Having directed businesses in 57 countries on 6 continents, Elder Donald L. Staheli has broad international experience. “I hope the international experiences many of us are having will help us better understand and serve people in various cultures of our rapidly growing worldwide Church,” he says.
Born in Hurricane, Utah, on 19 October 1931, he married Afton Stratton on 24 September 1952 in the St. George Temple. He and his wife have 4 children and 11 grandchildren.
He received a B.S. at Utah State University and an M.S. and a Ph.D. at the University of Illinois and then served for two years as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force.
His professional life began with Swift and Company in 1958 in Chicago. In 1969 he joined Allied Mills, Inc., where he held senior management positions, including president and CEO.
In 1977 he moved to New Canaan, Connecticut, to accept a position as executive vice president and director with Continental Grain Co., a large, private multinational agribusiness and financial services firm headquartered in New York City. In 1984 he became president and chief operating officer and in 1988 was named CEO, eventually becoming chairman of the board. He has served on several corporate boards.
He is currently chairman of the U.S.-China Business Council and a director of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and the U.S.-China Society. He served as chairman of an international business leaders advisory council for the mayor of Shanghai. He is a member of the council on foreign relations and is chairman of the Points of Light Foundation, a national organization that encourages volunteer activities.
At the time of his call to the Second Quorum of the Seventy, he was president of the Yorktown New York Stake. He has previously served as a high councilor and as a counselor in two stake presidencies and a bishopric.
“I’m grateful for my heritage,” Elder Staheli says. “My parents’ faith, reliance on prayer, and teachings in the home formed the foundation for my testimony. In addition, I’m deeply grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to serve and grow in the Church. I look forward to serving in my new calling.”