Kent L. Johnson
Kent L. Johnson has been nominated to our Board of Directors and as a Chairman of the Board and will be elected to such roles effective upon the completion of this offering. Mr. Johnson currently serves as managing director and co-founder of Aebig & Johnson Business Resolutions, LLC, a provider of receiver and trustee management services and litigation support. In his role at Aebig & Johnson, Mr. Johnson also serves as an expert witness and advisor on management and board of director’s fiduciary duties and responsibilities. He is also an adjunct professor of masters-level business management courses at Seattle University.
Mr. Johnson currently serves on the boards of directors of Halosource Corporation (HALO.L), Vera Whole Health, and Access Technology Solutions. Formerly, Mr. Johnson served on the boards of directors and audit and compensation committees of F5 Networks (FFIV), Timeline (TMLN), Ostex International (OSTX), SelfCharge Battery and Overdrive Systems of Cleveland, Ohio. Additionally, Mr. Johnson served on the board of trustees of Seattle University for ten years and was a member of its audit committee.
Mr. Johnson was awarded his BA degree in accounting in 1968 from the University of Washington and his master of business administration from Seattle University in 1972. He received his CPA certificate in 1971 (now non-practicing) and his NASD broker/dealer license (now non-practicing) in 1995. His prior work experience included working as a certified public accountant for Arthur Andersen, LLP, chief executive officer of two software companies (Microrim and Overdrive Systems), chief operating officer of Brazier Forest Industries, President and Co-Founder of Alexander Hutton Capital, LLC, an NASD broker/dealer and investment banking firm, and Managing Director and Co-Founder of Alexander Hutton Venture Partners, a $100 million venture capital firm.
Mr. Johnson was also a Distinguished Military Graduate (DMG) of the U.S. Army OCS and was a nuclear missile officer. In this capacity, he received the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service. He is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors. Because of his broad experience in business, finance, accounting and corporate governance, including with public companies, we believe Mr. Johnson is a valuable member of our Board of Directors and is well-qualified to serve on our Board and Audit Committee.
James B. Rogers, Jr.
James B. Rogers, Jr. has been nominated to our Board of Directors and as Vice-Chair of the Board, and he will be elected as a director effective upon the completion of this offering. Mr. Rogers will also serve on our Compensation and Nominations Committees. He currently serves as a Director for Genagro Services LTD (since 2011).
Since 1980, Mr. Rogers has been a private investor. Since 1968, Mr. Rogers has served as a financial analyst and investment manager. In 1970, Mr. Rogers co-founded the Quantum Fund, a private investment fund. Mr. Rogers has also authored several financial books, including “Investment Biker: On the Road with Jim Rogers” (1994), “Adventure Capitalist” (2003), “Hot Commodities”(2004), “A Bull in China” (2007) and “A Gift to My Children” (2009).
In 1989 and 1990, Mr. Rogers was the moderator of WCBS’s The Dreyfus Roundtable and FNN’s The Profit Motive with Jim Rogers. In 1998, Mr. Rogers founded the Rogers International Commodity Index. Mr. Rogers served as an economic commentator on Fox News from 2002-2007. He has also served as a guest professor of finance at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business. Mr. Rogers is also currently the Chairman of Beeland Interests (since 1980), a private media and investment company, and was on the Board of Directors of Levco Series Trust from 1996-2006.
Mr. Rogers earned a BA in History from Yale University in 1964 and a BA/MA in Politics, Economics and Philosophy from Oxford University in 1966. Mr. Rogers is a successful author on financial matters and widely considered to be an expert in the asset management industry. As a financial analyst and investment manager since 1968, Mr. Rogers brings significant financial and economic experience to our Board, and he provides innovative business insight to serve on our Board and its Compensation and Nominations Committees.
Ann M. Veneman, J.D. has been nominated to our Board of Directors and will be elected as a director effective upon the completion of this offering. From May 2005 until April 2010, she served as Executive Director of UNICEF, appointed by the United Nations Secretary General. In this capacity, Ms. Veneman worked on behalf of the United Nations children’s agency to help children around the world by advocating for, and protecting, their rights. Ms. Veneman was responsible for more than 11,000 UNICEF staff members in more than 150 countries.
