Ardent Mills management team taking shape

by World Grain Staff
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OMAHA, NEBRASKA, U.S. — ConAgra Foods, Cargill and CHS on April 8 announced the selection of a key executive leadership team member for Ardent Mills, the proposed new flour milling company announced one month ago that will combine the milling operations of industry leaders ConAgra Mills and Horizon Milling. 
Industry veteran Brad Berentson, vice-president of finance for ConAgra Mills, will join the newly created organization as its chief financial officer upon close of the transaction.

Berentson joins Dan Dye and Bill Stoufer as a member of the executive management team that will lead Ardent Mills at the completion of the transaction. Dye, currently president of Horizon Milling, will be Ardent Mills’ chief executive officer and Stoufer, now president of ConAgra Mills, will be chief operating officer and chief integration officer. The new company will combine the best of ConAgra Mills and Horizon Milling, a Cargill-CHS joint venture, to bring the most innovative flour and grain products, services, and solutions to the marketplace.

“We are extremely pleased to announce this important step toward the realization of Ardent Mills,” said Dye. “Brad was selected for this role based on his long track record of success in our industry, including both ingredient and retail experience, a broad range of financial experience, and a passion for developing high performing organizations, leaders, and teams; attributes we view as instrumental in the success of Ardent Mills.”

Berentson has more than 25 years of experience in the food industry, including more than a decade with ConAgra Foods in various finance leadership positions, and 15 years at General Mills in business and corporate finance positions. During Berentson’s tenure, ConAgra Mills achieved both strong top and bottom line growth. Berentson earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota and an MBA in Finance from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.

“The executive team of Ardent Mills will reflect the new company’s commitment to industry leadership and innovation,” said Stoufer. “We are committed to starting day one with leaders who possess the right talent, knowledge, and experience needed to build our reputation as the premier flour milling company. I am confident that Brad will bring outstanding strategic direction, passion, and character to Ardent Mills.”

Ardent Mills’ vision will be to help customers increase their growth and profitability in an ever-changing marketplace. Its products will be backed by an extensive network of wheat sourcing capabilities and flour milling and bakery mix facilities across North America. The company will offer a unique set of services, including product development resources, technical and application support, supply chain management and commodity price risk management. Ardent Mills also will tap the knowledge, transportation logistics, consumer insights, food ingredients and culinary expertise currently available through ConAgra Foods, Cargill and CHS. A headquarters location has not yet been announced.