CHATSWOOD, AUSTRALIA — Richard Simonaitis has been named chief executive officer of Grains Australia, the organization announced on Aug. 15.

Simonaitis, who most recently was CEO of the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre, will officially assume the role of CEO at Grain Australia on Nov. 1.

“I am looking forward to the opportunity to work closely with the Grains Australia team and board to build on its achievements to date and improve connectivity across the value chain and industry influence amongst key domestic and global stakeholders,” he said. “I was attracted to this role because of the opportunity to take a collaborative approach to working closely with organizations across the Australian grains industry, in order to deliver services that benefit the whole of the industry.”

Grains Australia said Simonaitis brings significant industry experience to the organization, having worked in senior management roles in the grain industry and in export-focused commodity industries.

“Richard’s experience in market insight and analysis, innovation and education align with the core functions of Grains Australia, in addition to his significant accomplishments in the broader grain industry,” said Terry Enright, chairman of Grains Australia. “Grains Australia’s vision is to be the leader in delivering industry good services that add value to the Australian grains industry, and we are confident Richard will make significant progress in helping achieve this goal. The board look forward to working closely with Richard to ensure Grains Australia’s Strategic Plan is implemented effectively, while ensuring the best outcomes for the industry.”

Enright also thanked Andrew Young, director of Grains Australia, for assuming the role of interim CEO since January 2022.

“Andrew has made significant contributions to Grains Australia during his time as interim CEO, most notably building the Grains Australia Executive Team, managing the integration of Wheat Quality Australia and the merger of Barley Australia, establishing the Grains Australia Wheat Council and developing the organization’s Strategic Plan to 2024-25,” Enright said. “These are important milestones that Andrew has helped achieve and he has created momentum that Richard can build on to ensure Grains Australia delivers on its objectives. I welcome Andrew back to his role as director on the board of Grains Australia and look forward to continuing to work closely with him.”

Grains Australia is responsible for industry activities, including classification, market access, and market information and education that benefits the industry’s competitiveness and profitability.