Adam H. Putnam
Honorary Guest Speaker
Adam Putnam was elected to serve a second term as Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture on November 4, 2014, and was sworn into office on January 6, 2015. In this capacity, he oversees the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and serves as a member of Florida’s Cabinet.
Commissioner Putnam’s priorities include fostering the growth and diversification of Florida agriculture; expanding access to Florida’s abundance of fresh produce, seafood and other products; securing a stable, reliable and diverse supply of energy; protecting the quantity and quality of the state’s water supply; and safeguarding consumers from deceptive business practices.
Commissioner Putnam is also focused on creating opportunities for our nation’s wounded veterans to hunt, fish and participate in other outdoor activities on Florida’s public lands. More than 300 veterans have enjoyed recreational opportunities on Florida state forests through Operation Outdoor Freedom, a program of the Florida Forest Service he established in 2011.
Previously, Commissioner Putnam served five terms as Congressman for Florida’s 12th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was recognized as a leader on a variety of issues, including water, energy and government transparency and efficiency. Commissioner Putnam was acknowledged for his efforts to bring comprehensive restoration to the Everglades, reform food safety laws, modernize programs to ensure Florida agriculture remains a leader throughout the nation, and increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables to counter childhood obesity.
While in Congress, Commissioner Putnam was elected by his peers to serve as the Republican Policy Chairman during the 109th Congress and Chairman of the House Republican Conference for the 110th Congress, the highest elected leadership position any Floridian of either party has held in Washington. Commissioner Putnam also served as a member of the House Committees on Government Reform, Agriculture, Rules and Financial Services.
Before he was elected to Congress, Commissioner Putnam served in the Florida House of Representatives from 1996 to 2000. He graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in food and resource economics.
Commissioner Putnam is a fifth-generation Floridian who grew up in the citrus and cattle industry. He and his wife, Melissa, have four children.
Chair of PBIAS Board of Directors
Fabiola Brumley Fabiola Brumley is Southeast Region executive at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. In this role, she is responsible for the business banking segment in a nine-state area, ranging from Maryland through the mid-Atlantic and south to Florida. She is also the Palm Beach County President, a position she has held since April of 2007.
Fab earned her B.S. in Accounting and an International M.B.A. from Florida Atlantic University. She is a member of the executive committee and past chair of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, the Executive Board of the Economic Council of Palm Beach County and the Board of Directors of the United Way of Palm Beach County. She has served as a Bank of America ambassador in Brazil under the Global Ambassador Program, a partnership with Vital Voices connecting women leaders from emerging countries with established women executives from a variety of business sectors.
Fab has been heard on a variety of local and national radio stations discussing financial issues for entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses. Her prior awards include Palm Beach Atlantic University’s companion medalist American Free Enterprise Award, Palm Beach County Business Development Board’s Economic Development Leadership Award, Sun-Sentinel’s Excalibur Award, South Florida Business Journal’s Palm Beach County Ultimate CEO and Top 100 Power Leaders.
John Kelly, Ph.D.
Co-Chair of PBIAS
John Kelly was named president of Florida Atlantic University by the FAU Board of Trustees, on January 17, 2014, becoming the seventh president in the University’s 50-year history. He oversees an institution that serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students on six campuses and sites along more than 100 miles of Florida’s east coast. The University has an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion and is conducting millions of dollars’ worth of funded research in such critically important fields as drug discovery, biotechnology, ocean engineering and marine science. President Kelly came to FAU from Clemson University, where he held a succession of leadership positions over a 28-year period. During that time, Clemson advanced from 78thto 20th in the U.S. News & World Report rankings of all public universities. At FAU, President Kelly is leading a multifaceted campaign to take the University to national prominence as a center of world-class education, cutting-edge research and transformative community engagement. Highlights of President Kelly’s first two years in office include announcement of a record-breaking $16 million gift from the Schmidt Family Foundation to build a premier academic/athletic facility on the Boca Raton campus — the largest single gift in the University’s history. He also announced an agreement with Scripps Florida and the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience to establish a unique partnership on the Jupiter campus. The program offers FAU students the rare and valuable opportunity to work side by side with some of the world’s most distinguished biomedical researchers, including Nobel Laureates. President Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree from Clemson and both a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. He is married to FAU First Lady Carolyn Kelly, and they are the parents of Carly, 13, and Stella, 2.
