2014 Professional Profiles

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March 7, 2014


Amber Northcut
Agrium Women’s Leadership Group

Amber has been with Agrium for almost 2 years as an Analyst for the Agrium Women’s Leadership Group (AWLG) headquartered in Calgary Alberta Canada. She is responsible for the planning, metrics, and communications related to the program. As the liaison between the AWLG Council and Chapters she helps develop and implement Council initiatives and supports Chapter events and learning activities aligned with AWLG mission to recognize, develop, and enable the potential for women at Agrium. Her role stretches across all the business units and geographies where Agrium has employees.  Amber has a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Victoria (Canada) and earned her MBA from the University of Calgary in 2002.

Angela Iacoluuci

Angela grew up on a large cow-calf operation in Northern Wyoming.  She came to Colorado State University where she eared 2 Bachelor of Science Degrees in Agricultural Business and in Animal Science.  She has worked for Agrium for 2 years.  She worked in customer service for Agrium’s Wholesale operations, and is currently a marketing analyst for ESN (Environmentally Smart Nitrogen) at Agrium Advanced Technologies.  She has also been involved in the Agrium Women’s Leadership Group.  The Colorado chapter has been instrumental in organizing Aspire to Grow in coordination with Colorado State FFA and CSU, to encourage young women to join the agriculture industry.  Angela and her husband live in Firestone, CO.

Diana Ropp
Risk Management Advisor
Bates Commodities

1608 Northbrook Drive, Ste. 103
Normal, IL 61761

Since 2007 Diana has been employed by Bates Commodities in Normal, IL as a licensed Commodity Broker; assisting farmers, elevators and private individuals with risk management strategies appropriate for their business or personal investment needs.  Prior to Bates she was with Advance Trading for 11 years where she became exposed to the opportunities which the commodity industry brings to the table.  Living in the heart of the ‘great corn desert’ with a dairy/grain farm heritage she is happy to work with and visit with individuals who tend the land and feed the world every day.

Elizabeth McPherson
Director HR service Center

Elizabeth McPherson has worked for Agrium, Inc. for almost 7 years as a Director of Human Resources.  She oversees the functioning of the HR Service Center in Fairview Heights, Illinois which handles all transactional processing for new hires, terminations, position and pay changes, HR reporting, pension and benefit administration and immigration and mobility needs.  Elizabeth graduated from St. Louis Christian College and Southern Illinois University with degrees in Education.  Her masters degree in Human Resources Management is from Washington University.  Before joining Agrium, she worked as an HR Manager for Walgreens at their call centers in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

Juli Fitzgerald
Area Credit Manager

Juli was raised on a livestock and grain farm in southern McDonough County, IL.   She attended Western Illinois University and Illinois State University and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business from ISU.  After interning and working for Growmark in their Agri Finance Department, she began farming and raising hogs and beef cattle.  Her 2 children grew up on the farm and are both still active in agriculture.   She also worked in parts sales at a Case IH dealership before coming to United Agri Products as a Senior Credit Analyst in the credit department.  Currently she is an Area Credit Manager for Crop Production Services covering Northern Illinois, Wisconsin, and Eastern Iowa.   Juli and her husband Ron live in rural Knox County, IL.

Karen Murphy

Karen Murphy joined Agrium Advanced Technologies (AAT) 3 years ago as a Regulatory Specialist focusing on U.S. compliance for the sales and registrations of pesticides, fertilizers, feeds and seed.  In her position she manages 300 licenses for more than 30 distribution centers and manufacturing sites as well as preparing and submitting reports, product registrations and compliance responses to the regulating agencies.  Prior to joining AAT, her work experience includes site Environmental Engineer, Environmental Coordinator, Polymer Process Chemist and Environmental Laboratory Quality Manager.  Her formal education includes a Master’s of Science in Chemistry from Northern Arizona University and Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry & Biology from Colorado State University-Pueblo. Her friends refer to her as “Murphy” and she loves to take on any willing challengers in a round of golf!

Krista Lottinville
Claims Adjuster
Diversified Crop Insurance Services

I’m Krista Lottinville, a 2010 graduate of the University of Illinois majoring in Agriculture Business, Markets and Management. I began my career with CGB Diversified Crop Insurance Services directly after college as a crop insurance adjuster trainee. I trained in our home office in Jacksonville, IL for a year learning about adjusting, auditing, and processing claims. I was fortunate to move back to my hometown of Sheldon, IL where I am a full time adjuster. I work from home and have a flexible schedule. My major responsibility is to work with insureds and agents to process claims quickly, accurately, and efficiently. I walk fields, climb grain bins, and fill out claim paperwork. In addition to my work I am involved in many community organizations including Illinois Agri-Women, Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau Young Ag Leaders, and the Sheldon TIES Fun Days Committee. I attended WCFA as a student the first year of the conference and found so much value in it I joined the planning committee and encouraged my company to become major sponsors.

