Carlos Saviani

Carlos Saviani

Vice President
World Wildlife Fund

Saviani_Carlos_Photo-webCarlos Saviani is a third-generation Brazilian-Italian, so food has always been a key component in his life. Born in Sao Paulo, however, he never had the chance to see from where food was actually coming from. Not until his uncle took him, at the age of 10, to the “Bela Vista” farm at the country side. It was love at first sight. He was amazed to see a cow producing milk to feed all the farm families by just eating grass and grains’ by-products, delivering many calves during her lifetime and even by the end feeding hundreds with nutritious beef. He also developed a close relationship with the abundant nature present there, learning how important the farm’s sustainability was to the protection of the forest, water, soil, wildlife—and how important those resources were to the longevity of the farm. The city boy was transformed forever. He grew up going to that farm and became passionate about nature, farming and food production.

He received his BS in animal science from the University of Sao Paulo, where he graduated at the top of his class, complemented later by an Executive MBA from the BSP-Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto and several executive programs. His 25 years of professional experience yields sound knowledge in animal protein sustainability, dairy and beef production efficiency, customer relationship management, strategy, marketing and innovation.

Today, as a vice president of World Wildlife Fund’s food team, he leads the organization’s efforts to promote the sustainable production of meat, seafood, and dairy products. In addition, Carlos sits on the boards of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and the International Egg Foundation. Before joining WWF, Carlos held senior marketing positions at ABS/Genus, Zoetis/Pfizer and Merial/Sanofi Aventis. Carlos also held several leadership positions in Brazil, including at Sao Paulo Farm, where he managed a 2,000-cow beef ranch, diversifying it into milk, lamb, wild pigs and tilapia.
One of his passions and an opportunity that his career offers is to work with a huge diversity of people from all over the world, including scientists, small and large farmers, farm managers, milkers, cowboys, processors and retailers–people who work hard to put high quality and sustainable food on our tables.

Steven Arnold

Colorado State University

Steven ArnoldSteven was born in Zurich Switzerland near the dairy farm where his father was raised. The family moved to Illinois when Steven was four years old to start a hog and cattle farm. He has always been interested in production agriculture and agriculture internationally and has worked on farms in Europe and New Zealand. Steven has also done wildlife work in Alaska, with marine mammals. He is a junior at Colorado State University, Clinical Studies, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biological Sciences, serves as an officer for The One Health Club at CSU and was recently chosen to be a delegate at the IVSA Symposium in Scotland.

Cameron Bruett

Cameron Bruett

Head, Corporate Affairs & Chief Sustainability Officer, JBS USA
President, Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef

BruettCameron_GRSB_webCameron Bruett heads the Corporate Affairs department at JBS USA, the U.S., Canadian, Mexican and Australian subsidiary of JBS S.A., the world’s largest animal protein company. Cameron leads the company’s sustainability and corporate communications efforts. A member of the JBS team since 2008, Cameron began his tenure with the company managing government relations and industrial affairs in Washington DC. (more…)

Ron Dekok

Business Development Director North America
Philips Lighting

Ron DeKokRon DeKok has held multiple management roles in his extensive career in agriculture and horticulture touching a wide variety of crops, plant products, and geographies.  He has a proven track record in building and expanding business, marketing, sales, innovation and people management. With over 20 years of experience coupled with his education in horticulture and business management, his current role as Director of Business Development for Philips Horticulture LED Solutions continues to delve into the cutting edge of new agricultural models and practices.

T. Wright Dickinson

Vermillion Ranch

T. Wright DickinsonT. Wright Dickinson is a past president of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) and rancher. He was raised on his family’s Vermillion Ranch in northwestern Colorado, which extends into both Wyoming and Utah. Not only does T. Wright work as the ranch’s main mechanic, he has been a long– term member of the CCA and Public Lands Council, and now followed in his father’s footsteps as CCA president. He served two terms as a Moffat County Commissioner, was on the board of Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), as well as numerous other civic and leadership activities throughout the state and nation.

Ed Goodman

Spiral Experiences, LLC

Ed GoodmanEd Goodman is an author, speaker and award-winning creative strategist who has utilized his creative and entertainment backgrounds with enterprises like the Walt Disney Company to create the Spiral Experience Presentation Collection.

