Purchasing Seminar

June 8-10, 2025 | Kansas City, MO

June 8-10, 2025 | Kansas City, MO


Scott Amoye

Vice President of Corporate Procurement and Commodity Risk Management
Blommer Chocolate Co.

Scott Amoye has been vice president of corporate procurement and commodity risk management at Blommer Chocolate Co. since April 2017. Earlier in his career, he held senior procurement, trading, sales and risk management roles at Guittard Chocolate, ECOM Agrotrade, Mondelez International, ED&F Man and Cargill. Mr. Amoye is on Blommer’s Executive Team and also has P&L responsibility for Blommer’s cocoa bean processing business. He received a bachelor’s degree in government and international relations at Hamilton College and a master’s degree in finance and international business at Fordham University.

ankush bhandari

Ankush Bhandari

Grain, Oilseed and Biofuel Industry Research
Verition Fund Management

Ankush Bhandari has more than two decades of expertise in commodity research and analysis. Currently affiliated with Verition Fund, he specializes in grain, oilseed and biofuel industry research. Prior to this, he was vice president of economic research at Viterra US (formerly Gavilon Group, LLC). He began his career with ConAgra Trade Group, initially working as a research analyst before later transitioning into a financial trading role for 10 years. He received a master’s of business administration degree in finance at Emory University in Atlanta.

Natasha Crane

Cargill Risk Management

Natasha Crane is part of the North America Agriculture commercial team at Cargill Risk Management. She works with companies in the food and beverage industry to build and implement hedging strategies using tailored OTC solutions that are unique to their goals, risk management policies and market biases. Prior to her current role, she worked at StoneX Black Sea hedging desk.

Steve Freed

Freed Consulting

Steve Freed is a consultant to the grain industry. He recently retired from ADM Investor Services after 30 years at the company, including time spent as director of research and, most recently, vice president of grain research. Prior to that he was with Dean Witter Reynolds as vice president of futures research. He also has held positions as oilseeds analyst for Frazier Parrott and as field crop analyst for Continental Grain Co., covering the United States, Canada, Brazil and Argentina. Mr.Freed received a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Illinois State University.

Mike Irgang

President and Owner
Global Risk Management Corp.

Mike Irgang is president of Global Risk Management (GRM) where he leads business development and long-term business strategy. He also works with foodservice clients in designing and implementing commodity risk management programs. Prior to joining GRM as executive vice president in 2016 he was vice president and chief accounting officer of OSI Group LLC in 2013. Earlier, he spent 20 years at McDonald’s Corp. in the company’s treasury department, eventually working with the company’s supply chain, suppliers and owners/operators. He began his career in public accounting and banking.

Kellee James

Vice President, Agriculture, North America
Argus Media

James is the founder of Mercaris, a market information service for organic, non-GMO and other identity-preserved commodities and ingredients. Mercaris was acquired by Argus Media in June 2023. Argus Media is a price reporting agency for more than 40,000 commodities markets spanning energy, agriculture, freight and more. Prior to Mercaris, James spent five years at the Chicago Climate Exchange, and was appointed by President Barack Obama as a White House Fellow. Previously, she worked with commodity banks in Latin America on risk management and income diversification strategies. She serves on the board of the Organic Trade Association.

Lauren Jia

Managing Director
Macquarie Group

Lauren Jia is a managing director at Macquarie Group, where she is responsible for providing commodities risk management solutions for consumers in the food and beverage, consumer products, and industrial spaces. Her expertise includes designing financial hedging strategies, with special focus on resin and paper packaging, as well as agriculture, energy, and metal products. Prior to joining Macquarie, she worked at Barclays Bank and Lehman Brothers on the commodities trading desks. She is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in international economics.

Ryan Koory

Vice President of Economics
Argus Media

As vice president of economics, Ryan Koory leads the development of Argus’ ever-growing network of organic and non-GMO market data partners. Koory and the Mercaris economic research team produce critical data and insights for organic and non-GMO commodity markets. Prior to Argus, he developed market forecasts for global livestock, dairy and biofuel markets, and has spent 15 years producing data and research for agricultural markets globally. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics at Missouri State University and studied for his master’s degree in agricultural economics at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Brijesh Krishnaswamy

President and Global Head – Spices

Brijesh Krishnaswamy is the president and global head of spices at ofi. He has more than 22 years of experience in the food industry and has been with the company for two decades, spending much of his tenure there leading business and operations for edible nuts in Europe. He began overseeing the spice division in 2018 and is based out of Fresno, Calif.

