Employee Spotlight: Nathan Lakers
Name: Nathan Lakers
Title: Senior Merchandiser
Location: Central City, Ord & Otter Tail
Education: BS of Science in Business Administration; Majored in Finance, Banking and Investment Science from University of Nebraska at Omaha
Hometown: Gretna, NE
How long have you been with Green Plains? I was originally hired on as the Feed Merchandiser for the Fergus Falls facility in March 2011.
Describe what you do with Green Plains? I am currently responsible for the sale and coordination of distillers out of the Central City, Ord and Otter Tail facilities. The main focus is inventory management, which is a balancing act between optimizing the value to the plant while keeping inventories at controllable levels. This includes price discovery, arbitrating logistics, etc.
What did you do prior to Green Plains? I worked for a middle market M&A firm that deals with companies in the ag, food and renewable fuels industries as an analyst.
What made you take a look at Green Plains? With my past experience, we had a lot of focus on companies in the ethanol industry. In the M&A world, the ethanol industry is seen as a place for a lot of consolidation potential. So it was really a timing thing. Green Plains has a great reputation in the industry for innovation and financial stability so it was a clear choice for me when searching for a career.
Is this what you excepted to do with your background/education? With a BS in Banking, Finance and Investments, I wasn’t expecting to be in the marketing field, but I am more than happy in this career. The trade world fits my personality well and is definitely a place I want to stay.
What’s your favorite thing about your job? My favorite thing about trading distillers is the fast-paced work environment. Every day poses multiple new opportunities to address!
Favorite thing about Green Plains? I love how well we have performed in comparison to the competition. Green Plains is a company I am proud to be a part of.
How important do you think the role of ethanol is in our future? It has proven that it can substantially reduce our dependence on foreign oil while keeping U.S. dollars and jobs at home. I think it will continue to have a big role in our future.
How important is ethanol to our small rural communities? Ethanol has done great things to rural communities all around the Corn Belt. From the people who work directly for the plant to the trucking companies that haul corn in and feed out, the job creation is HUGE!
What makes you excited to get up in the morning? Closing a deal! I am always searching for new venues and buyers to create relationships with.
What is one of your long-term goals? A long-term goal of mine would be to continue a career in trading as well as furthering my education. I would like to look into an EMBA program in Agribusiness that can fit around my work schedule.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do for fun? I am a big golfer and hunter. I, of course, don’t get to do either as much as I would like.
Advice or words of wisdom for people who may be interested in a future with Green Plains? Green Plains gives employees personal fulfillment. It’s good to be part of a team with good communication and collaboration to get the job done right.