The GEAPS Foundation Board of Directors met for the first time last month at CHS headquarters in Inver Grove Heights, Minn. The meeting represents a significant step towards establishing the Foundation as a funding resource to support GEAPS' professional development and continuing education programs.
The first action of the Board was to approve and officially launch the Foundation's marketing and fundraising campaign. The goal is to establish a significant endowment in order to ensure a reliable source of funding for investment in world-class professional development programs for the grain handling industry. The Board is comprised of a distinguished group of influential industry leaders, including current GEAPS officers.
What is the GEAPS Foundation?
The GEAPS Foundation serves as a funding mechanism to support GEAPS' core purpose of being the technical knowledge resource for grain handling and processing facility operations efficiency, safety and environmental responsibility. Foundation funds are invested in the development and production and delivery of GEAPS' and GEAPS-sponsored professional development and continuing education programs.
What is the Foundation's goal?
The Foundation's goal is to establish and manage allocation of an endowment sufficient to ensure a reliable source of funding for investment in world-class professional development and continuing education programs for the grain handling and commodity utilization industry.
Why should there be a Foundation to support education in this industry?
A significant number of grain industry professionals and employers recognize the need to invest in professional training to efficiently and effectively operate grain elevator and processing facilities and would be interested in making legacy investments in attracting and training the next generation grain and processing industry leaders.
What does the Foundation's Board do?
The GEAPS Foundation Board establishes criteria for making professional development and continuing education program grants and defines the scope of and parameters for such awards to include standards and levels of achievement; and accountability by grant applicants and award recipients.
What else will the Foundation do?
The GEAPS Foundation will work with public academic institutions and private technical equipment and service suppliers and facility operators to enhance public-private training and development partnerships.
The GEAPS Foundation depends on the volunteer contributions of industry leaders, employers and related industry organizations and stakeholders to support fundraising and grant making activities.
The GEAPS Foundation will work with other grant-making institutions to leverage its resources for professional development whenever such opportunities present themselves.
The GEAPS Foundation will constantly look for business models to sustain and enhance its fundraising and grant-making activities.
GEAPS Foundation Officers and Board Directors
- Mark Fedje, chair, General Mills Inc, Minneapolis, MN
- Bill Lyster, president, Ag Partners LLC, Calumet, IA
- Bill Merritt, treasurer, General Mills Inc, Minneapolis, MN
- Slawomir Waplak, secretary, Viterra, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
- Gary Anderson, Ag Growth International, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
- Rick Calhoun, Cargill, Wayzata, MN
- Deborah Good, Brock Grains Systems, Milford, IN
- Roger Fray, West Central Cooperative, Ralston, IA
- Doug Niemeyer, Brock Grains Systems, Milford, IN
- Ron Olson, retired (General Mills Inc), Bloomington, MN
- Tom Runyon, Seedburo Equipment Co, Des Plains, IL