Wade McLeod – VP of Finance
With both of his parents working as CPAs, Wade McLeod says accounting has always been in his blood. He majored in the subject at Iowa State University and eventually went on to join the same company that his dad had worked for years prior: Kent Corporation (then called Varied Investments).
“My dad was the corporate tax manager back then, and his job is what brought my family to Muscatine when I was growing up,” says Wade, who was born in North Dakota. “We never worked together but it’s kind of neat how it all turned out.”
Living in Muscatine, Wade says he was always aware of the company’s support of youth sports and other community events. He and his wife, Erin, were excited to be a part of the Kent family of companies so they could get more involved in the community, too.
“I didn’t know what to expect working for a family-owned company at first,” Wade says. “But I’ve found it’s a greater level of mutual commitment to each other. It’s a very powerful and unexpected driver for me and my peers.”
A significant part of his current role as VP of Finance is forecasting and managing the company’s budget. “I watch the wallet,” he says. “My boys like to say that I count money all day.”
That said, Wade understands the level of responsibility that’s involved in his position, and he doesn’t take it lightly.
“When you look at the Kent family and our shareholders, there’s no doubt there’s a tremendous amount of pride in the legacy that is the brand of Kent and Blue Seal Feeds,” he says. “And in this chair, that is my greatest role – to maintain and protect the value of the company’s assets. There’s a lot of trust involved.”
Wade was first hired at Kent Nutrition Group (KNG) as a financial analyst, and became director of accounting a couple years later. He served as corporate treasurer at Kent Corporation for several years before moving into his current role at KNG in 2019. His team handles sales reporting, analytics on sales margins, profitability by customer and product – as well general ledger functions, the preparation of financial statements and accounting compliance.
“What’s nice about Kent is that any one of us on the senior team can touch every aspect of the business,” Wade says. “I feel strongly about our team’s access and willingness to work cross-functionally. It goes back to that mutual commitment that comes with a family-owned company.”
Wade McLeod lives with his wife and high school sweetheart, Erin, in Muscatine, Iowa. They have six children ranging in age from 14 to three. Their daughter Leira is the youngest, surrounded by five older brothers but “clearly the princess of the castle,” Wade says. The family is involved in all types of youth sports and enjoys playing wiffleball together no matter the field.