John is a highly respected leader who has inspired and led the community to imagine a bigger future in life sciences. In 2013 he was inducted in to the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame. In 2015 he was given Life Sciences Ontario Lifetime Achievement Award. John is a founding member of the Canadian Agri-Marketing Association, chairman, Flax Canada 2015 Inc.; past chairman of the Crop Protection Institute, and the Canadian Animal Health Institute. He also serves as a member of the Agricultural Institute of Canada, Board of Governors of the University of Guelph and held several positions on corporate boards as Chairman of the Board, and Director. John has a long history in agriculture and business. In 1965 he joined Eli Lilly in agricultural promotion and advertising. After holding several marketing positions, John became the Director of Elanco Products in 1971 and Vice-President of Eli Lilly Canada in 1976. In 1989, he became President of DowElanco Canada, Inc., a joint venture between Dow Chemical and Eli Lilly to research, manufacture and market crop protection and plant biotechnology products. In 1997 he combined his interest in biotechnology and government affairs into Maple Leaf Bio-Concepts.
Arlen is past Executive Director of the North Central Regional Association of Agricultural Experiment Stations (NCRA) located in Madison, WI. Dr. Leholm has conducted research on high-performing teams in the private and public sectors. In 2006, Michigan State University Press published his book, co-authored with Raymond Vlasin, “Increasing the Odds for High Performance Teams – Lessons Learned”. Dr. Leholm has helped public universities across the United States build research/extension teams and private sector firms establish cross-functional teams at the top of their organizations. Dr. Leholm serves as a consultant to agribusiness firms, his framework for successful collaborations among university, private sector, and government entities helps harness joint creativities. He works with venture capitalists, technology managers, and private firms to advance products with the potential for commercialization. Dr. Leholm also advances the role of “emotional intelligence” which contributes to organizational success. Arlen Leholm was Dean and Director of the University of Wisconsin-Extension, Cooperative Extension Service, he has also served as Director and Associate Director of Michigan State University Extension. He served in those roles for a total of 12 years and responsible for over 100 faculty and staff in each state.