Dr. Scheherazade S. Rehman Joins CoBank Board
International Finance and Business Professor Appointed to Four-Year Term. Bank Also Announces 2019 Board Officers.
DENVER (December 18, 2018) — CoBank, a cooperative bank serving agribusinesses, rural infrastructure providers and Farm Credit associations throughout the United States, today announced that Dr. Scheherazade S. Rehman, a renowned professor of international finance and business, has been named to the board as an appointed director. Rehman will serve a four-year term on the board expiring in 2022.
Rehman is the director of the world executive MBA program with cybersecurity, director of the European Union Research Center, and a professor of International Finance/Business and of International Affairs at The George Washington University (GWU). Since 1989, she has served as president and managing partner of the International Consultants Group, an international risk and financial markets consulting company. She is also a director of the American Consortium on European Studies since 2001 and of the International Trade and Finance Association since 2002. She was the recipient of the dean’s Professorial Fellow of International Finance and Business at GWU from 2012 through 2017, and a Senior Research Fulbright Scholar in 1998. Prior to joining GWU, Rehman served as a foreign exchange and money market trader in the Middle East. She has advised numerous government agencies and international entities, including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), OPIC, and the U.S. State Department, and is often called upon to speak to financial matters before Congress and with media, and has authored several books and scholarly publications. Rehman holds a bachelor’s in International Banking and Finance, an MBA in International Business/International Finance, and a doctorate in International Finance, all from GWU.
“I’m delighted to welcome Scheherazade as an appointed director,” said CoBank Chair Kevin G. Riel. “Her deep expertise in international finance and business will contribute greatly to our board and bring added strength and experience as we continue to serve our customers.”
“It’s a privilege to be joining the board of CoBank,” Rehman said. “I appreciate its mission to support the growth and development of the U.S. rural economy, and I look forward to working with the rest of the board to help the bank position itself for continued success.”
Also today, CoBank announced board officers for the coming year.
Riel, who became board chair in 2018, will continue to serve as chair for 2019. He joined the CoBank board in 2014 and became first vice chair in 2017. He is the president and chief executive officer of Double ‘R’ Hop Ranches, Inc., a diversified farming operation primarily growing hops, together with apples, grapes and row crops, and of Tri-Gen Enterprises, Inc., an agricultural marketing operation. Riel is also managing partner of WLJ Investments, LLC, a land holding and management company. All three businesses are located in Harrah, Washington. He is a member and former chair of Northwest Farm Credit Services, ACA, and a board member of the Hop Growers of America, a nonprofit association promoting the interests of U.S. growers. He is also a member of the Nationwide Insurance Board Advisory Committee.
Jon E. Marthedal will serve as first vice chair. Marthedal is the owner and operator of Marthedal Farms, a grape, raisin and blueberry farming operation; owner and president of Marthedal Enterprises Inc., a provider of farm management and custom agriculture services; and owner and operator of Keystone Blue Farms, LLC, a blueberry farming operation, all located in Fresno, California. He serves on the board of The Farm Credit Council. Marthedal is a director of Sun-Maid Growers of California and of the California Blueberry Commission. He also serves as president of the California Blueberry Association Board and vice chair of the California Raisin Marketing Board and the Raisin Administrative Committee. Marthedal has served on the CoBank board since 2013, served as first vice chair in 2018, as second vice chair in 2017 and as Governance Committee chair in 2016.
Kevin A. Still will serve as second vice chair. Still is president and chief executive officer of Co-Alliance, LLP, a partnership of five cooperatives supplying energy, agronomy and animal nutrition, producing swine and marketing grain in Avon, Indiana. Still is also chief executive officer and treasurer of Midland Co-op, Inc., IMPACT Co-op, Inc., LaPorte County Co-op, Inc., Frontier Co op, Inc., and Excel Co-op, Inc., and president of Michiana Agra, LLC, which are agricultural retail cooperatives. Still is also an officer of Agronomy Services, LLP, and president of Northwind Pork, LLC, a pork-producing operation. He is chair of Local Harvest Food, a food broker, and an advisory committee member of Wholestone Farms, a food company. He is the owner and president of Still Farms, LLC, a grain farm. Still has served on the CoBank board since 2002; he served as second vice chair in 2015, 2016 and 2018, and as the Risk Committee chair from 2008 through 2017.
“I look forward to continuing to work closely with Jon, Kevin and the rest of our directors in the coming year,” Riel said. “Our board and executive management team remain committed to preserving and building the long-term financial strength of the bank so it can continue fulfilling its mission of delivering dependable credit and financial services to our customers.”
Also today, the bank announced that director Richard W. Sitman has resigned from the board. Sitman, an elected director from the board’s South region, had served on the board since 1999 (and previously from 1995-1996) and was a member of the board’s Risk Committee. An election will be held in 2019 to elect a director to fill this seat for a four-year term starting January 1, 2020.
CoBank is a $128 billion cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. The bank also provides wholesale loans and other financial services to affiliated Farm Credit associations serving more than 70,000 farmers, ranchers and other rural borrowers in 23 states around the country.
CoBank is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture, rural infrastructure and rural communities. Headquartered outside Denver, Colorado, CoBank serves customers from regional banking centers across the U.S. and also maintains an international representative office in Singapore.
For more information about CoBank, visit the bank's website at cobank.com.