Rick R.: Marine to Regional Sales Manager

Rick R.
U.S. Marine Corps

Rick R. put in a recruiting card at 17. A Marine recruiter called him during his senior year of high school to talk through his options. Rick liked working with computers and was looking for a job that would give him opportunities after the military. Soon he headed to boot camp in San Diego then training just outside of Camp Lejeune.

After training, Rick got orders to Camp Pendleton where he stayed for three years. He received orders to Diego Garcia and began to prepare. Soon after, events took place and Rick was sent to Bahrain to help secure bases in the region. He provided needed support and augmented his role as needs arose.

Rick was offered a 3-year reenlistment package but decided he was ready to start the next part of his career. He got a job doing logistics scheduling for a privately-owned company. Rick worked directly with the division manager and the shipping department and built relationships with companies domestically and internationally. He was scheduled to become an IT administrator at the company but met his wife and made the decision to move to Minnesota with her.

Rick found an IT contractor job doing everything from analyzing data and taking inventory to swapping out computer equipment and installing software. When his contract job was up, Rick starting looking for opportunities on the Minnesota State Job Bank website. He found a sales and administrative role at CHS and called to inquire about it. He had an interview that morning and was asked to work the rest of the day. Rick was offered the job that day and believes it was because of the discipline and leadership experience he had developed in the Marine Corps.

In that role, Rick identified a need for a liaison between the sales and IT departments. He built a role for himself as an IT relationship manager between sales and IT. Soon he realized that he didn't want to be sitting behind a computer forever and started seeking a new challenge.

Two months after he started with CHS, he was offered a role handling biodiesel sales. He created his own marketing and development plans and took sales from 300,000 to 4 million gallons over the next few years. During this time, Rick also completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and Marketing.

Five years into his new sales role, he took a role as a refined fuels account manager for CHS' Northwestern territory, working daily with cooperatives for their customers and their retail stores and recommending solutions to accommodate their needs. He took over a small section based on demand (400 million gallons for just over 50 customers). There was high demand in the area and the customers were top priority for the company. In early 2015, Rick assumed a regional sales manager role, which encompassed four areas of two he used to handle day-to-day.

Over the years, Rick has seen opportunities and utilized them to create new roles for himself. Rick's consistent training, eagerness to learn, and drive to support where support is needed have been vital to his success.