Petersen Consulting Services, LLC, provides clients with expertise in such areas as public relations, government relations, management processes, strategic planning, marketing, and association management. Much of the firm's work is geared toward companies and associations in the food and agribusiness industries.
The firm's principal, Bob Petersen, brings over 35 years of senior management experience and relationships in industry, civic, and government circles. He has a strong background in the U.S. Food and agriculture industries, including such areas as marketing, communications, executive leadership and issue advocacy.
Petersen has enjoyed a notable career holding a series of high-profile leadership positions in the industry, including:
- President and CEO, American Royal Association of Kansas City, 2011-2015. The Royal, founded in 1899, is an iconic Midwest tradition that hosts 30+ events over the fall months, including a livestock show, horse shows, parade, and the World Series of Barbecue®. His tenure was noted for returning the non-profit to financial stability, recruiting strong staff members, and new communications initiatives.
- President and CEO, Kansas City Board of Trade, 2000-2004. In this role, he represented the exchange before a variety of national, regional, and local audiences. One of his key responsibilities was forging new relationships with prospective customers, market users, and producers. He also led the group in identifying new, electronic processes for price discovery.
- President, National Grain Trade Council, 1983-2000. For this Washington, DC-based trade association, Petersen represented grain companies, railroads, and grain exchanges. Seen as one of the grain industry's most effective lobbyists, Petersen was intimately involved in the legislative process affecting nearly all farm and futures trading legislation over a 20-year span. His efforts ranged from legislative strategy, issue management and development, and communications to advocacy.
A native of Nebraska, Petersen grew-up on a family ranch in the Sandhills area of the state. After graduating from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Petersen joined the Nebraska Department of Agriculture where he was responsible for directing the Marketing Division. The Division included an international program, producer-funded promotion programs for soybeans and corn, and market news reports. He served as a liaison for the agency with producer groups.
In 1979, Petersen joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service in Washington, DC, where he assisted in monitoring national agricultural commodity research and promotion programs. In 1980, he joined the National Grain Trade Council and in 1983 was named president of the association.
Over the years, Petersen has participated in a number of agricultural and civic organizations. His most recent affiliations include the following:
- Chairman, Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City (2008-2009)
- Director, Agriculture Future of America (2000-2012)
- Director, Northland Therapeutic Riding Center
- Director, The American Royal Livestock, Rodeo and Horse Show of Kansas City (2000-2007)
- Executive Committee member and Director, National Futures Association (2000-2004)
- Executive Committee member and Director, National Grain Trade Council (2000-2004)
- Advisory Board Member, Masters in Agribusiness Program, Department of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University (2000-2004)
Working with leaders on national, regional, and local levels, Petersen has a proven track record of finding opportunities to solve problems. He has been successful in bringing together diverse interests to work toward a common goal. During his 35-year career, Bob Petersen has contacts at senior levels across the food and agriculture industry, U.S. government agencies, and in Congress.
Erica Venancio joined Petersen Consulting Services in March 2008 and serves as Vice President. Her responsibilities include assisting in all facets of business operations with a particular focus on administrative and operational issues.
Venancio entered the workforce in 2004 as a Masters Level Social Worker in Virginia, after graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond, VA with both her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Social Work.