Jan Lambregts

Head of Global Economics and Markets

Jan Lambregts is head of RaboResearch Global Economics & Markets. He oversees a worldwide team of analysts and strategists who cover macro, FX, rates, credit, agri commodities and energy markets for key clients. Before his move to London in 2009 to head up the global team, he lived and worked in Singapore and Hong Kong for seven years, covering macro, FX and rates strategy for Rabobank clients, with a particular focus on Japan and China. A cum laude graduate of Tilburg University in the Netherlands,

Bill Lapp

Advanced Economic Solutions

Bill Lapp has more than 30 years of experience in analyzing and forecasting economic conditions and commodity markets. In 2005, he formed Advanced Economic Solutions, and prior to that was vice president of economic research for ConAgra Foods. Advanced Economic Solutions provides economic and commodity analysis and offers forecasts and analysis for procurement, investment and risk management decisions. Mr. Lapp serves on the board of the Farm Foundation and the Kansas City Federal Reserve Board’s Center for the Study of Rural America. He is a member of the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service Advisory Board. He received a bachelor’s degree in math and computer science from Southern Illinois University, and a master’s degree in agricultural economics from Purdue University.

Mary Keough Ledman

Global Sector Strategist – Dairy
RaboResearch Food and Agribusiness

Ledman has almost 30 years of experience in the dairy industry that includes production, processing and policy. She grew up on a dairy farm in southern Wisconsin and has worked on farms in Germany, Japan and New Zealand. Her past work experience includes the US Department of Agriculture, Kraft and Stella Foods. In 1995, she founded Keough Ledman Associates, a dairy economic consulting firm that provides monthly dairy product and milk price forecasting, economic and policy analysis, dairy product and milk sourcing strategies and domestic and international dairy market information. In 2012, she acquired the Daily Dairy Report. She received a master’s of science degree in agricultural economics from Texas A&M University and also received a Fulbright Fellowship to study the European Community’s dairy policy in Germany.

Drew Lerner

Founder, President and Senior Agricultural Meteorologist
World Weather, Inc.

Drew Lerner is founder, president and senior agricultural meteorologist of World Weather, Inc. He has been forecasting international weather for over 40 years. He began his meteorology career in 1978 as he participated in an international effort to collect data and improve weather forecasting for the Asian monsoon. Since then, he has been supporting the agricultural industry by providing detailed short- and long-range weather predictions for each major crop area in the world. His daily assessments of crop and weather expectations supports commodity market trade and helps many companies make better agricultural business decisions. Mr. Lerner started World Weather, Inc. in 2001 after leading Global Weather Services in the late 1990s. Based in Overland Park, Kan., World Weather, Inc. supports an expanding group of clientele residing in North and South America, India, Europe, Africa and Australia.

Brian Moscogiuri

Global Trade Specialist
Eggs Unlimited

Brian Moscogiuri joined Eggs Unlimited as a global trade strategist in 2021, where his responsibilities include assisting the sales team in thinking outside the box to uncover new opportunities and help customers overcome challenges they face when exploring new markets. He began his career at Urner Barry as an analyst covering the US and European egg markets, later moving on to become director of marketing during his 10-year career there. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Philadelphia University.

Erin Nazetta

Director, Food and Ag Research
Broadview Capital Holdings

Erin Nazetta is the research analyst of Broadview Capital Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of Broadview Group Holdings, which is an investment company that invests primarily in commodity futures markets. Ms. Nazetta is responsible for the firm’s fundamental research capabilities for agricultural commodities, as well as advising the Agriculture Group on trading strategy. Prior to joining Broadview, she worked in Bunge’s Economic Research group as a senior grains and oilseeds analyst followed by her role of director of research for Bunge North America. She also worked at Rabobank as part of their Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory team. She received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University at Buffalo and a Data Analytics Certification from Washington University in St. Louis.

Alex Norton

Beeson & Associates, Inc.

Alex Norton is president of Beeson & Associates, Inc., a commodity risk management consulting firm. He joined the company in 2008 as a commodity analyst with a focus on grains and oilseeds markets. Responsibilities grew to include providing analysis to back recommendations and risk management strategies for customers as the director of risk management. He later was named vice president of agricultural services in 2019, and in 2021 he was named president. He received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Wake Forest University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Massachusetts.

Steve Nugent

Director of IQF, Dried and Export Sales
Milne Fruit Products, Inc.

