Twenty Graduate from Ohio AgriBusiness Association’s LAUNCH Program:

Program Prepares Future Agribusiness Leaders

COLUMBUS, Ohio (March 2, 2014) – Twenty Ohio agribusiness leaders are being recognized as the latest graduates of Ohio AgriBusiness Association’s LAUNCH program. Participants were selected by their companies to undergo the robust executive leadership development program, which was created in partnership with Wilt Public Relations to help OABA member companies fill the looming void of leadership talent. More than 50 percent of the agriculture business workforce is expected to retire in the next 10-12 years.

The 20 Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) member graduates who successfully completed the 2015 LAUNCH program include:

  • Andrew Gladden – IT Manager, Luckey Farmers Inc.
  • Scott Alexander – Grain Merchandiser, Mid-Wood Inc.
  • Travis Algren – Merchandiser, CGB Enterprises
  • Stacie Anderson – Seed Manager, Legacy Farmers Cooperative
  • Shana Beppler – Grain Merchandiser, Agland Co-op, Inc.
  • Brenna Cross – Assistant Manager/VP of Marketing, Blue Stone Solutions Ltd.
  • Eric Cunningham – Accountant, Morral Companies
  • Kristin Davis – Account Manager, Wilt Public Relations
  • Grant Downes – Safety and Compliance Specialist, Carrollton Farmers Exchange
  • Bailey Elchinger – Grain Risk Management Consultant, INTL/FCStone
  • Blake Gates – Wholesale Territory Manager, Morral Companies
  • Greg Heiby – Applicator, Town & Country Co-op
  • Margo Long – Director of Communication and Member Education, Ohio AgriBusiness Association
  • Gabe Medinger – District Sales Manager, AgriGold Hybrids
  • Brooke Myhre – Account Manager, CHS Inc.
  • Jeremie Pennington – Assistant Vice President of Agronomy, Mid-Wood Inc.
  • Luke Rivir – Ag Advisor – Sales, The Andersons, Inc.
  • Nate Russo – Director of Operations, Deerfield Farms Service, Inc.
  • Ryan Schiets – Plant Supervisor/Crop-Advisor, The Andersons, Inc.
  • Brian Spangler – Manager, Grafton Grain, Town & Country Co-op


LAUNCH prepares participants for successive leadership roles through a curriculum focused on developing individual skills and a global view of overall organizational needs. Capstone projects, a mentor relationship, webinars, pre-session work assignments and in-person sessions all added to the depth of program.

Program topics included determining and flexing your style of work with others; identifying and setting priorities; change management; human resources; financial principles; presentation techniques; working with state and federal government; understanding multiple generations; crisis communications management; corporate sustainability; work-life balance and more.

Curtis Zimmerman delivered the keynote presentation, Living Life at Performance Level.  Sessions also included a trip to Ohio State University’s Agricultural Technical Institute and Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster, Ohio.

“The success of LAUNCH is in the application and development of what’s learned by its participants,” said Chris Henney, OABA president and CEO. One LAUNCH participant stated “It dives much deeper than your typical leadership workshop, and is specifically designed to be applied right away. It provides real deliverables for every shape and size of organization.”

For additional information on OABA or the LAUNCH Program, contact Margo Long at 614-326-7520 or

The Ohio AgriBusiness Association is a membership-based agribusiness state trade association whose membership includes the manufacturers and wholesale/retail suppliers of plant nutrient and protection materials, the grain warehousing and marketing industry, the feed and seed industry, as well as companies providing equipment, financing, insurance, consulting, and other products and services for the agribusiness industry. We are the leading advocate for Ohio agribusiness by creating a sustainable business climate through collaborative policy leadership, continuous education and effective communication.