Our Incredible Team

When you hire Rice Dairy, you partner with the leading team of dairy risk professionals.

Leadership

Brian Rice – Principal, Founder
  • Specialty – Vision, culture, and helping organize meals
  • Favorite Cheese – Manchego and Merkts
Click here to read Brian's bio
Brian Rice is the founder and Co-Owner of Rice Dairy LLC, a dairy brokerage firm in Chicago, IL. He started his career as an order clerk for First American Corp. and a trader for the Iowa Grain Company before founding Rice Dairy in 2002.

Sixteen years later, Rice Dairy LLC is now the leading brokerage firm in the dairy industry, offering consulting and brokerage services along with information products and educational resources. Rice is also the CEO of Vault Technologies, a dairy software start-up and the co-director of Rice Dairy International Ltd. He sits on the Board of Directors of the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and is a member of the American Dairy Products Institute’s (ADPI) price and policy task force. Outside of work, Brian and his wife Mindi keep busy raising their three daughters outside of Chicago.

312-492-4220
Pete Turk – Principal
  • Specialty – Futures industry and results
  • Favorite Cheese – Brewster Swiss
Click here to read Pete's bio

Peter Turk is the Co-Owner of Rice Dairy LLC, a dairy brokerage firm in Chicago IL. Turk started his career in the commodities industry at Staley Commodities, an agricultural clearing firm. He served a variety of roles in the industry, including most notably as Principal and Vice President of Sales and Business Development for Iowa Grain Company, before joining Rice Dairy in 2005

During the past ten years at Rice Dairy, Turk and co-owner Brian Rice have grown the company into the leading brokerage firm in the dairy industry, offering consulting and brokerage services along with information products and educational resources. Turk is also the co-director of Rice Dairy International Ltd., a Partner at Vault Technologies, a dairy software start-up, and a Principal of Dairy Opportunities, an award-winning investment management firm.

Turk is currently a registered floor broker at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and previously served on the Board of Directors for the National Introducing Brokers Association (NIBA) for several terms. He has a strong background in agricultural markets and a successful track record in operational improvement and new business development.

312-492-4222
Brian Fletcher – Vice President
Commercial/Institutional Services and Sales
  • Specialty – Price risk management strategy development, implementation and execution
  • Favorite Cheese – Nacho
Click here to read Fletch's bio

Brian Fletcher (a.k.a. Fletch) focuses on strategy development and implementation of price-risk management for dairy commodities. He works with a wide range of clients from around the world that encompass the entire dairy supply chain. Most mornings, you can find him on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange trading floor where he is a registered floor broker. In addition, he is a key team member of Rice Dairy’s over-the-counter, electronic futures and options markets’ operations. His research and analysis focuses on global dairy product prices using a relative value of dairy fat and protein approach. Fletch also co-authors the Dairy Market Digest, an e-newsletter that provides a weekly recap of milk and dairy prices.

Fletch joined Rice Dairy in 2009 after he graduated with a finance degree from the University of Idaho where he was a member of the Barker Trading Program. Outside of Rice Dairy, he enjoys the outdoors, cheering for Chicago sports, and exploring the globe. 

312-492-4244
Ryan Yonkman – Vice President
Producer Division/Technology Sales
  • Specialty – Risk management for dairy producers
  • Favorite Cheese – Colby Jack
Click here to read Ryan's bio

At Rice Dairy, Ryan primarily focuses on helping dairy producers develop and execute their risk management strategies as well as working with a few commercials and co-ops. He frequently draws on his own experience growing up and working on his family’s midsize dairy farm in northern Michigan. Ryan is the co-founder of Vault Technologies, which offers financial software for dairymen that combines dairy farm data with futures prices to create a two-year forecast. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from Hope College in western Michigan.

312-492-4218

Customer Service/Operations Personnel

Mindi Rice – Director of Human Resources
  • Specialty – Human resources
  • Favorite Cheese – Manchego
Click here to read Mindi's bio

A member of the Rice Dairy team since the company’s inception, Mindi is responsible for all things human resources. She oversees Rice Dairy’s benefits, health insurance, 401K, hiring of new staff and more. Her favorite part of her job is working one on one with her fellow employees, whether it’s going over their yearly evaluation or planning a fun social event. She brings to this position 8 years of experience in nonprofit and association management. Mindi has Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from the University of Iowa.

312-492-4200
Mary Klein – Compliance and Finance Specialist
  • Specialty – Operations, finance and compliance
  • Favorite Cheese – Extra sharp cheddar
Click here to read Mary's bio

Mary brings more than 25 years of experience in the futures industry to the Rice Dairy team. In the Compliance role, Mary’s emphasis is on the ever-changing landscape of compliance within the futures industry. Her role in finance includes client billing, cash management and accounts receivable. Mary has an enthusiasm for maintaining a high level of customer service throughout all of her roles. During her tenure in the futures industry, not only has Mary worked with several prominent FCMs, but she has worn many hats and assisted in various areas as she came through the ranks to help further her education in the futures industry. Mary has attained her Series 3 futures brokerage license and is a graduate of Southwestern Michigan College with an A.A.S. degree in Accounting.