Ava L. Parker, J.D.
Co-Chair of PBIAS
Ava L. Parker began serving as President of Palm Beach State College, the largest institution of higher education in Palm Beach County, effective July 1, 2015. She moved to that position after serving since 2012 as executive vice president and chief operating officer at Florida Polytechnic University, the state’s first public university focused on applied research in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields. As the first executive hired, Parker was responsible for developing strategy, implementing the vision, building the team, opening the new campus and preparing for the university’s Fall 2014 inaugural class. President Parker served for more than 10 years as member, vice chair and chair of the Florida Board of Governors of the State University System and also served on the University of Central Florida Board of Trustees. As an attorney, she was a partner in the Jacksonville firm of Lawrence & Parker, general counsel at Edward Waters College, general counsel for the 11th Episcopal District of the AME Church, assistant general counsel for the state Department of Transportation and assistant public defender in Miami-Dade County. She also is on the board of directors of Orchid Island Capital, a publicly-traded specialty finance company. She earned her B.A. degree and J.D. degree from the University of Florida. She is married and has two children.
Scott W. Barnhart, Ph.D.
Scott W. Barnhart is an Associate Professor of Finance and the Program Director of the Certified Financial Planner Program at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL. Dr. Barnhart is also President of Barnhart Economic Services, LLC, a consulting firm founded in 2008. In this capacity, Dr. Barnhart has used RIMS II and IMPLAN Pro Input-Output models to estimate the economic job creation impacts. To date the firm has analyzed projects with capital expenditures in excess of $11.5 Billion with associated gross revenues of $7.4 Billion. Projects include $10-$40 million hotels and assisted living facilities, $200-$500 million destination and resort hotels and office buildings, hospitals, manufacturing, and a $1.4 billion deep water cargo port off the coast of Louisiana, the largest project ever approved by USCIS. Professor Barnhart is also an active speaker in the national EB-5 circuit, having discussed EB-5 job creation and RFE issues in seminars across the US as well as in China. Dr. Barnhart teaches Corporate Finance, Financial Institutions and Investments. His research interests are in the areas of mutual funds, futures markets, corporate governance, exchange rates and the application of econometrics in testing financial theories. His research has been published in the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Harvard University’s Review of Economics and Statistics, the Journal of Empirical Finance, the Journal of Banking and Finance, Financial Review, the Journal of International Money and Finance, the Journal of Futures Markets, and other finance and economics journals. Dr. Barnhart received his Ph.D. in economics/econometrics from Texas A&M University.
Ernie Barnett is the Executive Director of The Florida Land Council which consists of 19 Principal Members who own over 3 million acres of land located throughout Florida. The Council was formed in 1985 for the purpose of protecting the asset value of members’ landholdings. The Council proactively engages regulatory and resource management agencies to help formulate public policies that allow its members to continue their stewardship of their lands. Ernie is also the Director of Water and Land Advisors, Inc., an environmental consulting firm specializing in Florida water supply, water quality and environmental issues. Ernie has more than 30 years of water resources management experience and public service, during which he contributed to several landmark environmental laws. He had a lead role in the successful passage by the Florida Legislature of the Lake Okeechobee Protection Act; the Everglades Restoration Investment Act, which has provided more than $1 billion for Everglades restoration; and the Everglades Improvement and Management Act and the 2013 Everglades Improvement and Management Act. He also helped secure approval of the Water Resource Development Act of 2000, in which Congress authorized the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. In 2013, he led the South Florida Water Management District as Interim Executive Director. Mr. Barnett has a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering from the University of Florida and Master of Science in Biology and Bachelor of Science in Environmental Resource Management and Planning, both from the University of West Florida.
