Mt. Angel, OR, November 21, 2023 – Wilco, a farmer-owned cooperative, announced today that John Bowersox will be their next CEO. John will succeed Sam Bugarsky who is retiring from Wilco after a 35+ year career on January 20th of 2024.
Wilco’s Board of Directors has spent the past several months working with FCCS, an industry-specific consulting network who specialize in many areas including Talent Strategy, Succession Management and Executive Searches and Succession.
“We interviewed numerous qualified candidates for the CEO position and John’s experience in a cooperative system and his experience in the rural lifestyle retail business, along with his desire to be back in the Pacific Northwest, weighed in his favor. The Board of Directors is confident that John can seamlessly fit into our culture and continue the collaborative leadership style that Wilco is known for,” says Ben Coleman, Wilco Board Chair.
John brings over seventeen years of leadership experience to Wilco, most recently as the Chief Supply Chain Officer and SVP of IT & Ecommerce at Fleet Farm, a Midwestern lifestyle retailer with 50 stores across five states based in Appleton, Wisconsin. Prior to his time at Fleet Farm, John spent just under four years as a Supply Chain Executive with True Value based in Chicago, IL, and ten years with the Kohler Co. serving assignments within their Ann Sacks Tile & Stone division based in Portland, Oregon, as well as their Kitchen & Bath division based in Kohler, Wisconsin. John is originally from Michigan and currently lives in Appleton, Wisconsin with plans to relocate to the Pacific Northwest area before he starts in January.
Coleman added, “We will miss Sam’s steady and strong leadership and appreciate everything he’s done to create an inclusive culture and successful company. At the same time, we are happy for his retirement from Wilco and are excited to have John’s wealth of experience join our team as our new CEO.”
When asked about joining Wilco as their next CEO, John says, “I am humbled, honored, and extremely excited to join the Wilco family. I would like to thank the Board of Directors for this opportunity and congratulate Sam on a wonderful career. I look forward to working closely with Wilco leadership, our employees, members, and customers to build collectively on the history of this great cooperative as we chart a path to achieve continued success together.”
Wilco is a farmer-owned cooperative, headquartered in Mt. Angel, Oregon, with roots that go back to the 1930’s. Since then, Wilco has evolved into one of the west’s largest agricultural cooperatives, and today serves the unique needs of over 500,000 customers at 26 retail locations, with a farmer-owner base of nearly 3,000 strong in CA, OR and WA. Wilco’s mission is to strengthen agriculture and rural lifestyles and is proud to be voted a Top Workplace for 12 consecutive years.