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Board of Directors

The Excellence Through Stewardship Board of Directors is responsible for the overall direction of the organization’s programs and its business operations, and is governed by the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws in its work.

The Excellence Through Stewardship Board of Directors, approved by the ETS membership, is composed of representatives from diverse member organizations. The Board of Directors includes members from large, mid-size and emerging organizations, as well as from the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and CropLife International (CLI).

Dave Roberts, MBA (Syngenta Seeds, Inc.), Excellence Through Stewardship Chair, is the North American Head of Quality for Syngenta. In this role, he is responsible for quality strategy development and quality management system operations/implementation.  He has over 25 years of diverse experience in ISO 9001, Lean Six Sigma process optimization, corporate finance, business development, strategic planning, and plant operations.  In addition to Syngenta, he has worked for UnitedHealth Care, Ecolab, Koch Industries, and Amoco Oil Company.  Mr. Roberts earned a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Diane Parks Mesa (BASF Plant Science), Excellence Through Stewardship Vice-Chair, has over 30 years’ experience working in the seed industry and is currently employed as Manager Global Audit at BASF Plant Science where she audits field, lab, and greenhouse sites globally. Previous employment has been at Syngenta as a Quality Manager, ISO 9001 Management Representative, and QA Seed Lab Manager for physiological and genetic testing. She also has experience as an Assistant Manager at a corn breeding research site. Education includes an MBA degree from University of Iowa and an MS degree in Agronomy from Iowa State University. Diane has achieved American Society of Quality lead auditor certifications in quality auditing ISO 9001, ISO 17025, and HACCP and is a Certified Professional Agronomist (CPAg).  Seed industry committee work has included participation in American Society of Agronomy, American Seed Trade, Society of Commercial Seed Technologists, and ETS where she reviewed the audit checklists on the Audit Operations Committee and is the current vice-chair of that committee.

Karin Dörgeloh (Bayer), Excellence Through Stewardship Treasurer, was involved in the initial formation of Excellence Through Stewardship and currently heads the Seeds Stewardship function at Bayer. She joined a predecessor company in 1988 and held various positions in Development, Regulatory, and Public and Government Affairs. She managed the Regulatory Affairs and Development group in South Africa for both crop protection and biotech products and played a leading role in the CropLife International industry initiative to establish a harmonized pesticide regulation system for eastern and southern African countries and to set up AfricaBio, the biotech industry organization in South Africa. In 2002, she transferred to North Carolina to manage the Public, Government Affairs and Communication functions for Bayer in the United States. Ms. Dörgeloh has chaired the CropLife International Plant Biotech Strategy Council and the BIO Production Agriculture Policy Committee. She holds a Master of Science degree in Entomology and an MBA certificate.

Sharie Fitzpatrick (J.R. Simplot Company), Excellence Through Stewardship Secretary is a Senior Regulatory Affairs Manager at J.R. Simplot Company. In this role, she provides leadership for the company’s product stewardship and regulatory compliance teams. She has nearly 30 years’ experience in U.S. and global biotech regulatory affairs, seed quality program management, regulatory sciences, pre- and post-commercialization stewardship program development, and government and industry affairs. Prior to joining Simplot, she worked for the University of Wisconsin, Forage Genetics International, Metabolix, Inc., and Monsanto. Ms. Fitzpatrick earned her Master of Science and bachelor’s degrees in plant pathology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Brian Sabus, MBA (DuPont Pioneer), is Quality & Compliance Assurance Manager and is responsible for all aspects of DuPont Pioneer’s Research Quality Management Systems as well as managing and coordinating internal and external quality auditing functions. He joined Pioneer in 1991 and is a member of the Entomological Society of America, the American Society for Quality and the Project Management Institute. He holds certifications as a Lead Auditor, Quality Manager and Project Management Professional. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees from Iowa State University and an MBA from Upper Iowa University.

