Educational Instructors and Speakers

MACC retains expert instructors and speakers who impart a cooperative mindset into each class participant.  Program attendees evolve with a fresh, multifaceted perspective of co-op nuances. The yield of each participant increases as a direct result of this enrichment process.

Please see below for a partial listing of our educational instructors and speakers.

Bob-Cohen-photo Dr. Bob Cohen has spent well over a decade educating people about cooperatives.   He teaches the course “Introduction to Cooperatives” at the Ohio State University, and has given workshops and presentations on cooperatives in 20 states and six foreign countries.  Since March of 2007, Dr. Cohen has also served as CEO and Director of Business Assistance at Braintree,  Braintree is a non-profit business incubator which assists business startups and emerging companies in North Central Ohio.  Bob has a PhD in Higher Education from Ohio University, an M.A. from The Ohio State University, an MBA from Franklin University, and a B.A. from the University of Akron. Bob is the instructor for our Co-ops101 Course.

 cathieleimbachCathie Leimbach is a trainer with Agon Leadership.  Cathie has been walking the talk of effective “direct and protect” board leadership practices for over 25 years by leading and serving on industry, community, condominium, and church boards.   Cathie has a Masters in Business and a continuous learning mindset – she is always seeking out best practices to share with clients.  Specialties:  Board governance, strategic planning, leadership team development, advisory councils, board succession planning, governing policy, policy development, board and senior management coaching, effective meetings, MBTI certification, CEO hiring processes, performance feedback processes.

 chrispetersonDr. Chris Peterson is the Homer Nowlin Chair of Consumer-Responsive Agriculture and professor of Agricultural Economics at Michigan State University. Dr. Peterson’s mission as the Nowlin Chair is to provide research, teaching, and outreach leadership to university and industry efforts focused on the development and marketing of differentiated, consumer-oriented products based on agricultural goods. In early 2003, he was named Director of the newly created MSU Product Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources. The Center will focus on assisting agricultural, food, and natural resource firms in the development of new markets, products, and associated supply chain relationships.

kateredmanKate Redman is a partner with the firm Olson, Bzdok & Howard, and practices community enterprise law. She specializes in working with small businesses, nonprofits, social enterprises, and other mission-driven organizations. She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Before joining Olson, Bzdok & Howard, Kate spent two years clerking for the Honorable Michael F. Cavanagh, Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court.

howardhaldermanF. Howard Halderman is President of Halderman Farm Management.  Mr. Halderman grew up on family farm and was involved in the daily operation. He worked as a summer intern with Halderman Farm Management Service, Inc. for two summers during college.  He holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Economics from Purdue University, and is an Accredited Farm Manager and Real Estate Broker.  He was awarded the G.A. Ross Award as the top male graduate, Purdue University, in 1988; served as president of the Purdue University Interfraternity Council 1987-1988; and received the Distinguished Agriculture Alumni Award in 2012.

 freddiebarnardphotoFreddie L. Barnard, Professor of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University, is a native of Kentucky and received both a B.S. and M.S. in agricultural economics from the University of Kentucky.  He received a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from the University of Illinois. He has been a member of the faculty at Purdue University since 1982, where he has extension and undergraduate teaching responsibilities in agricultural finance and agribusiness management. He also serves as Director of the Midwest Agricultural Banking School, which is held each year at Purdue University, a position he has held for the past 27 years.  Dr. Barnard is an instructor for the Credit Conference.

 gregmckeeDr. Greg McKee is Chairman of the Quentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives at North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND.  His teaching and research interests address inter-firm relationships in food and agricultural business economics.  Topics of interest include:  financial performance of cooperative businesses; management of cooperative businesses; marketing activities of cooperative businesses; contracting and vertical integration in agriculture and agribusiness; and changes in the mechanisms used by agribusiness to establish relationships with their customer base.  Greg has been an instructor for our Board Chairmen’s Roundtable.

heatherschofieldHeather Schofield, Mideast Area Communications Manager with Dairy Farmers of America, holds a B.S. degree in Agricultural Communications with a minor in Agricultural Business from the Ohio State University.  Heather’s career started as a farm broadcaster in college, a job that continued until she joined DFA in 1998 as Member Programs Coordinator.  Heather oversees producer and industry communications, meeting planning and facilitation, and assists in training.  Heather is a speaker for our Cooperative Leadership Forum.