Ethan Basore is a fourth generation vegetable farmer. In 1995 his family moved from a small Michigan farming town to South Florida. He started working for the family farming operations in 2011. For the last three years, Mr. Basore has worked in the Harvest Department, handling day-to-day operations of TKM Bengard Farms. TKM Bengard Farms, LLC is a full line commodity shipper of foodservice items including everything from lettuce, cabbage, and romaine to sweet corn. The company specializes in supplying bulk items to regional processors throughout the country.
Ethan is a graduate of the Youth Leadership Palm Beach County class of 2009. He currently represents District 8 (South Florida) on the Florida Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers State Leadership Group. Mr. Basore has been a Florida Farm Bureau member since 2012 and a member of the Western Palm Beach County board since 2014.
Perry Borman started the Palm Beach County Food Bank (a non-profit organization) in January, 2012 and serves as its founding Executive Director. He previously served as the Regional Managing Director for the Florida Department of Children and Families’ Southeast Region where he was responsible for overall DCF operations in Palm Beach and Broward counties. While at DCF he developed and implemented a number of innovations to improve the child welfare system. His first exposure to the issue of hunger in the community came while Perry served Director of the Palm Beach County Community Food Alliance, an organization that had focused on improving the systems that address food and nutrition issues and increasing low-income households’ access to nutritious food. In his previous non-profit experience, Perry served as the Executive Director for the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes, a national non-profit that provides assistance to the wounded and disabled veteran community. During this time, he built several employment programs for the wounded veteran community included opening an office at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. In his private sector experience, Perry served as the Southeast Area Managing Director for the Human Capital Consulting Division of Spherion Corporation. Perry was recruited to South Florida in 1993 to work for Office Depot as the Director of Organizational Development and Training. Earlier in his career, Perry worked as an organizational consultant for Accenture and Booz, Allen & Hamilton. Perry earned a master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Michigan and and a B.A. in Rhetoric and Communication Studies from the University of Virginia. Perry and his family live in Delray Beach.
Rich Budell is the former Director of the Office of Agricultural Water Policy with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. He has over 30 years’ experience developing and implementing water resource protection and conservation policy and programs with both private and public sector stakeholders. He has provided testimony on water policy issues several times to United States House and Senate Congressional Committees and served on a National Academy of Sciences panel evaluating the nutrient reduction strategies being employed in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. He is the former Chair of the Scientific Advisory Group for the Everglades. Rich is currently Managing Partner of Budell Water Group, LLC, a water resources consultancy based in Tallahassee.
Tracy Duda Chapman
Tracy Duda Chapman was appointed Chief Executive Officer of The Viera Company, DUDA’s wholly owned real estate development subsidiary, and Senior Vice President of the corporation in 2007. She serves as General Counsel for the corporation. In 2015 she was elected as a member of the DUDA Board of Directors.
Ms. Duda Chapman joined A. Duda & Sons, Inc. in 1992 as Associate Counsel at the corporate headquarters in Oviedo, Florida. She was promoted to General Counsel in 2000. In 2005 she was appointed Corporate Vice President of Corporate Services, with oversight responsibility for Corporate Communications, Governmental Affairs, Risk Management, Food Safety and Technical Services. Before joining DUDA, Ms. Duda Chapman practiced law in the real estate department of the law firm Dean Mead in Orlando.
Ms. Duda Chapman holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Florida College of Law. She is a member of the Association of Corporate Counsel.
Ms. Duda Chapman is a member and former Chair of the Florida Land Council and the current Chair of the board of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. She is also a member of the board for Shands Teaching Hospital & Clinics, Inc. and the Florida Specialty Crop Foundation. She has previously served on the Board of the Central Florida Partnership, the Brevard Zoo Board, the Executive Board of the National Council of Agricultural Employers, and various committees of the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association. She has served as the co-chair of the FFVA Benefit Auction for the past 15 years. In 1999, Ms. Duda Chapman was appointed by Florida Governor Jeb Bush as a Commissioner on Florida’s Environmental Regulation Commission, and served two consecutive four-year terms. She is a graduate of the Wedgworth Leadership Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources and is a Past President of its Alumni Association. She served as a Supervisor on the Viera East Community Development District for eight years, and is a past member of the Junior League of Greater Orlando.
