m e A n i n g F U l d i F F e r e n c e S (Continued)
worldwide as well as managing coun- try elevators in Idaho, Montana, and Utah. Following a stint on the Board of Trade’s grain exchange, he moved into business and commodity analysis at the corporate level. With buying functions added to his responsibilities, Sorensen oversaw non-ingredient and grain functions, including packaging, oper- ating and office materials, and capital equipment.
Today Sorensen is vice president of worldwide sourcing at General Mills. “A huge portion of what General Mills sells comes in as raw materials,” he notes. “All of that needs to be bought. All of that falls within the scope of my responsibilities.”
Through his responsibilities at Gen- eral Mills, he has touched industries in nearly every corner of the world – putting him in the midst of blueberry fields in Maine, sugarcane harvesters in
Florida, ice cream plants in France, bee- keepers in Uruguay, and paper making plants throughout the world.
“I’ve experienced tremendous diversity in people and industries,” Sorensen says. “People and places are fascinating.”
For Sorensen, working for a company that values its culture; creates qual- ity, everyday products; and fosters an ongoing tradition as a marketplace leader has been rewarding. “I never started out to be an officer,” he notes. “I started out to be the best I could be and enjoy what I did.”
With early retirement on the horizon, Sorensen reflects on the qualities he’s applied throughout his career, many of which he gained at BSU.
“Leadership,” he says strongly. “And I think the basic principle of realizing
10 1B0emBemidjieStatevUniiversity oriHorizons
that leadership is about understanding and empathizing with others is some- thing I learned at Bemidji State.”
Sorensen also believes everyone has the opportunity to be a leader and con- tribute to society.
“I think through participation and com- mitment you can be a leader and affect others in many ways,” he says. “The best part of college is using that time to test your own boundaries of learn- ing, commitment, and resolve. Have integrity, be innovative, be energizing, set aggressive goals, and deliver against those goals.”
Another quality Sorensen learned at BSU was to embrace change. “It’s fun when you’re engaged in change,” he says. “It’s not fun when you fight it.
“Resisting change because you’re afraid of it is not a good place to be. Be part of the change, influence the change,