LENEXA, KANSAS, US — Ivo Klaric, longtime miller and the first non-North American to serve as president of the International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM), died on March 24, the IAOM announced.

Klaric, who was born in Bolivia but of Croatian descent, became IAOM president at the 113th annual conference and expo in Grand Rapids, Michigan, US, in 2009. Ever since then he was remembered as Mr. Presidente, said Melinda Farris, executive vice president of the IAOM.

“He was such a great human being, with a big heart and such a positive personality,” she said. “It was truly a pleasure getting to work with him when he served on the board, and then when he was El Presidente at IAOM. Ivo embraced the role as the first non-North American to serve as an international officer and understood that he was paving the way for other international members to lead the association.”

Klaric’s milling career included Molino Modernos, Guatemala City, Guatemala, 2014-19; Cargill/Horizon Milling, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, 2008-19; Molinos del Ecuador, Seaboard Corp., Guayaquil, Ecuador, 1992-2008; Continental Grain, Guanica, Puerto Rico, 1990-92 and Ferrari Ghezzi & Cia mill, La Paz, Bolivia, 1982-90.

Among his top priorities during his IAOM presidency was to strengthen the grain milling industry through short courses, correspondence courses and conference sharing experiences.

“We need to continue our work to bring together the best technical milling information, mill management techniques and the latest information on new milling equipment so that we may efficiently educate and train our members,” Klaric said in an April 2009 World Grain article about his new position as IAOM president. “We believe a solid network of millers will strengthen IAOM, the international milling industry and the capabilities of individual millers who belong to IAOM.”

Klaric was a good friend and colleague to many in the milling industry, said Jim Doyle, senior vice president, King Milling Co.

“Ivo was a very good leader and always ready and willing to help in any way he could,” Doyle said. “Ivo was an experienced, knowledgeable miller with a big, winning smile. With his multicultural background and language skills, he was, I believe the first truly international president of the IAOM. We will all miss his warm friendship.”

Klaric had just started a new family business with his daughters Vanessa, Vallery and Michelle and his wife, Karina, packing different types of flour and mixes. They are hoping to continue the business in his honor, making one of his last dreams come true, Farris said.

“Ivo loved his career and was passionate about milling,” Farris said. “However, his family was his pride and joy. He loved having them with him at the annual IAOM conferences — his daughters attended when his wife was unable. According to a recent email from Ivo, he was about to launch a family business that combined all of his loves — his family and milling. He also told me that his eldest daughter was expecting her second baby. ‘Happy Grandpa again!’ he wrote.”