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Novak to lead CropLife America

National Corn Growers Association CEO tapped as head of pesticide industry group


June 11, 2018
By Walt Williams

Chris Novak has been named the next CEO of CropLife America, effective Aug. 20. He will succeed Jay Vroom, who has led the $17 million-revenue pesticide industry group for nearly three decades.

Novak currently is CEO of $21 million-revenue National Corn Growers Association, a post he has held since 2014. He previously was CEO of the National Pork Board, the pork industry’s national checkoff program.

“With his broad experience and years of working alongside CLA as a key ally, Chris knows our association and industry and is eminently qualified to succeed our long serving CEO, Jay Vroom,” Jim Blome, chairman of CLA’s board of directors, said in a statement.

In addition to his work at NCGA and the National Pork Board, Novak was executive director of the Indiana Soybean Alliance, science communication manager at agrichemical and seed company Syngenta, and special assistant to the CEO at the American Soybean Association.

He has an MBA in food and agribusiness from Purdue University and a law degree from the University of Iowa.

In a statement, Corn Refiners Association CEO John Bode said Novak “has done a brilliant job as CEO of the National Corn Growers Association, where he expanded the organization’s influence and enhanced working relationships throughout the food and agriculture policy community."

“Chris is a great pick to fill the big shows of Jay Vroom,” Bode said.

Vroom announced last year that he planned to retire from CLA in 2018. In addition to his nearly 30 years at the pesticide industry association, he was previously CEO of the National Fertilizer Solutions Association, now the Agricultural Retailers Association.

Novak earned $426,925 at NCGA in 2016, according to tax records. Vroom earned $726,983 at CLA during the same time period.

Recruitment firm Russell Reynolds Associates assisted in the search.