Risk Management Team
Wally graduated from DePaul University, studying Macro and Micro Economics, and Entrepreneurial Studies.
Wally’s experience comes from United Trading Services, where he gained futures industry knowledge working with the CTA, and head broker.
Wally learned discipline and strategy for conservative technical futures and options investment strategy, and will bring that same conservative attitude and knowledge base to Top Third.
Ed joined Top Third Ag Marketing in April 2007 as Director of Operations after spending over 21 years on the grain floor at the Chicago Board of Trade. He was Grain Floor Manager for LFG, LLC from 1992-2000 and Floor Manager at Iowa Grain Company from 2000-2007, where he was introduced to Mark Gold and his risk management program. Ed was both a Full and Com member while at the CBOT. He has a BA in Economics from Eastern Illinois University. After 8 years as Director of Operations at Top Third, Ed has transitioned into a role as a Sr. Risk Management Specialist.
Jeff French grew up in rural Iowa where at an early age became an integral part of the family farm and seed brokerage operation. Jeff has experienced first hand the challenges of raising crops and livestock in the Midwest. He earned a Finance degree from the University of Iowa. Jeff believes his first hand experiences of life on the farm paired with his education will bring an innovative perspective to the Top Third team.
Jeff recently moved to Chicago to begin a life with his new wife. Jeff enjoys hunting and fishing in his time off.
Liesl has been working at Top Third since September, 2006 after graduating from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She began as Mark Gold’s administrative assistant and then after learning from him about the business, made the transition to become a Series 3 Licensed Broker. Liesl has been working with producers around the country since 2009. She does a weekly market recap report on WTAD radio in southern Illinois.
Liesl is eager to work with future Top Third clients to help them navigate the commodity markets and manage risk in their farm operations.
Liesl was married last year in her hometown of Cincinnati and enjoys spending time with her friends and family.
Dan Smith was born, raised, and worked on a farm in Will County, Illinois. He has a degree in Agriculture Business and was a 20 plus year veteran trader of the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Working under the direction of world renowned commodity legend Richard Dennis as a discretionary broker and trader for the first half of his career Dan experienced first hand how the great ones trade. Dan is extremely well versed in many currency and equity markets and is also a registered Investment Advisor for an Independent Firm in Illinois
Bill graduated from the University of Iowa in 1982 with a BS degree in General Science. Following graduation, Bill moved back to his native Chicago area and for the last 24 years has successfully serviced a variety of clients in the futures industry as a broker. Prior to joining Top Third, Bill’s experience in the futures industry has ranged from clerking on the floor of the CBOT to being a registered broker for several major US clearing firms. As a broker, Bill has advised large individual and commercial speculators and hedgers in both the agricultural and financial sectors of the futures industry in risk management and trade execution. Throughout his career, Bill has continued to develop his capacity to identify, advise and manage the risk his clients are exposed to in the commodity markets.
Bill, his wife, and daughter live in the same Chicago suburb he grew up. He has had a lifelong interest in tennis which he passed along to his daughter, who competes all across the Midwest.
Kim Burton is a former 27 year Agricultural Banker. She is a former member of the American Bankers Association National Ag Bankers Committee. She graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Agricultural Education and Dairy Science. She grew up in Wilmington Ohio on a dairy farm.
Kim has spent her entire career working with farmers. As a lender she saw the vast majority of farmers struggle with how best to capture profitable prices but she could not say or help in any way. Now as a licensed broker she can bridge that gap between the markets and the farmer. The American Farmer does not usually enjoy watching the markets or the hassle of marketing themselves. By working with the talented team at Top Third, they can relax and let us do the work.
Kim has a branch office in Southwest Ohio. She has 4 children. In their spare moments they love the mountains of Idaho. Kim and her family spend time there working for an Outfitter as a guide and camp cook.
Craig is a graduate of Indiana University, where he studied business management and finance. To complement the Indiana University degree, he completed an independent study of options valuation and interned as a financial analyst at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Group.
During his studies, Craig served six years as the rank of Sergeant in the United States Army Reserves. As a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, a few of his service medals consist of: Army Commendation Medal, Two Army Achievement Medals, and his Combat Action Badge.
While growing up in a rural Northwest Indiana town, Craig developed his passion for agriculture where he farmed grains and raised hogs. The combination of Craig’s agricultural up-bringing and disciplined military background has driven him to develop personal relationships with America’s Farmers and help create a more sustainable future. Top Third is honored and pleased to have this accomplished military veteran join our team.
Dan is a featured presenter for Top Third marketing seminars. A member of the Chicago Board of Trade for over 30 years, he began his trading career as a floor broker in the grain options pits when they first opened for trading in 1984. Dan moved into the soybean futures pit in 1988, where he first met Mark Gold. In addition to his 15-plus years trading on the floor of the CBOT, Dan has also traded on the CME, the CBOE, and spent several years trading on the floor of the LIFFE in London. After returning from London, Dan moved from the floor to the screen and traded electronically for over 10 years before joining Top Third.
Dan grew up outside of Chicago and spent his summers on his grandparents’ farm in Southeastern Wisconsin where his grandfather bred Angus cattle and once owned the “Bull of the Century”, Prince Eric of Sunbeam. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in Finance and now lives outside of Chicago with his wife and three daughters. They continue to spend time at the family farm where they enjoy fishing, and working on a small but growing hops operation with their large extended family.
Tim brings 27 years of Ag market experience to Top Third. His career began on the CME trading floor where he found his niche assisting livestock producers in the hedging of their production. Shortly after the CME/CBOT merger, Tim added grain marketing to his duties, beginning his transition from the trading floor to his hedging career with farmers and ranchers.
Tim earned his associates degree at Lincoln College before transferring to Millikin University as a communications major. Tim and his wife (a farm girl) have 2 children and know how fortunate they are to live in a world class city like Chicago while also having the family farm to expose their kids to.
Logan was born in Oxford, Ohio and spent his early years with his 4 siblings doing 4-H and working on his grandparents dairy farm. He left for the Army a year after graduating high school and trained to be a 13Rl, or Fire Finder Radar Operator for artillery. After serving 3 years he came home to put the determination and leadership skills gained in the army into becoming a broker here at Top Third and now works out of our branch office in Wilmington, Ohio with his mother Kim Burton. Logan is currently engaged to be married next year.
In his free time Logan likes to go on Razor riding trips with the family, continue his interest in Esports, the gym, and personal entrepreneurship.
Kathy Rauhaus was first exposed to the agricultural industry in 1992 as a teenager running for ADM on the grain floor of the CBOT. Working a few summers as a runner and after receiving a degree in management, she was able to transition into a broker’s assistant and has worked in the bean options, wheat futures and corn futures pits. After meeting her husband and eventually the birth of their only child, she left the trading floor in 2006. Over the course of time she has worked passionately in retail management but long work weeks kept her away from her family, bringing her to an office manager role for a startup company. Spending a year with the startup gave her a unique set of skills which ultimately brought her to Top Third as the new firm administrator.
Kathy was born and raised in Chicago and spends most of her free time with her husband running around from practices and games for their very active son.