During the 131st American Seed Trade Association’s Annual Convention in Indianapolis, IN. the Future Seed Executives (FuSE) held a joint FuSE/Management Skills committee meeting focused on the Power of Inclusive Leadership. I spoke with FuSE founder and Vice President, Business Development for Gro Alliance, Jim Schweigert, and he shared what lead him to start this group for young professionals in the seed community.
When Jim attended his first ASTA convention he was shocked with how few young people were present. He expressed this observation with then chairman Don Wertman. Don simply said, “Well, why don’t you do something about it.” Jim knew that if he didn’t feel welcomed into this association, then other people probably didn’t as well.
With help from other young people in the industry, Jim put together the basic concept of what is now known as the FuSE. This year FuSE is proudly celebrating their 10 year anniversary and are still focused on educating and supporting future seed industry executives. Their programs are designed as regional opportunities to expand learning, cultivate management skills, promote networking, and improve general understanding of the seed industry.
“I think the real big change is that seed companies are now using the FuSE programming as part of their normal process for new industry executives. In the past the large companies trained within their own organizations, but now they are engaging in the industry as a whole. For smaller companies, it’s really invaluable because they don’t have the same training infrastructure. Now they have an opportunity to network with other industry professionals and see the industry as a whole not just the company they work for.”
Listen to my interview with Jim here: Interview with Jim Schweigert, FuSE Founder