Los Banos, California
Barcellos is a partner in A-Bar Ag Enterprises, consisting of 7,500 acres of almonds, asparagus, olives, pima cotton, pistachios, pomegranates, processing tomatoes and wheat. Seeking to build a multi-generational farming operation, the family partnership utilizes socially responsible and sustainable farming practices among them drip irrigation, reduced tillage, satellite imagery and solar energy. Barcellos earned an agriculture business degree from Cal Poly and is California Ag Leadership Program graduate. He is a director of multiple organizations among them the National Cotton Council’s export promotions arm, Cotton Council International, and the Central Delta Mendota Groundwater Sustainability Agency.
Blakemore is president of Blakemore Cotton & Grain, LLC, with interests in ginning, grain, fertilizer and trucking. He has served in numerous leadership positions among them as president of the National Cotton Ginners Association, the Southern Cotton Ginners Association and Cotton Producers of Missouri and as a Cotton Incorporated director. He is a director for the National Cotton Council, serves as chairman of its Flow Committee and as a member of its Quality Taskforce. Blakemore also has served in multiple leadership capacities with Ducks Unlimited, a waterfowl and wetlands conservation organization. He holds a BSBA in Accounting with Distinction and an MBA in Finance from Southeast Missouri State University.
Bell is a 30+ year textile and apparel industry veteran who has overseen marketing, product development, innovation, business development and sustainability. He has 24 years in senior level positions at Gildan, one of the world’s largest vertically integrated manufacturers of textiles and apparel. The company’s vertical integration and entrepreneurial culture allowed Bell to develop a deep understanding of the U.S. cotton industry — from field to finished garments and the end-consumer. Having served as a special member of the National Cotton Council’s COTTON USA Sustainability Task Force, Bell has presented at several international conferences on subjects ranging from digitization and sustainability to U.S. cotton’s environmental efforts.
Coley, a fourth-generation farmer and agribusiness owner, oversees an operation consisting of 3,500 acres of cotton and 400 acres of peanuts and Coley Gin and Fertilizer. He has served as a board advisor to the National Cotton Council (NCC) and as a director for Southeastern Cotton Ginners Association and currently serves as vice chairman of the Georgia Cotton Commission. He was a member of both the Leadership Georgia Class and the NCC’s Emerging Leaders program. After earning a B.S.A. and a M.S. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Georgia and before returning to the family farm, Coley served as an agriculture intern for Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and as a staff member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry.
Louis Dreyfus Company
Dyer is the global head of Marketing for the Louis Dreyfus cotton platform and the head administrator and manager of ProCot Cooperative. His 28 plus years in the U.S. cotton industry includes experience in numerous growth origins and destination marketplaces. He is a director of the National Cotton Council’s export promotions arm, Cotton Council International, is a member of the COTTON USA Sustainability Task Force and served on the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol Organizational Committee. The Memphis native spends most of his time in South Carolina. Dyer earned a B.S. in Business Administration from The Citadel.
Environmental Defense Fund
New York City, New York
Suzy Friedman plays a lead role in the Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) work to collaborate with farmers, grower organizations, agribusinesses, food companies and retailers to improve the resilience and sustainability of the U.S. agricultural system. Since joining the EDF in 2001, she has specialized in developing partnerships with key agricultural stakeholders to engage the full supply chain, leverage policy and bring conservation to scale. Guided by science and economics, Friedman focuses on conservation practices that improve farm productivity and profitability, climate stability, water quality and resilience to extreme weather.
World Wildlife Fund – US
Melissa D. Ho, World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) senior vice president, Fresh Water and Food, drives initiatives that increase the sustainability of agricultural systems and the conservation of water. Dr. Ho came to WWF from the Millennium Challenge Corporation, where she oversaw a $1.5 billion portfolio of infrastructure investments in West Africa. She also served at USAID overseeing the strategy development and implementation of Feed the Future and developed and implemented the agricultural water management strategy and grant portfolio at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She has a BSc in Environmental Systems from Cornell University, an MSc in Soil Science (plant-water relations) from the University of California, Davis and a Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from Pennsylvania State University.