A Florida native, Ms. Duda Chapman was born in West Palm Beach, and attended high school in Oviedo, Florida. She and her husband, Marc, also an attorney, have two daughters. The family lives in Oviedo and is active in St. Luke’s Lutheran Church.
Shabtai Cohen, Ph.D.
Dr. Shabtai (a.k.a. Shep) Cohen is currently the director of the Institute of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences at the ARO's Volcani Center in Bet Dagan, where he has been a scientist in, and former head of, the department of Environmental Physics and Irrigation for over two decades. Dr. Cohen moved to Israel from the US in 1974 and received his Ph.D. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Faculty of Agriculture in 1984. He specializes in environmental plant physiology and physics, and has done extensive research on solar and thermal radiation distribution in plants, plant and crop energy budget, irrigation requirements, crop water status, stomatal behavior and plant hydraulics. He has made significant contributions to these fields, and is known for his contribution to the discovery of worldwide changes in solar radiation and evaluation of their significance to climate change (i.e. 'global dimming'), and on the influences of screen covers and screenhouses on crop climate and water use.
Rachel Pappert Docekal
Rachel Pappert Docekal MBA, Ed.D is a seasoned leader with extensive experience in enterprise building, governance, business and program development, fund development, customer and community relations, social media, and the creation, launch, and management of brands. Dr. Docekal focuses on the improvement and acceleration of marketing and philanthropy programs. She has a gift for aligning organizational goals with core missions while ensuring sustainability.
Over the course of Dr. Docekal's more than 20-year career in branding, marketing and fund development, she has worked for a variety of for-profit and nonprofit organizations, including serving as the CEO of the Hanley Center Foundation; Chief Marketing Officer for Origins Behavioral Healthcare; Nova Southeastern University, the University of Pittsburgh, and the South Florida Science Museum. As CEO of the Hanley Center Foundation, she was responsible for board and donor relations and creating fund development strategies to support Hanley’s lifesaving programs and capital expansion. During her time at the NSU, Dr. Docekal led advancement during the planning and construction of the campus’s 110,000-square foot Jim & Jan Moran Family Center Village.
As an active leader in the community, Dr. Docekal serves on the executive committees of Economic Council of Palm Beach County and the Northern Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce. She is a member of Executive Women of the Palm Beaches, a graduate of Leadership Palm Beach County’s Focus 2013 class, and a trustee of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County. In 2012, she was honored as one of South Florida Business Journal’s Influential Business Women.
Dr. Docekal earned an undergraduate degree from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA and her masters of business administration with a concentration in marketing from Katz School at the University of Pittsburgh. She received her doctorate in organizational leadership from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Krista Erickson Krista Erickson is a fourth generation family farmer. She is part owner and the director of operations at Erickson Farm, Inc. The farm was founded in 1911 and is a 62-acre operation specializing in tropical specialties such as mangoes and lychee. The Erickson’s family operation, which has been an integral part of the Florida agricultural industry, consistently works to protect and preserve the natural resources that support farming’s way of life. Being a small family farm, the Erickson’s rely on teamwork and focus on quality versus quantity. Ms. Erickson began her involvement with the farm as a child, working summer vacations at the farm market. She transitioned to a full-time worker at the age of 18 and has been growing with the business ever since.
Lisa Gaskalla has served as executive director of Florida Agriculture in the Classroom, Inc. for 13 years. The non-profit organization is funded by the agriculture specialty license plate called the Ag Tag, and is charged with educating Florida K-12 teachers and students about the importance of the Florida agriculture industry. Before working for FAITC, Gaskalla served as executive director of Polk County Farm Bureau and public relations manager of Florida Citrus Mutual. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida.
Laurie George, Ph.D.
