Rick Shanks
Rick Shanks

Rick Shanks, ARM

Chief Sustainability Advisor

“I believe sustainability risk management planning and developing risk reduction solutions is important because it supports farmers and food companies in effectively telling the story of the good they do for the environment and their communities. It helps them to develop a continuous improvement plan that will directly benefit where we live.”

Rick brings extensive risk management experience that is needed to manage traditional, non-traditional and emerging risk concerns the food system faces to the Sustainable Environmental Consultants (SEC) team. As chief sustainability advisor for SEC, Rick is responsible for identifying areas of opportunity and providing insight into food system and agribusiness operations and developing sustainability risk reduction solutions.

In addition to his experience, he is invested in the company as a stockholder and a Board member. He has passion for working in the sustainability space and looking for long-term solutions to risk problems with people, community, product, and planet. He knows reputation risk is the number one risk facing SEC customers, and he believes it’s essential for them to have an effective sustainability risk management process in place.

Prior to joining the SEC team, he served as the national managing director of the food system, agribusiness, and beverage industry practice at Aon, a global risk management and insurance consulting firm, for more than 20 years. He has more than 30 years of experience in the food and agribusiness industry.

He brings that wealth of experience to the SEC team and firmly believes helping others reach the level of success in life that they want whether its personal or professional are among his top career achievements.

“I was influenced to return to being part of the SEC team after meeting John Harsch and Jenny Jensen, liking what they developed, seeing their passion and knowing that I could help them take what they developed and move it to the next level,” said Rick. “We are on the leading edge of providing a service that will accelerate.”

Rick holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and business administration from the University of Missouri. He also has earned an Associate of Risk Management (ARM) designation from the Insurance Institute of America. He currently serves as an adjunct expert for the Food Protection and Defense Institute, which is a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence.

Rick enjoys golf, travel, being with family, and spending time with his wife Rena and their dog Cubby. He also likes digging in and researching new sustainability issues and solutions.