Managing Partner, Fresh Link Group
As Managing Partner at Fresh Link Group, Minos helps privately held and start-up companies to define, build and launch new products and services targeted to the fresh produce industry. Minos’ career bridges the agriculture and technology industries. He has held a series of produce industry positions including Sales and Marketing Lead at Dole Fresh Vegetables’ Fresh-Cut Division and President of Underwood Ranches. He studied agricultural economics at the University of California at Davis and earned an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Senior V.P. for National Operations, Duda Fresh
Sammy represents the fourth generation to work in the family business, which his great-grandfather started in central Florida in 1926. He manages all facets of U.S. vegetable operations and international ventures, and serves on the board of A. Duda & Sons Inc. Sammy started his career on one of the family’s farms in Texas before moving up the leadership ranks. He is active in the industry, serving as current Chairman of the Board for Western Growers Assn., with past board positions with Yuma Vegetable Shippers Assn., the Grower Shipper of Central California and the Center for Produce Safety.
Senior Vice President, Western Growers
Hank brings deep expertise in agricultural chemical and environmental issues to his role with Western Growers. He has led the organization to become more engaged in the science and technology aspects of agriculture in California and Arizona. In 2002, he was asked to create a new science and technology division, which focuses on policy, environmental issues and related areas. He is actively involved in sustainability, food safety, food security, crop production and protection. He also directs the organization’s strategic planning.
Founder/CEO, Kingman Ink
A visual literacy advocate, Kelly provides visual notetaking services for events through her company, Kingman Ink. Visual notetaking captures key ideas in words and images, tapping directly into the mind’s incredible ability to process visual information. This makes presentation content easier to recall and easier to use, providing an at-a-glance record of key takeaways. She works with companies across sectors, including JP Morgan Chase, HubSpot, Marriott and Target. Kelly has taught visual thinking skills at the MIT Sloan School of Management’s annual Innovation Period.
Farm Operations Manager, Andrew Williamson Fresh Produce
Maureen oversees harvesting, facility operations and international recruiting for A&W, a leading supplier of tomatoes and strawberries to leading retailers and grocers with acreage in California and Mexico. Maureen is also responsible for researching and implementing technology and mechanization to streamline operations and improve farming and harvesting efficiency. Before joining A&W, she was area manager for a farm labor contractor on the California Central Coast, and worked in project management at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. She is certified in Lean Six Sigma.
Founder/CEO, Lisa Montanaro Global Enterprises
Lisa is a productivity consultant, success coach, business strategist, speaker and author. She coaches individuals and consults with organizations to help them live passionate and successful lives, and enjoy productive and profitable businesses and careers. She is a Certified Professional Organizer, a member of the American Society for Training and Development and a member of the National Speakers Association. A sought-after speaker, Lisa brings a blend of enthusiasm, humor and energy to her presentations.
Head of RD Strategy and Emerging Technologies, Driscoll’s
Nolan leads Driscoll’s innovation efforts, leading technology strategy, due diligence, deal structuring and ongoing investment in Driscoll’s technology partnerships. The company is the global market leader in fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, with more than 700 independent growers around the world. Previously, Nolan was an investment banker with Lehman Brothers and Barclay’s Capital, working in mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt transactions.
Vice President, Vegetables Global R&D Lead, Monsanto
Dr. John Purcell has spent his entire career trying to help farmers produce an abundant food supply in a sustainable manner. He has had the honor and pleasure of walking farmers’ fields in over 35 countries. John is currently the Global Vegetables R&D Lead/Hawaii Business Lead, Vice President and Distinguished Science Fellow at Monsanto. In his 25 plus years at the company, he has contributed to discovering and developing products in many diverse crops. Prior to joining Monsanto, John was a post-doctoral researcher at the United States Department of Agriculture. His Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology was granted from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and focused on studies in Insect Biochemistry. He is an inventor on several patents and an author of numerous scientific papers, reviews and book chapters.
Dan leads HarvestMark, a division of Trimble Inc. The company is a pioneer and provider of cloud-based software solutions to manage traceability, anti-counterfeit, quality control and consumer connections. Prior to joining the company, Dan led corporate development efforts for Trimble Inc. His past career experience includes management positions with IBM, Xerox and consulting companies.
Vice President of Supply Chain Efficiencies, Produce Marketing Association
With 30+ years of senior experience in logistics and supply chain management, Ed is PMA’s expert in developing supply chain practices to lead the produce and floral industries forward. He has spent most of his career working with major Canadian retailers, including Loblaw Companies Ltd., Shoppers Drug Mart and Sobeys Inc. At PMA, Ed monitors trends in supply chain efficiencies and designs products, services and educational events for members. He serves as a technical consultant to the Produce Traceability Initiative and is Chairman of the International Federation for Produce Standards.
Chief Science & Technology Officer, Produce Marketing Association
Dr. Whitaker oversees PMA’s efforts on food safety and technology for the produce supply chain. He also sits on the Center for Produce Safety advisory board and executive and technical committees. Working as a scientist and biologist in the produce and agricultural industries since 1982, Dr. Whitaker has been involved in food safety, security and quality, vegetable research and development, product and process innovation, and grower and industry outreach.
President and CEO, Wish Farms and Co-Founder of Harvest CROO Robotics
Gary oversees the business under Wish Farms’ core values: Quality, Integrity and Responsiveness. Wish Farms has become a year-round supplier of strawberries and blueberries, with product sourced from North and South America. The company supplies primarily retail chain stores throughout the US and Canada.