Speakers

Make valuable connections with hundreds of your ag peers.

Agenda

Extend your experience with our in-depth breakout sessions featuring industry trailblazers.

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Craig Reade

2018 Western Growers Chairman

Craig Reade has long been involved in production agriculture through the family farm. Founded in 1932, Bonita Packing Company, dba Bonipak Produce, has grown, packed and shipped fresh vegetables for three generations. The company’s major crops include broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, celery, spinach, asparagus and mixed leaf varieties.

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Stephen Patricio

Award of Honor Recipient

Steve Patricio is being recognized for his immeasurable leadership and contribution to the agricultural industry, making significant advancements in food safety and the protection of public health. Steve led the creation of the first-ever mandatory food safety compliance program for the California cantaloupe industry, as well as helped raise millions of dollars to fund research geared toward preventing foodborne illness.

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Jon Dorenbos

Philadelphia Eagles Long-Snapper, Magician, Inspirational Speaker

Jon Dorenbos played 14 seasons in the NFL, notably making the Pro Bowl twice as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles. In 2016, Jon competed on America’s Got Talent where he showcased his skills as a sleight-of-hand magician, making it to the finals and placing third overall in the competition amongst tens of thousands of competitors

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Judge Andrew Napolitano

Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst

Judge Andrew P. Napolitano is the youngest life-tenured Superior Court judge in the history of the State of New Jersey. Judge Napolitano joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in January 1998 and currently serves as the senior judicial analyst. He provides legal analysis on both FNC and Fox Business Network (FBN).

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Juan Enriquez

Futurist

Juan Enriquez is one of those unique individuals who lives in the future and works on the cutting edge of discovery. He is an active investor in early-stage private companies in the life sciences sector, and is one of the world’s leading authorities on the uses and benefits of genomic research.

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Mike Merchant

Senior Consultant and Master Facilitator

Mike Merchant is a senior consultant for the Arbinger Institute. Since 1993, Mike has facilitated workshops and keynote addresses for organizations internationally on the topics of leadership, performance improvement, strategic planning, and interpersonal relationships.

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Robert O'Neill

Former SEAL Team Six Leader, Naval Special Warfare Development Group

Rob O’Neill is one of the most highly-decorated combat veterans of our time and the author of the memoir The Operator: Firing the Shots That Killed Osama bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior. A former SEAL Team Six leader with the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, he deployed more than a dozen times and held combat leadership roles in more than 400 combat missions in four different theaters of war.

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Kevin France

SWIIM, CEO

Kevin France has been involved in agricultural development ventures including water rights, land and natural resources. Mr. France has also assisted companies at a senior level in organization, management, strategy and capital development activities in the food service, broadcast, agriculture and technology sectors.

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Eric Reiter

Reiter Affiliated Companies, SVP California Operations

Eric Reiter serves as Vice President California Operations for Reiter Affiliated Companies (RAC), the largest fresh multi-berry producer in the world. As a fifth-generation farmer, Eric combines a legacy of farming knowledge along with innovative practices that help propel his team towards the future of farming.

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George Adam

Innovative Produce, Owner

George Adam is a sixth-generation produce grower in the Santa Maria Valley. After graduating from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Science degree in farm management, George worked for Adam Farms from 1983 to 1994 as harvest supervisor. From 1994 to 2008 he was a managing partner of A&A Farming, Inc. and is currently owner/operator of Innovative Produce established in 2008.

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Stuart Woolf

Woolf Farming & Processing, President/CEO

2018 Annual Meeting Emcee

Stuart Patrick Woolf is president and CEO of Woolf Farming & Processing, a family-owned operation whose primary business is the production and processing of agricultural commodities. The company was named the 2004 Agribusiness of the Year in Fresno County, and the Family Business of the Year by the Family Business Institute at Fresno State University. He also serves as the managing partner for two related entities; Harris Woolf California Almonds and Los Gatos Tomato Products. Harris Woolf is a processor and handler of raw almonds. Los Gatos manufactures bulk tomato paste for industrial users. The company also owns Coastal Green Vegetable Company in Oxnard, California. Stuart was elected to the board in 2015.

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Robert Barkley

Barkley Ag Enterprises, LLP, President and CEO

Robby Barkley is a third generation farmer in the Yuma area. His family began farming in the 1910s. Barkley Ag Enterprises, LLP was established in 1963 and today grows lettuce, broccoli, melons, cotton and wheat. In the last 20 years, Barkley has expanded his agricultural interests to include seed, wheat feed and grain merchandising, cotton trading, and freight services to the agricultural industry. He is partner and chief executive officer of Green Gate Fresh with headquarters in Salinas. Green Gate is a processor of leafy greens and salad mixes. He also owns and operates a real estate development company in Yuma.

