Atilla Akin

Business Manager – EMEA

Atilla Akin is a proven leader in seed treatment with extensive knowledge of the industry landscape in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He is well-versed in seed technology development with a specialty in commercializing new technologies. Akin has broad experience developing, registering and marketing seed treatments and agrochemicals through experience with DuPont, NuFarm and Chemtura. Akin has a strong record of successfully managing product portfolios, introducing new technologies while growing markets for existing products. As Business Manager, Akin is in charge of product and field development services and business development services to commercialize new products as well as providing valuable insight to clients as they launch technologies in new markets globally.Curriculum Vitae (PDF)


Andrew Alexander

Account Manager – Australia & New Zealand

Andrew Alexander has more than 20 years of experience in sales, customer relations and sales management in both corporate and independent distribution channels. He is recognized for successfully driving customer growth through effective team leadership, increased product distribution and commercial management. Andrew is the point person in a strategic partnership between Imtrade Australia and AgriThority to facilitate a full range of regulatory, product development, field development, business development and market access services on behalf of AgriThority. As the Account Manager for Australia and New Zealand, he will guide clients in the region as they develop and test new technologies and accelerate their path to commercialization in the region and globally.


Sharon Berberich

Account Manager – Licensing and Intellectual Property

Sharon Berberich is an exceptional leader in business strategy and intellectual property management. She has a proven track record for delivering results, from introducing new products to managing and negotiating licensing agreements. Sharon gained technical and business experience in biotechnology as well as crop protection while working with cutting-edge startups and at Monsanto and Dow. As Account Manager for Licensing and Intellectual Property, Berberich guides clients in developing, protecting, registering and licensing new agricultural technologies. She is also involved in business development for clients from startup technology companies to multinationals. Berberich provides valuable insight in agri-business, specifically in developing and commercializing technologies on a global scale. Resume (PDF)


Ignacio Colonna

Research Manager – Latin America

Ignacio Colonna is an experienced researcher and a proven research operations manager. He oversees all lab, greenhouse and field research operations, as well as data analysis and analytics projects in Latin America for AgriThority clients. Colonna has a strong track record coordinating research design, execution, data collection and analysis of field trials. Most recently, Colonna was a research scientist at Pioneer Argentina SRL where he was responsible for hybrid advancement decisions for the temperate program in Pergamino, the new Cordoba breeding program and the North region testing program. His characterization work involved the development of analytical tools based on environmental data and crop models to support corn hybrid positioning and implementation of new technologies for phenotyping. Curriculum Vitae (PDF)


Gerardo Copello

Agronomist, Business & Marketing Specialist

Gerardo Copello is recognized globally as a business development expert for conventional and biological/natural crop protection and high value fertility products. He also has a broad range of expertise in bio-energy crops. His 35 years of experience cover a wide range of agricultural and horticultural applications. Copello has worked with multinational crop protection companies in technical services and business management throughout Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.


Michael DeSa

Michael DeSa’s technical background, years of leadership and project management experience with the U.S. Marine Corps and extensive travels and investment experience throughout Latin America make him uniquely qualified to strategically counsel companies and investors throughout the region. He has guided high net worth individuals and institutional investors in every aspect of foreign land investments from project sourcing and risk assessment/mitigation, to boots-on-the ground due diligence, overseas land management and ownership structuring. DeSa has detailed farming experience with a wide variety of row and permanent crops, hydroponic greenhouse produce, bees, and proteins. He is also a published author with articles appearing in Global AgInvesting, Agri Investor, Huffington Post, and the Marine Corps Gazette. DeSa graduated from Texas A&M with a Bachelor of Science in agricultural engineering. Curriculum Vitae (PDF)


Ryan Dierking, PhD

Research Scientist

Dr. Dierking is a proven research manager with expertise in planning, execution and delivery of field development programs including protocol development, data collection, trial reporting and analysis. He has a track record of successfully replicating field trials across multiple locations while maintaining consistency in implementation and evaluation. Dr. Dierking is proficient in a broad range of row crops and bioenergy crops, with a specialty in corn, sorghum, soybean, wheat and forage. As the AgriThority Research Scientist, he is responsible for developing, implementing and reporting field research vital to the successful evaluation of clients’ products and technologies. Curriculum Vitae (PDF)


Jerry Duff

Agronomist, Business & Marketing Specialist

Jerry Duff specializes in the technical foundation, development and introduction of products with a particular focus on their fit into Best Management Practices systems. He is widely recognized for his vision and strategy development capabilities, and for his ability to work with the technical community. His experience includes farm business planning and farm management and agricultural economics. He has spent more than 30 years in the agriculture industry and provided services to clients worldwide. His agri-business experience includes grain, oilseed, cotton, biomass, trees and vines, vegetable production, turf, ornamentals, beef and dairy cattle, equine and small animal health. Resume (PDF)


