Executive News Southeast

Kincannon & Reed Chair Gregory Duerksen Dies Unexpectedly

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Kincannon & Reed Chairman Gregory J. Duerksen died unexpectedly in Richmond, Virginia, on Thursday, Jan. 31. 

Mr. Duerksen joined the executive search firm in 2001 and became chairman and CEO in 2007. 

“Greg’s contribution to the firm cannot be overstated,” said Kincannon & Reed President and CEO Issy Perez. “He always reminded us to stay connected with clients and candidates to build our business and to deliver high-quality services.”

After leading the acquisition of the firm from its founder in 2007, Mr. Duerksen guided Kincannon & Reed to become the leading search firm in the food and agribusiness sector, says the company, tripling its staff and partner group while maintaining its entrepreneurial, collaborative culture. 

“It is upon this strong foundation that we will honor his legacy by executing his vision of continued growth working with organizations that feed the world,” Perez added. “We extend our deepest condolences to Greg’s wife, Ellen, and the rest of his family during this painful time.”

“Those fortunate to have known Greg grieve the loss of a dear friend, a passionate industry advocate, a sincere mentor, a hard-working colleague and a servant leader with unwavering integrity,” said Kincannon & Reed in a statement.

Part of Mr. Duerksen’s long-term vision for the company was evolving the leadership structure to expand the partner group and bring in a food executive as president and CEO for day-to-day management, allowing Mr. Duerksen to move into the chairman role and focus on what he loved:  building relationships with clients and industry leaders. 

“These transitions have positioned the firm well, enabling the organization to continue with the strategies and vision that Greg fostered,” Kincannon & Reed said, adding that “Greg believed that those working in food and agriculture serve a noble purpose, and he had a deep understanding of the prominent role effective executives play in the success of every organization in the food value chain. His ever-present passion for recruiting leaders for organizations that feed the world and keep it healthy will live on in the firm.”

According to Mr. Duerksen’s family, his experiences at Augustana University changed his life, and the family has established a memorial fund in his name to make that possible for others in his home state of South Dakota. 

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