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Parson fills vacancy on Conservation Commission with CEO of Orscheln Industries


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Gov. Mike Parson has appointed the head of a farm and ranch supply story chain to serve in the vacant seat on the Missouri Conservation Commission.

Barry Orscheln, Chairman and CEO of Orscheln Industries, will serve as one of four members on commission charged with serving as policy makers, approving wildlife code regulations, strategic planning, budget development and major expenditure decisions. His appointment needs approval by the Missouri Senate before he can begin his service on the commission.

The vacancy on the Conservation Commission was created last year. Parson originally appointed Nicole Wood to the position. After withdrawing and reappointing her in the fall, she was withdrawn from nomination roughly two weeks ago when her confirmation stalled in the Senate.

Orscheln graduated from Central Methodist College in 1972 with degrees in Business Administration and Economics. He began his career with Orscheln in 1977 and has served as its CEO for the past 29 years.

He has served with numerous community, statewide, and national organizations, including as Chairman of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission, Chairman of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, and as Chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Food and Agriculture Committee.

Orscheln Industries is a privately-owned, third generation business organization that headquartered in Moberly, Missouri. The company has global annual sales in excess of $500 million and employs more than 3,500 employees. The Orscheln’s group of diversified companies is engaged in manufacturing, retail, commercial real estate development, and other businesses.

Parson also announced the other appoints on Thursday:

Thomas Kuypers, of St. Charles, was appointed to the Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

Mr. Kuypers holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Mississippi and received his Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Wyoming. He worked as System Engineering Manager at Boeing before his retirement. Mr. Kuypers also spent several years in the U.S Army, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He has experience serving as the Vice Chairman of the St. Charles City Historic Landmarks Preservation and Architectural Review Board and as a member of the Board of Directors of the St. Charles County Historical Society.

Kenneth Schmidt, of Bonne Terre, was reappointed to the Missouri Propane Safety Commission.

Mr. Schmidt is currently the Owner/President of GWS Contractors, a commercial plumbing, mechanical, and site work corporation in Bonne Terre. He took over as President in 1998 after serving in other roles with the company since 1991. Mr. Schmidt is also the Owner/President of Jer-Cor Constructors in Bonne Terre. His previous career experience included 14 years as foreman for a plumbing company in St. Louis.

Dr. Robert Paul Wiegers, of Fayette, was appointed to the Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

Dr. Wiegers holds a Doctorate in Anthropology from the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU). Before receiving his Doctorate, he graduated with a Master of Arts in Anthropology from MU and a Masters of Arts in Education from Boston University. Mr. Wiegers has been a Professor of History at Central Methodist University since 1989, earning several grants and publications for his scholastic work. He served several years with the U.S. Army and nearly two decades with the Missouri National Guard.