312-492-4226
Julianne Turk – Director of Finance
  • Specialty – Finance activities and banking relationships
  • Favorite Cheese – Naturally aged sharp cheddar
Click here to read Julianne's bio

As Director of Finance, Julie is responsible for Rice Dairy’s finances including forecasting, reconciliation, tax filing, payroll, accounts payable and receivable, and banking relationships.  She also serves as Director of Finance for Rice Dairy International and Vault Technologies. Julie brings to this position 15 years of experience in the banking, insurance and consulting fields. Most recently, she served as the Administrator for the Intellectual Capital Research and Development Department at A.T. Kearney. While in this position, she worked both domestically and aboard including in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York, London and Germany. Julie holds a Bachelors of Arts in Administration from Cardinal Stritch College.

312-492-4200
Cathy Rich – Administrative Assistant

 

Cathy’s bio coming soon.

312-492-4236
Paige Driscoll – Communications Specialist
  • Specialty – Media production and distribution
  • Favorite Cheese – White cheddar
Click here to read Paige's bio

As the Communications Specialist for Rice Dairy, Paige oversees and executes all communicative media including social media, press releases, report and market information distribution, graphic and web design, and production and editing for RDTV.  Prior to working for Rice Dairy, Paige worked as a freelance production assistant and video editor.  She graduated from Bowling Green State University in December 2015 with a Bachelor of the Arts in Film Production and a minor in marketing.

In her free time, Paige enjoys shooting and editing videos for several Chicago comedy groups, running theater tech at iO Chicago, maintaining a sunroom full of plants, and hanging out with her one-toothed, 12-year-old cat, Margot.

312-492-4235
Kelsey Theile – Operations Specialist
  • Specialty – Analytics and compliance
  • Favorite Cheese – Parmesan
Click here to read Kelsey's bio

As Rice Dairy’s Operations Specialist, Kelsey works closely with each functional area of Rice Dairy to establish effective trade execution through daily collaboration with clients, brokers, and the RD leadership team. Kelsey’s mission is to ensure Rice Dairy’s regulatory compliance, specializing in the areas of AML and Cybersecurity.

Prior to joining Rice Dairy in the summer of 2018, Kelsey worked as a Fraud Analyst after graduating from Purdue University with a B.S. in Economics in 2016. She looks forward to bringing these skills to her new position on the Rice Dairy team.

When Kelsey isn’t working, she enjoys live music, comedy, and relaxing on the deck with her family.

312-492-4224

Brokers

Rosemarie Clohisy – Broker Assistant/Analyst
  • Specialty – Options Trading
  • Favorite Cheese – Blueberry goat cheese
Click here to read Rosemarie's bio

An options trader for the past 25 years, Rosemarie brings to Rice Dairy a deep expertise of options markets. She began her career as a clerk for Universal Options, eventually trading for them for 14 years before working as an independent trader for 11 years. In her role as a broker assistant to Jon Spainhour, Rosemarie focuses on bringing this experience to the dairy markets and to Rice Dairy’s clients. Fluent in Spanish, she serves as liaison to Jon and works with him to service his existing client base as well as bring on new clients. A life-long Chicagoan, she received a bachelor’s in finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

312-492-4210
Andrew Faulman – Dairy Risk Advisor
  • Specialty – Cheese markets and customer education
  • Favorite Cheese – Tillamook Cheese White Extra Sharp Cheddar
Click here to read Andy's bio

Andrew “Andy” Faulman has been with Rice Dairy for more than 10 years. In his current role, Andy spends his time assisting customers remotely and in the office. Andy also writes our daily newsletter, The Rice Dairy Report. This report includes a recap of day-to-day activity as well as short and long-term market analysis based on fundamental and technical analysis. Andy graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Idaho in 2007.

312-492-4238
Joe Schmit – Dairy Risk Advisor
  • Specialty – Class III markets
  • Favorite Cheese – Parmesan
Click here to read Joe's bio

In 1998, Joe Schmit traded his first dairy futures contract while serving as the Iowa Grain Company desk manager. Soon after, he began to trade his own account, as well as holding trading authority for several client accounts. As the dairy market matured, he developed a proven trading style that has delivered positive results while mitigating risk. Joe acted as an independent floor broker from 2000-2007. In 2007, he became an AP of Rice Dairy where he continued to grow assets under management.  Today, Joe holds his Series 3 license and is a registered floor broker with the CME. He is a registered AP and partner of Rice Dairy.