Shawn Holladay farms dry-land and irrigated acres in Dawson and Martin counties of the Texas High Plains and is chairman of United Cotton Gin in Lamesa. A leader locally, regionally and nationally, including the Soil and Water Conservation District for Dawson County, he currently serves as a National Cotton Council (NCC) director as well as chairman of the NCC’s American Cotton Producers. He has served on Cotton Incorporated’s board and various committees. Holladay was named the 2018 Texas Tech University Gerald W. Thomas Outstanding Agriculturalist in Agricultural Production; received the 2017 Cotton Achievement Award from Cotton Grower magazine and was a 2012 recipient of the Farm Press/Cotton Foundation High Cotton Award – which recognizes conservation and environmental stewardship.
Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Joe Little has been in the fashion industry for nearly 30 years and has worked for Tesco the last six years. He thrives on the special challenges that a value supermarket faces when delivering sustainable, affordable quality clothing and
recognizes the urgency to deliver transparency and traceability throughout the industry supply chain. He believes the winners will be those who embrace transparency and unlock the values of science-based targets aligned with United Nation Sustainability Development Goals. A Scotland native, Little has lived in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Turkey and the United Kingdom. He also is a landscape and seascape artist with a special interest in the presence of microfibers in our oceans.
Gastonia, North Carolina
Martin is executive vice president, Cotton Operations for Parkdale Mills. He is responsible for cotton purchasing, distribution and risk management. Previously, he served as director of Markets and Finance at Auscott Limited in Sydney Australia. Martin, who resides in Charlotte, N.C., began his career at J G Boswell Company in Los Angeles where he served as market analyst. Martin is a National Cotton Council director and serves on its COTTON USA Sustainability Task Force. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from San Diego State University and an MBA with emphasis in Finance from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.
University of Arkansas
Matlock is executive director of the University of Arkansas Resiliency Center/Professor of Ecological Engineering. A professor in the university’s Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department, he coordinates academic, research, outreach, and facilities efforts in sustainable and resilient systems across campus. His interdisciplinary work has been recognized by agriculture, engineering, architecture, landscape architecture, and sustainable design organizations. He serves on EPA’s Science Advisory Committee for Agriculture and as sustainability science advisor for 12 food and agricultural product companies. Matlock, who received his Ph.D. in Biosystems Engineering from Oklahoma State University, is a registered professional engineer, a board-certified environmental engineer, and a certified ecosystem designer.
Henry N. “Hank” Reichle, Jr., is president and CEO of Greenwood-Miss.-based Staplcotn. He joined the cooperative in 2004 after having served as chief financial officer with the internet-based cotton exchange, The Seam. Reichle currently is a director of both The Seam and AMCOT. He is a National Cotton Council (NCC) director and serves as president of Cotton Council International, the NCC’s export promotions arm. He also currently serves on the COTTON USA Sustainability Task Force. A Mississippi native, he holds a B.A. degree in Accountancy from the University of Mississippi.
Levi Strauss & Company
San Francisco, California
As senior manager, Global Product Sustainability, Liza Schillo directs Levi’s climate change and sustainable product strategies. She is actively engaged in keeping Levi’s on track to achieving 100% sustainably sourced cotton for its products by end of 2020. This corporate commitment to sustainable cotton is part of a broader internal initiative to move the company toward a more sustainable and circular product strategy. Schillo previously worked in environmental management and policy in Washington, DC. She holds a Master’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in Environmental Management from Duke University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from the University of North Carolina.
Lake Providence, Louisiana
Since 1984, Schneider has been the owner/operator of a 3,600-acre farming operation in northeast Louisiana and southeast Arkansas that is dedicated to sustainable, responsible agricultural production. His Lake Providence, La.-based operation’s primary crops are cotton, corn, soybeans, rice, wheat, and grain sorghum. A former director of the National Cotton Council (NCC), he currently
chairs its Sustainability Task Force. He has been a leader in the NCC’s American Cotton Producers, served as president of the NCC’s export promotions arm, Cotton Council International, and is a director of Cotton Incorporated. Schneider earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Louisiana State University.
Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)
As general manager, Cotton, Serven is responsible for commercial teams of ADM’s cotton crush plants in Lubbock, Richmond, Memphis, and Valdosta and for its Southern Cellulose Products, Inc. facility in Chattanooga. He has served in various commercial management positions in ADM’s Grain and Oilseeds units and has experience in soy crush, canola crush, cotton crush, corn processing, grain origination, and export. Serven is currently a member of the National Cotton Council’s Public Relations & International Market Development Committee and its COTTON USA Sustainability Task Force. Raised on a corn, soy, cattle farm in west central Illinois, he earned his M.B.A. from Millikin University after receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Business Administration from Knox College.
Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)
As general manager, Cotton, Serven is responsible for commercial teams of ADM’s cotton crush plants in Lubbock, Richmond, Memphis, and Valdosta and for its Southern Cellulose Products, Inc. facility in Chattanooga. He has served in various commercial management positions in ADM’s Grain and Oilseeds units and has experience in soy crush, canola crush, cotton crush, corn processing, grain origination, and export. Serven is currently a member of the National Cotton Council’s Public Relations & International Market Development Committee and its COTTON USA Sustainability Task Force. Raised on a corn, soy, cattle farm in west central Illinois, he earned his M.B.A. from Millikin University after receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and
Business Administration from Knox College.
Cary, North Carolina
Dr. Jesse Daystar is the chief sustainability officer and vice president of Sustainability at Cotton Incorporated and an adjunct assistant professor at Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment. He has published extensively on the economic feasibility and environmental sustainability of bio-based products and biofuels in leading peer reviewed journals and recently focused his efforts on how bio-based products can solve the ever-increasing plastic problems. He is active in the Field to Market Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture and The Sustainability Consortium. Dr. Daystar earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Chemical Engineering and Pulp & Paper Engineering and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Forest Biomaterials at North Carolina State University.
Consultant, Jordan & Associates
Jordan assists clients in developing sustainable agriculture and environmental and social responsibility plans. He is a charter member of the multi-stakeholder coalition, Field to Market-Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, and the recent recipient of its Trusted Advisor Award. He also is a director for Agricenter International and a co-owner of Secure Food Solutions (a food safety firm). He previously served as vice president, Technical Services for the National Cotton Council (NCC) and is an advisor to the NCC’s COTTON USA Sustainability Task Force. He earned a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Georgia, and both a M.Sc. in Agricultural Engineering and a Ph.D. in Engineering from Clemson.
Since 2016, Marc Lewkowitz has served as president and chief executive officer of the Tempe, Ariz.-based promotional and marketing organization for the American Pima cotton growers. He began his career at a family-owned gin in Paraguay and has worked as a trader and manager for firms including ContiCotton, Merrill Lynch, Itochu Cotton and Anderson Clayton/Queensland Cotton. The business has taken him from posts in Paraguay to Australia, Mexico and the United States. Lewkowitz has served as an advisor to the National Cotton Council’s export promotions arm, Cotton Council International. A Toronto, Canada native, he is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario and the Memphis Cotton Exchange International Cotton School.
Pryor leads the company’s strategic initiatives including blockchain, commodities trading, tracking, clearing and software development solutions for the agriculture industry. The Seam’s cloud-based platforms have facilitated the trading and management of tens of millions of cotton bales, millions of tons of peanuts and billions of dollars in trade management and settlements. Mark has been featured in The Wall Street Journal and other global news outlets for spearheading such initiatives as agriculture sustainability, traceability and transparency. He is a Forbes Technology Council member, an Agricenter International director, and an advisor to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. He also serves as a technology advisor for the American Cotton Shippers Association and the National Cotton Council.
Frontier Spinning Mills
Sanford, North Carolina
Quinn is vice president of Cotton Operations and
Risk Management for Frontier Spinning Mills, one
of the world’s largest producers of spun yarns for
the knitting and weaving industries. He joined
Frontier in 2017 after working at Carolinas Cotton
Cooperative where he served as its president/
CEO for 16 years. He currently serves as a
member of ICE Futures US’ Trading Member and
Cotton Committee. A former participant in the
National Cotton Council’s (NCC) Cotton Leadership
Program, he is a former NCC vice president and
serves on multiple NCC committees among them
the Cotton Quality Task Force. Quinn holds a B.S.
in Business Administration and Marketing from
East Carolina University.
Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)