World Grain - June 2018 - 56
FEATURE: CHARTING A DISTINCTIVE COURSE IN MILLING
since its start in the 19th century. A
native of Dedham, Massachusetts,
U.S., 10 miles west of Quincy,
Levangie holds a bachelor's degree
from Dartmouth College, Hanover,
New Hampshire, U.S., and a master's in business administration
from Harvard University, Boston,
Massachusetts. Levangie spent
six years with Cargill before joining EFS Network, an online startup established by a consortium of
companies, including Cargill. He
joined Bay State in 2004 and was
named CEO in 2016, succeeding
Brian Rothwell, who held the position for 30 years. Rothwell is now
vice-chairman of the board. His
brother Buck Rothwell is chairman.
Levangie described his mandate
as building a robust bridge for the
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family owners, some of whom are
now working in the business.
Part of Levangie's determination
to move into value-added ingredients
industry in contrast to oilseed processing, where he began his career.
"Flour milling is a really complicated business versus crushing
a soybean," he said. "And when I
started, we weren't getting paid
nearly enough for the value that we
are delivering. Flour is such a functional ingredient."
He said his timing in joining the
business in the early 2000s was
"A number of other companies
were making management shifts or
changes," he said. "They started to
run their businesses differently."
Consolidation early in the 2000s
helped, but other changes have
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VHHWKHLQÀXHQFHRIWKHJUDLQEXVLness over things like pricing at one
major milling company," Levangie
said. "They would try to merchandise their way out of a grain posiWLRQWKURXJKWKHÀRXUPLOOLQJEXVLness. I'm not saying they were
making bad decisions, maybe that
was the best thing. But it made
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a commodity business than I think
was warranted. But as the industry
changed, this changed."
RECEPTIVE TO CHANGE
At Bay State, Levangie found a corporate culture highly receptive to thoughtful change, beginning with Brian
Rothwell, his predecessor as CEO.