Dec. 14–John K. “Jack” Vanier, went through good times as well as the bad during his time on the board of directors of Archer Daniels Midland Co.
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After 26 years of those ups and downs, Vanier, 76, announced Monday that he was retiring.
“I’m playing on the back nine now,” he said. “It’s time to move on and let younger faces be there.”
He first was elected to the board Oct. 20, 1978, succeeding his father, J.J. Vanier. The elder Vanier had been on the board since 1970, when ADM purchased various businesses Vanier owned, according to a news release from Decatur, Ill.-based ADM.
Vanier said his work as a member of the company’s board was interesting.
“It wasn’t always happy, but it was very interesting,” he said.
Vanier served on the board with the wife of Nelson Rockefeller as well as former ambassadors to Germany and the United Nations.
“One of my good friends was Bob Strauss, who was the former head of the Democratic National Committee and also the first George Bush’s ambassador to Russia,” Vanier said.
Vanier said there were rough times, such as when ADM employees were charged with price fixing.
“We had to go through that mess and clean it up,” Vanier said. “It took some time to recover from that, but that’s all behind us now.”
He said he was proud of the board’s work in transforming the company from a family-owned corporation to a true, publicly held corporation.
A report filed by Archer Daniels Midland with the Securities and Exchange Commission in September showed that Jack Vanier owned 10,888,847 shares of common stock in the company. At Monday’s price of $21.86 a share, Vanier’s stake is $238 million. The company as a whole is valued at $13.9 trillion.
In addition, Vanier, a Brookville native, is chief executive officer of Western Star Ag Resources, with investments and ranching operations and one of the world’s most distinguished herds of registered Herefords.
“There’s still plenty to do around home here,” Vanier said. “We still operate some ranches in four different states, so there’s plenty to do.”