The Richmond, Va.-based cooperative, and 2017 Precision Farming Dealer Most Valuable Dealership welcomes a new precision ag product line leader in Mike DiPaola. DiPaola succeeds David Swain, and comes from FarmWizard where he served as director of business development.

“Southern States has built its name by helping farmers make sound agronomic decisions,” DiPaola says. “Now, more than ever, we need to use our experience and technologies to help our farmers gain the most from their crops in profitable and responsible way.”

DiPaola spent 11 years with Syngenta where he held leadership positions as head of sales operations and enablement, commercial leader for the U.S. soybean operating unit, head of crop marketing and portfolio in their tree, nuts and vines product line, as well as district sales manager for their seed business.

Southern States Cooperative also added industry veterans Jay Quickel and Joe Paoli to head-up their farm supply and sales divisions. Quickel will serve as executive vice president of the co-op’s farm supply division, focusing on products distributed to company-owned retail stores and wholesale distribution to its independent dealers.

“I’m excited about building a foundation for our customers to grow their relationship with Southern States,” Quickel says. “We’ve identified a basket of initiatives focused on customer engagement, product productivity, inventory optimization and supply chain efficiency. It comes down to driving proficiency from start to finish and focusing on the core of what makes Southern States unique and differentiated to better serve our customers wherever they are, whenever they need us.”

His 30-year career has included key roles at Fisher Scientific, Hallmark, Harbor Freight, and Lumber Liquidators. At Lumber Liquidators, he served as vice president of merchandising, product development and global sourcing, as well as director of merchandising, where he was responsible for all aspects of product assortments and managing them through the product development life cycle.

Joe Paoli comes on board as the executive vice president of sales, following a 16-year career with Cargill. Paoli most recently served as Cargill’s vice president of global commercial excellence where he was responsible for modernizing Cargill’s global commercial capabilities and improving the customer experience with digital commerce, strategic pricing, customer relationship management and sales effectiveness.

“My objective is to create a more unified sales organization, with a focus on solution selling and improving our customer experience to help drive sustainable profitability for our organization,” Paoli says.