ARLINGTON, Virginia — U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) has hired Mike Spier to be Vice President of Overseas Operations beginning Oct. 15, 2019. Spier spent 19 years with USW before joining Columbia Grain International (CGI) where, most recently, he was head of CGI’s international wheat trading desk in Portland, Ore. Spier will be based in the USW West Coast Office in Portland.
“We are very pleased that Mike has agreed to come back to work for our organization,” said USW President Vince Peterson. “Adding his 27 years of experience with USW and grain companies to the staff gives us proven success in export market development and fills the vacancy left when Mark Fowler assumed his new position as Vice President of Global Technical Services earlier this year. Mike knows our organization, our business and our customers. He will be a great partner, resource and leader for our overseas operations.”
“I am excited to rejoin the USW team and look forward to once again representing U.S. wheat farmers overseas,” Spier said. “Wheat markets around the globe are rapidly changing and creating both new challenges and opportunities. I very much look forward to working with USW’s exceptional staff as well as our wheat industry partners to maintain and expand international markets for U.S. wheat.”
Spier is an Oregon native who has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Seattle Pacific University. He started his career in 1992 as an accountant and then a grain merchandiser with United Grain Corporation in Portland. In 1997, he joined USW as Assistant Director of the West Coast Office. In 1998, Spier relocated to Cairo, Egypt, as Assistant Regional Director for the Middle East and East Africa. After four years in Cairo, he transferred to Manila, Philippines, as Assistant Regional Director for South Asia. In 2009, Spier was promoted to Regional Vice President for South Asia and transferred to USW’s Singapore Regional Office. He joined CGI in 2015 as Assistant Vice President of International Marketing in Singapore where he was responsible for international wheat sales to end users in Southeast Asia. In 2018, Spier relocated to CGI’s international wheat trading desk in Portland.
Over his career in the grain industry, Spier has traveled to more than 40 countries, implementing wheat export market development activities, providing insight into the U.S. and world wheat markets and assisting buyers with wheat contract terms to meet price and quality expectations.
U.S. Wheat Associates’ (USW) mission is to develop, maintain, and expand international markets to enhance wheat’s profitability for U.S. wheat producers and its value for their customers in more than 100 countries. Its activities are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 17 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. For more information, visit www.uswheat.org.