Board of Directors
Green Plains’ Board of Directors consists of nine 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. The terms of Martin Salinas and Farha Aslam expire at the 2022 annual meeting. The terms of Wayne Hoovestol, Jim Anderson, Ejnar Knudsen and Kimberly Wagner expire at the 2023 annual meeting. The terms of Todd Becker, Brian Peterson and Alain Treuer expire at the 2024 annual meeting.
Wayne Hoovestol has served as a director since March 2006 and Chairman of the Board since October 2008. Mr. Hoovestol served as Green Plains’ 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.
Jim Anderson has served as a director since October 2008 and was appointed to Lead Independent Director in September 2021. He also serves on the Audit and Compensation committees. Mr. Anderson is Chief Executive Officer of Molycop, 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.
Farha Aslam has served as a director since October 2021. Ms. Aslam is Managing Partner at Crescent House Capital, an investment and strategic advisory firm she founded that focuses on the agriculture, energy, and food processing industries. Ms. Aslam has worked in the finance industry since 1996. Prior to founding Crescent House in 2019, she was Managing Director at Stephens Inc., where she led the firm’s Food and Agribusiness equity research team and built a top-tier research franchise that spanned the grain, ethanol, protein, and packaged food sectors and successfully positioned several lead managed equity offerings and debt financings. Previously, Ms. Aslam was a vice president at Merrill Lynch and a risk management advisor at UBS. Ms. Aslam serves on the boards of directors of Pilgrim’s Pride; Calavo Growers, Inc.; and AdvanSix. She is a member of the audit committees at both Pilgrim’s Pride and Calavo. At Calavo, she is also a member of the board’s compensation and sustainability committees. Ms. Aslam graduated from the University of California with a B.A. degree in Economics. She holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Columbia University.
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% 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 1billion 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 10 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 it 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.
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 $600 million in food processors, manufacturers and agribusinesses. From 2009 to 2012, Mr. Knudsen was Po-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 10 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 Ridley Corp. (RIC.ASX) and Materra Farming. Mr. Knudsen received his Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University and is a CFA charter holder.
Brian Peterson has served as a director since May 2005, and also serves as Chairman of the Compensation Committee. Mr. Peterson currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Whiskey Creek Enterprises. Mr. Peterson served as Green Plains’ 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 Green Plains acquired in 2006. For over 20 years, he has owned and operated grain farming entities which now include 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.
Martin Salinas, Jr. has served as a director since July 2021. He is Chairman of the Audit Committee and also serves on the Nominating and Governance and Compensation committees. He previously served on the Green Plains Holdings LLC board of directors from July 2018 to July 2021. He was Chief Financial Officer of Energy Transfer Partners, LP, one of the largest publicly traded master limited partnerships, from 2008 to 2015. Before that, he was Controller and Vice President of Finance from 2004 to 2008. Mr. Salinas began his career at KPMG after earning a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Texas in San Antonio. He is also a member of the Texas Society of CPAs and advisory council member of the University of Texas, San Antonio School of Business. Mr. Salinas is a Certified Public Accountant. Mr. Salinas has been determined to be independent by applicable listing standards. There are no related party transactions with Mr. Salinas.
Alain Treuer has served as a director since October 2008 and also serves on the Nominating and Governance Committee. Mr. Treuer is the founder of VBV LLC, which was a joint venture formed in 2006 with a vision to develop and vertically expand ethanol production 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. Since 2006, Mr. Treuer has served on the Board of TRIVON (VirginConnect/ VirginConnect Mobile) as Chairman of the Compensation Committee. TRIVON is a member of the VIRGIN family of Sir Richard Branson. Since 2005, Mr. Treuer has served as 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 Master’s 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).
Kimberly Wagner was appointed as a director in October 2020 and serves as Chairperson of the Nominating and Governance Committee. She also serves on the Audit 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.