Merritt brings considerable manufacturing and distribution experience to Innovance. This experience includes leadership of global organizations with EDS/HP, Navistar, Cummins, and NRE. Merritt joined Innovance in late 2023 specifically seeking an ESOP portfolio of manufacturing companies. He believes Innovance can realize its full potential by serving customers through the innovation and dedication of its employee-owners. This builds upon its foundation of quality and performance.
Merritt holds a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. He has served on many not-for-profit Boards and follows his passion for serving communities, education, and the environment.
“There is no doubt the strength of our products and services rests with the talented employee-owners of Innovance. This benefits our customers by creating value through innovation. We must earn our customer’s business every day. Innovation with performance is our mission.”
Steve has been the CFO of Innovance since 1993. From 2014-2018, he gained the title of General Manager for Lou-Rich as well. He graduated from Riverland Community College in 1982 with an associate degree. After which, he attended Mankato State University and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting while earning a minor in Computer Science.
He enjoys the size of the company and the culture that comes with it. In his free time, you’ll find him playing with his grandchildren, tending to his garden, or fishing a beautiful lake.
“Always amazed at the ability of ESOP-Owners to solve issues/problems that come up in manufacturing a product for our customers. “
Steve Borgerding | Incoming CFO & Secretary/Treasurer
Steve Borgerding joined Innovance in December 2023, assuming the Chief Financial Officer responsibilities upon the retirement of Steve Tufte on February 29, 2024.
Steve brings considerable knowledge and capabilities to Innovance from his 25+ years of experience working in a broad range of finance-related roles at Hormel Foods Corporation, Wenger Corporation, and Apogee Enterprises.
A graduate of Minnesota State University Mankato, Steve received his bachelor’s degree in finance followed by an MBA from the University of St. Thomas. He also served in the MN Army National Guard for over 12 years.
Steve serves in a number of volunteer positions and also enjoys spending time outdoors, hunting and fishing, and working on cars.
“I am excited to be part of the Innovance team of companies where employee-owners create a strong culture of product quality and innovation, and dedication and flexibility to meet the ever-changing needs of our customers.”
Cindy started working for Innovance in 2002 and her position with the company is Financial Controller. She graduated from Winona State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting. Cindy says that working for an employee-owned company creates a unique and rewarding culture.
She enjoys the variety of daily challenges her role provides, in addition to being part of a team that promotes the company’s growth and vision for the future. Outside the office, Cindy loves spending time with her husband and their two sons. She also enjoys gardening, going to concerts, motorcycle rides, snowmobiling, and playing bass guitar in her church’s praise team.
“This environment promotes a higher level of accountability and strong sense of responsibility of work performed by every employee.”
Greg started at Lou-Rich in February 2016 as the National Sales Manager and transitioned into his current role of Sales & Marketing Director in the fall of 2018. He obtained a BA degree from South Central College in Mankato, MN and he is Dale Carnegie Professional Selling certified.
The culture of strong collaboration is what Greg enjoys most about working for an employee-owned company. Furthermore, Greg appreciates that each day can look very different. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his wife Angie, seeing grandkids, reading, and movies. In the non-winter months, you can find him refining his golf game as much as possible.
“Each day can look very different as I work with the marketing staff, sales teams, and business leaders for each of our companies, and I truly love that variety.”
Jim began his career with Innovance in 2020 as the Human Resources Manager. He has a BS degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato. He appreciates interacting with committed coworkers who are dedicated to the success of the organization and each other.
In his free time, Jim enjoys spending time with his family, music, and completing home improvement projects.
“The team is fantastic. Collectively it is the best group I have ever worked with.”
Ryan started with Lou-Rich in 1999 as a painter and went on to lead the department in 2009. After six years, he transitioned to the lead position in the assembly department. In July of 2021, he landed his current role as the Environmental Health and Safety Coordinator for Innovance. Ryan has a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies from York University in York, NE. He appreciates working with people and building working relationships with them.
When he’s not working, Ryan enjoys spending time with his family, volunteering at church, and traveling for fun. He is also an avid golfer and fly fisherman.
“I enjoy feeling like I am working for myself and my co-workers, not someone else. I believe it makes a big difference in how much we all care about the success of the company knowing we are fully vested in it.”
Ryan joined the Innovance team as the Information Technology Manager in Fall of 2022. He received his Associate of Arts degree from Riverland Community College and then his Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology Management from University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie, WI.
In his free time, he enjoys traveling and playing board games such as Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, or Carcassonne with his wife. Ryan is a tech enthusiast and enjoys using and testing the newest gadgets.
“There is more ownership in what I do. I am directly benefiting from the fruits of my labor. There is an inherit ‘we’ instead of ‘me’ mentality to the task at hand.”
Calvin Leisenheimer | Lead Principal Engineer, R&D
Calvin started as an Engineering Intern at Lou-Rich & ALMCO in the summer of 2015, later working as an Electrical Designer/Programmer at ALMCO from 2015-2018. He rejoined the team in June 2022 as the Innovance Lead Principal Engineer. Calvin obtained his BS degree in Manufacturing Engineering and a minor in Technical Communications from Minnesota State University, Mankato.
What he enjoys most about his job is being presented with engineering problems, applying what he knows to help solve them, and seeing positive results after a project has been finished. Outside the office, Calvin enjoys riding motorcycle, playing guitar, home projects, and spending time with family and friends.
“Everyone plays their own part in helping the company succeed. Each employee-owner has a good sense of ownership because they are part of the bigger picture.”