Center for Risk Management Education & Research

Kansas State University
Ted Schroeder, Director

Speaker Profiles

DhamuDhamu Thamodaran - Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer, and Chief Commodity Hedging Officer, Smithfield Foods 

Dhamu Thamodaran has more than 30 years of experience in the food industry—most of that with Smithfield Foods—and assumed his current role as Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer, and Chief Commodity Hedging Officer in 2016. Based at the global food company’s headquarters in Smithfield, Virginia, he leads strategy development and implementation to maximize returns from the company’s vertically integrated business. Dr. Thamodaran also manages Smithfield’s commodity hedging activities and heads the global economics commodities research and analysis group. He reports directly to President and Chief Executive Officer Ken Sullivan.


Raised in India, Dr. Thamodaran graduated from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science in agriculture. After receiving a Master of Science in agriculture and statistics in 1980 from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, he earned a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Iowa State University in 1983. Upon graduating, Iowa State appointed Dr. Thamodaran as a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development to conduct in-depth research on U.S. and global agricultural issues. Dr. Thamodaran joined Farmland Industries in 1985 and spent five years there in various roles before moving to John Morrell & Co. as director of price risk management. Both companies were subsequently acquired by Smithfield—John Morrell in 1995 and Farmland in 2003.


Dr. Thamodaran came to Smithfield in 1995 as director of price risk management. The company had not yet become the world’s largest hog producer and pork processor, with annual revenues just a fraction of today’s $15 billion. Promoted to vice president of price risk management in 1996, he became senior vice president & chief commodity hedging officer in 2008. Three years later, he was named executive vice president and chief commodity hedging officer.


Dr. Thamodaran’s knowledge and understanding of world agricultural markets, macroeconomics, and the pork value chain make him uniquely qualified for his current role. In 2019, Dr. Thamodaran joined the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group’s Agricultural Markets Advisory Council and was the recipient of Iowa State’s Henry Wallace Award, which honors notable alumni for their professional achievements. He also serves as an informal advisor to key Smithfield customers via regular presentations on global economic and commodity-market dynamics. Dr. Thamodaran has been a keynote speaker at many conferences and a guest speaker at major agribusiness schools.

Tim Andriesen

Tim Andriesen - Managing Director of Ag Products, CME Group

Tim Andriesen was appointed Managing Director, Agricultural Commodities for CME Group in August 2009. He is responsible for developing and executing the global business strategy for the company's agricultural commodities business. Mr. Andriesen has a broad and diversified background in the grain trading and risk management business ranging from managing country elevators to global trading operations for international banks.

Mr. Andriesen earned a bachelor's degree Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and is a graduate of the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business’ Advance Management Program.

Ansley Chua Ansley Chua - Finance Department Head and Associate Professor, Kansas State University

Ansley Chua joined Kansas State University in the Fall of 2011 as an Assistant Professor of Finance. Since joining the faculty, Ansley has taught many of the finance course offerings, including: Entrepreneurial Finance, International Finance, and Cases in Finance. He also developed the Financial Modeling course to prepare the students with the necessary toolkit when starting their careers. His research primarily focuses on Initial Public Offerings of firms, including the compensation stucture of executives around the time of the offering. Ansley assisted in the department head role in July of 2016 and fully transitioned to the Department Head of Finance in July of 2017 after earning his tenure.

Prior to joining the faculty in K-State, Ansley served as a faculty member at University of Texas – Pan American in McAllen, Texas. He received his PhD in Finance from Florida State University in 2009. Ansley is married to his wife, Jen, and they have two children

 Elizabeth YeagerElizabeth Yeager - Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University

Elizabeth Yeager is an Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Programs in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University. She works in the areas of agribusiness management, farm management, and finance. Prior to joining the faculty at Kansas State, she was an Assistant Professor at Purdue University. Elizabeth has taught undergraduate courses in Food and Agribusiness Marketing, Research Methods, Grain and Livestock Marketing, Farm and Ranch Management, Agricultural Finance, Commodity Futures and Options, and Optimization Methods in Agricultural Economics. She was selected as a recipient of the 2019 Commerce Bank and W.T. Kemper Foundation Undergraduate Outstanding Teaching Award at Kansas State University. Her research has looked at firm productivity, efficiency, repayment capacity, bench marking, risk management, and teaching research concerning classroom performance and motivation in hybrid classrooms. Outside of academia, Elizabeth and her husband, Isaak Perfetti, enjoy running and hunting and are expecting their first child in February 2020.


 Charles Marvine - Regional Administrator & Deputy Director, Division of Enforcement, CFTC

Chuck Marvine is a Deputy Director with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Division of Enforcement, in Kansas City, Missouri, as well as the Regional Administrator for the CFTC’s Kansas City office.  As Deputy Director, Chuck leads teams of attorneys and investigators in investigating and prosecuting alleged violations of federal laws dealing with commodities, futures, and swaps.  As Regional Administrator, he serves as the principal advisor to the CFTC and staff on regional issues that cut across CFTC Division lines and as the CFTC’s official liaison in dealing with other agencies, the industry, and the general public.  Chuck joined the CFTC in 2004 and served as a trial attorney and chief trial attorney prior to his current roles.  Previously, he practiced law with two Kansas City, Missouri law firms after clerking for the Honorable Pasco M. Bowman, Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

 Nick WarrenNick Warren - President of Regional Banking, Commerce Bank

Nick is President of Regional Banking for the Banks Western Markets and Managing Director of Agribusiness Lending for Commerce Bank. His responsibilities include leading a team of commercial bankers across the western regional footprint of Commerce Bank including the commercial sales office in Iowa. He is also responsible for Commerce Bank’s agribusiness lending division, focusing on companies engaged in handling agricultural commodities and food processing. He received his Bachelor of Science in Finance from Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS, and his MBA from Baker University's School of Professional and Graduate Studies. Warren currently serves on the Finance Advisory Board for the business school at Kansas State University, as well as Giving the Basics, a locally based non-profit organization. 

 Chad SouthChad South - NGL Broker, Liquidity Partners

Chad’s 24-year career in trading and risk management started with Koch Chemical in 1996 after graduating from Kansas State University with a degree in Business Administration.  After a move to Houston with Koch, Chad received his MBA from University of Houston.   From there he has worked in various trading, business development, and risk management roles at Enron and British Petroleum and spent seven years trading for banks in New York, before moving to Chicago to help run the jet fuel hedge program for United Airlines.  In 2017, United shut down the hedging program, and Chad moved to Liquidity Partners where he continues to work brokering natural gas liquids and helping clients manage forward fuel price exposures.


 Brian CoffeyBrian Coffey - Assistant Professor, Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University

Brian Coffey is Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University and CRMER Director of Executive Programs. He teaches undergraduate courses in production economics and futures markets and has conducted several outreach efforts to educate stakeholders in the use of futures markets to hedge agricultural outputs. Brian has published peer reviewed journal articles focused on price discovery, futures markets, and risk management, as well as the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Before joining the K-State faculty, Brian lived and in Central Asia for several years where he taught university courses, professional development courses and consulted for a variety of small, private agribusinesses in the region.