Sofia Ben Tahar (Limagrain) is Director of Quality Management/ Product Stewardship for all crops worldwide for Groupe Limagrain. She joined the organization in 1983 where she has served in several roles in the development of biotech crops. During her career, she has been involved in developing GMO standards for the French Association of Standardization (AFNOR), European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). She holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Jussieu in Paris, France, and completed post-doctoral studies at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency.

Rebecca Thompson (Monsanto Company)

Anja Matzk, Ph.D. (KWS SAAT SE) is the Head Regulatory Affairs Biotechnology and responsible for all global regulatory activities of KWS with GMO in Research and Product Development, covering contained use, field trials and market introduction.  She has more than 20 years experience in the seed business. Prior to joining KWS she worked for a Federal Authority in Germany in the field of biosafety assessment of GMO and authorizations under the national and European gene technology legislation. Dr. Matzk chairs the Biotechnology and Gene technology section of the German Plant Breeders Association BDP and is active in the European Seed Association ESA. Dr. Matzk is a deputy member of the German Central Biosafety Committee ZKBS, which advises the German Government. Dr. Matzk studied Plant breeding at the University of Halle and holds her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Braunschweig.

Jane Stautz, Esq. (Dow AgroSciences LLC), is the Global Product Stewardship & Sustainability Leader at Dow AgroSciences and served as the first industry chair for Excellence Through Stewardship. She provides global leadership for Dow AgroSciences in product stewardship, including developing Global Product Stewardship Policies and Management Plans for the various Seeds, Traits & Oils and Crop Protection businesses. Ms. Stautz chaired BIO’s Stewardship Task Force which was the catalyst for the Excellence Through Stewardship initiative and development of the plant biotechnology stewardship program and quality management guides. She also serves on CropLife International’s Biotech Stewardship Committee. Ms. Stautz has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business and Public Service & Administration in Agriculture from Iowa State University and a Juris Doctorate from The University of Michigan Law School. She currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Indiana Natural Resources Commission.

Craig Rickard (CLI), Rickard is the Executive Director for Plant Biotechnology at CropLife International. Craig joined CropLife in 2007 and has coordinated the regulatory affairs, emerging markets, and advocacy programs for CropLife’s plant biotechnology network. His mission is to enable innovation for plant biotechnology highlighting the benefits it can bring across the agriculture value chain. Craig has worked as a Commercial Agriculture Lender and in Government Relations prior to joining CropLife. Craig obtained a Commerce Degree in Agriculture from the University of Guelph.

James Shearl (AgReliant Genetics, LLC), is Director of Quality Assurance for all seed crops produced and marketed by AgReliant brands in North America. In his role as Director of QA, Shearl is responsible for all aspects of quality including field inspection, laboratory analysis, quality control, stewardship, quality management systems and ETS. Prior to joining AgReliant, Shearl held a number of positions including being a County Agent in IL, Manager of IL Crop Improvement Association, and Executive VP of the Golden Harvest Seed brand. Shearl holds a BS in Ag from Kansas State University, and MS from the University of IL. He has been very active with the American Seed Trade Association and has held many chairmanships in that organization. 

Shiping Zhang, Ph.D. (Dabeinong Biotech), is the Chief Scientist and the Head of Biotech R&D for Beijing Dabeinong Biotechnology Co., Ltd., in Beijing, China.  He was previously the Head of Regulatory Affairs for Syngenta China. He had worked for over 15 years in the United States at Dow AgroSciences LLC, Syngenta's Torrey Mesa Research Institute, and The Scripps Research Institute. Dr. Zhang has a wealth of experience and knowledge in industrial agricultural biotech R&D, especially with respect to plant transformation. Dr. Zhang received his Ph.D. in crop physiology from the University of Philippines and the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines. He has a Master's Degree in Plant Genetics and Breeding from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Vegetable Science from Beijing Agricultural University (now known as China Agricultural University).


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Excellence Through Stewardship

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