David Robbins - CEO/Founder/Managing Director:
Experienced Agriculture and horticulture executive since 1975 (20 years experience at CEO level)
Education: BA in Business Administration-Accounting Concentration-Cal State University Stanislaus; Graduate education at Stanford-Completed the Executive program in 1998; Extensive training in Deming Style management (Quality of Work Life), Critical Thinking and Decision Making Theory;
Experience: 1975-1981-Operations Director and Plant Management Frozen Fruits and Vegetables-Patterson Frozen Foods; Flavorland Foods. Trained Refrigeration operating Engineer; 1981-1986-Distribution Management-Canned Foods-Tri-Valley Growers (Largest Canner in the world in 1985); 1986-1991-Private Consulting, CEO and Marketing Management and Business Development-Good Earth Tea Company, Nature Quality, Odwalla.; 1990-2008-CEO/CFO/COO Agriculture/Horticultural Enterprises-Wild Rice Exchange, Greenheart Farms, Northwest Horticulture, Speedling, Inc.; 2008-Present-Entrepreneur CEO/Founder-Earth Sense Energy USA and COO/Co-Founder-Russo and Robbins Farms.; Worked for 2 years in Eastern Asia (Singapore and China; Kunming, Shanghai, Hong Kong) Traveled extensively in Western Europe and Middle East for tradeshows and technology exchange. Visionary driven and tough-minded leader striving for excellence in himself and his colleagues; Huge network of farmers, retailers (Garden Centers, Grocery), business owners, management talent for prospecting; Highest of integrity and values in business ethics.
Lan Saadatnejadi - COO
Lan Saadatnejadi has more than 20 years of experience in delivering infrastructure improvement programs and projects with innovation and ingenuity, including alternative deliveries. She has worked in both public and private sectors and understands what it takes to build a program as well as develop a project from inception through completion. She has comprehensive knowledge of federal, state, regional, and local transportation programs, including high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes, toll roads, high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, freeway widening, new freeways, interchanges, multi-purpose corridors, operational improvements, etc. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated the ability to take on challenges, bring new initiatives to fruition, build new program and project teams, and elevate teams to the next level. During her tenure with Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority as the Executive Officer of Highway Program, she built a brand new team and developed a $20 billion Measure R Highway Program. She transformed a brand new team from grant administration to project delivery focused, and achieved an annual growth rate of 30% in project delivery. She partnered with California State University Northridge (CSUN) to develop a series of P3 courses focusing on transportation improvement projects and has received many accolades. This is one of the strategic efforts to build broader resource pool of talents for the upcoming P3 opportunities. She founded the LRS Program Delivery, Inc. in 2014 specifically focusing on developing infrastructure projects with public-private partnership approach.
Ms. Saadatnejadi is a licensed civil engineer. She earned her bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); and MBA from California State University, Long Beach (CSLB).
Dominick Wernicke - Vice President of Business Development
Dominick grew up on a small farm across the water from Seattle started his career in retail and retail management in the Inside/Outside Garden department at one of the largest home improvement chains in the country. He then progressed into the automotive industry and spent 4 years in sales and sales management.
For the last two years Dominick has been providing consultancy services in the renewable energy sector. Dominick started consulting for a large lobbying and business development firm. He started a consulting firm called S&W Capital Enterprises and provided consulting services for the GC Barnes Group; among other lobbyists firms out in DC to provide funding and government contracts via US Department of Energy(DOE). He joined Earth Sense Energy USA, Inc. in September, 2015 and organized the trading group, named Earth Sense Energy Trading Company, LLC (pending registration). As the Co-Founder of this company, Dominick buys and sells biofuel commodities internationally.
He is currently working on his MBA while raising 2 children.
Dave Jarzynka - Board Member and Advisor for Finance:
Dave Jarzynka is an accounting/finance professional who has spent 13 years as a CEO and 10 years as a CFO. His experience in corporate finance and operations has been with NYSE listed and private wholesale manufacturers. His accomplishments range from developing and implementing standard cost systems to managing successful acquisitions in growth/expanding businesses. Dave has extensive experience in operational management, process improvement, and team building and has also managed financial departments internationally. He holds earned a BBA from the University of Notre Dame in Accounting and was in the Masters of Business Administration program at the University of Toledo. He also served as a member of the advisory board to the school of business at Pacific Lutheran University.
