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Compeer Client Services

Risk Management with Pearl City Elevator

Pearl City Elevator in Pearl City, Ill.

Pearl City Elevator (PCE) is a full-service farmer-owned cooperative in Northwest Illinois, offering customer-owners the farm inputs they need at all eight locations. PCE provides seed, fertilizer, energy solutions, livestock feed, brokerage services and grain elevator services; in addition to having a controlling interest in the Adkins Energy ethanol plant.  

Compeer Financial started a relationship with Pearl City Elevator in 2007, taking on the lead lending position in 2011. PCE’s partnership with Compeer includes an operating line and term debt for expansion, along with the recent addition of leasing services.

According to PCE Chief Executive Officer & General Manager Phil Ramsel, the values and business philosophies of PCE and Compeer align in both expected – and unexpected – ways. “Our cultures are similar and the passion they have for their clients mirrors our own,” Ramsel said. “What we didn’t necessarily expect, but truly value, is the completely transparent approach we receive through the Compeer team. Our Compeer relationship managers are free to think for themselves and employ their minds in terms of helping our business.” 

(Left to right) Pearl City Elevator's Brian Wambeke, VP Agronomy; Phil Ramsel, CEO and General Manager; Tracey Doubler, Chief Operations Officer; Pennie Groezinger, VP Human Resources & Communications; Brendon Vlasin, VP Grain; Rodrigo Zobaran, Chief Commercial Officer; and Rodney Powell, Chief Financial Officer

 Although the cooperative’s performance has been solid over the past year, it now takes more dollars to run the business. Compeer has anticipated all of the ups and downs and had solutions all along the way, Ramsel explained.  

“PCE is all about risk management; that’s why we are diversified. As risks change and evolve, having skills and expertise at the ready to solve problems has made a tremendous difference,” said Rodney Powell, PCE’s Chief Financial Officer. “Compeer understands farmers are used to addressing business problems. But what drives farmers’ decisions often circulates around what they have available to work with, not what the true risk is. This leads to a let’s-just-do-what-we-can-afford-to-do approach to business decisions, rather than figuring out the best way strategically to solve this problem.”

That’s where having a trusted financial lender at your side can make a difference, Powell explained. “Compeer is so closely connected to agriculture and what farmers experience daily, that their team is in the ideal position to help us guide our farmer owners. The thing I’ve appreciated the most is their tremendous knowledge about our businesses and our customers. It’s very unique.” 

John Pastore, VP Food and Agribusiness at Compeer, recently started managing this critical relationship and has impressed the leadership team at PCE from the beginning. “John has been hustling and making sure the transition was seamless,” Ramsel said. “Compeer has this fantastic team approach, so we benefit from many of their team members’ expertise. We’ve really felt the whole Compeer team rally around PCE.”

Pastore appreciates the trust PCE’s leadership has put in him to meet their financial lending needs, and enjoys seeing their business grow as a result of their dedication.

“Working with Phil and Rodney at Pearl City Elevator has been a great experience,” Pastore said. “They’ve been instrumental in helping me to understand their business and the goals they want to achieve as they guide PCE into the future. They’ve been open and willing to collaborate, making it easier for us to bring new products and ideas to them within a short timeframe.”

Encouragement from Compeer in many forms – guiding, supporting and executing – helped PCE’s leaders understand the importance of focusing on growth in order to position their business for long-term success.

As Powell put it, “Compeer helped us recognize that we’re in this together. It’s a team effort and they have resources we can leverage. It’s a tremendous relationship.”

Check out various articles and resources regarding products and services offered through Food and Agribusiness Financing at Compeer.

Compeer Financial can provide assistance with  agri-business finances and operations based on historical data and industry expertise. Compeer does not provide legal advice or certified financial planning.

Compeer Financial is an equal opportunity employer and provider, and an equal credit opportunity lender.

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