jimwilliamsJames R. Williams, Attorney – DeFur Voran – Mr. Williams practiced law with White & Raub in Indianapolis from 1991 through 1994.  He joined DeFur Voran in 1994 until 1997.  He served as judge of the Union County Circuit Court from 1998-2004.  Mr. Williams returned to DeFur Voran in January of 2005.  He is a certified Civil Mediator and registered as private judge by Indiana Division of State Court Administration.  EDUCATION:  Wabash College (A.B., summa cum laude, 1988); Indiana University (J.D., cum laude, 1991); Forrest E. Jump Memorial Scholarship.

lindsaybowman2 Lindsay Bowman is an Account Manager at Wilt Public Relations, overseeing multiple agriculture accounts including farmer-owned cooperatives, animal-focused foundations and industry tradeshow marketing. Before joining Wilt PR, Lindsay worked in marketing for Unison and also McCormick Company, both located onsite at Elanco Animal Health. There she worked closely with Elanco’s food animal marketing teams. Before moving back to Indiana, she worked in Washington, DC at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, supporting America’s stockmen and ranchers nationwide.  She is a graduate of Purdue University, where she majored in agriculture communications. Lindsay has been a speaker for the CFO/Controller Conference.

peterrothPeter Roth is a partner with Varnum LLP Attorneys at Law.  Pete’s experience is in transactional work, with a heavy focus on mergers and acquisitions, private equity, angel and venture capital, finance, and joint venture transactions. He provides counseling with respect to day-to-day business issues of all types, including commercial transactions, corporate structuring and succession planning. Pete is also experienced in real estate transactions and tax planning matters, including extensive work in connection with 1031 exchange transactions.

rickwillsRick Wills is CEO of RR Wills Training and Consulting, a firm focusing on the development of current and future cooperative and corporate leaders and boards of directors.  Rick spent nearly 30 years with GROWMARK, Inc., a $6 billion agricultural cooperative based in Bloomington, IL.  Throughout his professional career he held a variety of sales, marketing, and human resource management positions, including nearly 15 years as Director of Education and Development for the multi-national cooperative.  Rick is an ongoing instructor for our Director Education program.

timhaabTim Haab‘s research and teaching focus on environmental economics, experimental economics, and applied econometrics.  Haab’s recent applied research includes measuring the value of recreational angling in Ohio and Hawaii, measuring the value of oyster reef restoration in the Chesapeake Bay, and measuring consumer preferences for genetically modified foods.  Dr. Haab joined the department in 2000 after five years on faculty at East Carolina University.  Tim was a speaker at the 2012 MACC Membership Meeting.

Senior PhotographerChristopher Hurt Ph.D., Dept. of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University, joined the department in 1981. He teaches an undergraduate course in livestock and meat marketing.  Professor Hurt’s areas of specialty include examination of family farm market problems, pricing strategies, and livestock futures market problems. In extension education, he provides analysis for participation in government programs, teaches marketing principles and alternatives, evaluates the livestock industry structure, and provides price analysis and outlook of live cattle and live hogs.

megangerhardtMegan Gerhardt, Ph.D. is a Gallup Certified Strengths® Coach using the Gallup StrengthsFinder 2.0® assessment, leadership expert, and speaker. She delivers frequent corporate and non-profit workshops and talks on a wide range of contemporary leadership topics and conducts leadership coaching for individuals at all career stages. Megan received her doctorate at the University of Iowa in 2003 in organizational behavior and human resource management. She is currently an Associate Professor of Management at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where she also serves as director of the Buck Rodgers Business Leadership Program at the Farmer School of Business. For more information, visit her website at:

JennyBernhardtJenny Bernhardt leads Cooperative Network’s marketing and communications efforts on behalf of more than 400 member cooperatives in Minnesota and Wisconsin. She joined Cooperative Network in 2013 after seven years with World Council of Credit Unions, an international trade association and development agency for credit unions. She previously spent three years doing volunteer work in Malawi and Italy. Bernhardt is a connector of people and ideas. She enjoys the challenge of transforming complex ideas into simple concepts and bringing untold stories to light.

Phil Kenkel photorevisedPhil Kenkel is a Professor in the Agricultural Economics Department at Oklahoma State University and holds the Bill Fitzwater Cooperative Chair.  He received a B.S. in Agricultural Economics, a M.B.A and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Kentucky.  Dr. Kenkel’s recent research activities include feasibility assessment for value-added cooperative ventures, and the development of decision aids that enhance the performance of existing cooperative businesses.  The Chair programs also include an undergraduate cooperative class, a cooperative internship program and management of undergraduate and graduate research projects.





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