Thornton is well known throughout the agribusiness community most recently as president and chief executive officer of Agriliance, LLC, a leading agricultural input distributor in North America providing retailers and producers with crop nutrients, crop protection products, seed and equipment. Thornton, who retired from Agriliance in August 2007, also served in various sales, financial and management positions with American Cyanamid, ICI Americas, ICI Australia PLC, Griffin/Dupont, LLC and AgWeb.com. He is a past director of the Minnesota Zoo, and has served on many civic, industry and company boards including chair of the Chemical Producers and Distributors Association, Crop Life America, The Fertilizer Institute, local Boy Scout councils and church groups. In 2006, George was named Agribusiness leader of the year by the National Agricultural Marketing Association.
"We are thrilled to have George leading this organization," said Jere Peak, NWTF chairman of the board. "His background heading up Agriliance, which became the largest Agricultural products distributor in North America under his leadership, and his commitment to the same conservation principles and hunting heritage values that the NWTF family holds dear, makes him a perfect fit to take us to the next level."
A lifelong hunter with a passion for restoring and maintaining wildlife habitat, Thornton is looking forward to leading one of the nation's largest single species conservation organizations to even greater success.
"As a conservationist and hunter, the NWTF's mission really resonates with me, and I'm committed to working with this team of staff, volunteers and partners to fulfill the organization's goals," said Thornton. "The track record of the NWTF is very impressive. We can build from this foundation of success to find new and exciting ways to enrich the experience of our membership."
Thornton brings 36 years of agribusiness experience in a variety of positions and organizations. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Georgia and a master's degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University. A Georgia native, he has lived in five states, four countries in addition to visiting more than 50 other countries. He currently resides with his wife, Beth at Creekside Farm, Elberton, Ga. with plans to relocate to Edgefield, S.C.