Laurie George Ph.D., made history when she became the first female President & Chief Executive Officer to the United Way of Palm Beach County. She has spent 15 years with the organization where she now leads a team that raises millions annually to invest in 80 local health and human service nonprofit programs serving 250,000 residents. Dr. George is passionate about alleviating hunger and was instrumental in the development of a Countywide Hunger Relief Plan. Additionally, Laurie is an alumni of Leadership Palm Beach County (Class of 2003) and serves on several committees and boards including Career Source Palm Beach County, United Way of Florida, Hunger Relief Advisory Committee and Executive Women of the Palm Beaches. Laurie volunteers many different ways including serving at soup kitchens, gleaning produce to support the local food bank, and distributing food to community members at pantries. She was recently selected as the nonprofit leader for the Women in Leadership Award by the Executive Women of the Palm Beaches. She earned a BS in Psychology from Texas A&M University and a Ph.D. in Child Development and Family Relations from the University of Texas, Austin. Dr. Laurie George lives in Jupiter with her three children. To contact Laurie please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (561)375-6668.
Frankie Hall is director of Florida Farm Bureau’s Agricultural Policy Division. His responsibilities include managing the division's Policy Development and Implementation efforts. He is also responsible for coordinating the activities of Farm Bureau’s commodity advisory committees as well as the organization’s policy development and implementation programs. Frankie works on state and national issues with special focus on beef, swine, equine, dairy and poultry. Frankie is also the director for Agriculture Education Services and Technology Company. A graduate of the University of Florida, Frankie once taught vocational agriculture and has been recognized as Vocational Teacher of the Year for the state of Florida. He also served as the livestock superintendent for the Florida State Fair from 1991-97. Frankie and his wife, Barbara, reside in Gainesville.
Tommy Holt is a second-generation farmer in Palm Beach County. Mr. Holt is the president and owner of Twin H Farms, and is President and partner in several other farming operations including a precooling facility in Belle Glade FL. For more than 40 years, Tommy and his wife, Ann, have been raising sweet corn, with Ann taking care of the business side of the farm and Tommy managing the growing operation. Today, Ann and Tommy harvest nearly 2,000 acres of sweet corn in Belle Glade. They also grow cotton, peanuts, and sweet corn on 3,000 acres in South Georgia. Tommy also serves as a Trustee of the South Florida Fair and is a member of the Florida Sweet Corn Exchange, which is engaged in several festivals yearlong. By far the most popular of these events is the annual Florida Sweet Corn Fiesta, a public festival celebrating the spring growing season, the event takes place at the South Florida Fairgrounds and features live music, food, and corn-shucking and corn-eating contests. Managed and run entirely by volunteers, the festival educates Palm Beach County residents about the quality of the area’s sweet corn. The festival also raises money for agriculture education and local food banks. Tommy lives in Wellington with Ann, where they are members of the First Baptist Church of Wellington, They have two grown children, Thomas Holt Jr. and Karina Holt Rothenberg.
Alan Hodges, Ph.D.
Alan Hodges is an Extension Scientist in the Food & Resource Economics Department at the University of Florida, Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences in Gainesville, Florida. He also holds an affiliate faculty appointment in the School of Forest Resources and Conservation. He received Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from the University of Florida (1988, 1995), and a Bachelors degree from the University of Chicago (1982). His areas of research include regional economic impact analysis, market survey research, agribusiness management, and biomass energy resource development. He serves as director of the UF program in Economic Impact Analysis, which conducts sponsored projects for industry organizations and government agencies encompassing a wide range of activities and industries, including agriculture, forestry, fisheries, tourism, golf, healthcare, housing construction, energy and higher education. He has participated in projects with total funding support in excess of $10 million. Please see his profile with projects, publications and presentations at www.fred.ifas.ufl.edu.
Wendy Sartory Link
Wendy Sartory is the Managing Partner of Ackerman, Link & Sartory, and practices in the areas of commercial real estate and general corporate matters. The firm celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Wendy is “AV” rated and has been named to the “Preeminent Women Lawyers” list from Martindale-Hubbell. She has been chosen as one of the Top Lawyers in South Florida by the South Florida Legal Guide since 2001 and has been named in the Best Lawyers of America since 2009.
