North American flour supplier Ardent Mills hires GC from Ball Corporation

Kate Kimball replaces Douglas Barkema, who left company in October

Kate Kimball Photo courtesy of Ardent Mills

US flour producer Ardent Mills has ended its search for a new general counsel, hiring Kate Kimball from packaging company Ball Corporation.

Kimball fills the role vacated by Douglas Barkema, who left in October to join the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Kimball will serve as GC, corporate secretary and chief compliance officer, giving her responsibility for all legal and compliance matters. Denver-based Ardent Mills is North America’s biggest producer of traditional wheat flour, supplying customers such as retailers and commercial and artisanal bakers. It also produces other plant-based ingredients including quinoa and pulses.

Dan Dye, Ardent Mills’s chief executive officer, said: “Kate’s expertise in legal and regulatory matters, specifically related to manufacturing and environmental, social and governance, will be a tremendous asset to our team. Furthermore, Kate is a mission-driven individual who shares Ardent Mills’s commitment to our core values.”

Kimball arrives after almost nine years at Ball Corporation, where most recently she was associate GC and assistant corporate secretary. Prior to that she had a spell as an associate at Morgan Lewis & Bockius in Boston after it acquired her previous firm Bingham McCutchen, which she joined in 2008 after graduating from Boston College Law School.

Kimball said: “Ardent Mills’s dedication to sustainability and innovation aligns with my own values, making the company a natural fit for me. I look forward to working with the team to navigate legal complexities and advance the company’s long-term growth strategy to fortify its position as a leader in the North American milling and ingredient industry.”

Barkema’s departure in October brought to a close an almost decade-long career at Ardent Mills, having previously been a senior lawyer at food and agriculture giant Cargill, whose Horizon Milling joint venture with CHS was combined with ConAgra Mills to launch Ardent Mills in 2014. Barkema also worked in private practice at Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly where he was an associate in its business litigation team.

Earlier this month, Cargill announced that it had lined up Rishi Varma as its next chief legal officer to replace Anna Richo, who is retiring later this year. Varma is joining from Hewlett Packard Enterprises.

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