Elected by GEAPS members and guided by GEAPS bylaws, GEAPS International Board of Directors works to fulfill the mission of our organization while remaining true or its roots. The board works to advance the strategic plan, do today’s work and plan for the future of our organization.

GEAPS members may request copies of Board meeting minutes by sending an email to Julia Kloehn.

Austin Carpenter
Austin CarpenterPresident

Clear Creek & Associates Inc
Hoosier Chapter

Austin Carpenter is sales manager at Clear Creek & Associates Inc, Crown Point, Indiana. He has been a GEAPS member since 2010 and was elected in 2018 as an Associates Board director and representative to the GEAPS Board of Directors. In 2022 he was elected second vice president. Austin is active in the Hoosier Chapter and the Great Lakes Regional Conference planning committee.

Chuck Kunisch
Chuck KunischBoard Chair

Michigan Agricultural Commodities (MAC)
Michigan / Southern Ontario Chapter

Chuck Kunisch is corporate safety director and specialty soybean manager for Michigan Agricultural Commodities, Lansing Michigan. A GEAPS member since 2002, he has served on the GEAPS Board of Directors before being elected as an officer. For the last 10 + years he has served as a member of the Exchange Educational Programming Committee. Chuck also serves on the MSO Chapter board, is a member NGFA’s SHEQ committee as well as the MABA safety committee and the SSGA competitive shipping action team.

Bob Horvat, PE
Bob Horvat, PEFirst Vice President

Cargill Inc
Minneapolis Chapter

Bob Horvat, PE is manufacturing tech lead for Cargill Inc, Wayzata, Minnesota. He has been a GEAPS member since 2010 and was elected in 2019 as a board director. Bob has served GEAPS in many capacities including as a Minneapolis Chapter leader and as GEAPS treasurer from 2020-2024. In 2024, Bob was elected first vice president.

Alex Westlind
Alex WestlindSecond Vice President

The Weitz Company
Minneapolis Chapter

Alex Westlind is business development manager with The Weitz Company, LLC in Plymouth, Minnesota. He has been a GEAPS member since 2009 and has served in Minneapolis Chapter leadership, on the Associates Board and was elected in 2024 as second vice president.

Matthew Schmitt, PE, SE, CGOM, CGPM, GHEM
Matthew Schmitt, PE, SE, CGOM, CGPM, GHEMSecretary

Keen Project Solutions, LLC
Greater Iowa Chapter

Matthew Schmitt is a Sr. Structural Engineer for Keen Project Solutions, LLC in Minnesota. A GEAPS member since 2014, he is a past president of the Greater Iowa Chapter and past chair of the Membership Committee. In addition to his volunteer leadership with GEAPS, he has served as a director on the Ankeny Economic Development Corporation board and is a member of the Knights of Columbus Council 5569. Matthew has worked in the grain, seed, and processing industry for more than 10 years. During that time, he has earned GEAPS Credentials in Grain Operations Management, Processing Management and a Specialist Credential in Grain Handling Equipment Management.

Jon Brown
Jon BrownTreasurer

MKC - Mid Kansas Cooperative
Great Plains Chapter

Jon has over 20 years’ experience in the commercial construction industry. For the last 12 years he has overseen all capital projects for MKC (Mid Kansas Cooperative). His projects with MKC have totaled over $150 million. In addition, Jon and his millwright team are responsible for maintenance and repairs to over 60 facilities for grain, fuel, feed and agronomy. Jon is responsible for internal hands-on safety training for more than 400 operations employees in all four divisions. Jon is the president of the Great Plains chapter in Kansas. In 2024, Jon was appointed GEAPS treasurer and in that role he leads the board’s stewardship of GEAPS’ financial resources and oversight of funding strategies for member programs, services and general operations.

John Caupert
John CaupertExecutive Director

Cornbelt Chapter

John Caupert joined GEAPS in 2023 and has more than three decades’ experience in agribusiness. Before coming to GEAPS, he was executive director at the National Corn to Ethanol Research Center (NCERC). During Caupert’s 17-year tenure at NCERC, he directed the pathway to commercialization of more than 80 technologies. His efforts took NCERC from being a publicly funded research center to one which is now self-sustained through private sector contractual research and grants. John is a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Corn Growers Association, Growth Energy, Renewable Fuels Association, the St. Louis Agribusiness Club, is involved with committees for the St. Louis Regional Chamber and serves on the school board in Waterloo, Illinois. 

Sarah Fakhari
Sarah FakhariDirector
CHS Inc.

Minneapolis Chapter

Sarah Fakhari is the Director of Global Capital Strategy (Ag Business) at CHS Inc. – a Fortune 100 company and the largest farmer-owned cooperative in the USA. She began her career in agriculture when she started with CHS in 2017 as the director of terminal operations, and has spent more than 15 years of her career working in some of the world’s busiest ports and with a variety of commodities including oil, gas, chemicals, coal, coke, fertilizer, grain, etc. Fakhari has a BBA from the University of Toledo (Ohio, USA) and an MBA from GISMA Business School (Hannover, Germany).