Meeting Our Responsibilities During a Global Pandemic
When COVID-19 began spreading in 2020, difficult decisions had to be made. To stem the spread, businesses of all kinds shut down, creating economic hardship for millions.
Wilbur-Ellis was more fortunate than many. Our operations are deemed essential, since we support the agriculture, animal nutrition, energy and chemicals industries, which provide food and other vital products for society.
As we continued to operate, the company took steps to protect Wilbur-Ellis employees and those who do business with us – instituting strict health protocols at our locations. Employees who were able to work remotely worked from home to protect themselves and workers who continued to do their jobs at Wilbur-Ellis facilities.
As President and Chief Executive Officer John Buckley said in a message to employees, “We will continue to meet our responsibilities to customers, while doing everything possible to protect the health and well-being of our employees.”
Welcoming New Leaders to Wilbur-Ellis
In the 2010s, Wilbur-Ellis welcomed new leaders to the CEO role and as heads of the four business divisions.
John Buckley joined Wilbur-Ellis as President and Chief Executive Officer in January 2018, succeeding John Thacher, the current Executive Chairman of the Wilbur-Ellis Board of Directors. John Buckley brought over 30 years’ experience to the CEO role, including expertise in business management, engineering, manufacturing, sales and marketing. In joining Wilbur-Ellis, he highlighted the company’s “commitment to growth, innovation, service and integrity.”
Mark Ripato became President of the Agribusiness division in 2018, after serving as CEO and President of Tenkoz, a leading agricultural buying group. When he joined Wilbur-Ellis, Mark acknowledged the company’s “deep, multi-generational commitment to agriculture.”
Andrew Loder joined Wilbur-Ellis in 2016 and became President of the Nutrition division in 2017. With over 30 years’ experience, he previously served in food and animal nutrition roles at Cargill. In joining Wilbur-Ellis, Andrew noted the company’s “great tradition of growth and helping customers.”
Dr. Azita Owlia joined Connell in 2011 and became its President and CEO in 2016. Prior to Connell, Azita spent 22 years at Bayer Material Science (now Covestro) in leadership roles in the company’s chemicals operations.
Jeff Barnes joined Wilbur-Ellis in 2019 with the acquisition of Nachurs Alpine Solutions®, a specialty liquid chemical manufacturer. NAS was the largest acquisition in Wilbur-Ellis’ history. In joining Wilbur-Ellis, Jeff said: “At NAS, our business is built on quality, integrity and innovation. We’re proud to join a company that shares those values.”