The board of directors of MGP Ingredients Inc., Atchison, KS, has elected Karen Seaberg board chairperson, effective immediately. Her election continues a long family legacy at the company, a supplier of specialty wheat proteins and starches and premium distilled spirits.
Seaberg succeeds her father, Cloud L. “Bud” Cray, who served as chairman this past year, as well as from 1980 to 2005. He retains a position on the board as chairman emeritus. Her husband, Ladd Seaberg, was chairman from 2005 until his retirement in 2009, and also served a combined total of 28 years as president and CEO. The role of chairman was originally held by Cloud L. Cray Sr., who founded the company in 1941.
“While remaining an active member of the board, I have decided to step down as chair as we prepare for the start of a new year,” Cray says. “MGP has made significant progress during this past year, thanks to the hard work of our talented management team and employees, along with the high caliber board that we have in place.
“We are very excited for Karen, whose outstanding record of accomplishments now includes being the first female to serve as board chair at MGP. She possesses a solid understanding of MGP’s business and has repeatedly demonstrated her remarkable leadership skills on many fronts. The entire board shares my confidence in her abilities to provide valuable guidance and insight pertinent to decisions that are in the best interest of our shareholders, customers and employees, as well as the communities of which we are a part. Her optimistic attitude, perseverance and integrity are additional qualities that will serve all stakeholders well as she fulfills the responsibilities of her new position on the board.”
Seaberg became a director of MGP in 2009, filling a vacancy that resulted from her husband’s retirement from the board. Her professional background includes more than 20 years as an executive travel agent in association with the Travel Center of Atchison. Along with her husband, she is co-owner of a local Long John Silver’s franchise. She also served for five years on the managing executive committee of the former RiverHouse Restaurant in Atchison.
“I am deeply grateful for the faith my fellow directors have in my capabilities to serve as chairperson of MGP’s board,” Seaberg says. “As one might imagine, I have had a strong attachment to the company since my earliest days. This connection has only become more solid through the years, increasing my desire and determination to do what is right and best for all who have an interest in MGP’s success.”