Brad Riley – 3D Corporate Solutions
- Written by: Taryn Plumb
- Produced by: Julianna Roche
- Est. reading time: 3 mins
Brad Riley has pets—two cats and a dog—and he considers them to be family. These days, we all do.
As Riley stresses, once that distinction is made, how we treat and feed our pets becomes a huge consideration.
It’s such a consideration for the nearly 70 percent of American pet owners, in fact, that 3D Corporate Solutions, a leading provider of premium and super premium pet food ingredients, is experiencing a period of historic growth—bolstered by Riley’s global experience and talent as both an attorney and a business leader.
“We’re helping people bring nutritious products to these furry family members,” says Riley, 3D’s chief strategy officer and general counsel. “It’s a fast-paced, fast-growing company, pointed at a sector of the economy that’s hitting on all cylinders right now.”
Not just feeding—listening and serving
Though 3D Corporate Solutions provides food ingredients for humans and livestock, too, about 90 percent of what it produces is pet food ingredients. The company does business in the U.S. and Canada, as well as several other countries where it holds export certifications.
The Monett, Missouri-based company provides fresh and frozen animal proteins, animal protein meals, grain-free ingredients, and fats and oils to companies that formulate 3D’s ingredients into their branded pet food. Clients range from the largest international brands to the smaller innovative and early adopter brands. (Global market shares for the largest companies are 23 percent for Mars, 17 percent for Nestle, and 3 percent for Hill’s.)
According to Grand View Research, Inc., the pet care market is expected to reach $202.6 billion by 2025, up from $131.7 billion in 2016. Capitalizing on that growth, 3D most recently launched SC Pet Food Solutions, a joint venture with Amick Farms, a provider of fresh and frozen chicken products with facilities in South Carolina, Maryland and Delaware.
Production is expected to begin on April 1 with the grand opening of a pet food plant on a 700-acre site in Ward, South Carolina. As Riley explains, it will serve as a “leading world-class pet food ingredient manufacturing facility.”
Personal recipe for success
Riley took on his dual positions in early 2015, attracted by both the growth in the pet food industry and the opportunity to have a “hybrid role between a business position and a legal position,” he says.
“Proud to be a legal team of one,” as he puts it, he’s involved in everything from acquisitions, to researching market trends and new product lines, to keeping apprised of the ever-changing pet food regulations. He also sits on the board of SC Pet Food Solutions and helped develop the new line.
“Generally, pet food is shifting from feed products to be more and more like human food,” he says. “And there’s no sign that those trends are stopping.”
He likes to take a broad view of the marketplace to see where things are headed, relying on his well-cultivated skills of debate and negotiation. He considers himself a translator, helping people on the business side understand legal challenges, and the legal advisors grasp business propositions.
Holding degrees from the University of Illinois College of Law and Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, Riley began his career in private practice, focusing first on commercial litigation, and later on business and corporate transactions.
Prior to 3D, he spent 17 years with food processing company Archer Daniels Midland, where his changing roles took him around the world focusing on global production, sales and trade for cocoa products, oilseeds and tropical oils, as well as regulatory and scientific affairs and product quality standards.
All of this has helped him master his current role, he says, though some experiences defy categorization.
For instance, there was the time he had the “surreal” experience of meeting Cuban leader Fidel Castro in the early 2000s when the U.S. was relaxing embargoes with the Communist country.
Not surprisingly, the two didn’t get around to discussing pets.
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