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Vice President Strategy and Business Development Cargill, Incorporated
Talk Title: Food for All: Keys to a More Food-Secure World
Peter Hawthorne was appointed Vice President in Cargill’s Strategy and Business Development group in August 2006. He is responsible for assisting Cargill’s business units, platforms, geographies, and corporate center with their strategy, corporate development (mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, alliances), and business development activities. He also serves on the board of North Star BlueScope Steel LLC, and NatureWorks LLC, as Chairman.
Prior to rejoining Cargill in August 2006, Hawthorne was the corporate Vice President – Strategic Planning and Corporate Development for Carlson Companies. He was elected to this role in November 2002, and was responsible for Carlson’s corporate strategy development, mergers and acquisitions, joint venture and alliance activities. He was a member of the corporate center at Carlson, a Minneapolis-based private company engaged in corporate and leisure travel services, hotels, resorts, cruises, restaurants, and marketing services across 160 countries.
Hawthorne joined Cargill initially in August 1990 as Acquisition Manager. He has served in various strategy and business development and line management roles. In August 1994, he was named General Manager – Emerging Businesses, responsible for Cargill’s poly(lactic) acid and lactic acid businesses. He subsequently served on the board of directors of Cargill Dow LLC and PGLA-1 Company. In March 1998, he was named Vice President – Strategy and Business Development for Cargill Asia Pacific Ltd., based in Singapore. In August 2000, he returned to Minneapolis as Director – Corporate Development.
Prior to joining Cargill, Hawthorne was Vice President with The Churchill Companies in Minneapolis, Consultant with Bain & Company in San Francisco, and Assistant Treasurer in the global petroleum division of The Chase Manhattan Bank in New York.
Hawthorne graduated from Brown University in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. In 1985, he received his master’s degree in business administration from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.
Partner, Changing Tastes
Talk Title: How Choices About Products and Business Practices Affect Risk and Sustainability
Arlin Wasserman is the founder and principal of Changing Tastes. Since 2003, Changing Tastes has worked with food and agriculture companies, venture and philanthropic investors to realize new opportunities at the intersection of sustainability, public health, culinary and demographic trends. Arlin also chairs the Sustainable Business Leadership Council at The Culinary Institute of America, and has served on the board of the Sustainable Food Lab and as a fellow at the Aspen Institute.
Nearly two decades ago, Arlin led some of the nation’s first work on the economic, environmental and culinary benefits of local food systems and how terroir fits into the U.S. consumer mindset, before being awarded a national Food and Society Policy Fellowship, funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. Arlin also has served as an advisor on food and agriculture, innovation and development issues to the United States Department of Agriculture and several of the nation’s largest private foundations. He has spoken before the European Union Parliament on geographically identified foods and global trade policy.
From 2007 to early 2012 Arlin served as Vice President of Sustainability at Sodexo, the world's leading institutional food service provider, developing and implementing the company’s first sustainability strategy. Arlin holds a Master of Science in Natural Resources and a Master of Public Health, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economics, all from the University of Michigan.
Director at Access Alpha, LLC
Talk Title: Investment Trends in Agribusiness
Robert LeClercq graduated from the University of Illinois in 1985 and received his MBA from the University of Chicago in 1990. Rob began his career in corporate finance helping clients structure balance sheets, raise capital for acquisitions, and develop creative solutions for interest rate, currency and other risk exposures. He joined SEI Corporation in 1990 as a consultant to institutional investors. Rob went on to manage and advise institutional clients first at Merrill Lynch in 1995, then at UBS Global Asset Management where he also served as advisor on new investment strategies, bringing institutional client needs and objectives to bear on product development.
Founder and Managing Principal of MacroGain Partners
Talk Title: Investment Trends in Agribusiness
Dr. Jim Budzynski is the Founder and Managing Principal of MacroGain Partners. He grew up working in an agribusiness in a farming community and has over 30 years of direct agrifood and related markets experience, primarily in the areas of structuring private equity transactions, strategic planning, distribution strategy development, brand management, marketing, and operations.
From 2006-2008 Dr. Budzynski was a principal with BrightPath Capital, a private equity firm focused on the agrifood space he co-founded. He focused on deal flow generation, acquisition due diligence, and acquired company strategy development.
From 1998 to 2006 Dr. Budzynski operated BrightPath Strategies, a strategic consulting firm focused exclusively on agrifood and related industries, leading a broad range of consulting assignments for some of the largest players in the agrifood industry. Before BrightPath Strategies, he spent three years with Agri Business Group, where he founded and managed the Strategic Agri-Business Consulting Practice.
Dr. Budzynski previously spent 12 years with Monsanto Company in a variety of product management, marketing, and strategic planning roles.
An Indiana native, Jim received his B.S. degree in Agronomy from Purdue University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Soil Chemistry from the University of Arizona. Jim and his wife Carol live in Carmel, Indiana and their daughter Nicole is a sophomore at Indiana University.
Associate Director of the Zell Center for Risk Research
Dr. Russell Walker is the Associate Director of the Zell Center for Risk Research at Kellogg. His expertise is in the application of analytics in business, with specific emphasis to marketing and risk management decisions. He serves as the academic director for executive education in risk management offered by Kellogg through its partnership with PRMIA. His research interests include how organizations deploy analytics, the use of information in enterprise risk management, managing strategic risk, and emergence of “data creators” in the post information age. Russell worked for seven years as a corporate strategist at Capital One Financial, where he was responsible for enterprise-wise analytics.