Krista Swanson
Portfolio Analyst
1st Farm Credit Services

Krista is employed by 1st Farm Credit Services, an agriculture lender serving the northern 42 counties in Illinois. She has been in her role as a Portfolio Analyst for three years. Her job is to monitor and report on the loan portfolio and serve as a data resource for risk management and credit staff. She also works on in-depth studies of loan portfolio segments, industries in the loan portfolio, and stress testing. She received a B.S. in Crop Sciences and a M.S. in Agricultural Economics at the University of Illinois. Krista lives with her husband Brett and daughter Bianca on the family farm near Oneida, IL.

Kristina Church
Office Manager

Kristina Church has worked for Crop Production Services (CPS) for almost four years. Prior to her current role she worked for an independent ag retail business that was acquired in 2011 by CPS.  She is the office manager for several high volume branches in Northern Illinois.  Based in Sheffield, her branches have been acknowledged within CPS as a President’s Club member.  Kristina is also a volunteer member of the Agrium Women’s Leadership Group (AWLG) and has been instrumental in organizing Agrium’s participation in Women Changing the Face of Agriculture.  Kristina graduated from Western Illinois University with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree.

Laura Long
Seed Manager

Laura is currently a Seed Marketing Manager with Crop Production Services (CPS)f or the West Central Illinois region.  Prior to joining Agrium Inc., Laura worked for Monsanto as Chemical Sales Representative, Seed and Traits Territory Manager, ABM-District Manager for Missouri and Kansas, and Roundup Post-Patent Team.  Laura also held positions at American Cyanamid as a Chemical Sales Representative in Missouri, Market Development Specialist in Texas, various Marketing positions in HQ location of Wayne, NJ. She has a Bachelor’s in Science from University of Illinois in Ag Economics and Accounting as well as an MBA from Columbia University NY, NY. Farming has always been a passion for Laura. She grew up on the family farming operation in Lincoln, IL and now lives in Paris, MO with her husband and 3 children on their family farming operation. Outside of work, Laura enjoys assisting with local 4-H programs and coaching basketball.

Loanne Lewis
Supervisor, Payroll

Loanne is the Payroll Supervisor, managing payroll in the US and Canada for Wholesale, Corporate and Advanced Technology.  Based in Calgary Alberta Canada, she is a payroll veteran with over 32 years of payroll management experience.  Loanne earned her Certified Payroll Professional Managers designation complementing this with Accounting courses. Her philosophy is that one can never quit learning and growing both personally and professionally and currently she is in the process of completing her Bachelor of Human Resources and Labour Relations with the Athabasca University.

Ruth Book
State Conservation Engineer
Natural Resources Conservation Service

2118 W. Park Ct.
Champaign, IL 61821

Ruth is the State Conservation Engineer for the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Illinois.  She provides leadership for all of the engineering that the agency does statewide: structures for soil and water conservation, agricultural waste systems, streambank stabilization, drainage water management, irrigation, and much more.  She has been in this position for almost 7 years, but her career spans 34 years in agriculture, not only in federal government, but also in academia at the University of Illinois, and in the fluid power component industry (hydraulic systems for tractors and other farm machines).  Ruth holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Illinois.

Sheila Hunt
Seed System Analyst

Sheila Hunt is a Systems Analyst for the IT department for Seed across all of Crop Production Services.  A Systems Analyst must be knowledgeable of all systems that are intertwined within their business scope.   While with CPS for the past 14 years, Sheila has worked in various roles from a Branch Administrative Assistant, Sarbanes Oxley implementation, System Support Supervisor and Inventory Business Analyst.  Sheila is also the Co-Chair of the Agrium Women’s Leadership Group Connections Chapter helping to Recognize, Develop and Enable other women within the Agrium network.

Taylor Reed
Administrator, HR Customer Care

Taylor Reed has worked for Agrium, Inc. for 3 years serving as a Human Resources Customer Care Representative. In her current position, Taylor assists U.S. and Canadian employees with HR policy and benefit questions. She also completes position changes and changes of pay actions for 3 of our 4 strategic business units. Taylor graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville – School of Business in May 2011. She went on to earn her master’s degree in Human Resource Management from Lindenwood University.