Chief Executive Officer, S&W Seed Company
Mr. Wong was elected to our Board in December 2014 and named CEO in June 2017. He has more than 35 years of experience in agribusiness, with particular expertise in technology integration and commercialization. Mr. Wong was a founder and, since 2009, has been a partner of Colorado Financial Holdings (CFH), a private venture investment and investment bank that specializes in the agricultural, energy and biotechnology sectors. Since January 2012, Mr. Wong has served as Chairman of American Dairyco, Ponte Vedra, Florida, the owner and operator of dairies in Florida and Georgia, which is a venture jointly owned by CFH. Between 2008 and December 2015, he served either as Chairman of the Board or chief executive officer of Agrivida, a private company that is developing and commercializing high-performance products that incorporate novel, regulated proteins precisely engineered for specific applications in a variety of markets, including animal nutrition, bio-based fuels and chemicals and industrial enzymes. From January 2016 to February 2016, Mr. Wong served as Acting President and Chief Executive Officer of Arcadia Biosciences, Inc., a publicly-traded agricultural biotechnology trait company for which he also served on the board from May 2006 until February 2016. Mr. Wong was the Chief Executive Officer of Renewable Agricultural Energy Corporation, a private ethanol production company, from 2006 to 2007. Prior to that time, was the founder and, from 1999 to 2005, chief executive officer of Emergent Genetics, an international seed biotech company that was sold to Monsanto Company in 2005. Mr. Wong founded and managed a series of other agricultural and biotechnology companies, including Big Stone Partners, Agracetus Corporation, a plant biotechnology company that was sold to Monsanto and Agrigenetics Corporation, a seed and biotechnology company that was sold to Dow Chemical. Mr. Wong also worked as an engineer for FMC Corporation and Chemical Construction Corporation. Mr. Wong served as a director of BioFuel Energy Corp., a publicly traded corn ethanol company, from January 2008 until October 2014, and Chair from March 2010 to October 2014, when it was renamed Green Brick Partners following an acquisition and recapitalization transaction. Mr. Wong received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University and his M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
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 (Nasdaq: SNES), 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.
Director of Finance & Corporate Controller
Ms. Hatcher has served as the Corporate Controller and Director of Finance since August 2015. Prior to assuming the Corporate Controller role, Ms. Hatcher was responsible for financial reporting, planning and analysis functions. Ms. Hatcher brings a breadth of knowledge in financial planning and analysis, SEC reporting and compliance, ERP system implementations and process reengineering. Prior to joining S&W, Ms. Hatcher served as the Director of Finance and previously Assistant Controller for Agilysys, Inc, a proprietary software company tailored to the Hospitality industry, where she was responsible for the corporate accounting and SEC reporting functions. Ms. Hatcher then assumed the Director of Finance role and was the program manager leading the company’s ERP and Professional Services Project Management software implementations. Prior to Agilysys, Ms. Hatcher served as the Director of Finance and Controller for Cardiff Partners, LLC, a strategic consulting company that provided executive financial services to various publicly traded and private companies. Prior to Cardiff Partners, LLC, Ms. Hatcher held various Finance and Accounting positions with Sealy, Inc., and Volvo Powertrain, a division of AB Volvo.
Ms. Hatcher graduated from the Frostburg State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. Ms. Hatcher is a Certified Management Accountant and a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Georgia.
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.
Global Director Human Resources
Ms. Misenhimer has served as Global Director Human Resources since joining the Company in May 2015. Ms. Misenhimer is a 38-year veteran of California’s Central Valley dairy industry where she served in various accounting, management and human resource roles. From 2000-2014 Ms. Misenhimer was Vice President Human Resources, of California’s largest and the nation’s second largest milk production and manufacturing cooperative, having annual revenues of $4 billion dollars from six manufacturing plants with 900 employees. As VPHR, she was part of the five-member company executive management team. Ms. Misenhimer was instrumental in the successful staffing and start-up of two of the world’s largest butter and dried milk powder manufacturing facilities.
Throughout her career in Human Resources, Ms. Misenhimer has been a member of SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management), where she held a number of elected officer positions. She is a key note speaker in the areas of employee engagement, diversity and inclusion, and union avoidance.
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.