WARREN STALEY joined the Music Academy Board of Directors in 2015, and served as Board Chair from 2018-2019. Born in Illinois, Mr. Staley earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering at Kansas State University and went to work for Standard Oil of California (since renamed Chevron Corp.). Upon earning his MBA at Cornell University, he served for two years as a staff member at a development bank in Colombia before joining Cargill as a trainee in 1969. He steadily advanced and was named Cargill's president and chief operating officer in 1998, CEO in 1999, and Board chairman in 2000. Mr. Staley is credited with presiding over a period of renewed growth and prosperity at the Minnesota-based company, whose divergent interests include, trading, storing, and processing agricultural commodities, livestock feeding and processing, animal nutrition, food ingredients, and financial services. It is the nation's largest privately held corporation by revenue. He retired from Cargill in 2007. Mr. Staley has served as board director for U.S. Bancorp, Target, Excel Trust, and PACCAR, and is a former member of the President's Export Council. His extensive involvement with nonprofits includes the microfinance initiative Opportunity International, Habitat for Humanity, United Way, and the Music Academy of the West. He is currently overseeing the construction of a high school in Ghana.
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