Roberta has devoted her career to advocating for responsible farming. In her role as EVP for GLOBALG.A.P. North America, Roberta leads strategy and operations for GLOBALG.A.P.’s work in the USA and Canada. GLOBALG.A.P. is a leading global certification program with a mission to bring farmers and retailers together to produce and market safe food, protect scarce resources, and build a sustainable future. Roberta has enjoyed working with the organization since 2014. Roberta is rooted in farming, having grown up on a centennial grain farm in Illinois. She studied agriculture and sociology at the University of Wisconsin and holds an MBA from Portland State University with emphasis on sustainability and food industry management. She has 20 years’ experience working with responsible farming programs, standards, and certification.
After receiving a master's degree in chemical engineering from UC Santa Barbara, Matthew worked for seven years in various positions at Apeel Sciences, including as the Senior Director of Major Accounts. He is currently the Chief Revenue Officer at Verdant Technologies and serves as an Advisory Board Member for Sonoco FRESH. Throughout his entire career, Matt has worked to help make an impact on reducing food waste and maximizing sustainability efforts across the agriculture value chain.
Sherri Atwell is the Commodity Director, Produce with Feeding America. She previously held the Director of Produce Recovery position at Feeding Florida where she helped facilitate rescuing and placing over 250 million pounds of produce to food banks across the country. Her love for agriculture stemmed from her work with the Farm to School under the National School Lunch program. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications for Business from Florida State University. She currently resides in Maryland with her husband, two daughters and beloved golden retriever.
Born and raised in the rural Yolo County of California, Thaddeus grew up participating in all aspects of the family’s small organic fruit and vegetable farm while attending public school in Esparto. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Bio Resource and Agricultural Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Thaddeus is the Co-CEO of fieldTRUE which operates the home delivery business Farm Fresh To You and Full Circle Farms. He also owns and operates the family farm, Capay Organic with his brothers. As a well-spoken and passionate advocate for local and sustainable food systems he enjoys sharing his knowledge of the many different aspects of the food system. Thaddeus lives in Yolo County with his amazing wife Moyra and their three children – Lola Che, Lucca McRae and Julien Francis. He is passionate about conservation and spends his free time with family and friends enhancing habitat for wildlife and returning native grasses and shrubs to the rugged ranch he owns overlooking Capay Valley.
Marco founded Nexxt recognizing the value to the agri-business industry of innovative solutions and trends. Marco works as a solution provider, interpreting trends and striving to find the right balance between capital investments, packaging costs, and solutions that are both useful and appealing to the consumer. Marco’s journey in automation and packaging innovation began in Europe, where he worked with some of the region's leading companies to develop and implement advanced automation solutions. Marco gained invaluable experience in optimizing production processes, reducing costs, and improving overall efficiency. In recent years, Marco expanded his focus to the US agricultural market, where he has worked with a diverse range of clients to provide not only automation but also sustainable packaging solutions that meet their specific needs. Marco has helped clients to transition from traditional packaging materials to more sustainable alternatives, such as packaging reduction as well as compostable materials, and paper-based packaging.
Gina Bella Colfer
Gina Bella Colfer works for Wilbur Ellis Agribusiness as their Sustainability Agronomist. She has been in the agricultural industry for 35 years and some of her roles have included working for a large-scale organic specialty vegetable grower/shipper as their in-house organic compliance, field food safety and water quality compliance manager. She was able to develop and implement her company’s Good Agricultural Practices where compliance with LGMA, Global GAP, EFI and CCOF was mandatory. She has also worked as a pest control advisor (PCA) and certified crop advisor (CCA), specializing in organic and sustainable pest management and fertilizer management for large scale farming operations. She is dedicated to Sustainable Agriculture and improving efficacies and efficiencies for products and procedures to the grower. She is married with 2 adult children and 2 amazing granddaughters.
