Governing Body Spotlight

Governing Body Member of the Chicago CFO Community

Jacco Kuipers


Ball Horticultural Company

Jacco Kuipers is the Chief Financial Officer of Ball Horticultural Company, a family-owned leading breeder, producer and distributor of seeds and plants operating worldwide. 

Learn more about the Chicago CFO community here.

Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.

I was born and raised in a region where horticulture and agriculture were everywhere, so I started working in the greenhouse at age 11 and never left. I joined Ball as a summer intern after high school and have rotated through the company's Dutch and American activities, working in finance, IT, supply chain, sales support, and most recently running one of our breeding companies.

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

Stay curious.

With disruption being a key theme of recent years, where do you see the CFO role going in the next 1-2 years?

By continuously reallocating capital and attention, a company can be nimble in both identifying and emphasizing new opportunities that disruption might bring, while also making sure capital and attention are taken away from areas that may not or no longer be valuable for the long-term growth path.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out as a CFO?

A board member once told me to "build a mental model of the business.” Get to know the operating model, and build a network that wants to help you to continue to learn.

Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.

  1. I am originally from the Netherlands.
  2. I speak 5 languages (English, Dutch, French, German, Spanish).
  3. I play upright bass and bass guitar.

What is the value of joining an Evanta community? 

I feel there's power in learning from each other's experiences and networks. The group is diverse enough not to get into competitive or confidential hot water, but also high caliber enough to be able to dig into the more complicated questions of our time.

Evanta Governing Body members share their insights and leadership perspectives to shape the agendas and topics that address the top priorities impacting business leaders today.

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