Bobby Hanks, CEO of Supreme Rice
Hanks named USA Rice chair
Bobby Hanks, CEO of Crowley’s Supreme Rice, has been named as the new chair of USA Rice.
New chairs for USA Rice, The Rice Foundation, the USA Rice Millers’ Association (RMA), and the USA Rice Merchants’ Association were elected by their respective Boards of Directors during annual meetings this week held via video conference calls.
All newly elected officers will assume their two-year posts on August 1.
Hanks takes over for Charley Mathews Jr., a rice farmer from Marysville, California, who has been chair of the group since 2018.
"Bobby is going to make a great chair," Mathews said. "He is well versed in U.S. rice industry issues and is a long-term member of USA Rice having joined in 1999 when he first acquired Louisiana Rice Mill.”
Hanks has served on numerous USA Rice committees, including past chair of the USA Rice Millers’ Association and current chair of the USA Rice International Trade Policy Committee.
"Under Charley’s leadership over the past two years, USA Rice finally opened the world’s largest market – China – to U.S. rice. We also solidified relationships in Iraq, did great outreach in Central America and Mexico, and received our largest ever grant from the federal government to promote U.S., rice overseas," said Hanks. "He has represented USA Rice in markets around the world, and made presentations at the annual Mexico trade mission and the annual international promotion planning conference in Colombia in Spanish!
“Here at home,” Hanks added, “Charley helped us notch wins for rice in domestic purchasing programs and federal aid programs and lent his support to retail efforts. He also visited the White House twice – something no USA Rice chairman has ever done.”
David Petter was elected chair of The Rice Foundation. Petter, a fourth-generation rice farmer from Stuttgart, Arkansas, replaces Frank Carey, who served as chair of The Rice Foundation for two years.
Outgoing RMA Chair Keith Gray passed the gavel to Keith Glover, president and CEO of Producers Rice Mill.
Ryan Carwell, vice president at Poinsett Rice and Grain, replaces Dick Ottis who helmed the USA Rice Merchants’ Association for six years.
“On behalf of USA Rice, I extend special thanks to our great board leaders who served with distinction over the past two years – Charley, Keith, Dick, and Frank,” said USA Rice President and CEO Betsy Ward. “We are very grateful for their guidance and support.”