ARLINGTON, VA. — Robert Harper, president of Hopkinsville Milling Co., Hopkinsville, Ky., has been elected chairman of the board of directors for the North American Millers’ Association for the 2018-20 term. He succeeds Mark L. Kolkhorst of ADM Milling Co., Overland Park, Kas. The announcement was made during the annual NAMA board of directors meeting held Oct. 19 in Sea Island, Ga.
“It has been a pleasure working with Mark Kolkhorst over the last two years, and we are indebted to Mark for the leadership he provided our association over the past few years,” said James A. McCarthy, president and chief executive officer of NAMA. “He’s been an exceptional chairman, and I want to thank him again for his service to NAMA.”
Mr. Harper most recently was vice-chairman of NAMA. He began his career in the milling industry in 1993 and was previously director of operations and director of new product development at Hopkinsville Milling Company and is the fifth generation of family to work at the mill. He was the program chairman for the NAMA Corn Dry Milling Conference and also represented the American Corn Millers Federation in merger discussions with Protein Grain Products and the Millers National Federation in the formation of NAMA in 1998.
Mr. Harper is the secretary for Hopkinsville Christian County Habitat for Humanity and is the former chairman of Workforce Development board at Hopkinsville-Christian County Chamber of Commerce. He also is a former president of Hopkinsville Rotary Club.
He received a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a master’s degree from Northwestern University.
Also during the meeting, D. Ford Mennel, president of Mennel Milling Co., Fostoria, Ohio, was elected vice-chairman of NAMA, and John M. Wiebold, vice-president — North American Direct Material, General Mills-One Global Sourcing, Minneapolis, was elected to serve on the executive committee of the NAMA board of directors, succeeding Patrick Van Osch, senior vice-president of operations at Richardson International, Ltd., Winnipeg, Man.
Since 1929, NAMA has awarded Honorary Membership as a tribute to individuals with outstanding records of achievement, and years of valuable service to the milling industry. At the Oct. 19 meeting in Sea Island, NAMA awarded Honorary Membership to John Gillcrist, Bartlett Milling Co., Kansas City, and Charles B. Stout, chairman of Grain Craft, Inc., Chattanooga, Tenn.
Mr. Gillcrist attended the University of Tennessee and joined Central Soya as an accountant after graduation in 1978. He joined Bartlett Milling as controller in 1983 and ascended to the position of president. In 1993 he joined ADM Milling Co. as vice-president, but he later rejoined Bartlett in 1994 as president of the Bartlett Cattle Co. He was promoted to president of Bartlett Processing (cattle and milling) in 1998. Mr. Gillcrist was promoted to chairman of Bartlett Milling in 2007.
Mr. Gillcrist has represented Bartlett Milling on the NAMA board of directors for a number of years, including two years as NAMA chairman. He also has served on the boards of the Grain Foods Foundation, the Texas Cattle Feeders Association and the National Cattleman’s Beef Association.
He retired from Bartlett in 2018. He and his wife, Terry, have been married for 41 years and have four children and seven grandchildren.
Mr. Stout is chairman of Grain Craft and board co-chair of G&L Holdings. He assumed both roles in January 2014 when Milner Milling, Pendleton Flour Mills and Cereal Food Processors combined to form Grain Craft. He has a well-recognized career of more than 45 years in the flour milling industry.
After attending Kansas State University, Mr. Stout began his career at Holly Farms Corp. He later moved to one of the company’s divisions, Dixie-Portland Flour Mills, where he was vice-president of sales. In 1990 when Southeastern Mills established Milner Milling he joined the company as one of the original employees and was named vice-president. He was promoted to president of Milner Milling in 1993.
In 2002 Milner Milling became a 50% managing owner of Pendleton Flour Mills L.L.C., and Mr. Stout was named c.e.o. of Pendleton in addition to his role as president of Milner Milling. Following the partnership with Pendleton, he led discussions and the eventual acquisition of Cereal Food Processors — a transaction that tripled the combined size of Milner-Pendleton. The purchase took the company from the seventh to the third largest flour milling company in the United States.
Mr. Stout has served with a variety of industry associations, including as a member of the executive committee at NAMA, a board member of the American Bakers Association and co-chairman of the GFF. He and his wife, Beth, have three children.