Kevin O’Connor, a life-long passionate advocate for agriculture, joins the Ag 1 Source / Career 1 Source Talent Services group. Kevin’s successful track record in sales, sales management, recruiting, and training development is a great fit into the role of Training and Development Manager for the Ag 1 Source / Career 1 Source team. One of Kevin’s key goals as the new Training and Development Manager is to merge his prior knowledge and skills in training and recruitment processes with the entire team at Ag 1 Source and Career 1 Source yielding a best-in-class training program. Speaking to the members and stakeholders, Mike Smith, President and CEO of Ag 1 Source/Career 1 Source said “If you win, we all win. No doubt, our market out there seems harder and more competitive all of the time, so being at the top of our game not only makes sense, but is essential, and we see Kevin as a key part of our system.”
Kevin’s experience makes him uniquely suited to achieve these goals. In 2007, Kevin had the opportunity to build the Sales Trainee program, an industry leading training program at AgReliant Genetics. This Sales Trainee program, that he built from scratch, supplied over half the sales personnel for the seed brands of AgReliant for the past 12 years. Kevin also took pride in developing the Seed Academy training program, that prepared new college grads and experienced industry professionals for success in the seed industry.
Ag 1 Source/Career 1 Source believes his experience will allow Kevin to review, assess, and improve an already robust training program from the ground up, both for the newest team members, but also to work with experienced consultants on a one-on-one basis, to help sharpen all skills. Even for the most experienced recruiters, he has some great methods he can impart. “Kevin had a 96% placement rate of his new recruits in sales territories that he recruited for. I truly believe that he effectively covers all 4 Pillars of selection well; assessing skills, performance profiling, behavioral, and cultural,” said Mike Smith, President and CEO of Ag 1 Source/Career 1 Source.
The company culture at Ag 1 Source/Career 1 Source aligns with Kevin’s background as well by targeting recruiting team members that come from the industries that they then serve. Kevin grew up on a grain and livestock farm in Illinois. His strong interests in business drew him to his Ag Economics degree at the University of Illinois and later to his MBA at Illinois State University. He began his career as a District Sales Manager for Golden Harvest Seeds and opened a new sales district in western Illinois and northeast Missouri where his consistent top sales performance lead to his selection as the General Sales Manager of the Sommer Brothers Golden Harvest Seed Company after just five years. In his 13 years as General Sales Manager, sales nearly tripled for the company. When Syngenta purchased the Golden Harvest brand and companies in 2004, Kevin was selected as the East Division Sales Head for the Golden Harvest brand and was responsible for the East half of the U.S. for Golden Harvest.
This experience in agriculture and the success of the Sales Trainee and Seed Academy programs combine to make Kevin a best choice for Training and Development Manager at Ag 1 Source/Career 1 Source. The company looks forward to the progress we can make and chance to serve our clients to an even greater degree. To learn more about Kevin, connect with him on Linkedin by clicking here.