CHICAGO — Karen Horton, key account executive at Ardent Mills LLC, retired from the company June 2. Her retirement comes just shy of a decade spent with Ardent Mills.

Ms. Horton’s career in the milling industry has spanned decades, beginning in 1974 when she began work as a transportation specialist for Cargill. Following nearly 10 years with Cargill, Ms. Horton was hired as a credit specialist for Albany-based Horizon Milling, LLC. In 1990, she was named national account sales manager at Horizon Milling, a role she held for the next 24 years until joining Ardent Mills.

She was the first female board member of the National Association of Flour Distributors.

“Karen has always been a valued and loved team member," said Dan Dye, chief executive officer of Ardent Mills. "We will miss her greatly at Ardent Mills and her customers will miss her as well. Karen brought a positive spirit and a heartfelt care for others every day and she was always there to help provide support and guidance. She is incredibly resilient and has overcome health challenges and many waves of change in the business with grace and optimism. We wish Karen all the very best and thank her for her selfless service.” 

Ms. Horton also has more than a decade of volunteer experience with the American Cancer Society, where she was a board member and worked actively with the Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk advisory committee. In 2021, she became a Strides Honoree, supporting awareness and fundraising campaigns to fight breast cancer.

“Through many market and personal challenges, Karen always remained positive, steadfast, focused and motivated to win the right way,” said Ardent Mills. “She always put herself second and her customers and colleagues first. All the staff both current and past at Ardent Mills wish Karen, Steve, their children and grandchildren the very best health and enjoyment following her retirement on June 2.”