In addition to her legal practice, Wendy is passionate about serving her community, and does so in a variety of ways. She currently Chairs the Economic Council of Palm Beach County, the Board of Trustees for Palm Beach State College, and Florida Healthy Kids. She is a member of the State University System Board of Governors and the Business Development Board. A graduate of Leadership Palm Beach County, Wendy is one of 3 founding members of Leadership West Palm Beach, and has won numerous awards for her leadership in the community.
Mr. Mayer serves as the 4-H Youth Development Program Leader with the Palm Beach County UF/IFAS Extension Service. For more than 15 years he has led youth development and natural resource programs across rural and urban communities in Oregon and Florida. Together these programs have served over 1 million youth and their families. Mr. Mayer holds a BS in Parks and Natural Resource Management from Kansas State University and a MS in Agricultural Education and Communication from University of Florida.
Temperince Morgan is Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Florida Chapter, a global organization that partners with businesses, governments, multilateral institutions, indigenous communities, and others to protect the lands and waters on which all life depends. In Florida, the Nature Conservancy’s work focuses on protecting critical lands, securing freshwater, ensuring healthy coasts and sustainable cities, and catalyzing climate action. Since 1971, the Nature Conservancy has been protecting critical habitats in Florida by facilitating over 1.2 million acres in public land conservation and through the acquisition and management of 80,000 acres of preserve and conservation easement lands. A native of Florida, Morgan has a long and distinguished record of public service-serving over 16 years in a variety of capacities on some of Florida’s most critical environmental restoration and water resource issues. Most recently, she served as Director of Everglades Policy and Coordination at the South Florida Water Management District, where she was responsible for directing restoration policy, planning, project management and regulatory activities in support of the State’s Everglades Restoration program and partnership with the Federal government. Before joining the South Florida Water Management District, Temperince worked for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection where she managed activities and regulatory efforts related to environmental restoration projects and water quality standards. Temperince earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Florida State University and has been working on a master’s degree in environmental policy and management from the University of Denver. She lives with her husband and two dogs in Orlando, where they enjoy a variety of outdoor activities that include camping, canoeing, and hiking Florida’s fabulous green space.
Dr. Richard Raid is a Professor of Plant Pathology with the University of Florida’s Everglades Research and Education Center. In 1994, he initiated the UF Barn Owl Program as a means of sustainable rodent control in vegetables and sugarcane. One of nature’s foremost rodent predators, a single nesting pair of barn owls may eliminate over 2,000 rodents per year. As a result, this environmentally- friendly program has been widely adopted by Florida growers in Palm Beach County, resulting not only in significant reductions in rodenticide use, but some of the highest barn owl densities in North America. In addition to controlling rodent pests, Raid uses the Barn Owl Program for education and outreach. Over the years, thousands of students have been given the opportunity to dissect owl pellets furnished by the program. Simulating the popular TV show CSI, students learn first-hand about predator/prey relationships and mammalian anatomy by examining skeletal remains from the prey. Additionally, students frequently become personally engaged in the project by building barn owl nesting boxes. Capturing the public’s imagination, the UF Barn Owl Program has been featured on CNN, National Geographic Magazine’s webpage, and on the highly regarded PBS Nature series.
Cory J. Reed, J.D.
Cory Reed is Senior Vice President, Intelligent Solutions Group, a position he has held since August 2013. In this role, he is responsible for managing the growth and profitability of Deere’s Intelligent Solutions Group and leads the company’s efforts to deliver innovative technologies that enhance the performance of John Deere equipment and allow John Deere customers to collect, analyze, and translate information from their operations into data-driven insights on how to improve operational performance and manage costs. Reed joined the company in 1998 and has held a variety of regional and platform-based marketing and sales positions. In 2007, Reed moved to John Deere International in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, where he was responsible for sales and marketing in Northern/Central Europe as well as Africa and the Near and Middle East. Later, Reed served as Director, Global Strategic Marketing, where he led the team responsible for understanding and prioritizing customer needs and managing the division’s product portfolio on a global basis. He was named Vice President, Global Marketing Services for the Ag & Turf Division in August 2011 and was later appointed, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing Services, Ag & Turf Division in September 2012. Reed is an active supporter of Ag Education, serving on the Board of Trustees and the Sponsor’s Board of the National FFA Foundation, and is the Board Chair of the Global Harvest Initiative, an organization dedicated to productivity growth in global agriculture. Reed graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in finance. In 1995, he received Juris Doctor from The Ohio State University College of Law and worked for the law firm of Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue until joining John Deere.