Scott has spent the past 13 years at Walmart in Produce Merchandising and Sourcing roles. As a Sustainability Champion for Produce Sourcing within Walmart, he's worked closely with his peers inside Walmart, industry experts, NGO’s, and Universities to identify and advance sustainable and regenerative policies for produce. Prior to Walmart he spent 8 years at Albertsons and Supervalu with roles in Sourcing, Marketing, and Merchandising. He also spent 7 years in plant operations, QC, marketing, and product development for a small beverage company and earned a degree in International Finance from BYU and an MBA from Arizona State University. Scott has been married for 30 years and have 4 kids and 2 grandchildren. He is passionate about family, faith, and making a difference.
Evav Ehlers is the 27 year old founder of Sharing Excess, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that rescues and distributes surplus food nationally from grocers, retailers, and wholesalers to communities experiencing food insecurity. To date, the organization has partnered with over 400 businesses and nonprofits to provide 16 million meals ($34 million in food value) to more than 250,000 individuals. While attending Drexel University as a student studying entrepreneurship & innovation at the Close School, Evan decided to donate all his unused meal swipes from his dining account that he knew he wouldn't be able to use before the end of the term. After driving around Philadelphia giving away his meals for free, he realized a great need for food in his community and a massively untapped potential to share perfectly edible food that was going to waste across the city. This day changed his life forever and was the inspiration for Sharing Excess. In 2021, Sharing Excess established a game-changer partnership with the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market to rescue and redistribute millions of pounds of surplus produce from their 700,000 square foot facility in Southwest Philadelphia.
Kieran Ficken McNeice
Since 2017, Kieran has supported the Measure to Improve team in designing programs that address our most pressing sustainability problems. Always looking for a new challenge, Kieran turns emergent, complex sustainability topics into approachable, scalable projects, guiding clients through each step of implementation. Her recent work has focused on sustainability strategy, supply chain engagement, and greenhouse gas emissions inventories. She holds an MBA in Global Impact Management and an MA in International Environmental Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies; her undergraduate degree is from the University of Vermont. Kieran’s academic work includes research on sustainability in the global soy and coffee supply chains, as well as agricultural development in Russia’s Far East.
Kevin Kelly has been the chief executive officer of Emerald Packaging, Inc. since 2002. During that period the company has quadrupled in size through diversification and innovation becoming one of the largest flexible packaging company’s west of the Rockies. He also founded ePac, the industry’s leading manufacturer of digitally printed packaging. He sits on the boards of the Western Plastics Association, the industry’s trade and lobbying group along the coast, and the Flexible Packaging Association. He has helped write legislation in California regarding the use of the term “biodegradable” in packaging, resin pellet containment, and store take-back programs.
Kelly Morris works across WestRock’s commercial organization to advance fiber-based packaging for consumer goods and retail customers. Her role is dedicated to monitoring industry trends and developing a deep understand of customer needs in order to inform packaging innovation and help WestRock’s teams solve the challenging problems of packaging waste through design, innovation, research, and bringing practical, fiber-based solutions to market. Kelly has worked in consumer packaged goods and packaging for 11 years and is a graduate of Auburn University.
Jonathan North has 30 years of supply chain and sustainability experience within several industries including consumer packaged goods, fresh produce, retail, and home furnishings. Based in Atlanta, Jonathan is Vice President of Sustainability and Core Solutions for Rehrig Pacific Company, an industry leader in plastic molded reusable packaging systems and waste and recycling containers, which operate in circular business models. In this role Jonathan is responsible for developing, communicating, implementing, and executing the Sustainability and Core Category business development strategy for Rehrig Pacific. Originally from the UK, Jonathan started his career with CHEP. During his 14-year tenure he worked in Product Development, Supply Chain, Procurement, and Strategic Planning supporting CHEP’s businesses in the US, Canada, and Mexico. During his time at CHEP he also led Zero Waste World, a customer collaborative sustainability program.
