Leadership

The AGRO Merchants executive leadership team is well recognized throughout the global cold chain industry for their extensive design, build, management, and operational expertise that spans North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

Carlos Rodriguez

Chief Executive Officer
Carlos is one of the founders and principals of AGRO Merchants Group, previously responsible for the European platform. He has over twenty years of experience in the supply chain industry, this includes a number of leadership positions in operations during the early years in Spain, the UK, Germany and Mexico, as well as global responsibility for other functions during the past ten years (project management, solutions and business development). Having previously served as Senior Vice President of Engineering, Planning & Development at Americold and Global Vice President of Business Development at Syncreon, Carlos holds an MSc in Transport and Logistics from the School of Engineering & Technology Management, Liverpool John Moores University. He holds a license as a Merchant Marine Officer as well as a Navy Officer (Spanish Armed Forces).

Don Schoenl

President of AGRO Merchants Group North America
Since 2000, Don has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Nordic Cold Storage. Following the sale to AGRO Merchants Group, Don has been appointed President of AGRO Merchants Group North America. A Buffalo New York native, Don worked with PriceWaterhouse LLP until 1995, when he accepted a financial and operations leadership role with a client in the frozen entree business. In 1998, Don joined the Nordic team as Chief Financial Officer. Don is an active industry executive and served as Chairman of the World Food Logistics Organization (WFLO) in 2008. Don is a graduate of the University of Buffalo, where he also earned his MBA.

Arjan Kaaks

Chief Financial Officer
Arjan joined AGRO Merchants Group as CFO in 2017, and brings some 25 years experience in FMCG, retail and distribution/logistics, working in international environments, and living in various countries. Following a 12 years career with Unilever, he became a CFO and Executive Team member with companies such as Royal Grolsch, O’Neill, Maxeda and Ceva Logistics, familiarizing himself with both listed as well as privately / private equity owned business governance. Arjan received an MA in Economics and Finance from Groningen University and a Postgraduate degree in Controlling and Finance from Free University Amsterdam.

Michael Bender

General Counsel and EVP Human Resources
Mike is the General Counsel of AGRO Merchants Group with global responsibility for legal and compliance matters. Mike also leads all Human Resources initiatives for the company. Mike has more than 20 years of in-house and law firm experience across a range of industries, with a particular focus on M&A and complex corporate transactions. Most recently, Mike was General Counsel for Hanley Wood, a leading B2B media and information services company that was owned by affiliates of Oaktree Capital Management. He also worked at Latham & Watkins, and prior to that Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Mike received his BA in Philosophy from The University of Chicago and his JD with honors from Columbia Law School.