Board of Directors
Roger Underwood, Chairman
Principal, Riverwood Management & Co-Founder, Becker Underwood
Roger Underwood graduated from Iowa State University in 1980 with a B.S. degree in Agricultural Business and Economics. Prior to co-founding Becker Underwood in 1982, Roger worked for Midland Cooperative; and as a sales manager for Rosen in Fairmont, Minnesota. Roger left Rosen to start Becker Underwood with Jeff Becker. Becker Underwood is today a leading international specialty chemical company, providing a wide range of specialty products to the agricultural, seed treatment, golf, horticultural, forestry and aquatic markets. Becker Underwood employs 400 staff selling products in 54 countries. The company has nine plant/office locations in 7 countries on four continents. Jeff and Roger, along with several staff, have a private equity partner in NEP of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Following 23 years as CEO, Roger stepped down and today Dr. Peter Innes serves as Chairman and CEO. Roger is involved in several industry groups such as CropLife America, and in several political campaigns and organizations. He is active in Boy Scouts America (he has two sons who are Eagle Scouts), and is Chairman of Campaign Iowa State, an $800 million dollar capital campaign, now in its 7th year running. Roger is married to Connie Underwood, a 1984 Iowa State graduate in political science, and they have two boys in college.
Associate Director for External Relations, Norman E. Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture, Strategic Initiatives, Corporate Relations, AgriLife Research
Granddaughter of Nobel Peace Prize laureate and father of the Green Revolution Dr. Norman Borlaug, Julie is currently Associate Director for External Relations at the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture & Strategic Initiatives for Texas A&M AgriLife Research. She advocates for educating and engaging the next generation to ensure continued scientific and technology advances in agriculture to feed a growing world population.
Executive Director of the Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance
As the Executive Director of the Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance (IAWA), Sean leads the organization to increase the pace and scale of farmer-led efforts to improve water quality. Sean works with key public and private sector partners to champion farmer engagement and adoption of conservation practices that improve water quality. Sean has more than 20 years of experience in conservation and agriculture including leading diverse coalitions dedicated to improving water quality. He formerly directed The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) North America Agriculture Program. He also served as state director of the Iowa Chapter of TNC where he chaired the Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy campaign. Prior to that, he directed national land stewardship campaigns with the National Wildlife Federation. Sean served in a variety of senior staff positions at the U.S. Department of the Interior and also worked on wetlands and water quality issues for the National Audubon Society. Sean is a member of the Farm Foundation Roundtable and serves on the board of the Crop Life Foundation. He is also chair of the Conservation Reserve Program Committee of the Iowa NRCS State Technical Committee, serves on an advisory body for the U.S. Soybean Export Council and the Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award review committee.
Chief Operating Officer & Executive Vice President, American Vanguard
As COO of AMVAC, Dr. Trogele oversees global sales, marketing and business development for AMVAC, growing the business across multiple product lines and geographies. Over the past 28 years, he has worked in positions of increasing responsibility within the agribusiness sectors of agrichemicals, biotechnology and plant nutrition. Earlier, Bob served as the President of the Asia Pacific division of FMC Corporation and as the North American Area Director of their agricultural solutions business.
President and CEO, CropLife America
Jay Vroom has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of CropLife America (CLA) since 1989. He has been a leader in U.S. agribusiness trade associations for his entire career. In his current role with CLA, Vroom heads the leading U.S. trade group for the crop protection industry in the U.S. CLA performs federal and state lobbying, science and regulatory advocacy, and proactive litigation work on behalf of its members. Its principal issues revolve around articulating the benefits of crop technology in enhancing food, fiber and renewable fuel production; and advocating for clear, science-based regulations, which ensure the safe and effective use of crop protection tools. Through its membership in the Brussels-based global federation CropLife International (CLI), CLA is a strong voice in many international venues on issues critical to the plant science industry. Vroom is a senior member of CLI’s Crop Protection Strategy Council.
Vroom is a founding member of the CropLife Foundation, serving as chairman since its inception in 2001, and now serves as the Foundation’s Vice-Chair, since 2015.
Vroom was a member of the youth organization, Future Farmers of America, and served as an elected state officer in Illinois. Today, he is a member of the FFA Foundation’s Individual Giving Council and Board of Trustees.
Chief Marketing Officer, Land ‘O’ Lakes
Tim oversees business-to-customer and business-tobusiness branding, marketing strategy and is responsible for building marketing competencies across all businesses and geographies for Land O’Lakes, Inc. He also has oversight for FLM+, a wholly owned subsidiary of Land O’Lakes. During his 31-year-career, Tim has earned a reputation as a trusted advisor and skilled marketer.
Prior to Land O’Lakes, Tim was the CEO and president, International, at mcgarrybowen. In that role, Tim lead the rapidly expanding global offering, while also continuing to steer the Chicago office. His career in advertising has allowed him to help build many well-known brands, from General Mills to Frito Lay, from Sears to Mondelez, from Disney to Wrigley, and from Kraft to Clorox. He’s accumulated a considerable collection of Effies and other awards along the way.
Tim earned his bachelor’s and his MBA from Michigan State University. He lives in downtown Minneapolis and in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood during the week and spends his weekends hibernating at his cabin in the Michigan woods.