“Paragon Investments, Inc. looks quite differently compared to my humble beginnings back in 1998 in which I was operating out of the basement of my home. At that time I was a very young, eager, newly licensed broker in search of an identity and a business plan. My business model was very similar to many in the industry in that I was a “jack of all trades” and willing to trade whatever markets my clients were interested in…whether that was in grains or gold. I operated my business centered around great customer service, but still largely a “transactional” relationship only. However, my background was in agriculture having grown up on a family farm in NE Kansas and I gradually saw my business gravitating more and more into the hedging side of the business. I would attribute some of this natural movement towards hedging the ag space in that I was based outside Wichita, KS and therefore this was a natural market for me. As the years have progressed and agriculture has evolved, the needs of our customers also evolved. Operations were looking for more than just a “transactional” relationship and we saw a gradual shift towards a more consultative role. Our business now is one in which we work closely with grain and livestock producers and utilize our commodity tools when, and if, they are needed. Our focus is to use the “right tool, at the right time, for the right reason” when it comes to our brokerage business, and always with an eye to operating in a manner consistent with being a fiduciary for our consulting clients.
I became involved with NIBA at a very early stage of my career as I quickly saw a need to expand my knowledge of the industry and, quite frankly, what in the world it meant to be a broker. NIBA provided me resources and access to information and experiences that I simply didn’t have at the time. The people I met and the insight they provided me regarding the business really helped propel me forward. I can’t say enough about the members of NIBA that willingly shared insights and advice, without some of these conversations I feel our growth trajectory would have been much flatter. The knowledge I gained and some of the relationships I formed are still valuable to me today 23 years + later. Notwithstanding my personal benefit, I’ve always respected the role that NIBA has played in the industry providing support and advocacy for all of us in the commodity space.”