Management team

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 of AGRO Merchants Group and brings more than 24 years of leadership experience in the supply chain industry. Prior to partnering with Oaktree, Carlos was a member of the Americold Executive Team with global responsibility for Solutions, Engineering, Planning & Development. Previous positions also include a number of operational and project management roles in several European countries, the U.S., and Mexico, followed by global functional responsibility in the automotive and high-tech logistics industries. Carlos holds an MSc in Transport and Logistics from the School of Engineering & Technology Management, Liverpool John Moores University. Served as Merchant Marine Officer and Navy Officer (Spanish Armed Forces).

Elizabeth Gildea

Chief Financial Officer

Elizabeth joins AGRO Merchants Group with more than 16 years of international leadership experience in a variety of industries, geographies, and Finance roles which include business transformation, restructuring, business process improvement, and integration. She has extensive experience in manufacturing and distribution businesses including Infrastructure, Building Materials, Commercial and Retail Solutions and Telecommunications. Prior to joining AGRO Merchants Group, Elizabeth was Vice President of Finance for CRH Americas Construction Accessories and also held leadership roles at CRH within Europe and North America. Elizabeth is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland, a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner in the United States and holds an MBA from Georgia State University.

Colin Smith

Chief Transformation Officer

Colin leads the AGRO project management office, which coordinates AGRO’s value creation initiatives across integration, business transformation, organic growth and continuous improvements of the existing platform. Colin also serves as a Managing Director at Oaktree Capital Management and Head of their Portfolio Transformation Team. Prior to joining Oaktree in 2014, Colin led large-scale value creation and growth programs for multiple companies across a variety of industries. Colin earned his B.A. with honors from Queen’s University, and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

David Berry

Chief Information Officer

David joins AGRO Merchants Group with more than 36 years of experience in multiple industries such as  aerospace, insurance, retail, CPG (food/cosmetics/drink), restaurants, high-tech and software on a global scale.  He has worked in over 25 countries and has held senior roles in global companies such as Burger King, Häagen-Dazs, Coty, Polycom, TOMS Shoes, Lululemon Athletica, and most recently Bombardier Aerospace.

David holds a bachelor’s degree, Magna cum Laude from Pace University in Business and Information Systems. He is a member the International Executive Resource Group (IERG), SIM, Executive Forum, and the CIO Executive Council. 

Mike Bender

General Counsel

Mike is the General Counsel of AGRO Merchants Group with global responsibility for legal and compliance matters. Mike has more than 20 years of in-house and law firm experience across a range of industries with a focus on M&A and complex corporate transactions. Prior to joining AGRO, Mike was General Counsel and head of Corporate Development for Hanley Wood, a leading B2B media and information services company that is 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.

Monique Bakker

EVP Human Resources

Monique joined AGRO in February 2018 and is since July of that year a member of the executive team with overall responsibility for the company’s Human Resources function and bringing new strategies and best practices to the organization. Monique brings to AGRO more than 25 years of HR management experience. She has worked in a wide range of industries across multiple countries and regions, these include cold storage, retail and FMCG. Monique’s expertise includes change management, talent development, and integration. Monique earned a BA degree in Management, Economics and Law, and an MBA in Marketing and Sales.