Cathy Storey - Advisor for Information Technology:
Catherine Storey has over 20 years of experience in IT management, Operations Management and Consulting and has dedicated over 7 years to the agriculture industry . In these capacities, Catherine has been focused on implementation and execution of systems and processes to improve overall efficiencies and profitability of the organizations she has worked for. Throughout her career she has implemented full cycle ERP systems, B2B and ecommerce systems. She has been instrumental in the successful development of 4 start-up organizations in medical and consumer goods fields. She has a diversified work history which includes all facets of organizational management including IT, project management, sales, distribution and production.
Pete Sheardy - Advisor for Retail Marketing:
Pete has been in the agricultural industry for over 30 years. He started off working at a family owned garden center, and eventually ended up as a territory sales representative for a large woody ornamental grower. The last fifteen have been focused on marketing horticulture, throughout the supply chain. He has had business interactions at most levels, within the industry, including breeders, growers, retailers, and consumers. Pete has a degree in Ornamental Horticulture from Michigan State University. He has owned and operated a landscape design company, as well as a production nursery. Pete has introduced new products and plants to the lawn and garden industry, supplied horticultural content to web sites and trade magazines, and has conducted over 300 professional and consumer-based seminars. For the last five years, he has been involved in the promotion of organic gardening, and sustainable agriculture. Pete is a published poet and songwriter currently residing in Florida.
John Cooley - Advisor for Horticulture Engineering and Equipment Sourcing:
John, a UK citizen, has been in vegetable plant propagation all of his working life having started his own nursery in the UK in the early 80's. Since then he has also designed and manufactured his own trays which are sold around the world. This has allowed him to travel to propagation nurseries in over twenty countries and gain an understanding of how these nurseries function with different climates, crops etc. John has also diversified into root manipulation containers to produce the very best root system on any root sensitive crops and understands the design of molds and the production of trays using injection molding technology.
Monday Alhonsi - Advisor for Miscanthus Feild Research:
Monday is a plant pathologist with 20 years of R&D experience in plant protection and over 50 referred journal and conference papers. He has successfully led several biological research projects in Africa, Switzerland, Japan and the USA at postdoctoral research scientist level for the past 12 years. He is currently a postdoctoral bio-energy crops pathologist at the Energy Bio-sciences Institute (EBI), University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, USA. His research at EBI for the past 4 years focus on assessing the risk fungal and bacterial pathogens may pose to biomass production of energy feedstock grasses particularly Miscanthus x Giganteus in the USA, and developing diagnostic tools and disease management strategies in collaboration with agronomists and breeders. Monday’s earlier research experience include upland rice pathology; bio-pesticide development and soil management strategies for sustainable maize and sorghum production in the savannahs of sub-Saharan Africa; risk assessment of chemical and biological pesticides in agriculture; development of DNA-based tools for epidemiological study of Oomycete plant pathogens in nursery and greenhouse production recycled irrigation systems; and development of zoospore biology-based disease management strategy for irrigated nurseries and greenhouse production systems. Before joining EBI-University of Illinois, he was a researcher at Virginia Tech- USA, Gifu University- Japan, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology- Zurich Switzerland, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture- Nigeria, and Africa Rice Center- Cote d’ Ivoire. Monday holds a B.S. in Botany, M.S. and PhD in Crop Protection(Plant Pathology).
James Guy - Advisor for Operations and Marketing:
James is a 38 year veteran in the agriculture/horticulture industry who spent 26 years as President of one of South Carolinas largest nurseries in the Southeastern USA James is a seasoned horticulture expert offering well-rounded experience and significant success in driving “out-of-the-box” business solutions and strategies. Equipped with forward-thinking approach in directing sales and marketing plans, streamlining operations, simplifying procedures, and setting benchmarks to achieve competitive market advantage and support company growth.
Marty Moore - Advisor for Energy Crop Farming and Agronomy:
Marty was fortunate enough to be raised on a large family farm in the Desert Southwest so harsh conditions or adverse climates do not stand in his way of putting up a successful crop season after season. Marty has had the opportunity to engage in all phases of Agriculture from seed procurement to soil stewardship through harvest, also Marty brings a great deal of hands on farming knowledge to the team as he has raised a wide variety of crops from cereal and grain crops to head lettuce, tomatoes and melons to name a few.
Marty attended AZ Western College to study crop science and Architecture to satisfy his thirst for critical thinking. Immediately after school Marty was hired by Agro Phosphate a Pesticide & Fertilizer Co. There he was able to get his teeth into the service side of the industry as he delivered products to local growers, sold products as well as directed field applications of fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides. Along his career path Marty became intrigued with vegetable greenhouse production for field transplanting so he accepted a grower position at Greenheart Farms Inc. where he eventually held the Nursery Manager position.
