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GEAPS names new executive director

John Caupert, previously the executive director of the National Corn to Ethanol Research Center, will assume duties December 11.

John Caupert
John Caupert

The Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS) has hired John Caupert to fill the open executive director seat.

Caupert, who has more than three decades experience in agribusiness, succeeds Steve Records, who was with GEAPS from late 2019 through March 31, 2023. In his stead, GEAPS operations director Julia Kloehn served as Interim executive director. Glen Gudino, president of GEAPS Media Group (GMG), has been leading the GMG team in Illinois. 

Caupert comes to GEAPS from the National Corn to Ethanol Research Center (NCERC) where he served as executive director.

Under his leadership, NCERC became a shining example of a public private partnership. During Caupert’s 17-year tenure at NCERC, he directed the pathway to commercialization of more than 80 technologies. His efforts took NCERC from being a publicly funded research center to one which is now self-sustained through private sector contractual research and grants.  

GEAPS president Chuck Kunisch said Caupert’s knowledge, experience and education in the grain elevator and processing industry fits perfectly with what the board was looking for when considering this hire.

“His experience of running a nonprofit organization will put him in the GEAPS’ executive director pilot seat on day one,” Kunisch said. “He also has experience working with commodity organizations, which will bring GEAPS closer to working with the producers who partner with GEAPS in helping to feed and fuel the world.”

Caupert said he is both honored and humbled to be selected to lead GEAPS, which he described as an organization which has paved the way for thousands of people and companies in both the grain elevator and processing industries.

“GEAPS is a member driven organization, a resource for its members, which means, GEAPS is about people,” he said. “I look forward to getting to know the heart and soul of GEAPS, its members. More than 3,000 strong, GEAPS members represent all areas of the grain industry. By respecting our traditions while also keeping an eye on the future, I have faith together, we will go far.”

Caupert earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agribusiness economics with a specialization in agriculture policy from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

GEAPS took a thoughtful, measured approach in their search for a leader who would both honor GEAPS’ century of history while also looking to the future. The board began searching for a new director last winter.

Hedlin Ag Enterprises, which specializes in executive searches for agribusinesses and agricultural associations throughout the U.S., guided GEAPS’ board of directors in this search.

“John brings some international experience to go along with his expertise in the processing industry and executive director experience,” said GEAPS board chair Chris Blair. “This has been a long process, one that I believe has been well worth the time invested. John will fit right in with the GEAPS family and the grain industry and will work with the industry, members and staff to carry out GEAPS’ mission and vision.”

Caupert will join GEAPS on December 11, as the association prepares for GEAPS Exchange next February in Kansas City, Missouri and GEAPS’ Leadership Conference next May in Fort Worth, Texas. Registration is open for GEAPS Exchange. Registration for GEAPS Leadership Conference will open in January.

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