Age as of March 1, 2023: 59
Residence Location: Dodge City, KS
Place of Operation: Minneola, KS
Business Experience: For the past five years I have been Chief of Operations of Harshberger Enterprises whose primary focus is production agriculture. I oversee all functions of the operation from inputs to marketing, labor force, risk management and outside investments.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree, Electrical Engineering
Current Boards: Chairman of the Board of American AgCredit, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Dodge City Community College.
Strategic & Visionary Thinking: As a life long learner, I am always looking for better and more efficient solutions. In our operations we constantly adapt and innovate. We are trying new things, engaging with others, reading new sources of material and never being complacent.
Corporate Governance: I have served on many different types of boards; Government, Education, Industry and Financial. Through these different structures I have learned what the correct role of a director is and how to build trust, teamwork and transparency not just within the board but with the Executive Team. Directors must provide oversight and strategic vision but not get into management.
Financial Expertise: I have served on boards within the Farm Credit System for a little over 20 years. I have received very good training that the system provides. However, most of my knowledge has been through my business operations and other investments over the years.
Communication: I usually get a chuckle here. I earned a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kansas State Univ. They had a course “communication for engineers” because most engineers, apparently, can’t communicate. I believe I communicate adequately and have learned to be better through leadership courses, business interactions, life learning and engagement.
Technology: I stated earlier that I had a degree in Electrical Engineering where my focus was in circuit design. My heart and mind has always been in this arena. My farming operations implement as much technology as we possibly can to automate systems, collect data and gain efficiencies.
Human Resource Management: As a business owner, I believe your most valuable asset is the human element. You learn how to attract, train and retain or you will not be successful. This is a challenge that you must devote the proper time and resources too. I have learned much over the years in my own operation as well as serving on various boards working with their management teams and HR departments.
Risk Management: A successful business learns how to identify risks and then develop strategies to mitigate those risks. In a financial institution these risks exist in several categories, strategic, reputation, geopolitical, credit, market, operational and cyber. Understanding what risks you face then helps you to develop tolerance metrics and well as mitigation strategies.
Leadership: I can’t say how many books on leadership that I have read over the years. For me, leadership on boards is understanding your role, a director has no power only the board as a whole does. It’s respect for your fellow board member, the staff and most of all the institution. You are there to do a job for the stock holders and that is the hat you are to wear.