In the first half of 2019, Alltech has welcomed several new senior leaders. The four executives come from varied backgrounds but have extensive experience working within the international agriculture industry.
“The depth of experience and industry know-how of these four new team members is staggering, but what impresses me most is the passion they share for advancing agriculture, empowering our customers and delivering on our shared vision of a Planet of Plenty™,” said Dr. Mark Lyons, president and CEO of Alltech. “They have an authentic connection to our company culture and, most importantly, they bring great strength of character to our leadership.”
Brian McCawley is the senior vice president of sales at Alltech, with a focus on the company’s North America additive business.
Prior to joining Alltech, McCawley spent 15 years growing Big Dutchman’s business in the Asia-Pacific region, with posts in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Beijing. As vice president of sales for the region, he led Big Dutchman’s Asia-Pacific team through a period of tremendous growth. Then, while president of Big Dutchman’s operations in China, he built the country’s largest egg farm with 3 million layers and 1 million pullets on a single site.
After six years in China, he returned to the U.S. in 2016 to begin a new business unit for Big Dutchman that would deliver on customers’ requests for complete layer, broiler and pig housing systems. This represented a fundamental shift in the company’s approach, positioning Big Dutchman as a provider of turnkey farms. After establishing the new business division, McCawley served as its president and quickly expanded operations globally to four continents.
Prior to joining Big Dutchman in 2002, McCawley was international sales manager for Hired-Hand Manufacturing and American Coolair Corporation.
He received his bachelor’s degree in agricultural operations from the University of Florida in 1992. He and his wife have been married for 25 years and have three daughters.
Mike Osborne, the founder and former president of Nutra Blend, has joined Alltech as key account advisor for North America. Based in Neosho, Missouri, he will be dedicated to furthering the growth of Alltech’s additive sales in North America.
Shortly after graduating from Missouri Southern State University, Osborne founded Nutra Blend, growing it into a $1 billion premix business across the United States. During his leadership, Nutra Blend embarked on a national “Chew on This” tour. On stops throughout the nation with a tractor-trailer theater, they used a film featuring Bill Goldberg to highlight the tremendous work being done to produce food in the United States while calling for awareness and action to address child hunger. Complementary to this campaign, Nutra Blend launched an incentive program whereby product purchases would earn dollars for local communities to provide backpacks of food for U.S. schoolchildren who otherwise would have nothing to eat over the weekends. To date, Nutra Blend has provided more than 25 million meals for kids through this program.
He and his wife, Terry, have been married for 42 years and have three children and four grandchildren.
He looks forward to supporting Alltech in a time with “more opportunity than I have seen in 40 years” and considers it a privilege to play a role in continuing to help “produce good, sustainable food for the world.”
Christopher Speight is Alltech’s chief financial officer of the Americas. He heads the company’s global corporate finance, treasury management and M&A functions.
Speight began working with Alltech on its M&A strategy in 2010 while at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and formally advised on Alltech’s acquisition of Ridley in 2015. He served as an exclusive advisor to Alltech in 2018 and joined the company full time at its corporate headquarters in Kentucky in 2019.
Most recently, Speight led Deutsche Bank’s global agribusiness investment banking coverage effort, which spanned the food value chain, from origination to processing and packaged food and beverage.
Prior to joining Deutsche Bank in 2014, Speight spent 10 years at Merrill Lynch and Bank of America Merrill Lynch in the consumer group. Throughout the course of his career, he has had the opportunity to advise on most of the major agribusiness M&A and capital-raising transactions. In addition to his primary work in agribusiness, he has advised on numerous transactions in the broader food and beverage and consumer space.
Born and raised in Iowa, Speight received his bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Iowa. He currently lives in Kentucky with his wife and son.
“While working with Dr. Pearse Lyons, founder of Alltech, on his M&A strategy, I saw his vision for growing the company and was attracted to his entrepreneurial, forward-thinking spirit and innovative mind,” said Speight. “I was impressed with what Dr. Lyons built, both in terms of the business itself and the culture within the company. He laid the groundwork for tremendous growth, which is now being carried forward by his son, Mark.
“As I got to know Mark’s values and vision, it spoke to me,” he continued. “He carries on his father’s mindset and truly cares about making a difference, and I value the opportunity to support his vision.”
Jonathan Forrest Wilson is Alltech’s president of Greater China, a role most recently held by Dr. Mark Lyons, now president and CEO of Alltech. China is a central player in the global animal feed industry, having topped the charts each year as the world’s largest feed producer, according to the annual Alltech Global Feed Survey.
Prior to joining Alltech, Wilson was chief operating officer and an executive director of GODACO Seafood in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He was also senior advisor to Navis Capital Partners Private Equity in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Previously, he was group CEO and a board member of Hong Leong Industries, a Malaysia-based, publicly traded industrial conglomerate with $1.4 billion in sales.
Wilson joined Gold Coin Group in 2009 as chief operating officer and a member of the board, later rising to acting CEO. Gold Coin is one of the largest family-owned feed, premix, animal nutrition, shrimp genetics and poultry integrators in Asia, with sales of approximately $1 billion. During his time at Gold Coin, the company expanded from commodity feeds into specialty nutrition.
His experience growing Gold Coin Group’s business ignited Wilson’s passion for advancing innovation in agribusiness and aquaculture. He has seen first-hand the industry’s potential to make a positive difference in local communities, add value to customers’ operations and positively impact the environment through sustainable solutions that also deliver results for customers and shareholders.
Before working at Gold Coin, Wilson held top management positions as vice president and managing director of Asia at Imerys and managing director of Asia at Great Lakes Chemical Corporation. He joined Unilever’s National Starch and Chemical Company in 1987 after receiving a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He also holds a master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis on finance from Rutgers University.
He sits on the advisory board of Saigon A.I., a technology startup that aims to increase the participation of women in STEM fields, specifically data science and artificial intelligence. He also sits on the advisory board of Zero Waste Saigon, a startup dedicated to finding natural and innovative solutions to combat the problem of single-use waste and its impact on our environment using community engagement.
Wilson is an active member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) China. He speaks French and Bahasa Malaysia, and he is a student of Mandarin Chinese.
He has been married for nearly 30 years and has two daughters, both of whom are studying agriculture and natural resources.
“It has been amazing to have a front-row seat to Asia’s rapid development and adoption of technology over the past 20-plus years, and I’m looking forward to putting that experience to work in line with Alltech’s vision,” said Wilson.
“I have known Alltech for a number of years as a customer and also knew Dr. Lyons, and I have always been attracted to Alltech’s forward-thinking yet family business culture,” he continued. “It’s an organization with tremendous energy that welcomes creative contribution from every individual. The company is at the forefront but maintains its curiosity, sharing what it learns with others in the industry, and it’s exciting to be part of a true industry leadership culture.”