FDIC Agriculture Banking Conference
Jelena McWilliams Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Jelena McWilliams was sworn in as the 21st Chairman of the FDIC on June 5, 2018. She serves a six-year term on the FDIC Board of Directors, and is designated as Chairman for a term of five years.
Ms. McWilliams was Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, and Corporate Secretary for Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati, Ohio. At Fifth Third Bank she served as a member of the executive management team and numerous bank committees including: Management Compliance, Enterprise Risk, Risk and Compliance, Operational Risk, Enterprise Marketing, and Regulatory Change.
Prior to joining Fifth Third Bank, Ms. McWilliams worked in the U.S. Senate for six years, most recently as Chief Counsel and Deputy Staff Director with the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, and previously as Assistant Chief Counsel with the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.
From 2007 to 2010, Ms. McWilliams served as an attorney at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, where she drafted consumer protection regulations, reviewed and analyzed comment letters on regulatory proposals, and responded to consumer complaints.
Before entering public service, she practiced corporate and securities law at Morrison & Foerster LLP in Palo Alto, California, and Hogan & Hartson LLP (now Hogan Lovells LLP) in Washington, D.C. In legal practice, Ms. McWilliams advised management and boards of directors on corporate governance, compliance, and reporting requirements under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. She also represented publicly- and privately-held companies in mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings, strategic business ventures, venture capital investments, and general corporate matters.
Ms. McWilliams graduated with highest honors from the University of California at Berkeley with a B.S. in political science, and earned her law degree from U.C. Berkeley School of Law.
Owen Bolte President & CEO, United Bank of IowaOwen Bolte is President & CEO of United Bank of Iowa. With 31 locations in West Central Iowa, United Bank of Iowa is the largest ag bank headquartered in Iowa. Mr. Bolte has nearly 40 years of experience in the ag finance field beginning as an Economic Emergency Loan Officer for the Farmers Home Administration in 1980. After joining United Bank of Iowa in 1991 he became Chief Loan Officer and then President & CEO in 2008. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Business from Iowa State University in 1978.
Gregg Carlson Managing Partner, Carlson Group
Gregg Carlson is a respected executive search consultant and human resources executive with more than 30 years of related experience. His corporate career at Target Corporation and Wells Fargo & Company, along with his nationwide network of referral sources, enables him to excel at senior-level searches.
In 1992, Gregg started Carlson Group, a retained search firm serving a diverse set of clients throughout the Midwest and beyond. His keen insight into both interpersonal and organizational dynamics has helped him build Carlson Group into one of the most well-respected consulting firms in the Midwest. As his experience and reputation for providing excellent service have grown, he has successfully represented some of the most successful companies across the region.
Gregg earned a B.A. in Business Administration/Management from the University of St. Thomas and an M.A. in Industrial Relations from the University of Minnesota.
D. Gene Dikeman, II President & CEO, The Plains State Bank
Gene Dikeman joined The Plains State Bank in August of 2013, sharing the bank’s strategic vision to grow with strong capital, skilled management and a core value system that provides for safe and sound results. The Plains State Bank is a family-owned bank that was chartered in 1906. Today, the bank has six locations with $213 million in assets, and a loan- to-deposit ratio of 80 percent, in line with its peer group average.
Gene was born and raised in the small Kansas town of Syracuse and graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in finance. He has spent his career supporting rural communities and community banking. Gene and his fellow Bank Board Directors support bank staff’s involvement in Graduate Schools of Banking, which they view as a good investment in developing a broad knowledge of community banking.
Gene has served as board member for many organizations including public schools, chambers of commerce, hospitals, economic development commissions, foundations and several state and local organizations and committees. He holds a private pilot license and enjoys flying in addition to working as a mentor with juniors and seniors in college.