Steve Nugent is director of IQF, dried and export sales, at Milne Fruit Products, where among other duties he is responsible for international business development. Prior to Milne, he was executive vice president at Otsuka Foods, and earlier was national sales and marketing manager at Graceland Fruit. He also has worked at Holnam, Inc. and Arthur Andersen. He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Michigan Technological University.

Jay O’Neil

HJ O’Neil Commodity Consulting

Jay O’Neil is the proprietor of HJ O’Neil Commodity Consulting. Previously, he spent 12 years as the senior agricultural economist at the International Grains Program at Kansas State University. Prior to that he worked as a grain trader and trade group manager for Continental Grain, The Pillsbury Co., The Ferruzzi Group, Bartlett Grain Co. and as a private consultant to domestic and international grain companies. He also publishes a weekly transportation and export report for subscribers. He is an emeritus member of the North American Export Grain Association’s (NAEGA) Contracts and Arbitration Committee and continues to serve as a special arbitrator with NAEGA.

Ramon Paxton

Global Head of Trading Strategy
Cargill Risk Management

Ramon Paxton is the global head of trading strategy for Cargill Risk Management. In this role he and his team provide trading strategies and analytics for the trading team. He also aligns with the sales team to provide market intelligence to the commercial business. Prior to his current role with Cargill Risk Management, he traded futures for Cargill at the Chicago Board of Trade for 18 years. He was also an independent trader at the Chicago Board of Trade and served in the US Army.

Jim Ritchie

President and Chief Executive Officer
RedStone Logistics

Jim Ritchie has spent more than 35 years in the logistics and supply chain management industry. His experience includes running the retail and consumer products group for Ryder Logistics business unit before leaving to start up Meridian IQ Logistics. In 2012, Mr. Ritchie founded RedStone Logistics. In addition to his CEO role at RedStone Logistics, he has been an instructor for the University of Kansas graduate program for supply chain management. Mr. Ritchie instructs the capstone course for logistics officers from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. He received a bachelor’s degree in industrial design – architecture from California State University at Long Beach.

darren seifer

Darren Seifer

Industry Adviser, Consumer Goods & Foodservice

Darren Seifer brings more than 20 years of expertise at Circana to his role as an industry adviser for the consumer packaged goods, food consumption, and foodservice industries. He is a contributing author of Circana’s annual Eating Patterns in America report, a compilation of all food and foodservice research the company conducts over the year. He also provides insights based on Circana’s food-related research to organizations and companies across the country and has authored food and beverage research reports on the health state of US consumers, the dynamics of meal delivery kits, what’s inside America’s kitchens, and the Future of Snacking.

Tim Statts

Vice President of Commodity Services
Schneider Electric’s Energy and Sustainability Services

Tim Statts is vice president of commodity services and previously vice president of risk management at Schneider Electric where he leads a team responsible for analyzing energy commodity markets and developing comprehensive strategies for managing associated risks. In this capacity, he works to create and execute upon client-customized risk management strategies. Mr. Statts has offered expert market commentary on Bloomberg and CNBC and has presented at various industry conferences. Prior to Schneider he was with Summit Energy, where he analyzed natural gas commodity markets, identified buying opportunities, developed natural gas hedging strategies, and managed the natural gas market analysis department. Earlier, he worked with Sempra Energy, where he managed financial hedging, performed all market transactions, identified acceptable risks, and analyzed market dynamics. He received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Bellarmine University in Louisville and a master’s degree in business administration from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.

Ron Sterk

Senior Editor, Markets
Sosland Publishing

Ron Sterk is senior editor, markets, for Milling & Baking News and Food Business News, and is the creator and editor of the Sosland Sweetener Report, the only newsletter dedicated to covering the domestic sweetener market. In addition to sugar, he covers a wide array of ingredient markets pertinent to grain-based foods and other food manufacturers. He has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism with a focus in agronomy and a minor in animal science from Iowa State University and a master’s degree in business from Rockhurst University in Kansas City.

Adam Stout

Risk Management Consultant
StoneX Financial Inc.

Adam Stout is a risk management consultant for StoneX Financial Inc., where he specializes in offering risk management services to a diverse group of commercial clients, from grain handlers and livestock feeding operations to food processors/manufacturers and retail restaurant chains. He joined the company in 2005, providing his clients commodity consulting and advisory services as well as assisting them in the implementation and management of their commodity hedging programs with the execution of exchange-traded futures and options and over-the-counter instruments. He received bachelor’s degrees in business administration and mathematics from William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo.