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Ardent Mills' leadership team grows

April 24, 2014

ConAgra Mills, Omaha, Neb.; Cargill, Minneapolis; and CHS Inc., Inver Grove Heights, Minn., announced additions to the growing leadership team for its future joint venture flour milling company, Ardent Mills.

“We are excited to announce these leadership positions as an important step toward the realization of Ardent Mills,” says Dan Dye, future CEO of Ardent Mills and current president of Horizon Milling. “We are confident each leader will embody, demonstrate and foster Ardent Mills’ values and execute our vision to be the trusted partner in nurturing our customers, consumers and communities through innovative and nutritious grain-based solutions.”

The following individuals will report directly to Dye:

  • Doug Barkema, general counsel. Barkema joined Cargill in 2006 and served as a senior lawyer within the Cargill food ingredient and systems businesses and Cargill Salt.
  • Brad Berentson, chief financial officer. Berentson, whose position with Ardent Mills was announced last year, currently serves as vice president of finance for ConAgra Mills. He has more than 25 years of experience in the food industry, including more than a decade with ConAgra Foods in various financial leadership positions.
  • Dean Grossmann, vice president and sales lead. Grossmann currently serves as the Go-to-Market leader for Cargill’s food ingredient and systems businesses, and has been with Cargill since 1998.
  • Deon MacMillan, chief human resources officer. MacMillan will be joining Ardent Mills from MacMillan Consulting, where she provided strategic HR counsel to a variety of major corporations, including Cargill.
  • Mike Miller, vice president and risk management lead. Miller joined Cargill in 1991 and currently serves as vice president and merchandising leader for Horizon Milling.
  • Elizabeth Uriyo, vice president and research, quality and technical services lead. Uriyo joined Cargill in 2010 and is currently vice president and technical director for Horizon Milling.
  • R. Michael Veal, vice president and marketing lead. Veal has been with ConAgra Mills for eight years as vice president of marketing.

Bill Stoufer, future chief operating officer and chief integration officer for Ardent Mills, and current president of ConAgra Mills, will also report directly to Dye. Those reporting directly to Stoufer include:

  • Brad Allen, vice president and operations lead. Allen is currently vice president of operations for ConAgra Mills and has worked for ConAgra Foods for more than 19 years. Prior to working with ConAgra Foods, Allen spent 15 years at Cargill.
  • Mary Ann Strombitski, communication lead. Strombitski will be joining Ardent Mills and with more than 30 years of experience, she will bring a wealth of communication and public relations knowledge to the team.
  • Jeff Schreiner, chief information officer. Schreiner joined ConAgra Foods in 2011 and currently serves as a director of information technology.
  • Jon Stuewe, Puerto Rico business lead. Stuewe joined ConAgra Mills in 2000 and currently leads ConAgra Mills’ Puerto Rican business.
  • Buck VanNiejenhuis, Canada business lead. VanNiejenhuis joined Cargill in 1996 and Horizon Milling in 2011. He currently leads Horizon Milling’s Canadian business.
  • Jeff Zyskowski, vice president and supply chain lead. Zyskowski joined Cargill in 1989 and currently serves as vice president and commercial leader for Horizon Milling.

“Ardent Mills will be starting day one with the most passionate, dedicated and forward-looking leadership team in the industry,” says Stoufer

The future milling company is in the process of filling additional leadership team positions, including a communication lead and project management officer.

Ardent Mills is expected to be formed in the second quarter of calendar year 2014, subject to reaching agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, financing and other certain customary closing conditions. In July 2013, it was announced that the future Ardent Mills would establish its headquarters in the Denver metropolitan area.

Ardent Mills will bring together two of the nation’s leading flour milling companies: ConAgra Mills and Horizon Milling, a Cargill-CHS joint venture formed in 2002. The new company will take advantage of the combined assets, capabilities and experience of ConAgra Foods, Cargill and CHS to bring innovative flour and grain products, services and solutions to the marketplace.

Ardent Mills will operate as an independent joint venture of its three parent companies. The company’s operations and services will be supported by a network of mills and bakery facilities, all located in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. To learn more about Ardent Mills, visit

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