senior management positions with ConAgra Foods, Inc. including trading in domestic and international food ingredients, grain and energy, and grain and meat processing of various types. Mr. Manuel has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Minnesota.
Brian Peterson has served as a director since May 2005, also serves as Chairman of the Nominating & Governance Committee. Mr. Peterson currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Whiskey Creek Enterprises. Mr. Peterson served as our Executive Vice President in charge of site development from 2005 to October 2008. Mr. Peterson was the founder and owner of Superior Ethanol LLC, which we acquired in 2006. For over twenty years, he has owned and operated grain farming entities which now includes acreages in Iowa, Arkansas and South Dakota. In addition, he built, owns and operates a cattle feedlot in northwest Iowa. Mr. Peterson has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business from Dordt College.
Kimberly Wagner was appointed as a director in October 2020 and also serves on the Nominating and Governance Committee. Ms. Wagner is the founder and managing partner of TBGD Partners. Previously, she served as Venture Partner of Flagship Pioneering and President and Chief Operating Officer of CIBO Technologies, a Flagship VentureLabs Company from 2018 to 2019. Prior to that, she was a Partner of the Food and Agriculture Service Line for McKinsey & Company from 2016 to 2018. From 1994 to 2015 Ms. Wagner held several senior positions at The Boston Consulting Group, Inc., including Senior Partner and Managing Director from 2008 to 2015. Ms. Wagner serves on the board of several not-for-profit industry organizations and is an active member of several national and international scientific societies. Ms. Wagner holds a Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology from Harvard University, a Master of Science in Animal Science from Texas A&M University and a Bachelor of Science with distinction in Biology and Animal Science from Cornell University.