HOUSTON, TEXAS, U.S. — Brent Rystrom has been named president and chief executive officer of RiceBran Technologies, effective Oct. 1. He will succeed Robert Smith, PhD, who has informed the board of directors of RiceBran Technologies that he will step down as president, chief executive officer and a member of the board on Sept. 30. Smith plans to continue to provide transitional leadership assistance and oversee scientific initiatives through his retirement on Dec. 31.
Rystrom joined RiceBran as chief financial officer in 2017, and earlier this year added the title of chief operating officer. Prior to joining RiceBran he was director of research equities at Feltl and Co. for eight years. Earlier, he was a senior research analyst with Piper Jaffray for more than 10 years.
He received a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of St. Thomas.
“I am excited to take on the role of CEO in October and to build on the success that Robert has achieved for our company,” Rystrom said. “I am confident that our whole team at RiceBran Technologies can deliver exceptional growth in the coming years in order to create lasting value for our stockholders. I look forward to working with Robert and Dennis (Dykes) through this management transition as well as leading this company toward its promising future.”
In addition to Rystrom, RiceBran has promoted Dennis Dykes to executive vice-president, CFO and corporate secretary. Dykes joined RiceBran in 2014 as a controller, and later was named vice-president of accounting and compliance before being promoted to chief accounting officer in 2017. Prior to joining RiceBran he worked for Avella Specialty Pharmacy and Carrier Commercial Service.
He received a bachelor’s degree in accounting and business administration from St. Ambrose University.
“The board thanks Dr. Smith for his many valuable contributions during his years with RiceBran Technologies, and especially during his two-year tenure as CEO,” said Brian Rosenthal, chairman of the board. “He has successfully executed our strategic plan to reposition the company and enable RiceBran Technologies to now focus on the ingredients industry, supported by a strong balance sheet that positions us to grow and scale the business. The board looks forward to a seamless transition as it promotes Brent Rystrom and Dennis Dykes to their new responsibilities. Brent Rystrom and Dennis Dykes have demonstrated leadership skills and are well qualified to lead the company going forward.”