After several years Marty decided to accept the Nursery Manager position with Tanimura & Antle to oversee their in-house Nursery operation. Later Marty moved through various Departments and opportunities to eventually end up as G.M. of San Joaquin Valley Farm for Tanimura & Antle where he wore two hats as the GM and as Field grower of a 7200 acre farm. Recently Marty gave into his urge to return to the Desert to be closer to family. He is now Managing Medjool Date ranches in CA. and AZ. along the Colorado River for the Gowan group.
Through his 30 plus year Ag tenure Marty has learned to stay humble yet accepts new challenges with tenacity and poise. We look forward to bringing Marty aboard, integrating him with the current team of talent and experience; this certainly will prove to be the book ends needed for ESEs success.
Dr. Huat Seng Lim – Non-Executive Chairman of The Board:
Dr Lim retired recently as Group Managing Director, Technology Division of WBL Corporation Limited, where he was responsible for managing the technology businesses of the Group across Asia, U.S. and Europe from 2001 to 2009. In that capacity, he oversaw the Group investments in various technological companies in electronic manufacturing, information and communication technology, biotechnology and agro-technology, including Speedling. He was instrumental in restructuring Speedling Inc. to return it to profitability and in providing strong support to its management to venture into the Miscanthus energy initiative. He was actively involved in the NASDAQ listing of the WBL subsidiary, Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc, the leading flexible circuit board and flex assembly company in the U.S. Prior to WBL, Dr. Lim held senior management positions in several Asian and U.S. multinational companies, including Packard Bell NEC, Compaq Computers, Keppel Corporation and Sime Darby Berhad. He was Vice President and Managing Director of the Asia Pacific Division of Packard Bell NEC, where he was involved in the merger of the PC operations of NEC with those of Packard Bell. At Compaq, he was Vice President and Managing Director of North Asia and a divisional officer. He established the Compaq presence in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea, and made Compaq the Number 1 PC brand in China in the nineties.Prior to venturing into industry, Dr. Lim was Associate Professor in Computer Science and Founding Director of the Computer Centre at the University of Science of Malaysia. He established a very successful consulting service at the university, providing computing, social economic and other consulting services to government and industry. He was a computer consultant to the Prime Minister’s Department of Malaysia and to various state governments in the late seventies. Dr. Lim holds a Bachelor Degree with Honours in Electrical Engineering from the University of Queensland, Australia, and a Ph. D. degree in Computer Science from the University of London, U.K., and conducted post-doctoral research at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. He was a Colombo Plan and also a Commonwealth Scholar.
David Croxton - Non-Executive Board Member and Chief Agronomy Advisor:
David is a highly experienced professional Director and Executive who has worked internationally in the Renewable Energy Market since 1988. He has focused on delivery of innovation, creativity and vision to strategic plans for several new businesses over many years. A Fellow of the UK Institute of Directors, he also holds directorships in several UK farming companies, has extensively share and contract farmed in the UK and France, is a Director of Cannington Grain Group, and CEO of SEIL Ltd. (current rebranding of Renewable Energy Crops Limited) He is a qualified agronomist and practical farmer. As a multi-skilled director, he created and successfully sold his own agrochemical business, and an agronomic consultancy He also worked in General Management and other executive roles throughout a career of over 40 years. He was a local magistrate based in Devon UK for 6 years where he was one of the founder developers and innovators of the commercializing and practical development of Miscanthus Energy Crop in the EU. Married to Lucy for 18 years, he has 5 children and 7 grandchildren, and has many interests, mainly rural activities, science and enjoys music, current affairs, reading and chess.
Steve Grossnickle - Advisor for Research and Development
Steve has worked in the plant sciences/forestry field for over twenty-five years in programs throughout the U.S. and Canada, regarding ecological and physiological processes of plants in operational nurseries and forested areas. These research programs focused on areas of genetic diversity, and the performance and development of plants in relation to nursery practices, field operations and ecosystem restoration. Steve has collaborated with the nursery industry, both forestry and horticulture, and the forest industry to address operational issues. Steve has earned an international reputation as a scientist and practitioner addressing basic biological and ecological processes of plants within research, extension and educational programs. These programs were conducted with external partners in universities, government, and the nursery and forest industries. Steve has published a book, 66 refereed scientific journal papers and chapters, 26 technical transfer papers and 4 patents. Steve holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Resource Management from Southern Illinois University, and a Master of Science degree and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Colorado State University in Plant Physiological Ecology.