Adam Preslar is the CTO and co-founder of Hazel Technologies. At Hazel, Adam develops new technologies and leads technical business development. Adam earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from Northwestern University, where he found a new passion for agriculture. He co-founded Hazel Technologies to address a giant challenge in the modern food economy: food waste.
Brody Slacer leads retail operations for Flashfood, a mobile marketplace that strives to eliminate retail food waste. Flashfood connects families with deep discounts on healthy food at risk of being wasted, generating incremental revenue for grocers by solving an issue that has burdened their operations for decades. Brody has been passionate about food his entire life. He grew up sourcing ingredients from farms in Southern Ontario, thanks to his family roots in the Greenbelt area, where he still resides. After earning a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Guelph, Brody followed his passion for food to the kitchen, where he was a sous chef, prior to growing into sales positions, and ultimately leading sourcing at Chefs Plate, Canada’s leading meal kit provider. Brody joined Flashfood in 2019, as employee number 11. He leads retail partnerships and operations, and is proud to be part of a team that helped more than a dozen major grocers from across North America to divert 28 million pounds of food from landfill in 2022.
Jennifer Strailey is the editorial director, produce for Farm Journal/The Packer. Prior to joining The Packer, she was editor in chief of Winsight Grocery Business. Strailey brings two decades of experience covering the competitive grocery, produce, natural products and specialty food and beverage landscape. In previous roles her focus has been to provide retail decision-makers with the insight, market intelligence, trends analysis, news and strategic merchandising concepts that drive sales. Strailey began her journalism career at The Gourmet Retailer, where she was an associate editor and has been a longtime freelancer for a variety of trade media outlets. Additionally, she has more than a decade of experience in the wine industry, both as a reporter and public relations account executive.
Kabir Tumber currently leads membership development and implementation of sustainable agricultural practices for Blue Diamond Growers, a grower-owned almond marketing cooperative of 3,000 members. Kabir was a co-author of a $45 million USDA Climate-Smart Grant that Blue Diamond was awarded and is now responsible for the program development, rollout, and adoption across co-op members. Born on a peach and walnut farm in northern California, Kabir has been in agriculture his entire life and remains actively involved in his family’s farming operations. Prior to joining Blue Diamond, Tumber developed farm-level economic models for the University of California, served as a produce category manager for a major supply chain company, and as a consultant working at the intersection of agriculture, water, and economics. Kabir is passionate about sustainable agriculture. He is dedicated to supporting the integration of climate smart practices and farming to ensure a healthy planet for his 6-month-old daughter and future generations. Kabir holds an M.S. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from University of California, Davis and currently resides in Sacramento, CA.
Josh VanDeWalle is the North America Lead of Global Food Chain Partnerships with the aim to cultivate strategic relationships with major food processors and retailers, as well as develop partnerships to advance Bayer’s sustainability commitments. A member of the Bayer team for eleven years, working in sales and marketing, Josh brings his homegrown experience on the farm to his interactions with all members of the industry, specifically his one-on-one interactions directly with growers. Josh grew up on a corn, soybean, and cattle family farm in Nebraska and has work experience as an agronomist and a high school agriculture educator. In his most recent role at Bayer, he led the strategic development and implementation for the successful grower loyalty program Bayer PLUS Rewards. Josh holds an MBA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and resides in St. Louis, Missouri.
Dr. Ward is a Senior Manager leading Climate and Sustainability Science in Deloitte’s Audit and Assurance practice. He is a Geospatial scientist with over 20 years of industry and government experience, working across the federal government, oil & gas, agriculture and environmental consulting sectors. Dr. Ward is a Bayer/Monsanto Scientific Fellow and comes to Deloitte with significant applied research experience in the AgTech and sustainable agriculture industry with Climate Corp, Monsanto and Bayer Crop Sciences. With advanced degrees in soil science, geography and environmental chemistry, he participates in and chairs advisory boards for Field to Market, NASA Harvest and other geospatial/sustainable ag industry groups.
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