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Jan DeLyser

California Avocado Commission, Vice President Marketing

As VP of Marketing for the California Avocado Commission, Jan oversees the marketing functions of the Commission, including consumer advertising, merchandising, public relations, nutrition, food service, social media and online activities. She is active in industry leadership, having served as chairperson of the the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), the Produce for Better Health Foundation and the Fresh Produce & Floral Council.

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Sammy Duda

Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Inc., Senior VP of National Operations

Sammy’s current responsibilities include all facets of production and harvesting operations for the U.S. & International Operations. He is currently serving as an advisory board member for the Center for Produce Safety.He is a past board member for both the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California and California Leafy Greens Research Advisory Board, and a past chairman of the Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association.

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Scott Guo

Mikado Sushi & Teppan Chef

Scott is a Hawaiian native.  He began his career in 1991 as a Teppan Chef and through his passion for Japanese cuisine was enticed to learn the art of Sushi.  In 1997 doors were opened with his first professional opportunity as a Sushi Chef in Laguna Nigel, California. For the past 20 years Scott has called the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa his home.  The resort is proud to have someone of Scott’s talents and skillsets representing the JW brand while creating exceptional experiences that make lasting memories for our guests visiting Mikado.

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Sanjeev Krishnan

S2G, Chief Investment Officer and Managing Director

Sanjeev is Chief Investment Officer and managing director of S2G Ventures, and he has been with the firm since its inception. Sanjeev has nearly 20 years of experience in sourcing, executing, managing and exiting venture and private equity investments, including a focus in agriculture and food companies. As Managing Director, Sanjeev is active in developing investments and managing portfolio companies including, serving on many portfolio company boards. His portfolio work ranges from genetics, crop protection, soil health, digital/IOT, crop insurance, merchandising, indoor agriculture, novel flavor and ingredients, new protein development, unique processors and brands that will feed this changing consumer.

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Cristina Rohr

S2G, Vice President

Cristina Rohr is a Vice President at S2G Ventures. Her efforts are focused on sourcing and evaluation of potential investment opportunities and contribution to financing and business development efforts of portfolio companies. Before joining S2G Ventures, Cristina was a Senior Associate at Edgewater Funds, focused on leveraged buyout investments in business services and industrial sectors. Prior to that role, she was Associate with First Reserve, where she focused on leveraged buyout investments in the natural resources industry. Cristina also previously worked for Citigroup Investment Banking Division in London. Cristina holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a B.A.S. degree with a double major in Mathematical and Computational Sciences and Economics from Stanford University.

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Matthew Walker

S2G, Managing Director

Matthew Walker is a Managing Director at S2G Ventures. His efforts are focused on sourcing and evaluation of potential investment opportunities, and contribution to business development efforts of portfolio companies. Matthew sees material opportunity for investment in the food system through a broad, system-based approach. As consumers continue to drive change in favor of foods that are healthier for them and for the environment, S2G finds itself suited to developing unique strategic insights that can accelerate this change and generate value for portfolio companies. Matthew is particularly excited to be involved in this process and help direct capital into strategies that create positive outcomes for the system as a whole.

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Kelly Strickland

Five Crowns Marketing, VP Operations

Kelly Strickland is the V.P. of Operations at Five Crowns Marketing in Brawley, CA. Kelly works closely with ownership to both manage and grow the Five Crowns family of companies. Prior to working in agriculture, Kelly was a member of the Investment Division of Cassidy Turley/BRE Commercial.

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Victor Smith

JVSmith Companies, President and CEO

Victor Smith is the president and CEO of JVSmith Companies, a diverse group operations with farming, cooling and distribution facilities and shipping capacities in Yuma, Arizona, Colorado and Baja, Mexico.

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Karen Timmins

Western Growers, Senior VP of Human Resources

At Western Growers Karen Timmins is responsible for inculcating the (profoundly impactful), “culture-changing” Arbinger principles. This is accomplished through: teaching, the annual performance review process, performance/behavioral management, strategic modeling and a common language amongst employees.

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Danny Royer

Bowles Farming Company, Vice President of Technology

Two years ago Danny joined the Bowles Farming Company Team as the Vice President of Technology.  As the Vice President of Technology at Bowles Farming Company Danny is responsible for researching and integrating technologies that have benefit to the Farm. Danny focuses much of his attention on how technology is going to change how decisions are made and how the processes behind those decisions are executed.

Changing Workers’ Comp in the Ag Industry

Sponsored by Western Growers Insurance Services

The Western Growers workers’ comp program leverages more than 30 years of ag Industry expertise, giving us the insight required to offer WG members high-level solutions usually reserved for only the largest employers.