Cheston Easter

Project Controller

Easter is well-versed in global project management, logistics management and budgeting. Throughout his career, Easter has met short- and long-term objectives by establishing buying programs, managing corporate hedging programs and assisting in the development of new suppliers. As project controller, Easter will define project goals and objectives, manage budgets and timelines and proactively communicate with internal and external partners to advance projects efficiently. He has a proven track record of analyzing costs, revenue and risks to maintain project budgets and timelines. Resume (PDF)


Dave Guthrie, PhD


Dave Guthrie has more than 25 years of experience and is well-versed in agronomic research, has experience in developing products for the market and a background in extension and education. His experience includes positions with Stoneville Pedigree Seed Company, Monsanto, Bayer CropScience, the National Cotton Council and North Carolina State University. He was awarded the Man of the Year in Service to North Carolina Agriculture by Progressive Farmer in 1992. Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Estefanía Hinarejos

Regulatory & Account Manager – Europe

Hinarejos is well-versed in the development of biostimulants, biofertilizers and biopesticides, including significant experience in the regulatory pathways for these bio-inputs. Throughout her professional career she has completed research and submitted patents related to Bacillus subtilis genus, Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacterias (PGPR’s) and organic regenerators for soil. As regulatory and account manager, Hinarejos leads regulatory and market access projects for clients associated with agronomic and horticulture crops in Europe. Hinarejos also leads account management initiatives and works with AgriThority leadership to conduct strategic business planning and analyses. Curriculum Vitae (PDF)


Krishan Jindal, PhD

Research Scientist & Agronomist

Jindal has more than 27 years of academic and industry experience with expertise in crop protection, seed, agronomy and nutrient management, technology transfer, plant breeding and technical support. His professional background includes positions with the Australian Wheat Board India Pvt. Ltd, Hindustan Unilever Ltd, Punjab Agricultural University and the University of Horticulture and Forestry in Solan, India. Most recently, Jindal served as head of scientific affairs for Savannah Seeds Pvt. Ltd, where he managed agronomy trials, germplasm collection, varietal performance, data analysis and established key relationships with federal and provincial ministries and research institutes in India. Curriculum Vitae (PDF)


AJ Ornellas

Account Manager – Latin America

Ornellas has more than 25 years of experience in marketing and sales for crop protection companies in Brazil and Latin America. He has played an integral role in the creation and development of strategic campaigns for new products, from market research to brand development and distribution. As AgriThority Account Manager for Latin America, Ornellas is responsible for business development and management for AgriThority clients in his region. He will provide project management for product and field development services and will direct business development services to commercialize new products and will provide valuable insight to clients as they launch technologies in new markets globally. Curriculum Vitae (PDF)


Richard Shaw

Richard Shaw

Research Logistics & Operations Manager

Shaw has worked in agriculture for more than 40 years. An entomologist by training, Shaw most recently was Fiber Development Manager, Cotton Team, at Bayer CropScience, where he operated in the textile and apparel market globally with branded upland cotton fiber. His roles at Bayer CropScience and legacy companies Aventis CropScience, Rhone-Poulenc and Union Carbide spanned global product development, field development and technical services. He has managed technical support across broad-acre crops, vegetables, trees and vines, and specialty crops, including sugar cane and rice. Curriculum Vitae (PDF)


Jeff Sorrell

Jeff Sorrell

Account Manager – Market Analyst

Jeff Sorrell has more than 35 years of US and international experience in sales, development and executive management. He has created and implemented long-term, sustainable strategies and initiatives with P&L responsibility for a diverse list of agricultural companies. Throughout his career, Sorrell has managed multi-million dollar development projects for major crop protection companies including Bayer CropScience and its legacy companies, as well as Nufarm, often exceeding annual growth targets. His expertise in regulatory, registration and training procedures is recognized globally. As a project manager and market analyst for AgriThority, Sorrell determines new opportunities for emerging and established products and technologies. Resume (PDF)


Marco Toapanta, PhD

Director – Science & Technology

Dr. Toapanta has more than 15 years of experience in agricultural research management. He is recognized for his expertise in crop protection, seed treatment and seed-applied technologies, and technical competence in agriculture, entomology, pest management, specialty crops, tropical fruits and vegetables. As AgriThority Director – Science & Technology, Marco oversees and defines standardized processes and guides science and technology development projects. He works with Account Managers, science-based staff and Associates.