He is co-author of the new book, “Creating The New American Dream – The Spiral Renaissance Theory.” In addition, he is co-authoring an upcoming book on Functional Creativity for the educational community. (more…)

Bill Hammerich

Colorado Livestock Association

Bill HammerichBill Hammerich was reared on a cow/calf ranch near Rifle on the Western Slope of Colorado. He graduated from Colorado State University in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Economics.

Bill spent several years in the cattle feeding industry working for industry leaders such as Monfort, Farr Feeders and CattleCo (a division of the Sparks Companies). (more…)

Cindy Haren

Cindy Haren

President & CEO
Western Dairy Association

Haren_Cindy_Bio-webCindy brings 35 years leadership experiences working with Colorado agriculture, communities and more recently dairy farm families; public policy; business engineering; former Colorado Water Quality Control Commissioner; and convening stakeholders and partnerships to her role as President and CEO for Western Dairy Association.

As a national member of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy Sustainability Council, taking a proactive approach to providing consumers with the nutritious dairy (more…)

Steven Hoffman

Managing Director
Compass Natural LLC

Hoffman_Steve_Photo-webSteven Hoffman has been involved in sustainable food and agriculture for more than 30 years. He is Managing Director of Compass Natural LLC, a full service marketing communications, public relations and business development agency serving natural, organic and sustainable businesses. He has also served as lead fundraiser for GMO labeling ballot initiatives including California’s Prop. 37 (more…)

Trudy Kareus

State Director, Colorado

Trudy KareusOn May 19, 2013, Trudy Kareus was appointed to the position of State Director for USDA Rural Development by President Barack Obama. In this position Ms. Kareus oversees six field offices and the state office located in Denver, CO. Rural Development administers and manages more than 40 housing, business, and community infrastructure and community facility programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities. Prior to her current appointment, Ms. Kareus came to USDA Colorado Rural Development after nearly 40 years of service working for Members of Congress as well as serving both (more…)

Kelly Leid

Executive Director
North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative, Mayor’s Office City and County of Denver

Kelly LeidWith over 23 years of broad-based operations management experience, including 17-plus years in senior leadership positions, Kelly has worked across a range of highly visible public, private and nonprofit organizations. Much of Kelly’s work has been helping lead complex partnerships in the delivery of community improvement efforts, from stadiums to schools. (more…)

Alan Lewis

Alan Lewis

Government Affairs, Investor Relations and Organic Compliance
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage

Alan LewisAlan directs Government Affairs and Food and Agriculture Policy for Natural Grocers, a 60-year-old health food chain operating over 90 stores in fifteen states. He is active in many trade organizations and grassroots groups and sits on the Boulder County Food and Agriculture Policy Council. His focus is on communicating with local and federal policymakers using frameworks that are non-confrontational and inclusive but ultimately sustainable. He has lived for extended periods in Portugal, Haiti, and Dominica, where he developed a keen appreciation for the variables of agriculture production and food systems within different geographic, cultural and economic contexts.

Tom Lipetzky

Director of Marketing Programs & Strategic Initiatives
Colorado Department of Agriculture.

Tom-LipetzkyTom has responsibility for the state’s agricultural marketing programs including export development, domestic and direct marketing programs, Colorado Proud, the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board and the state’s nine market order programs. The Markets Division also provides size and grade inspections for more than 2 billion pounds of fruits and vegetables annually assuring buyers of the quality and condition of Colorado produce shipments. (more…)

Bob Mattive

Worley Family Farms

Bob MattiveBob was raised on a small farm in Brighton, Colorado. Upon completion of High School, he attended Colorado State University. He graduated with a BS in Business Administration. After graduation he moved to Monte Vista, Colorado in the San Luis Valley.  He and his wife Gail began farming with her father (Carl Worley) in 1982. They have three children. Their family farming operation (Worley Family Farms, LLLP) has grown over the years and includes (more…)

Kent McDaniel

Vice President of Marketing and Services
Crop Production Services (CPS)

Kent currently serves as the vice president of marketing and services for Crop Production Services (CPS). In this role he is responsible for chemical and seed marketing, and precision agriculture.  Kent has had a long history of being involved in agriculture starting with being raised on a ranch in Colorado.

CPS is headquartered in Loveland, Colorado.  CPS operates throughout North America, South America, and Australia.