Mark Sodders is a third generation family farmer in Pahokee, Florida, having managed the farm for over 35 years. The farm, on the shores of Lake Okeechobee, includes sugar cane, sweet corn, green beans and palm trees. A graduate of the University of Florida, Mark dove in to farming in 1978. He is the past president of the Western Palm Beach County Farm Bureau, past president of the Pahokee Rotary Club, former State Director for the USDA Florida Farm Service Agency and former Federal Reserve Chairman of the Miami Branch of the Atlanta Bank of the Federal Reserve.
He currently serves as State Director for the Florida Farm Bureau Federation representing four counties in South Florida and serves as field inspector and auditor for the Florida Sweet Corn Exchange. Living in Davie, Florida he enjoys spare time with his three children and three grandchildren.
Tommy B. Strowd, P.E.
Tommy Strowd oversees the water control operations, right-of-way permitting and canal maintenance activities for the Lake Worth Drainage District’s water management system. Mr. Strowd has more than 35 years of experience in civil, environmental and water resource engineering in the public and private sectors. Prior to joining the District in April 2014, Mr. Strowd most recently served as the Assistant Executive Director of Operations, Maintenance & Construction for the South Florida Water Management District. Mr. Strowd has a Bachelor of Science in Oceanographic Technology from Florida Institute of Technology and is a professional engineer registered in the State of Florida since 1983.
Michael Swanson, Ph.D.
Michael Swanson is an agricultural economist and consultant for Wells Fargo, the largest commercial agricultural lender in the United States. Based in Minneapolis, his responsibilities include analyzing the impact of energy on agriculture, forecasting for key agricultural commodities, such as wheat, soybeans, corn, and cotton, and livestock sectors, such as cattle, dairy, and hogs. Additionally, he helps develop credit and risk strategies for Wells Fargo’s customers, and performs macroeconomic and international analysis on agricultural production and agribusiness. Prior to working at Wells Fargo, he worked for four years at Land O' Lakes, a large national dairy cooperative based in Minnesota. There, he supervised a portion of the supply chain for dairy products including scheduling the production, warehousing, and distribution of more than 400 million pounds of cheese annually and also supervised the sales forecasting process. Before working in the dairy processing business, Michael lived in South America for four years working for Cargill Cafetera de Manizales S.A., the Colombian subsidiary of the agribusiness giant Cargill. His areas of responsibilities included grain imports and value-added sales to feed producers and flour millers. Michael started his career as a transportation analyst with Burlington Northern Railway from 1986 until 1989. His primary responsibilities included system analysis and capacity studies in the northern region stretching from Chicago to Seattle. Michael received undergraduate degrees in economics and business administration from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., and both his master’s and doctorate degrees in agricultural and applied economics from the University of Minnesota. His doctoral thesis, which the National Research Institute and the Norwegian government sponsored, showed how to use value-added tax data to better estimate key components of economic activity.
Justin Patrick Timineri
Justin Patrick Timineri C.E.C. Executive Chef / Culinary Ambassador State of Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Justin Timineri is a certified executive chef, author, award winner, teacher and television personality. In 2006 he won the Food Network Challenge Great American Seafood cook-off in New Orleans where he held the title of having the country’s best domestic seafood dish. Currently he is an international culinary ambassador representing the State of Florida and the Fresh From Florida brand. His mission is to encourage everyone to rediscover fresh, healthy Florida cuisine. As Executive Chef for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Justin’s responsibilities include promoting Florida’s many outstanding commodities, creating new recipes, attending trade events around the world, performing cooking demonstrations and educating children on the value of healthy food choices and proper nutrition. Chef Justin has participated in many events in France, England, Egypt, South Africa, Germany, Belgium, South Korea and China. Chef Justin is the resident chef on the award winning television series How to do Florida. Justin was raised in Florida and was exposed at an early age to many cultures and cuisines from this diverse part of the country. Chef Justin is constantly working to improve the way we eat. His teaching efforts culminate with the preparation and cooking of his healthy and innovative dishes, but the foundation of all his efforts begin with the farm. Justin’s philosophy about food is a simple one: Cooking should always be fun, simple, and flavorful. He always keeps nutrition in mind and enjoys cooking with fresh, local, and regionally grown and or harvested foods