Prior to joining UNICEF, Ms. Veneman served as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or USDA, from January 2001 until January 2005. From 1986 until 1993, she served in various positions at the USDA, including Deputy Secretary, Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs and Commodity Programs, and Associate Administer of the Foreign Agricultural Service. From 1995 until 1999, Ms. Veneman served as Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Ms. Veneman also practiced law in Washington, DC and California, in both the private and public sectors. Ms. Veneman is a director of Nestlé, S.A., a global nutrition, health and wellness company listed on the Swiss stock exchange; The Climate Corporation, a private technology and insurance company focused on financially protecting farmers affected by adverse weather conditions; and Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a global biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and delivering therapies for severe rare diseases.
Ms. Veneman received a BA from the University of California, Davis, a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley, and a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of Law. Because of her prior service as an attorney dedicated to more than 25 years to government service, including senior national and international positions; her extensive experience working with government leaders and organizations with a deep understanding of political organizations; and her extensive public service experience, we believe Ms. Veneman is a valuable member of our Board of Directors and is well qualified to serve on our Board and Audit and Nominations Committees.
Dana D. Behar
Dana D. Behar has been nominated to our Board of Directors and will be elected as a director effective upon the completion of this offering. Mr. Behar currently serves as president and chief executive officer of HAL Real Estate Investments (“HAL REI”) located in Seattle, Washington. HAL REI is a US-based real estate investment subsidiary of HAL Trust, a publicly traded European private equity investment firm. Mr. Behar joined HAL REI in 1992.
Prior to HAL REI, Mr. Behar led several start up companies, served as Director of Marketing of Egghead Software, worked in brand management at Procter and Gamble, and was a management consultant with the Wharton Small Business Development Center.
Mr. Behar holds a BA in business from the University of Washington, a MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and an AMDP from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Mr. Behar serves on the boards of HAL REI, Capitol Hill Housing, the Samis Foundation, and the Advisory Board of the Urban Land Institute Northwest. He previously served on the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board, the Seattle Design Review Board, and the board of directors of Taco Del Mar. Because of his broad experience in business and finance, we believe Mr. Behar is a valuable member of our Board of Directors and is well qualified to serve on our Board and Audit Committee.
Peter J. Taggares IV
Peter J. Taggares IV was appointed our President, Chief Executive Officer and a director in January 2014. Mr. Taggares is a fourth-generation member of the Taggares family and experienced farming first-hand at Snake River Vineyards and on many other farms controlled by the Taggares family. In his youth, Mr. Taggares forged many long-term relationships in the Pacific Northwest farming community. In 2013, Mr. Taggares returned to his roots in agriculture. Since 2013, Mr. Taggares has consulted with SRV’s farm manager and chief financial officer, assisting with the transition of SRV’s business and farming operations and obtaining a revised agreement with Tree Top and a letter of intent with Valicoff.
From January 2012 to January 2013, Mr. Taggares was responsible for Enterprise Risk Management at Energy Northwest, which is a Joint Operating Agency that owns and operates four electricity generating stations in the Pacific Northwest. While at Energy Northwest, Mr. Taggares was responsible for developing its enterprise risk management process and risk analysis with the management team and board of directors. Between August 2008 and January 2012, Mr. Taggares served as Vice President of Business Development at Global Hospitality Investments, a private company that managed luxury hotels and develops master plan communities in Acapulco, Mexico and Hamilton, Bermuda.
In addition to his other responsibilities, Mr. Taggares will execute on our acquisition strategy as acquisition opportunities are identified. With the advice and assistance of the Company’s management team, consultants and Management Advisory Board, Mr. Taggares will analyze the merit and potential benefit to the Company and its stockholders of each acquisition opportunity and present a recommendation to the Board of Directors. Mr. Taggares holds a BA in business administration and finance from the University of Washington and a MBA from Arizona State University.