President & CEO – Ext – 230
A native of Manchester, TN, Mr. Payne attended Carson Newman College and has a B.S. degree from Western Kentucky University in Biology and an M.S. degree from the University of Tennessee in Entomology. Mr. Payne began his career with the North Carolina Extension Service. For twenty six years he moved through various positions in the crop protection industry with Union Carbide, Rhone Poulenc, Aventis and Bayer Crop Science including responsibilities in field development, sales, product development and sales management. Chris joined CNI in May, 2010 as executive vice president and has brought much experience and energy to managing people and creating solutions to marketing and crop protection challenges. He became President of CNI January, 2011 and CEO, May, 2011 and is enjoying working with the professional staff at CNI, our independent agribusiness owners, and the CNI suppliers. He has been married to Cherry since 1979 and they have three children, Caroline, Alex and Kaitlin.
Gregory Stephen Fowler
Sr. Vice President – Ext 227
Mr. Fowler was the Marketing Manager for the Company from April 1990 to December 1993, assuming the position of Vice President for Marketing in December 1993. Mr. Fowler began his career with Thompson-Hayward in 1980 as a research assistant. Subsequently he worked as a Sales Representative for Ciba-Geigy from December 1981 to March 1989 and as a Regional Manager for the Chemical Division of Gold Kist from March 1989 to April 1990. He has held several board positions, including President, with the Georgia Weed Science Society and has served as Treasurer for the Agricultural Chemical Association of Georgia. Mr. Fowler received a B.S. in Biology from Oglethorpe University and a Masters Degree in Plant Pathology and Pest Management from the University of Georgia.
VP of Sales & Business Development – Ext. 237
Originally from Gretna, NE, Mr. Bishop earned his B.S. degree from Iowa State University in Agricultural Business. Mark began his career with Rhone-Poulenc as a sales representative in Southwest Iowa. In 1998, he and his family moved to Cary, NC where he worked as a marketing manager for RP’s row crop business. During the transition of RP to Aventis and later to Bayer, he became a product manager and was responsible for the launch of Option corn herbicide. Mark later took a marketing position with Makhteshim-Agan of North America overseeing their herbicide portfolio. In 2006, he advanced to VP of Sales where he managed the sales management responsibilities for MANA. In 2010, he moved over to Cheminova where he managed the sales and account management efforts as VP of Sales until joining CNI in December of 2014 as VP of sales and business development. In this role Mark is responsible for overseeing the account management team for CNI’s owner / members as well as all initiatives associated with business development. He has been married to Shari since 1986 and they have two children, Erin and Luke. Mark and his family will continue to reside in Cary, NC.
Chief Financial Officer – Ext. 221
Mr. Thomas joined the company as Chief Financial Officer in March of 2001. He formerly was a Supervisor with Draffin & Tucker, CPA’s of Albany, Georgia. He comes to CNI with experience in audits, compilations, and reviews for corporations, partnerships, and governmental entities, as well as experience in tax and estate planning. Mr. Thomas is a Certified Public Accountant licensed to practice in the State of Georgia and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the National Society of Accountants for Cooperatives. He is active in numerous civic activities and is a member of the Albany Rotary Club. He served on the Board of Directors of the Food Bank of Southwest Georgia, the Artesian City Sertoma Club, the Lee County Chamber of Commerce, and the Georgia Agribusiness Council, as well as coaching youth sports with the Albany Area YMCA. In 2006, he was named one of Southwest Georgia’s “40 under 40” by the Albany Herald. Mr. Thomas is a cum laude graduate of Valdosta State University where he received a BBA in Accounting.