Dr. Allen M. Featherstone Professor, Department Head and Director of the Masters of Agribusiness Program, Kansas State University
Dr. Allen M. Featherstone is a professor in the Agricultural Economics Department at Kansas State University. An alumnus of Purdue University and the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, he was appointed at Kansas State in 1986. His primary responsibilities have been teaching and research. In addition, he directed the on-campus Masters and Ph.D. program for 9 years and the distance graduate program since its inception. His primary areas of emphasis have been in finance and production economics. He also served as interim Department Head from October 2009 to August 2010. He was named interim Head again in September 2013 and was subsequently named Head in June 2014.
As a leading agriculture finance scholar, he has studied land markets, investment decisions, mergers in the financial services industry, the probability of agricultural loan default and loan loss severity, the influence of taxes on farm land, and alternative federal tax systems. His production economics research has investigated issues such as ground water allocation in irrigated crop production, comparison of returns under alternative tillage systems, the costs of risk, interactions of weather soils, and management on corn yields, analysis of the returns to farm equity and assets, and analysis of the optimizing behavior of Kansas farmers. His research has been reported on in lay publications such as DTN, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Economist, Bloomberg, Farm Journal, and Successful Farming.
Ken Keegan Executive Vice President - Business Development, Farm Credit Services of America and Frontier Farm Credit
Ken Keegan currently serves as Executive Vice President – Business Development.
Ken joined Farm Credit Services of America in 1997. He currently leads teams directly involved in customer sales and service activities including delivery of lending, leasing, insurance and business services. Ken has over 35 years of experience in the Farm Credit System with executive leadership roles in retail lending, risk management, credit, appraisal, capital markets, agribusiness finance, facilities and equipment finance. Prior to joining Farm Credit Services of America, Ken worked 16 years for Farm Credit-Mid America in Louisville, KY. Ken was raised on a family farm in southern Ohio and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Ag Economics from The Ohio State University.
Scott Sproul President/CEO, Northwest Kansas Economic Innovation Center
Scott Sproul is the President/CEO of the Northwest Kansas Economic Innovation Center located in Norton, KS. Scott attended Colby Community College in Colby, KS and Fort Hays State University in Hays, KS with an emphasis in Agriculture and Broadcasting. Never straying far from home, he returned to the area where he has been passionately involved in economic and community development for close to 20 years.
As a regional coordinator for economic development, Scott serves 26 counties in northwest Kansas. He is responsible for project development and administration; business development, retention, and expansion; workforce development; and public relations. You can see Scott’s enthusiasm in his drive to promote economic growth for the area.
Joel Van Vark Vice President – Credit, John Deere Financial
Joel Van Vark is the Vice President, Credit for the United States & Canadian markets of John Deere Financial (JDF). He leads JDF’s Credit Function which includes all aspects of retail credit delivery (credit for customers purchasing equipment and/or parts, service and agricultural inputs) and wholesale credit to dealers and merchants that stock John Deere inventory or act as merchants for JDFs’ revolving credit products. Joel is also responsible for co-championing JDF’s global credit process which is aimed at implementing common processes that can be supported by common platforms that adapt well to various geographies, business capabilities, and increasing requirements from dealers and customers.
Joel graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a B.A. degree and earned an MBA from the University of Iowa. Joel joined John Deere Financial in 2001 and has held broad management roles including Managing Director, John Deere Bank S.A. in Luxembourg; President, John Deere Credit, Inc. in Burlington, Ontario, Canada; Vice President, Wholesale responsible for Deere’s Wholesale Credit function in the U.S. and Canada; and Vice President, International – based in Singapore where he was responsible for establishing JDF’s businesses in China, India, SE Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Prior to joining John Deere Financial, Joel held a number of positions of increasing responsibility in the financial services industry. Joel held leadership roles with Bank of America, Firstar Corporation (and its predecessors; now known as U.S. Bank) and CNH Capital, where he was General Manager – Europe, based in Dublin, Ireland.
Joel is on the ELFA Captive & Vendor Finance Business Council Steering Committee.