Ruben Villasante

Account Manager for Mexico and Central America

Villasante has more than 32 years of international experience in business development, marketing, sales and management. Through management positions with leading agricultural companies, he has demonstrated a strong background in strategy, leadership and product development for Latin American markets. Villasante is recognized for creating and implementing marketing, training, stewardship and safety programs for Latin American, North American and global markets. Prior to joining AgriThority Villasante worked for FMC Corporation where he built the company’s reputation as a leader in the insecticide market. Curriculum Vitae (PDF)


ShiGui Zhang

Plant Physiologist, Agronomist

ShiGui Zhang has nearly 30 years of experience as an agronomist and crop scientist in the Chinese agriculture industry, specializing in cotton seed production, processing, evaluation and treatment. He is recognized in China as an authority on Best Management Practices and Integrated Pest Management programs and studied cotton physiology and production for a year at Texas A&M University.


Karen Arthur

Seed Treatment Product Development Specialist

Arthur has achieved a broad base of expertise in seed treatment applications, steering the R&D process from experimental evaluation of early stage biologics and chemistries to product and field development through to commercial launch. Arthur directed research and development programs, overseeing laboratory and field research, to build the Valent U.S.A. seed treatment portfolio. Arthur’s biological experience in seed treatment began early in her professional career as a seed technologist with Gustafson. She is proficient in seed technology and seed treatment strategies with extensive knowledge of seed-applied fungicides, insecticides and biologics.


Keith Eisberg

Director of International Development Projects

Keith Eisberg has nearly 30 years of international and domestic agricultural consulting experience. The majority of his assignments have been with The World Bank to analyze and implement viable production and agricultural improvements in developing countries. He also has worked with the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID). He is skilled in analyzing crop production costs, revenue budgeting, feasibility studies, cropping patterns and best management practices to improve farmer profitability. Resume (PDF)


Neil William Forrester, PhD

Entomologist/Biotechnology Specialist

Neil Forrester has been deeply involved in the development and application of biotechnology in field and horticulture crops. He is credited with the introduction and maintenance of the first insecticide resistance management strategy for conventional insecticides in cotton as well as for the inception of the Bt cotton resistance management strategy. Dr. Forrester earned his PhD at the University of Queensland and went on to work for a major multinational seed company where he led business development programs in India and was responsible for the technical development of new markets in Africa, the Sub-Continent, the CIS and South America. Curriculum Vitae (PDF)


David E. Lincoln, PMP

Unmanned Aerial Systems Expert

Lincoln has more than 20 years of technical experience managing the development and fielding of high-tech systems and equipment. He has worked with companies such as Alion Science and Technology, Insitu, Inc. and General Dynamics. In addition to his commercial experience, Lincoln has extensive military experience including positions in shipboard tactical aviation operations, program manager for training systems with the US Naval Air Systems Command and as an air operations officer and change management coordinator for the USS Enterprise.


Giovanni Miglio, PhD

Crop Protection Specialist & Agronomist

Miglio has more than 32 years of technical experience with expertise in field trials, product development and registration, regulatory approval, and cultivating key business relationships. He is well-versed in the subjects of plant pathology, entomology, herbicides and plant growth regulators. Miglio’s professional background includes positions with a variety of Italian institutions and companies including the University of Bologna, Coltivatori Diretti and Rhone-Poulenc Agro. Most recently, Miglio served as research and development manager for Agrimport.


Bennie Oosthuizen

Marketing Management

Bennie Oosthuizen has more than 40 years’ experience in the Agricultural Chemical Industry in sales and marketing management. His professional background includes 33 years of business management at Uniroyal Chemical / Crompton Chemical / Chemtura where he was responsible for the company’s business in Sub-Sahara Africa from 1978 until he retired in 2011. Before that Bennie worked for Bayer for a period of 10 years in sales and product management. Most recently Bennie worked as an agricultural marketing consultant representing a number of European based agricultural chemical suppliers.


Ottavio Raucci, PhD

Agronomist, Business & Marketing Specialist

Ottavio Raucci has more than 35 years experience in agriculture business development and business management. His professional background includes global marketing and sales with Monsanto Company and business management with Uniroyal Chemical/Chemtura (Crop Protection Division). Most recently, Raucci has worked as an agricultural business development consultant representing biotechnology companies from Europe to Southeast Asia. Raucci earned a technical agronomist diploma from S. Severo (FG) at Superior Agricultural School and a PhD in Agriculture Sciences from Naples University. Ottavio is responsible for business development and project management for AgriThority® in Europe, Middle East, Central Asia and Northern Africa. Curriculum Vitae (PDF)


Wayne Vanderwert, PhD

Livestock Production Specialist

Wayne Vanderwert has more than 30 years of experience in animal agriculture in the beef industry and business management and will serve as the AgriThority animal agriculture project manager. His professional background includes university extension at the University of Minnesota; teaching at South Dakota State University and the University of Illinois; director of education and research and vice president of the North American Limousin Foundation; financial and agri-business development manager at Vested Interest; executive director of the American Gelbvieh Association. Presently, Vanderwert serves as manager and co-owner of H-Squared Genetics, a genetics analysis and herd data management company.