SOURCE Magazine Winter 2023 | Page 24

22 SOURCE | Winter 2023


Karen Jones , GROWMARK Youth and Young Producer Specialist kjones @ growmark . com
Kyle Fecht , GROWMARK Director , Business Support , was recently named the 2022 Service Excellence Award winner . The award was created in 2021 to recognize a GROWMARK employee who displays the GROWMARK Way Service Excellence Standards of Trust , Responsiveness , Solutions Focus , Expertise , and Excellence .
Fecht began his GROWMARK career in 2009 after serving as a GROWMARK intern in the Energy Division . He has held several roles since then , including 10 years in Energy , and most recently was part of the process improvement team .
“ I ’ ve enjoyed coaching other employees and making learning fun for them ,” he said . “ I miss the customer interactions I had in Energy , but now I ’ m able to look at how we design processes today for tomorrow , and how we align resources across the whole System to be prepared for the future of agriculture .”
Fecht grew up on a farm in western Illinois and attended Western Illinois University at the encouragement of his mother .
“ I hadn ’ t planned to go to college , but my mom made all of us kids go ,” he said . “ I ended up really enjoying my business classes , especially commodities and trading , and went on to get my Master ’ s in economics .”
Besides his GROWMARK internship , Fecht also interned with the Chicago
Board of Trade , which taught him lessons that came in handy during his six years managing GROWMARK ’ s propane supply . He also credits retiree Marty Wieland with teaching him about the business and giving him the opportunity to learn and grow .
“ I ’ ve had some great mentors , including Marty and now Rod Wells ( Vice President , Corporate Strategy and
Logistics ) and Neil Alcorn ( Director , Enterprise Operational Improvement ) are giving me a chance to grow into a new position ,” he said . “ They ’ re giving me the opportunity to do something I ’ ve never done before , and I ’ m grateful for their belief in me .”
When asked about the Service Excellence Standards , Fecht said he ’ s the kind of person who builds trust by doing what he says he will do and being genuinely happy to meet new people and work with them . He also defines responsiveness as not necessarily giving people exactly what they ask for but making sure they feel heard and coming to a solution that ’ s best for everyone .
“ That goes with finding solutions ,” he said . “ Often , there are lots of layers and it ’ s important to figure out the root cause , and then go forward from there . We need to go upstream and find out why people are falling in the water , not always just pulling them out .”
He considers himself a lifelong learner , taking advantage of any opportunity to learn more about his specific work and also the industry as a whole .
He defines excellence as being genuine and real , and working together to solve problems .
“ It ’ s a partnership , and everyone needs to know they are equally important ,” he said . “ If we ’ re not providing value , we cease to exist .”

I ’ m able to look at how we design processes today for tomorrow , and how we align resources across the whole System to be prepared for the future of agriculture .
– Kyle Fecht , GROWMARK Director , Business Support