Wenck newly elected to Board of Director’s
Landmark Services Cooperative hosted the 83rd annual meeting of their members on January 21st, 2016 at their headquarters in Cottage Grove, Wis.
Board Chairman, John Blaska, called the meeting to order. Kelsey Odorizzi, daughter of Landmark Customer Service Representative Janet Klug, sang the National Anthem. Blaska welcomed guests and introduced the Board of Director’s prior to giving his Chairman Report.
Chairman Blaska discussed the importance of lifelong learning throughout the cooperative system, especially during economic times when performance is critical. Evidence of the importance placed on learning was highlighted when Chairman Blaska recognized two board members who recently completed the Advance Governance Series Leadership training coordinated through Farm Credit Council Services. Board members Jim Lange and Jon Laper recently completed the five training events that included topics on Leadership, Strategy, Governance, Finances, Human Resources and a capstone course entitled “The Gettysburg Experience”.
Chairman Blaska also discussed the importance of on-going investments in the cooperative system. Landmark invested in excess of $8.5 million in plant, property and equipment during the 2015 fiscal year. Such investments included improvements to the loading and unloading capacities at a number of Landmark’s fertilizer plants, improvements to the Burlington grain facility, overall rolling stock upgrades and a number improvements to Landmark’s retail sites.
In closing the Chairman’s report, Chairman Blaska stressed the cooperative system’s obligation to share earnings with its owner – members. Figures were shared regarding the cash returned to members over the past five years, highlighted by the board’s decision to increase equity retirements in fiscal year 2015 from $1 million to $2 million.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Robert Carlson, Jr., then gave his report, outlining the importance of a skilled and service orientated staff that truly believe in the cooperative system. Carlson shared two videos during his presentation, both of which can be found at Landmark’s website. The first video highlights the efforts of Landmark’s Give Back program where Landmark contributed in excess of 70,000 meals to the Second Harvest organization. The second video shares personal stories of the “Landmark Experience”. In closing, Carlson reported on Landmark’s strong financial performance during the 2015 fiscal year.
2015 Nominating Committee Chair, Glenn Smits, then took the podium, thanking his committee members for their hard work to select extraordinary candidates to run in the Board of Director elections. In addition to Smits, Nominating Committee members included: Dave Dillie, Ted Reeb, Gary Sommers, Brad Murray, and Linda White.
Smits then announced the results of the Board of Director elections for each of Landmark’s three districts. John Doerfer of Verona was re-elected to serve a 3-year term, representing the West District; Jon Laper of Markesan was re-elected to serve a 3-year term, representing the North District; and Max Wenck of East Troy was newly elected to serve a 3-year term, representing the East District.
Wenck is from East Troy, WI where he and his family raise and show purebred beef cattle and grow corn, soybeans, and hay, in addition to managing a 3,000-acre cow-calf ranching operation in western South Dakota. He is actively involved in his community and the agriculture industry, having served on numerous boards while holding various leadership roles. Wenck has a passion for serving others and watching them succeed and looks forward to doing that as a Landmark Board of Director.