TCI's Board of Directors have deep global roots in Agribusiness and the use of plant derived ingredients for nutritional, chemical and personal care industries:
Andrew Hebard - President and Chief Executive Officer
Andrew has over 25 years experience in building and managing speciality crop agribusiness around the world, serving as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer roles for the past 18 years. Previously with Associated British Foods plc. based in the UK and US, he founded Technology Crops International in 2004 and serves as President and CEO. From a start up business Andrew and his management team have grown the business to become a global leader in the production and supply of specialty crops and specialty crop products. Andrew is proud to be a holder of the Royal Warrant, to serve as chairman for 2 charitable trusts and to be active in various community projects. He is an Hons graduate in Agricultural Science.
Mike Wainscott - Board Member
Michael was one of the founders of Technology Crops International in 2004. Prior to Michael was the CFO for Kings, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Associated British Foods, plc. (ABF) based in the US. Prior to that time Michael was a CFO for nationally franchised retail grocery store chain after a number of years working in public accounting.
Michael was educated at University of Kentucky with a degree in Agricultural Economics and also has a degree from Guilford College in Accounting. Michael received his Certified Public Accountant Certification (CPA) in 1998 and received his Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP) in 2007 and the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) in 2012. Michael was the recipient of Alpha Gamma Rho Presidents award in 2009 and recognized as CFO of the Year for the Greater Triad Area 2012(Small Business).
Tom Karlson – Board Member
Rural American Fund, L.P. was founded in 2007 by Mr. Karlson. His responsibilities at the Fund include deal generation and marketing, structuring and negotiating new investments and exits, portfolio company management along with fundraising and investor relations.
Mr. Karlson began his business career in 1985. His background includes nearly 20 years advising privately‐held companies on value enhancing strategies with a focus on increasing business value through strategic acquisitions. Mr. Karlson has established hundreds of contacts in the ag industry beginning in 1997. Mr. Karlson is an entrepreneur who has founded and successfully grown two (and exited one) investment banking business as well as worked at Bankers Trust Company (now part of Deutsche Bank) and Merrill Lynch. Mr. Karlson has also been actively involved as a limited partner in multiple private equity investments, including the specialty ag‐chemicals company, Becker Underwood Inc.
Mr. Karlson is on the Board of Directors of La Crosse Forage & Turf Seed, LLC and Technology Crops International. He previously served on the Board of Directors of Seeds 2000, Inc. Mr. Karlson received a BS in Economics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago.
Roger Underwood – Board Member
Mr. Underwood graduated from Atlantic High School and later Iowa State University where he graduated with a B.S. degree in Agriculture Business in 1980. He was an active member of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, and active in College of Agriculture activities.
Following graduation from Iowa State University, Mr. Underwood worked in the Ag chemical distribution industry as a product manager and sales manager. In 1982, he co-founded Becker Underwood with Atlantic, Iowa, native, Jeffrey Becker. Company sales in the first year of operations were approximately $45,000, and, today, are over $200 million annually. Becker Underwood is the world's leading supplier of non-pesticide specialty chemical and biological products to well-defined markets within the agricultural, landscape, and turf and horticulture industries. Becker Underwood sells products into 54 countries from eleven facilities in nine countries on six continents, giving it a global perspective with a local presence. The company did a recapitalization with Century Park Capital Partners of Los Angeles, California in 2000 and after considerable growth Century Park sold its interest to Norwest Equity Partners of Minneapolis, Minnesota in August of 2004. Following 23 years as Chief Executive Officer of Becker Underwood, Mr. Underwood stepped back from daily operations in January of 2006.
As an Iowa State alumnus, Mr. Underwood was active in forming the College of Agriculture Alumni Association, serving as its second president and founding member. In 1996, Mr. Underwood was named Outstanding Agribusiness Alumni of the Year by the ISU Ag Business Club, and was named Order of the Knoll Outstanding Young Alumni in 2000 and in 2008 received the Floyd Andre Award for outstanding accomplishments in business and service to the College. Roger is a Board Member of the ISU Foundation Board of Governors.
Mr. Underwood serves on the following Boards of Directors: CropLife America organization in Washington D.C.; Muscatine Foods of Muscatine, Iowa; First American Bank of Ames, Iowa; La Crosse Forage & Turf Seed of La Crosse, Wisconsin; and Technology Crops International of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Previously, Mr. Underwood served on the Board of Directors of Seeds 2000, Inc. of Breckenridge, Minnesota.
Mr. Underwood has served on the Boards of the Ames Economic Development Commission, the Gilbert School Foundation and the ISU Research Park and is currently Chairman of the Iowa State University $800 Million dollar fund-raising campaign: With Pride and Purpose.
JD Schlieman – Board Member
Mr. Schlieman recently retired as President of Hawkeye Energy Holdings and its subsidiaries which had combined annual ethanol production capacity of 460 million gallons per year. Another subsidiary, Hawkeye Gold, marketed ethanol and distillers grains for all of Hawkeye's production facilities as well as for third party plants. Mr. Schlieman and former Hawkeye CEO, Bruce Rastetter, were two of the original founders of the company in 2003. Mr. Schlieman's primary responsibilities included overall operations of the company, including risk management and business development activities. He also served as Chief Financial Officer from 2004 through April of 2007.
Prior to founding Hawkeye, Mr. Schlieman spent 10 years at Heartland Pork, located in Alden, Iowa, one of the largest hog production companies in the United States, as their Vice President and Chief Financial Officer until their sale in early 2004. Prior to Heartland Pork, Mr. Schlieman served 14 years as an agricultural lender within the Farm Credit System and for Grundy National Bank, as well as three years as a commodity broker.
Mr. Schlieman is a native of Boone County, Iowa and a graduate of Iowa State University and the Graduate School of Banking in Madison, Wisconsin. Mr. Schlieman serves as a Board Member of Technology Crops International of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.