The Cooperative Resources International (CRI) board of directors has announced Keith Heikes as the agricultural holding cooperative’s next CEO. Heikes succeeds Doug Wilson, who will retire in August after 39 years with CRI.
Heikes, who previously served as chief operating officer of the cooperative’s GENEX subsidiary, will now lead CRI, an organization with more than $189 million in annual revenue and 1,350 employees across the globe. CRI consists of brands that strive to meet the needs of individuals linked to the land through plant and animal production. Brands that are part of CRI include GENEX, AgSource, MOFA GLOBAL, CENTRAL LIVESTOCK and FARM SYSTEMS.
“We are excited to have Keith step into this important leadership role,” said John Ruedinger, CRI board chairman and dairy producer from Van Dyne, Wisconsin. “He is a strong leader with an extensive background in cooperative leadership and experience in both domestic and global marketing. We know Keith will uphold the CRI mission of being the global leader delivering excellence, innovation and value to our members and customers.”
Prior to this new appointment, Heikes spent 36 years in the cattle genetics and artificial insemination industry. He served as the chief operating officer for GENEX predecessor NOBA, Inc. and then led the development of CRI’s global marketing program. In 2014, he was named GENEX chief operating officer and led the cooperative through exceptional market share growth.
During his career, Heikes has served on numerous industry councils and boards including serving as chairman of the National Association of Animal Breeders. As a Kansas native and Kansas State University graduate, he was recognized with the 2017 Kansas Dairy Leader Award.
Cooperative Resources International (CRI), headquartered in Shawano, Wisconsin, is the global leader in delivering excellence, innovation and value to members and customers. Built from organizations dating back to the 1920s, CRI and its brands are dedicated to meeting the needs of individuals linked to the land through plant and animal production. Learn more at www.crinet.com.