Introducing the Platform10 Team

The Platform10 Management team has evolved from the 2023 Salinas Biological Summit. Jointly hosted by Western Growers and New Zealand-based agrifoodtech consultancy, Wharf42, the decision was taken to accelerate the Summit's outcomes through the establishment of Platform10.

This decision is reflected in the composition of the Platform10 management team today.

The Platform10 Advisory Board is made up of some of the most influential experts in the biologicals sector. The Advisory Board provides Platform10 with strategic insights, governance around process and assists vet applications to join the Platform.

We are delighted and honored that they are supporting Platform10 and the significant global grower network.

Introducing the Management Team

Dennis Donohue

Dennis is the Director of the Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology.

The Center was created to help identify industry priorities, discover technologies to address those priorities, set up testing, facilitate industry feedback and communicate progress to California, Arizona and Colorado fresh produce farmers.

Dennis co-organized the 2023 Salinas Biological Summit and is working with WG members to manage the US focus of Platform10.

Peter Wren-Hilton

Peter is the CEO of New Zealand-based agrifoodtech consultancy, Wharf42.

Peter established Agritech New Zealand in 2018 and is co-founder of the Australia New Zealand Agritech Council. Peter has extensive international experience of the agrifoodtech industry and has leveraged this to support a number of global initiatives.

Peter co-organized the 2023 Salinas Biological Summit and is working with his global networks to manage the international focus of Platform10.

Jeana Cadby

Jeana is the Environment and Climate Director at Western Growers.

Jeana serves on the board of her local Resource Conservation District and has a B.S. and M.S. in Plant and Soil Sciences and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Development Studies.

With a background in specialty agriculture, farmer advocacy, and collaborative environmental program management, Jeana brings to her role expertise in sustainable ag and resource conservation as well as her passion for building strategic partnerships and supporting farmers. 

Introducing the Advisory Board

Adrian Percy

Adrian is the inaugural Executive Director of the N.C. Plant Sciences Initiative (N.C. PSI) at North Carolina State University.

The N.C. PSI aims to exploit inter-disciplinary science and technology through public private partnerships and entrepreneurship to advance the plant sciences to the benefit of growers, consumers, and other food chain stakeholders.

Prior to joining NC State, Adrian served as the CTO of UPL Ltd, a major crop protection company. He was previously the Head of Research and Development for the Crop Science division of Bayer and part of their executive committee. In that role, he had responsibility for internal and open innovation activities in the areas of crop protection chemistry and biologicals, as well as seeds and traits. 

Amy Roberts

Amy is the Director of Regulatory Affairs for Lallemand Plant Care.

Amy has over 30 years of experience and expertise in successfully leading biopesticide registration efforts for products in the US and abroad. Amy is recognized as an expert in biological product registrations and in the distinctive issues related to these products. 

Through strong working relationships with U.S., Canadian and international regulators Amy focuses on policy improvements, streamlining regulatory frameworks and international harmonization for biological products.  Amy is a founding member of the Biological Products Industry Alliance (BPIA) and is involved in various regulatory-related committees with allied organizations and trade groups.

Carl Casale

In 2018, Carl helped launch Ospraie Ag Science, the venture arm of Ospraie Management.

In this role, he leads successful venture campaigns for select companies that help farmers do more with less environmental impact. 

His three decades of experience leading globally influential companies like CHS and Monsanto provide unparalleled insight into the converging forces that will soon fundamentally transform global agricultural systems. From Congress to key industry events, Carl is a frequent and sought-after commentator on the future of farming and global ag infrastructure. A fourth-generation farmer himself, Carl remains deeply committed to “creating business models that ensure relevance over time”.

Denise Manker

Denise joined Bayer Crop Science with the acquisition of AgraQuest, Inc. in August 2012. Denise was recognized as Bayer’s expert in biologicals and was appointed as a Distinguished Science Fellow.

Denise is responsible for advising farmers, distributors and technical crop advisors on best use practices involving biological products in various countries throughout the world.  She also manages the USDA NIFA funded Citrus Greening research collaboration between Bayer, University of Florida, Texas A&M, UC Davis and Southern Gardens.  As one of AgraQuest’s founding scientists in 1995, Denise served in a number of different roles during the growth of the startup biological pesticide company, including head of R&D and oversight of global field trials involving biological products.

Don Cameron

Don is the President of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture.

Since 1987, Don has been the Vice President and General Manager of Terranova Ranch, Inc. located 25 miles southwest of Fresno, California. Terranova farms approximately 6,000 acres, in addition to 1,500 acres custom farmed for other clients. The farm has a mix of conventional, organic and biotech field crops including conventional and organic processing tomatoes, peppers, onions, seed product, corn and a diversity of other annual crops. 

Don currently serves as chairman for the California Cotton Alliance, director and past chairman for the California Tomato Growers Association and a director for Western Growers Association.

Josette Lewis

Josette oversees research for the Almond Board of California.

Prior to joining the Almond Board, she led the Environmental Defense Fund’s work on sustainable agriculture. She helped launch the University of California, Davis World Food Center and worked in business development for Arcadia Biosciences.

Josette spent 16 years with the U.S. Agency for International Development, and as Director of the Office of Agriculture, she played a leadership role in the development of the Administration’s global initiative on food security.

Keith Pitts

Keith has served in numerous senior legislative, administrative, regulatory and public policy roles for more than three decades and has been actively involved in shaping domestic and international policies regarding pesticides, organic agriculture, agricultural biotechnology, invasive species, climate change, specialty crops and food safety.

In 2008, he joined Bioceres Crop Solutions, formerly known as Marrone Bio Innovations, a global biological products and biotechnology company with operations in Argentina, Brazil, the European Union and the US.

Larry Taylor

Larry is the Co-founder & Managing Partner of The Yield Lab, Asia Pacific.

An American born in Japan, Larry has forty years of experience as a Senior International executive building agriculture product and service businesses in global markets. 

He founded Aziotics, a business development consulting firm, after a 20-year corporate career with Monsanto and Union Carbide. Aziotics assists companies with solutions for International Markets including: Strategic Plans, Market Research, Competitive Intelligence, Marketing Plans, Partner Search, Site Selection, Negotiation Support and Economic Impact Analyses.

Pam Marrone

Pam is Co-founder & Executive Chair, Invasive Species Foundation and Invasive Species Corporation.

Pam spent her 30+ year career focused on biological products for pest management and plant health, having started and led three bioag companies (Entotech, AgraQuest and Marrone Bio Innovations (now called Profarm Group), all of which were sold to larger companies.  Pam's fourth and current company, the Invasive Species Corporation and its corresponding Invasive Species Foundation, aims to bring effective, environmentally friendly biological solutions to control destructive invasive species, in water, forestry and agriculture.

Rick Melnick

Rick is a Partner and VP Global Business at DunhamTrimmer. Rick leads DunhamTrimmer’s Strategic Market Communications segment and production of DunhamTrimmer’s Global Market Reports.

Rick has nearly 30 years of experience in the global commercial agriculture space with expertise in biopesticides, crop protection, branding, marketing, and strategic marketing communications. 

Rick was elected to the Board of Directors of the Biological Products Industry Alliance (BPIA) in 2008 and served as its Chairman of the BPIA Board from 2013 - 2018.

 

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