Kansas Grain and Feed Association’s (KGFA) board of directors announced senior vice president of government affairs, Ron Seeber, as the association’s president and CEO Monday morning. On Nov. 15, 2017, Seeber is set to become just the sixth person to hold KGFA’s top executive position since its inception in 1896.
In conjunction with KGFA’s longstanding management contract with Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association (KARA), Seeber also becomes president and CEO of the volunteer organization whose membership includes over 700 agribusiness firms.
“I am truly honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to lead this storied organization,” Seeber said. “The Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association has a rich history of addressing the needs of our industry.”
KGFA chairman, Glen Hofbauer, headed a search committee with representatives from KARA and Renew Kansas for a successor to longtime president and CEO, Tom Tunnell. Tunnell, who was president and CEO for more than 37 years, announced earlier this year his intention to retire at the end of March 2018.
“I want to extend my congratulations to Ron – I couldn’t be more pleased with the decision about who will take the Association into its next chapter,” Hofbauer said. “This has been a long process that began in April. I also want to thank those vested individuals who committed time and effort to find the right outcome.”
As president and CEO, Seeber’s responsibilities will include implementing the policies set by the association’s board of directors and preparing a budget, while planning, coordinating and implementing educational programs and services. He will also serve as the staff contact for committees on arbitration, arbitration appeals, grain grades and weights, insurance, taxation and transportation.
“I look forward to working with Ron during the transition period,” Tunnell said. “I am pleased to turn over the reins of a well-respected, financially strong state trade association.”
Seeber joined the associations in July 2008 as the head of government affairs before a promotion to senior vice president of government affairs in 2011.
During his nearly 10 years at the associations, Seeber has overseen government relations for the association while advocating and monitoring legislative regulatory activities at the state and federal levels. Seeber also built productive relationships with legislators by having direct day-to-day responsibilities at the State Capitol.
“I look forward to working with our members to advance our mission in an ever-changing world,” Seeber said.
Seeber also has put communication with KARAs members at the forefront, administering the Tomorrow’s Agribusiness Leaders program, a class promoting government education to KGFA and KARA members. He has also participated in KARA’s staff-wide ‘No Ties Tours’ visiting with members across the state on what services the association can better provide.
A native of El Dorado, Kansas, Seeber graduated from the University of Kansas in 1991 and shortly after graduation accepted a position working for Senator Bob Dole’s legislative staff in Washington, D.C. He moved back home to Kansas and worked as the deputy secretary of administration for Governor Bill Graves. Seeber later served as political director for the Kansas Republican Party and has provided government affairs services for a multitude of companies and trade associations while working for Hein Governmental Consulting.
Seeber and his wife, Jennifer, have three daughters.