Alex Pfeifer

Business Development Executive
IBM Research – Brazil

Alex PfeiferAlex is passionate about science and technology, and about finding novel ways of employing them to solve business problems. At IBM Research – Brazil since 2012, he is responsible for driving partnerships that aim to do just that. With Agriculture as one of the key sectors of the Brazilian economy and as a focus industry for this lab that leads the IBM Research Natural Resources worldwide strategic initiative, he has worked with several Brazilian and global players, (more…)

Dr. James G. Pritchett

Assistant Vice President for Engagement
Colorado State University – Office of Engagement

Pritchett_James_webJames Pritchett serves as the Assistant Vice President for Engagement at Colorado State University. Dr. Pritchett’s activities include supporting those working at the intersection between consumer interests and food production in the areas of health and wellness, food safety, food security, the availability of locally raised foods and value –added agricultural systems. (more…)

Carlos Saviani

Carlos Saviani

Vice President
World Wildlife Fund

Saviani_Carlos_Photo-webCarlos Saviani is a third-generation Brazilian-Italian, so food has always been a key component in his life. Born in Sao Paulo, however, he never had the chance to see from where food was actually coming from. Not until his uncle took him, at the age of 10, to the “Bela Vista” farm at the country side. It was love at first sight. He was amazed to see a cow producing milk to feed all the farm families by just eating grass and grains’ by-products, delivering many calves during her lifetime (more…)

Kammy Schuppe

Schuppe Hay Farms, LLC

Kammy-SchuppeKammy Schuppe helps operate the family’s Schuppe Hay Farms in Iliff, Colorado, a fifth generation production farm that works year around raising quality Grass and Alfalfa Hay as well as marketing product across the United States. They also raise Elmwood Limousin, producing top of the line Limousin and Lim-Flex cattle, with an annual Bull sale each March. Kammy studied Agricultural Business at Colorado State University, and received her Doctorate in Practical Ministry at Wagner Leadership Institute.

Paul E. Sherman

President of Sales and Marketing
Viaero Wireless

Paul ShermanPaul E. Sherman serves as President of Sales and Marketing for Viaero Wireless. In this role, he oversees Viaero’s Corporate and Indirect stores, consisting of 65 locations across Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas. In addition, he also oversees E-commerce, Business Solutions, Marketing and Public relations. Viaero’s Business division has expanded across Viaero’s service areas since Paul’s joining in August of 2014; providing businesses, of all sizes, with advanced telecommunication solutions; including Wireless, Fixed Wireless, Voice, Machine-to-Machine, and other value-added products and services. Paul may also be credited for overseeing the launch of Viaero’s on-line store in January of 2015, offering a wide array of products and services. (more…)

Thad Simons

Thad Simons

President and CEO Emeritus, Novus International, Inc.
Co-Founder, The Yield Lab
Board President, IFAMA

Thad SimonsThad Simons is Founder and Managing Director, The Yield Lab, Board President of the
International Food and Agribusiness Association (IFAMA) and former President and Chief Executive Officer of Novus International, Inc.

Thad serves on several community Boards: Nine Network of Public Media, Grand Center, Inc., United Way of Greater St. Louis, Dance STL, Maryville University,  Collegiate School of  Medicine and Bioscience, Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital, St. Louis Regional Chamber, and Missouri Botanical Garden.   (more…)

Mary Kay Thatcher

Mary Kay Thatcher

Senior Director of Congressional Affairs
American Farm Bureau Federation

Mary Kay ThatcherMary Kay Thatcher has worked as a lobbyist for the American Farm Bureau Federation for 28 years. She currently serves as Senior Director of Congressional Relations where she lobbies primarily on issues covering farm programs, crop insurance, conservation, credit and Big Data.

Mary Kay served in the “first” Bush Administration as a political appointee as the director of congressional and public affairs of the Farm Credit Administration. (more…)

Mark Wdowik

Assistant Vice President for Research
Colorado State University

Mark WdowikMark Wdowik serves as the Assistant Vice President for Research and Industry Partnerships in the Office of the Vice President for Research at Colorado State University. In this role, Mark is the primary point of contact for the private sector, including industry relations, industry sponsored research, joint proposals, and public-private partnerships. Prior to this role, (more…)