312-492-4231
Trevor Slegers – Branch Manager
  • Specialty – Developing Fundamental Hedge Strategies
  • Favorite Cheese – Pepper Jack
Click here to read Trevor's bio

Since joining Rice Dairy in 2013, Trevor splits his workday between the CME floor operation and the office. On the floor, Trevor works with the senior staff on all facets of order flow in options and cash market. In the office Trevor works with customers on risk management strategies, execution and dairy market analysis. Working with a mix of producers & commercials worldwide, he is exposed to the whole gamut of the dairy supply chain. Growing up on a family dairy farm in Bakersfield, California, his producer background is put to good use providing expertise on California dairy prices and fundamentals. He graduated from Fresno State University, earning his Bachelors in Agriculture Business.

312-492-4205
Jon Spainhour – Dairy Risk Advisor
  • Specialty – Merchandising, client education and NFDM markets
  • Favorite Cheese -2 year old Cabot White Cheddar
Click here to read Jon's bio

At Rice Dairy, Jon has been an integral part of the team for more than a decade, focusing on NFDM and whey markets. He has extensive experience in developing hedging and general merchandising (cash and carry) programs as well as options strategies. He also focuses on educating clients on the dairy markets, new business development, and studying international price relationships. As a Rice Dairy partner, Jon mentors junior staff and assists with Rice Dairy International Ltd., the European office of Rice Dairy. He currently writes about NFDM and whey markets for the weekly Dairy Market Digest. Jon came to Rice Dairy in 2005 from Cargill Investor Services, where he was the dairy floor Operations Manager on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and became a partner of Rice Dairy in 2006. He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Finance.

312-492-4228

Analysts

Kevin Peterson – Analyst
  • Specialty – Dairy risk management
  • Favorite Cheese – Smoked Gouda
Click here to read Kevin's bio

Kevin joined the Rice Dairy team in the summer of 2016 after earning his bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Idaho. He primarily helps with order flow and teaching customers how to use the Online Dairy Auction Platform. Kevin is focused on risk management strategies for commercial companies as well as learning more about the dairy industry as a whole.

312-492-4262
Cody Koster – Analyst
  • Specialty – Risk management for dairy producers
  • Favorite Cheese – Smoked Cheddar
Click here to read Cody's bio

At Rice Dairy, Cody primarily focuses on helping dairyman develop strategies to manage their price risk. He grew up on a family dairy in Northern Michigan, worked on the farm prior to joining Rice Dairy, and still travels back whenever he can. Cody uses this first-hand experience to connect with and help other producers as well as commercials and processors. He also serves as a customer success representative for Vault Technologies, where he helps dairy producers apply the software to their businesses. Cody graduated from Michigan State University in 2011 with an associate’s degree in Dairy Farm Management.

312-492-4270
Zach Bowers – Analyst
  • Specialty – Dairy risk management
  • Favorite Cheese – Gouda
Click here to read Zach's bio

As an analyst at Rice Dairy, Zach focuses on dairy risk management. He grew up working on hog and dairy farms in Northwest Indiana and brings this agricultural experience to his role. Zach also serves as project manager for Vault Technologies, helping guide the development of new features for the software. He graduated from Calvin College with a bachelor’s degree in Finance.

312-492-4206
Owen Feenstra – Analyst
  • Specialty – Risk management for dairy producers
  • Favorite Cheese – Cabot white cheddar

Owen’s bio coming soon.

312-492-4232
Maggie Allen – Quantitative Analyst
  • Specialty – Data Analysis and Testing
  • Favorite Cheese – Havarti
Click here to read Maggie's bio

As Rice Dairy’s Quantitative Analyst, Maggie spends her day analyzing market data to help the Rice Dairy Team keep up with what’s happening in the dairy industry as well as other closely-related industries.  Maggie creates and tests models that analyze the markets and generates information to aid market predictions.

Maggie is a Chicago native and graduated from Marquette University in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. She is currently working towards her master’s degree in Statistics at DePaul.

312-492-4215

Key Partners

Matt Gould – Chief Market Analyst
  • Specialty – Dairy Market Analysis
  • Favorite Cheese – Hooks 5-Year Cheddar
Click here to read Matt's bio

In the role of Chief Market Analyst, Matt prepares the monthly long-range dairy price forecast. He also provides pre-report estimates and post-report analysis on the USDA Cold Storage, Dairy Products, and Milk Production reports. Additionally, Matt will be offering new services to customers including global supply and demand balance tables and dairy market strategy.

Matt earned a B.S. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and is a registered commodity trading advisor.

He has been featured as an expert source in international publications BBC News, Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal. Matt is a frequent contributor on Lee Mielke’s Dairy Radio Now, a writer in Progressive Dairyman, and a speaker on supply and demand trends at industry conferences.

