Mark S. Grewal
President and Chief Executive Officer, S&W Seed Company
Mr. Grewal was appointed President, Chief Executive Officer and a Director in October 2009. From February 2009 until October 2009, he provided advisory services to S&W Seed Company, our predecessor general partnership (the “Partnership”). He became a full-time employee in October 2010. Since October 2009, he also has held the title of President and Manager of the subsidiary, Seed Holding, LLC.
Mr. Grewal served as the Chief Executive Officer, President and Farm Manager of Chowchilla, California-based Triangle T Partners, LLC (“TTP”) from August 2009 through October 2010 and held the same positions with Triangle T Ranch, Inc. (“TTR”), the parent of TTP during the same period. At TTP and TTR, Mr. Grewal was responsible for all operations involved in farming a 13,000 acre diversified farming operation. From January 2006 until he joined TTR, Mr. Grewal was the principal of Grewal Consulting, in Lemoore, California, where he addressed water, land, drainage and fertilizing and herbicide and insecticide management issues. From February 2005 to December 2006, Mr. Grewal served as the Chief Operations Officer of SK Foods, in Lemoore, California, a leading grower and processor of vegetable products for remanufacturers, retail and foodservice markets (“SK Foods”). His responsibilities included procuring raw products to ensure proper plant production with the goal of maximizing cost benefits.
Prior thereto, Mr. Grewal served in various executive management and operational roles for over 26 years with JG Boswell, Co., in Corcoran, California, a very large grower of agricultural crops. From 1999 to February 2005, Mr. Grewal served as the Vice President of Ranching and a member of the Board of Director of JG Boswell, Co. At both SK Foods and JG Boswell, he managed over 300 employees. Mr. Grewal is Chairman of the 2009 Plant Science Advisory Council of California State University and a member of the Leadership Committee of California State University, Fresno.
Mr. Grewal earned a B.S. in Agronomy from California State University, Fresno, and an M.A. in Leadership from Saint Mary’s College, Moraga, California.
Matthew K. Szot
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Szot has served as our Chief Financial Officer since March 2010. Mr. Szot brings a wealth of knowledge in mergers and acquisitions, financings, developing and implementing financial and operational process improvements, technical accounting, SEC reporting and compliance. Mr. Szot is also currently a Director and serves as Chairman of the Audit Committee and Compensation Committee of SenesTech, a life science company focused on animal health. From February 2007 until October 2011, Mr. Szot served as the Chief Financial Officer for Cardiff Partners, LLC, a strategic consulting company that provided executive financial services to various publicly traded and privately held companies. Prior thereto, from 2003 to December 2006, Mr. Szot served as Chief Financial Officer and Secretary of Rip Curl, Inc., a market leader in wetsuit and action sports apparel products. From 1996 to 2003, Mr. Szot was a Certified Public Accountant with KPMG in the San Diego and Chicago offices and served as an Audit Manager for various publicly traded companies.
Mr. Szot graduated with High Honors from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics/Accountancy. Mr. Szot is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of California.
Chief Operations Officer and Managing Director of SGI
Mr. Jury has served as Vice President of Operations and General Manager of SGI since April 2013, following the acquisition of Seed Genetics International by S&W Seed Company. Mr. Jury is a veteran of the agricultural industry, having worked for ICI Crop Care, Schering Ag, and South Australian Seedgrowers Cooperative (later ‘Seedco,’ then subsequently known as ‘SeedMark’) in various roles including territory sales, territory manager and product and market development manager, before joining Seed Genetics International in August 2003 as General Manager. He was appointed Managing Director of Seed Genetics International in July 2009. Mr. Jury studied Agricultural Science at the Waite Agricultural Research Institute in Urbrae, South Australia with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science degree, and received his MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management.
Vice President of Sales and Marketing
Mr. Fabre joined the Company in October 2012 as Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Mr. Fabre has more than 30 years of agricultural industry experience. From 1979 to 1999, he served in a series of roles with Cal/West Seeds, including Domestic Traffic Manager, distribution manager, and manger of quality control and distribution, before finally serving as Vice President of International Sales developing new markets and expanding the company’s presence abroad. In 1999, Mr. Fabre co-founded Imperial Valley Seeds (“IVS”), a marketer of non-dormant alfalfa seed varieties to international markets, and the export arm for IV Milling, a Holtville, California based producer and processor of alfalfa seeds, established in 1921. Through 2012, Mr. Fabre built IVS into a growing business in all of the world’s major forage seed consuming countries, generating annual revenues of approximately $16 million. IVS was acquired by S&W Seed Company on October 1, 2012, whereby Mr. Fabre joined S&W as the company’s Vice President of Sales. Mr. Fabre graduated from Chico State University with a Bachelors Degree in Geological and Physical Science (Earth Sciences) with Minors in Plant Science and Sociology. He is also a past President of the Pacific Seed Association and a regular participant in the meetings of the Western Seed Association and the International Seed Federation.
Danielson B. Gardner
Chief Marketing and Technology Officer
Mr. Gardner joined the Company in October 2012 and most recently had been in the role of Vice Presiden of Breeding and Genetics. Prior to S&W, Mr. Gardner was in various leadership positions in breeding and international sales at Dairyland Seed Co., a Dow AgroSciences subsidiary, where he served for 18 years. His most recent position at Dairyland, which he held from June 2008 until his departure in October 2012, was International Distribution Manager. He also served as Alfalfa Breeder for Dairyland from March 1994 until October 2012.
