Ann with brother holding prehistoric dogfish on a stick

Ann Berg / Unorthodox Beginnings

Ann is the daughter of two WWII soldiers. Her father was a Major in the US Air Force stationed in England and her mother was a Warrant Officer in the British Army who worked in London as a high grade cipher operator for MI6, the British Secret Intelligence Service. The couple married in England and settled in Minnesota, building a home along Nine Mile Creek. Defying 1950’s conventions, the family taught Ann and her brother John to trap and skin muskrats, shoot skeet, bow and arrow, fish, play hardball and ice hockey. As a teen, Ann and her brother earned money every fall by harvesting wild rice.

Ann’s father stationed in England
Ann with mother atop beaver house

Ann graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Carleton College, a small liberal arts institution that consistently ranks in the top ten in the nation. Determined to apply her sporting and academic skills to the business world, she secured a position as a grain trader at Louis Dreyfus Corporation, a large multinational commodity firm. After a year, she was transferred to the home office in Stamford Connecticut and became the first female grain exporter in the world. Subsequently, she became a member of the Chicago Board of Trade, where she made a living for 20 years as an independent trader. She was twice elected to the Board of Directors as its first female Full Member.

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