Jul 3, 2019
Michigan Potato Industry Commission names new CEO

Kelly Turner Michigan Potato
Kelly Turner is the new CEO of the Michigan Potato Industry Commission.

The Michigan Potato Industry Commission (MPIC) has named Kelly Turner its new chief executive officer. Her tenure officially begins Aug. 1.

Turner brings more than 20 years of experience in agriculture and associate management to the MPIC. Most recently, Turner served as president and CEO of the Michigan Society of Association Executives, a nonprofit organization that serves similar entities with managerial and staff specialist roles. There, she directed data operations for more than 200,000 memberships and implemented leadership development programs at the grass-roots level.

Prior to that, she spent 12 years with the Michigan Farm Bureau in several roles, including as manager of both the Membership Development and Training Department and the Membership and Field Services Department. Turner has a master’s degree from Central Michigan University and a bachelor’s from Michigan State University.

“We are very excited to welcome Kelly Turner to the Michigan Potatoes team,” said Ben Sklarczyk, MPIC chairman. “She brings a well-rounded background working to both strengthen organizations and advance agricultural issues.”

Turner takes over for Mike Wenkel, who recently joined the National Potato Council as chief operating officer. Wenkel had been the MPIC’s CEO since 2012.

Commissioners appointed

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appointed or reappointed the following individuals to the Michigan Potato Industry Commission, effective July 2:

  • Rebecca Johnson, of Grand Rapids, is the manager of the Chief Wabasis Potato Growers Co-op Association. Johnson is appointed to succeed Benjamin Sklarczyk to represent an at-large member for a term commencing July 2, 2019 and expiring July 1, 2022.
  • Guthry Laurie, of Caro, is the farm manager for Walther Farms in Cass City. Laurie is appointed to succeed Kevin Storm to represent snack potato industry growers for a term commencing July 2, 2019 and expiring July 1, 2022.
  • Benjamin Sklarczyk, Johannesburg, is the CEO of Sklarczyk Seed Farm. Sklarczyk is appointed to succeed John Makarewicz to represent the seed potato industry for a term commencing July 2, 2019 and expiring July 1, 2022.
  • Mathew Skogman, Foster City, is the owner and operator of Skogman Seed Farm. Skogman is appointed to succeed Ted Hanson to represent the seed potato industry for a term commencing July 2, 2019 and expiring July 1, 2022.
  • Jonathon L. Yoder, of Sturgis, is the vice president of Yoder Family Farms. Yoder is appointed to succeed Wayne Leep to represent snack potato industry growers for a term commencing July 2, 2019 and expiring July 1, 2022.
  • Philip Gusmano, of Grosse Pointe Farms, is the vice president of purchasing at Better Made Snack Foods. Gusmano is reappointed to represent shippers for a term commencing July 2, 2019 and expiring July 1, 2022.
  • Travis M. Horkey, of Dundee, is a partner with Horkey Brother Farms. Horkey is reappointed to represent the fresh potato industry for a term commencing July 2, 2019 and expiring July 1, 2022.
  • Donald W. Kitchen, of Elmira, is the owner and president of Kitchen Farms. Kitchen is reappointed to represent the fresh potato industry for a term commencing July 2, 2019 and expiring July 1, 2022.
  • Matt Wilkes, of Rockford, is the director of the Potato Services of Michigan. Wilkes is reappointed to represent shippers or retailers for a term commencing July 2, 2019 and expiring July 1, 2022.





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