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CDEP Management Symposium Speakers

Doug Claussen
K Coe Isom

With his agriculture and accounting expertise, Doug is dedicated to helping ag business owners with financial, operational, and tax challenges. He brings over 20 years of experience working for agribusinesses involved in beef production, dairy operations, grain production, and marketing.

He serves as an advisor throughout the lifecycle of a business. Staying abreast of changes to tax regulations and financial reporting requirements, most of Doug’s conversations with business owners revolve around their goals, feeding his ability to apply effective strategies for tax planning, equity management, and cash flow creating results that greatly impact the day-to-day business.

Doug has a special passion for agribusiness with direct experience working at a feed yard and a grain company early in his career. Fostering long-term relationships and spending quality time with producers on-site at their operations is his favorite part of the job.

Presentation: Working Together: How to Get Paid!

Mike Fassler
The Family Business Consulting Group

Mike Fassler provides family business planning services focusing on helping his clients grow their relationships, capabilities and capital.  Mike is a principal of The Family Business Consulting Group and has been serving family businesses for over 25 years.

Mike supports families to develop and implement plans and decisions for succession, governance, and strategy.  His work with family businesses in agriculture spans the supply chain including producers of annual crops, permanent planting crops, dairy products and protein; input suppliers; horticultural; processing and wholesale distribution.  Mike has also enjoyed his service in various agricultural industry leadership positions.

Presentation: Unlocking Joint Venture Value Through Governance

Shannon Ferrell
Oklahoma State University and Ferrell Law Firm

Shannon Ferrell is a Professor in the Oklahoma State University Department of Agricultural Economics, where he specializes in Agricultural Law.  He grew up on a cattle and wheat operation in Western Oklahoma, and obtained his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Agricultural Economics from OSU before obtaining his Juris Doctorate from the Oklahoma City University School of Law with endorsements in Estate Planning and Business and Financial Services Law.  Shannon spent a number of years in full-time private practice before joining OSU in 2007.

As an educator and speaker, Shannon helps audiences all over North America understand the fundamental legal elements of farm business management and farm transition planning.  He has provided over 400 presentations and workshops to a cumulative audience of nearly 25,000 while authoring over fifty publications, including serving as lead author on the Farm Transition Workbook.  In private practice, he helps farm families with the legal mechanics of the farm transition process.

Presentation: Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Exit Strategies

Cheryl Jones
University of Kentucky

Cheryl G. Jones joined Toyota Motor Manufacturing in 1987. She began her career as an assembly manufacturing supervisor, eventually achieving Vice President of Manufacturing during her 22 years with the company. Cheryl retired in 2009.

Her extensive knowledge of the Toyota Production System encompasses final vehicle assembly, robotic painting using solvent borne and waterborne paints, and parts delivery from supplier to final vehicle assembly. In 2005 Cheryl received international experience working as Toyota's senior advisor at their new truck manufacturing facility in Baja, Mexico. Upon her return from Mexico, her responsibilities were expanded to include regional team leader for all six Toyota North American assembly plants self-reliance initiative.

Cheryl was named as one of the 2005 Automotive News Top 100 Women in the Automotive Industry. She led Toyota North American Women's Leadership initiatives for Toyota, such as the Women's Leadership Exchange Network as a senior advisor, and In the Interest of Women.

She has a degree in Business Management from the University of Ky and a degree from Northwood University in Information Systems Management and Business Management. Cheryl is currently focused on teaching manufacturing and systems implementation utilizing her extensive Toyota production experience and knowledge. She works with the University of Kentucky Lean Systems Program as a lean practitioner.

Presentations: Lean Process 1: Lean - It's Not Just for Beef and Lean Process 2: Muda not Mooing

Carl Lehrkind
Lehrkinds Coca-Cola and Mountain County Distributing

Carl Lehrkind IV is a 5th generation owner/operator of Lehrkinds Coca-Cola and Mountain County Distributing with facilities in Bozeman, Helena, Great Falls, Billings, Lewistown, and Sydney Montana.  His family’s business operations have serviced customers and consumers across some of the most beautiful parts of Southwest Montana including Yellowstone National Park for over 100 years.  While the primary business is the sales and distribution of beverages within the Coca-Cola portfolio, the enterprise also thrives with expanded business ventures that include the distribution of wine, gallon & bottled water sales, franchised distribution of Coors beer, hotel and restaurant ownership, land management and most recently a joint venture in micro-brewing beer that has brought back his own family’s brand of lagers/wits/IPA/Ales under the Julius Lehrkind Brewing name.

The Lehrkinds enterprises employ over 150 people and year over year make significant contributions to the communities they serve via revenue/tax generation, numerous civic partnerships and donations.  Within the Coca-Cola franchise bottling system, Lehrkinds is consistently viewed among the top tier of independent franchise bottlers.  This designation is reached through extensive efforts in delivering year over year growth in sales and profitability through superior execution in the market.  Growth in the beverage business is tough to achieve and only driven when there is consistent and thoughtful leadership that is focused beyond the basics of sales/distribution and seeks to build innovative ways to deliver goals through their team’s efforts of meeting and exceeding the needs of the customers and consumers they serve.  Carl is the tip of the spear in directing the actions, activities, and accountabilities for the entire Lehrkinds team in the push for continuous improvement.

Presentation: Driving Continuous Improvement and Operational Excellence