KLA President Jeff Sternberger announced today Matt Teagarden is the new KLA chief executive officer (CEO). Teagarden, a member of the KLA staff since 2001, was named to replace current CEO Dee Likes after a nationwide search. The search committee's recommendation was approved by both the KLA Executive Committee and Board of Directors.
Teagarden has served as a key liaison between KLA staff and volunteer leaders during his 13 years as KLA director of industry relations and information technology. He is KLA's lead staff person on federal government relations, advancing KLA member policy through relationships with the Kansas congressional delegation and other agency contacts. Teagarden coordinates KLA member policy initiatives through NCBA by building consensus with staff and members of other state cattle organizations.
"Matt's dedication to KLA goes without question," said Sternberger. "He is not only qualified, but has the experience necessary to lead this great organization into the future."
He grew up on a diversified ag operation near LaCygne. Teagarden graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in agricultural economics. He and his wife, Stephanie, have a grown daughter, Allie, and son-in-law Kale Monk.
"It's an honor to be chosen to lead such a respected organization," said Teagarden. "We have a tremendous staff and I look forward to continuing the team-oriented approach that has served KLA members well."
Teagarden officially will begin his duties as CEO January 1. He is only the ninth executive director in KLA's 120-year history.
Likes will assume the title of KLA chief executive emeritus January 1, 2015. He will remain employed by KLA in an advisory role to work on future initiatives.