Sukup Manufacturing hires former Deere exec, a non-family member, as COO
A former Deere & Co. executive has joined the leadership team at Sukup Manufacturing, the family-owned maker of iconic grain bins in north central Iowa.
The Sheffield company, which has three generations of family members leading and working in the business, said Wednesday that John Teeple, a non-relative who worked 23 years in leadership roles at Deere, will join the business as chief operating officer.
“John has stellar experience in agriculture and manufacturing and will be a valuable addition to our team,” CEO Steve Sukup said in a statement.
Teeple most recently led Amazon's worldwide business development efforts in agriculture and was a senior vice president at DTN, an agricultural data company that's based in Minnesota. At Deere, Teeple held leadership positions in manufacturing, research and development, strategy and technology.
Sukup said innovation has been key to the company's growth. "Technology is increasingly critical to farm and agriculture products," he said, and "we are confident in John’s ability to work with our manufacturing operations, shipping, facility optimization, and product development teams."
Family members have led the company since Sukup's parents, Eugene and Mary Sukup, started the business in 1963. His older brother Charles led the company for 25 years before handing the reins to him last year, and now is chairman of the company's board of directors.
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Mary Sukup serves as the board's corporate secretary. Eugene Sukup died in 2018.
Several third-generation family members also help lead the company: Steve Sukup's daughter, Emily Schmitt, is the company's chief administrative officer and general counsel; her husband Andy Schmitt is supply chain manager; Sukup's son-in-law Matt Koch is senior electrical engineer; and Steve Sukup's son Nick works with material handling production control. Charles Sukup's son Andrew works in the manufacturing plant.
Teeple, who has a bachelor's degree in industrial technology from Iowa State University, has three college-age children with his wife, Amy.
Donnelle Eller covers agriculture, the environment and energy for the Register. Reach her at email@example.com or 515-284-8457.