Mr. Gardner has a B.S. in Genetics from the University of California at Davis and later graduated from the UC Davis Plant Breeding Academy.
Daniel Z. Karsten
Vice President of Processing
Mr. Karsten has served as Vice President of Processing for S&W Seed Company since April 2013. From August 2008 until February 2010, Mr. Karsten served as Plant Manager for S&W’s Five Points facility, maintaining overall responsibility for manufacturing operations. He was appointed to the position of Vice President of Operations and Chief Operating Officer in February 2010 and Executive Vice President in June 2010. From March 2005 until he joined our company in August 2008, Mr. Karsten was Production Manager and Safety Officer for Colusa County Canning, a canning and industrial bulk tomato processing company located in Williams, California.
Vice President of North American Sales
Mr. Newell comes to S&W Seed Company following 32 years in the seed industry with DuPont Pioneer, having served in various marketing, sales management, agronomy and business improvement roles. Since 2007, he was Senior Business Manager, Forage Products, based in Johnston, IA. In this role, he developed and implemented strategies for forage business growth including alfalfa seed. Mr. Newell held P&L responsibility for the Pioneer alfalfa product line worldwide, with the Pioneer brand holding the top market share in dormant alfalfa. He led the Pioneer Worldwide Alfalfa Planning Team, a multi-disciplinary group in place since 1994 representing finance, supply planning, production, research and product development, marketing and sales. Mr. Newell is currently the elected chairperson of the National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance (NAFA), an alfalfa industry organization that strives for the furtherance of alfalfa and forage uses on farms and in feedstuffs in the US. He attained Six Sigma “Master Black Belt” certification during his role in a business improvement initiative at DuPont Pioneer, conducting projects as well as teaching and mentoring for the statistical and business process improvement methodology that Six Sigma entails.
Mr. Newell received a B.S. degree in Agronomy from The Pennsylvania State University, and M.S. in Crop Physiology from the University of Nebraska. He completed a Masters of Business Management curriculum in a program sponsored by Pioneer Hi-Bred in affiliation with Purdue University’s Center for Agricultural Business and the Krannert School of Business Management.
Vice President of Production
Mr. Rolfs began his career with Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. at the alfalfa research station in Connell, WA. In 1988, he accepted an Agronomist position with Pioneer Hi-Bred in Fresno, CA managing non-dormant alfalfa seed production in the San Joaquin Valley region of California. In 1992, he was promoted to Senior Agronomist and over the following 10 years took on additional roles for the product line of Quality Supply Logistics, worldwide distribution planning, as well as Supply and Demand Planning. In 2013, Mr. Rolfs was promoted to Production Location Manager of the Nampa, ID production location. While working for Pioneer Hi-Bred, Mr. Rolfs was a part of the team that harmonized ISO9000 documentation for the entire company. This team went on to win the Owen J. Newlin Business Excellence Award. In addition, he is a certified Six Sigma green belt, and certified LEAN practitioner. He has served on several industry organizations including the CA Alfalfa Seed Production Research Board in California for over 19 years, and the National Alfalfa & Forage Alliance (NAFA) for over 8 years.
Mr. Rolfs received his B.S. degree in Agronomy from Colorado State University.
Vice President of Breeding and Genetics
Dr. Smith joined S&W in January 2015 in connection with the Company’s acquisition of DuPont Pioneer’s alfalfa seed research program as director of breeding and genetics. Dr. Smith has nearly 30 years of alfalfa seed industry experience. In 1987 he was hired as an alfalfa breeder by Pioneer Hi-Bred International developing numerous varieties for the Western U.S. for resistance to alfalfa stem nematode as well as non-dormant product development for the world. He further went on to oversee and manage the research and development of alfalfa seed varieties across the entire U.S. He is the past president of the Western Alfalfa Improvement Conference and currently serves as Secretary of the North American Alfalfa Improvement Conference. He has served on numerous committees for the alfalfa community including two rotations on the National Alfalfa Variety Review Board.
Dr. Smith received a B.S. degree in Crop Science from New Mexico State University, and a Masters of Science studying forage breeding. Mark obtained his Ph.D. in Genetics and Plant Breeding from Mississippi State University, minoring in experimental statistics while working in the forage breeding program.
Walter van Leeuwen
Vice President of Australian Sales and Marketing
Mr. van Leeuwen has more than 20 years of extensive experience in a wide diversity of management roles within the agricultural industry. Since November 2013, Mr. van Leeuwen has been functioning as the Sales & Marketing Manager for Seed Genetics International (SGI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of S&W Seed Company, based in Adelaide, South Australia.
Mr. van Leeuwen joined SGI in February 2009 as Sales & Logistics Manager. In this role, he developed and implemented strategies to facilitate the efficient delivery of proprietary and private label alfalfa and white clover seed products into numerous overseas markets from the production base in Australia. Prior to joining SGI, Mr. van Leeuwen was Operations Manager, Seed Certification of Seed Services Australia, where he joined in 2004. In this position, he oversaw the production of certified small seeds, including alfalfa, cereals, grain legumes and cotton seed. From 1998 to 2003, Mr. van Leeuwen was employed as a Potato Agronomist by McCain Foods South Africa. In early 2002, Mr. van Leeuwen was promoted to the position of managing the entire potato seed supply chain for McCain Foods South Africa.
Mr. van Leeuwen graduated from the Pretoria University of Technology in South Africa where he obtained a Bachelor degree in crop production.