Matt has known the Rice Dairy team for six years and has spent his entire life in the dairy industry. He grew up on a dairy farm in Western New York, now in its third generation of family ownership. Matt previously worked at O-AT-KA Milk Products and the U.S. Dairy Export Council. Gould owns the Dairy & Food Market Analyst, LLC based in Philadelphia and authors the Dairy & Food Market Analyst newsletter with Jerry Dryer, Chief Market Analyst, Emeritus.

In his free time, Matt and his wife, Melanie, are active in the Philadelphia Catholic community. They frequently travel to Upstate New York and South Florida to spend to spend time with their

Grant Cupps – CTO of Vault Dairy
  • Specialty – Design and development of Vault Platform
  • Favorite Cheese – Sharp Cheddar
Click here to read Grant's bio

Grant started with Vault in the summer of 2018, having already developed the first version of the platform in his previous role at OptionsCity.  He grew up in the small town of Cassville, Missouri.  Grant graduated from the University of Virginia in 2006 with a BS in Commerce, then from the University of Chicago in 2018 with an MS in Computer Science. When he’s not at work, he’s spending time with his wife, Claire, and his young sons Emory and Perry.  In his spare time, he loves running and waterskiing.

Evan Higgins – Vault Software Engineer
  • Favorite Cheese – Dill Havarti

Evan’s bio coming soon.

Jonah Pelfrey – Vault Software Engineer
  • Favorite Cheese – Gouda

Jonah’s bio coming soon.

David Willhite – Vault Software Engineer

David’s bio coming soon.

Advisory Board

Andrew Friedman
  • Favorite Cheese – Swiss
Click here to read Andrew's bio

Andrew founded Redwood Multimodal (formerly known as TSG) in 2001 to provide a more tailored, customer-centric solution. He saw that the brokerage industry was dominated by a couple of industry giants and knew he could provide a better solution for his customers.

Over the years, Andrew has helped drive the company’s growth, including the development of Redwood Multimodal’s family of companies, Freight Exchange of North America, A Redwood Logistics Company and Redwood Supply chain solutions. As a result of this vision, he was a 2007 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist.

Andrew enjoys being a chief mentor, challenger, and cheerleader for an inspiring and innovative group of employees.

Prior to Redwood Multimodal, Andrew began his career in transportation at American Backhaulers. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 1996.

James Oliff
  • Favorite Cheese – Stilton
Click here to read Jim's bio

Jim is a forward-thinking leader who has driven innovation and change throughout his career. An attorney by profession, Jim brings his critical thinking and analytic skills to whatever organization he serves.  Jim began his trading career as a member of the CME in 1976 primarily trading foreign currency futures.  He screamed through three decades with multiple procedures on his vocal cords over that time.  He was an early adapter of electronic trading and chaired the Electronic Transition Committee at CME.  Jim also served on the board of CME and CME Group from 1982 until his retirement from that board in April 2017.  He served as Vice Chairman of the Exchange and led the Strategic Committee that resulted in the adoption of electronic trading, the demutualization of the Exchange and its going public.  Along the way, he chaired the Clearing House Risk Committees and was involved in the creation of dairy futures.  When he resigned from the CME Group Board of Directors in April 2017 several tributes were given him:

Jim has served, or is serving, on other Boards as well.  Between 2002-2012, Jim sat on the Bard of FFastFill, plc and its various US subsidiaries.  FFastFill was an early provider of electronic trading front ends and services as well as providing other software and services through the cloud.  The company was sold in 2012.  Today, Jim not only advises Rice Dairy, but he also sits on the Boards of ICE Benchmark Administration Precious Metals Oversight Committee, KRM22 (a London based public company that delivers enterprise risk management services to the financial services industry through open architecture and the cloud) as well as Ambisafe, Inc. (a crypto and token infrastructure company).

Jim spends his free time playing golf and being with his wife of 44 years.  Together they are active in the lives of their three children and five grandchildren.

312-218-3337
Fritz Hirsch
  • Favorite Cheese – Maytag Blue Cheese
Click here to read Fritz's bio

Successful President/CEO (Sassy, Inc. and MAM USA), recognized for building and leading consumer brand companies with focus on mass merchant and big box specialty retailers. Created innovative new product development process via team concept, built and increased brand equity, negotiated strategic alliances, and provided strong operating leadership to drive profitable organic growth. Proven ability to supplement growth through successful acquisitions to further enhance shareholder value.

An experienced Independent Director and Advisory Board Member (Principal Funds, MAM USA, Belwith Products) with responsibility to act with care and loyalty on behalf of shareholders/owners in reaching rational and fiscally diligent decisions relating to the organization’s performance and governance.