Through the Employee Spotlight series, we highlight our team and share all they do to serve for success. Scott Szymanek joined the team in 2012, and is the president and CFO of Eldon C. Stutsman, Inc. as well as the president of Stutsman Logistics. He is responsible for executive and financial leadership of the company and enjoys helping others be successful. Let’s learn more about Scott!
Scott sets the bar higher on a daily basis. 6 days a week, he’s the first one to the office and the last one to go home. With his strong work ethic, Scott definitely serves everyone around him for success.” – Ron Stutsman, Chairman of the Board
Scott was born and raised in inner-city, south-side Chicago. He earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting and economics at Elmhurst College. After getting his CPA in Illinois, Scott earned an MBA from Governors State University.
After working in the insurance industry, Scott was introduced to agriculture when he started working for PM Ag Products, a manufacturer of liquid animal feed supplements. Many of you might have heard of their subsidiary, Vigortone, formerly in Cedar Rapids. By having responsibility for 35 locations from coast-to-coast and even Canada, Scott got to experience and truly appreciate the entire supply chain of beef production. He was able to see the largest ranches of Idaho and Montana to the many feedlots of the Texas panhandle. If you visit Scott’s office, he proudly displays a set of longhorns, gifted to him by a true gentleman and his wife from Texas!
Scott is a family guy; he’s been married to his wife Pat for 31 years and has two wonderful children; Abigail and John. Abigail graduated from UNI and works in the Des Moines area, and John is pursuing a master’s program at UNI. Scott has also served 3 years on the Cedar Rapids Community School District Audit committee and is currently on the board and executive committee of the Iowa Motor Truck Association.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Working with customers, vendors, and employees; it’s very rewarding helping others be successful.
Who has influenced your career the most?
I don’t have one specific person; however, I’ve taken something from each leader I have worked for or with. Each has had a unique talent, approach, or style, and I’ve been able to reflect and use them to hone on my skillset.
What advice do you give to others?
“Always invest in yourself.” Never stop learning new things, working hard to advance yourself, and accepting new challenges outside your comfort zone.
What excites you the most about the future of agriculture?
I have always been amazed at the persistence and resiliency producers have demonstrated over the years. Regardless of the challenge (weather, disease, technology, or economics), agriculture perseveres.
What do enjoy doing in your free time?
I love to cook! I’m not necessarily good at it but I do enjoy the creativity of the process and the final product. In my career as an accounting professional, I don’t utilize creativity in my daily activities. Cooking gives me an outlet for my creative side!
What’s something random most people don’t know about you?
There are several, but I’ll give you two. First, I was the school mascot during my senior year football season. In a radio broadcast of a game in Michigan City, IN, the announcers said I would give the San Diego Chicken a run for his job. I had so much fun chasing the band around the field and stealing referee flags!
Secondly, I served as a page in the Illinois House of Representatives in 8th grade for a day. Our government student group helped initiate the legislation that eliminated sales tax on food in Illinois.
What’s on your bucket list?
I would like to follow a sports team throughout a season to see some of the great venues and stadium experiences. Places I have yet to experience include the House that Ruth Built, Chavez Ravine, Bama, and the Big House.
What Stutsman core value means the most to you?
They are all the most important! They’re all means to the ultimate goal of serving our customers, employees, and company for success.