J. Antonio Villamil, Ph.D.
Tony Villamil is a nationally recognized economist, with over thirty-five years of successful career as a business economist, university educator and high-level policymaker for both federal and state governments. He was appointed by President George H.W. Bush as U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs, receiving unanimous U.S. Senate confirmations. Tony is the Founder and Principal of a successful economic consulting practice, The Washington Economics Group, Inc. (WEG), a Florida-based firm established in 1993 upon his return to the State from his public service in Washington, D.C. Dr. Villamil is the immediate past Chairman of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors of Florida, and during 1999-2000, he was selected by Governor Bush as his first Director for Tourism, Trade and Economic Development. Presently, he is on the Board of Directors of the Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS), Mercantile Commerce bank, NA, and Pan-American Life Insurance Group (PALIG). He was most recently appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to serve in the Florida District Export Council. He is a resident of Coral Gables, Florida, where he lives with his family, traveling frequently throughout Florida, the U.S. and globally to conduct research and presentations for clients of The Washington Economics Group, Inc.
Mark Wilson serves as president and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Florida’s most influential business advocacy organization. The Florida Chamber is commonly known as the “Voice of Business” in Florida and fights to secure Florida’s future through legislative advocacy, grassroots action, political leadership and research-based solutions to help Florida’s competitiveness.
In the last decade, Wilson has raised tens of millions of dollars to champion free enterprise and improve Florida’s business climate. Wilson has led, or been at the center of, successful efforts to lower workers’ comp rates, fix a broken unemployment compensation system, advance education reform, secure investments in transportation and port infrastructure, and improve Florida’s regulatory, tax and legal climate.
While plaintiff trial lawyers, government unions and environmental extremists tried to make Florida less competitive for job creation, Wilson created the Florida Business Agenda and the Florida Chamber Grassroots Network to unite the business community on important policy and political issues. Wilson helped lead numerous statewide campaigns and initiatives ranging from constitutional amendment reform to legal reform. On the election front, under Wilson’s watch during the 2014 elections, 89 of 95 Florida Chamber-backed candidates were elected. The Florida Chamber invested an unprecedented $7,000,000 in voter education programs from more than 1,100 contributors and defeated the harmful marijuana legalization amendment.
Originally from Illinois, Wilson has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia. Before joining the Florida Chamber in 1998, Wilson, a Certified Chamber Executive (CCE), served with both the Chicagoland Chamber and with the U.S.
Chamber of Commerce.
Wilson serves on the Board of Directors of Enterprise Florida, Leadership Florida, the Florida Chamber, the Florida Chamber Foundation, and the Council of State Chambers. Wilson is also a member of the American Chamber of Commerce Executives, the Florida Association of Chamber Professionals and the U.S. Chamber’s Committee of 100.
Wilson lives in Tallahassee with his wife, daughter and two sons.
Sheena Wright was named President and CEO of United Way of New York City in October 2012, the first woman to lead the organization in its 75 year history. United Way of New York City (“UWNYC”) is a non-profit, community service organization with a long and rich history of helping people build more self-sufficient lives. As one of the best-known nonprofits and part of the worldwide United Way brand, UWNYC mobilizes our communities to eradicate barriers and create opportunities that improve the lives of low-income New Yorkers for the benefit of all. Prior to joining United Way, she served as President and CEO of the Abyssinian Development Corporation (ADC), where she was responsible for leading and managing one of the nation’s premiere community and economic development organizations. Sheena is a graduate of Columbia University, which she entered at age 16, received her law degree from Columbia Law School, and is a member of the New York State Bar. She was born and raised in the South Bronx and now lives in Harlem, New York with her 3 sons.