Episode 76 • 01/25/2024

Corey Rosenbusch, President and CEO of TFI on Geopolitical Turmoil, Staff Culture and Association Mergers

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What do a plane hijacking, the war in Ukraine, the COVID-19 pandemic, a hurricane in Louisiana and a deep freeze in Texas have in common? They all contributed to a crisis in the global supply of fertilizer!

In this episode of Associations Thrive, host Joanna Pineda interviews Corey Rosenbusch, President and CEO of The Fertilizer Institute (TFI). Corey discusses:

  • The critical importance of fertilizer, without which the human population would drop by 50% because of mass famine.
  • How COVID was a gift because it gave him time to get to know his members at the start of his tenure at TFI.
  • The events of 2021 that led to a huge crisis in the fertilizer market (the black swan event).
  • The issues that keep members up at night, including volatile fertilizer markets, supply chain issues, the ability to make massive capital investments, and sustainability.
  • How TFI communicated directly with farmers, who are TFI members’ customers, to explain why fertilizer prices were increasing so much during the pandemic.
  • The nuanced advocacy and lawmaker education that TFI engages in.
  • How TFI has been merging with other associations and the issues surrounding organization mergers.
  • How trust is so important in an organization. Staff and members need to trust TFI and its leadership, and TFI leaders need to trust their staff to do a good job.
  • TFI’s hybrid staff policy which does not have any specific mandates re: days in the office.
  • October 13 is Global Fertilizer Day.


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About Associations Thrive

Associations Thrive podcast is hosted by Joanna Pineda, CEO & Chief Troublemaker at Matrix Group International. Joanna’s personal mission and the mission of Matrix Group is to help associations and nonprofits increase membership, generate revenue and thrive in the digital space. 

We believe that every association has a unique mission and unique story that demonstrates how they’re serving their members, impacting their industry, and ultimately changing the world. Every guest is an association Chief Executive, Executive Director or President. We’re here to help amplify their stories so all associations can learn and thrive, together.

If you and your organization have a great story,  apply to be on Associations Thrive!