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CEO Staff

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    Jim Spradlin, Chief Executive Officer

    Jim Spradlin was named Chief Executive Officer on June 26, 2014 and he assumed the duties of CEO on September 16, 2014. Jim has held numerous positions of increasing responsibility since joining the GROWMARK System in 1982.  Those positions include accounting trainee and Comptroller at Schuyler-Brown FS, Administrative Director, GROWMARK Regional Staff, General Manager of Piatt County Service Company and Ag-Land FS, and Central Region Manager for GROWMARK. He became the Energy Division Manager in 2002 and Agronomy Division Manager in 2006. Most recently, Jim served as Vice President, Agronomy since September 2008.
    Jim earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Economics from Illinois College in 1982.
    Jim is one of five members of the Purdue University Center for Commercial Agriculture’s Industry Advisory Council. He serves on The Fertilizer Institute Board of Directors. He is a former local director in Rotary International and has served on numerous church boards. Jim and his wife Lisbeth have two children.

    Wade Mittelstadt, Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

    Wade Mittelstadt became Vice President, CFO in January 2018. He joined the GROWMARK System as controller/CFO for AgVantage FS in 1994. He was named the GROWMARK Western Region business manager in 2007, and the next year moved into the Treasury Division as corporate cash/foreign exchange mana​ger, ultimately becoming assistant treasurer. In September 2010, Wade was named manager of AgVantage FS retail division. Before being named CFO, Mittelstadt served as Vice President, Finance and Risk Management beginning in December 2014.

    Wade graduated from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, with a bachelor's degree in accounting/finance, and has earned his CPA certification.

    ​Brent Bostrom, Vice President and General Counsel
    Bostrom has served as Vice President and General Counsel for GROWMARK since 2005. Bostrom graduated from Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1978 and from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1981.  He was admitted to the State of Minnesota Bar Association, the U.S. District Court, and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, all in 1981, and the U.S. Supreme Court in 1985.

    Prior to joining the System, Bostrom was a member of the Agricultural and Cooperative Law Practice Group at Doherty, Rumble & Butler P.A. and at Dorsey & Whitney LLP.  He has practiced primarily in the areas of cooperative law and general agribusiness law for more than 20 years, after first obtaining several years of litigation experience.

    Bostrom is a member of the Legal, Tax, and Accounting Committee of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC).  He served as Chairman of its Cooperative Structures Subcommittee for many years, and previously chaired its Executive Committee. He is also a member of the National Society of Accountants for Cooperatives (NSAC).  Further, Bostrom serves on the Board of Directors for the Ralph K. Morris Foundation and chairs its scholarship committee. This organization is committed to offering cooperative educational opportunities to youth interested in agriculture and rural America.

    Bostrom and his wife Julie have four children.​

    Mike Builta, Vice President, Energy & Logistics

    Mike Builta was named Vice President, Energy, of GROWMARK in February 2018. Prior to joining the GROWMARK System, he held various positions including General Manager of GRAINCO FS, in Ottawa, Ill; General Manager of Christian County Farmers Supply, in Taylorville, Ill; and experience serving customers at Illini FS, sales administration roles for no-System seed companies, and partnering in a family farm operation.

    Mike received a bachelor's degree in Agricultural Economics with a marketing specialty, and a M.B.A. in Crop's Science, both from the University of Illinois. 

    Mike and his wife Sheila have two adult daughters.

    Brent Ericson, Senior Vice President, Member Services

    Brent Ericson became Senior Vice President, Member Services on May 16, 2015. He joined the GROWMARK System in 1981 as an associate merchandiser for the Creve Coeur grain facility and six months later was promoted to assistant manager. In 1983 Brent joined MID-CO COMMODITIES in Bloomington and by 1985, he attained the level of senior commodity hedging advisor. From 1988-1989 he served as grain marketing manager of Midland Enterprises but returned to the System in 1989 as general manager of Grainco, Inc., A GROWMARK Grain member. In 1999, Grainco merged with Kendall-Grundy FS to form GRAINCO FS and Brent was named general manager. In November of 2011, Brent was named Vice President, Grain, a role he held until accepting his current position.

    Brent received a B.S. in Agricultural Business from Western Illinois University.​

    Brent and his wife Jean have two grown children. 

    Ann Kafer, Vice President, Human Resources & Strategy Officer 

    Ann Kafer became Vice President, Human Resources & Strategy Officer for GROWMARK, Inc. in May 2017.

    Ann is a 1986 graduate of the University of Illinois, with a bachelor's degree in ag communications, and hours toward a business administration degree from Illinois State.  She also has a master of arts degree in the Bible from Lincoln Christian University.  Ann joined the GROWMARK System in 1993 as publications manager, and has since served by leading corporate communications and marketing services, career development, compliance, and human resources administration.  Most recently, Ann held the position of director of organization change for the spark! project. She is a graduate of the LEAD program and the Graduate Institute of Cooperative Leadership. 

    Ann and her husband, Brad, live in Bloomington and have two sons.

    Mark Orr, Vice President, Agronomy

    Mark Orr was named Vice President, Agronomy in August 2014. Mark began his career with the GROWMARK System in 1989 as an FS Agri-Finance intern. He became assistant controller at Schuyler-Brown FS in 1990, and served as controller for both Western FS and Ag-Land FS between 1993 and 2001. In 2001, he became the general manager for Piatt County Service Company. Then in 2006, Mark was named the general manager for Ag View FS and in addition, became the managing partner for Northern Grain Marketing in September 2012. Prior to being named Vice President, Agronomy, Mark served as Region Vice President, Member Services beginning in October 2013.

    Mark received his Bachelor of Science degree in Agri-Business from Illinois State University in 1990.

    Mark and his wife Laura have three children.

    Barry Schmidt, Vice President, Retail Business

    Barry Schmidt was named GROWMARK Vice President, Retail Business in May 2015. He most recently served as general manager at West Central FS. Barry began his career with the GROWMARK system in 1983 as a college trainee with STOCK LAND FS where he went on to become a certified crop specialist and later an area manager. In 1993, he became the marketing manager of Woodford FS. His general management experience began at McDonough FS in 2000. Two mergers occurred in his tenure as general manager, one with Hancock Service Company to form West Central FS, and a subsequent merger with RIVERLAND FS, retaining the West Central name. Barry continued serving as general manager at West Central FS until being named Region Vice President in November of 2014.

    Barry is a graduate of Western Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in Agri-Business.

    Barry and his wife Kim have three grown children.

    Mike Turner, Vice President, Midwest Operations

    Mike Turner was named Vice President, Midwest Operations in December 2015. 

    Mike joined the GROWMARK System in 1986 as assistant controller for Schuyler-Brown FS (now Prairieland FS), before being promoted to controller in 1988. Mike joined GROWMARK staff in February 1999 as regional administrative director for then Central Region. With geographical reorganization in 2004, his position was retitled Northern Region business manager, and Mike's leadership responsibilities were expanded.  In January 2006, Mike became general manager of Madison Service Company in Alhambra, Ill.  In January 2011, he was named to manager of the Illini FS retail division.

    Mike has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Northeast Missouri State University and he has also earned the Certified Public Accountant certification.

    Mike and his wife, Teresa, have three grown children and three grandchildren.