2008 Employer of Choice Award Winner

Midwest Region

Cargill, Incorporated

Steve Euller General Counsel
Steve Euller
General Counsel
Cargill, Incorporated is an international provider of food, agricultural, and risk management products and services. The Minneapolis-based company is at the forefront of diversity practices in its region.

Cargill is supported by 160,000 employees and operates in more than 65 countries; the company invests in diversity as part of its strategic plan to reach consumers around the world.

The legal department, in particular, is recognized as a strong diversity leader within the Cargill organization. Its global team consists of 192 lawyers, and another 173 personnel work in 25 countries.

General counsel Steve Euller’s 30-year Cargill career gives him a great perspective on the company’s global position: “I started as a law clerk while still in law school. I lived in Geneva, Singapore, and London, and worked all over Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East; so I have seen first-hand that the ability to operate in different cultures and work among cross-cultural teams is an imperative. The same is true in the United States.”

(L to R) Veta Richardson of MCCA, Steve Euller of Cargill Inc., and Cornell Boggs of MillerCoors LLC
(L to R) Veta Richardson of MCCA, Steve Euller of Cargill Inc., and Cornell Boggs of MillerCoors LLC
Cargill’s legal department was the first corporate law department to become a member of the Twin Cities Diversity in Practice, a consortium of law firms and corporate law departments dedicated to advancing diversity in the Twin Cities legal community. “Minnesota is a great place to practice,” Euller states. “Excluding perhaps New York City, the Minneapolis-St. Paul area has more major corporations per capita than any other place in America. Target, 3M, General Mills, Medtronic, and Cargill, among others, are based here. There are a lot of opportunities to do interesting, cutting-edge legal work. The cultural, recreational, and sports opportunities make it an even better place.”

Cargill casts its net as widely as possible when it comes to diversity. The company considers a range of law schools, and has recruited at historically black colleges. In addition, all outside counsel are vetted for diversity progress in accordance with the Call to Action initiative, of which Euller is a signatory.  

Euller also is the executive sponsor of Cargill’s Rainbow Alliance, the company’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and allied employee council. Cargill received a perfect 100% rating in each of the last four years from the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, which rates American businesses and law firms for the treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender employees, consumers, and investors.

“Our work on diversity is ongoing. It is not something to fix. It is something to get right and leverage so we have a strategic advantage,” Euller declares.

Winning this award has been very positive for Cargill and its commitment to diversity, Euller says. “It reinforces doing the right thing and is a measure of our success. Hopefully, lawyers of color will recognize us as a great, inclusive place to work because it shows we care about diversity. It puts Cargill on the radar screen.”  DB

From the November/December 2008 issue of Diversity & The Bar®

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