Age as of March 1, 2019: 63
Residence Location: Salinas, CA
Place of Operation: Salinas, CA
Business Experience: 1974 to present: owner, Fontes Farms, vegetable growing
1990 – 2008: 50% owner, Comgro Incorporated, contract vegetable growing and commercial compost production and application business.
I also previously owned and operated Frontier Packing Company, a custom lettuce harvesting business; I remain President and co-owner of Comgro, Inc. which farmed thousands of acres of lettuce, broccoli, mixed lettuce, and spinach, and employed a large staff; and I continue to operate Fontes Farms.
Education: FCCS – Premier Governance Series: Director Certified (Level 1)
Current Boards: 2008 to present: American AgCredit Board of Directors, Agricultural Loans and Related Services. 2013 to present: Farm Credit Foundations Board of Directors, a provider of Human Resources and Benefits serving 40 Farm Credit associations.
Strategic & Visionary Thinking: 2016 – 2018: Chairman of American AgCredit’s Strategy and Risk committee. American AgCredit brings tremendous value to its owner-customers by being a consistent and dependable source of funding for agriculture. I am committed to ensuring the Association remains a responsible steward of our borrower’s investments.
Corporate Governance: I have received a tremendous amount of training in Corporate Governance while serving Farm Credit, something which I believe has contributed to my board peers electing me to serve in numerous leadership roles. I understand and advocate the Board’s Role in protecting the safety and soundness of the Association.
Financial Expertise: Financial and management responsibility for 38 years of vegetable production and harvesting as owner/operator.
Communication: I believe collaboration over self-interest is necessary to represent owners of all sizes, locations and segments of agriculture. Listening to customers’, other directors’ and staff’s perspectives enables me to develop well-thought-out positions and to then articulate and deliver my position.
Technology: I am completely familiar and proficient with technology products (Diligent Boards and MS) used to fulfill my role as a Board member. I support the Association’s technology strategy for improving the customer experience making it easy for customers to do business with American AgCredit.
Human Resource Management:
2010 – 2013: Chairman of American AgCredit’s Compensation Committee
2013 – Present: member of Farm Credit Foundation’s Human Resource Committee
In the course of my own operations I have had extensive HR experience, employing up to 400 people operating in multiple states.
Risk Management: Chairing American AgCredit’s Strategy and Risk Committee for the past three years has provided me with experience in identifying and assessing strategic opportunities and threats, developing effective strategies for setting risk appetite, risk management strategies and controls for safe and sound operations.
Current: Chairman of American AgCredit’s Board of Directors
2010 – 2018 Member of American AgCredit’s Executive Committee
2016 – 2018 Vice-Chairman of American AgCredit’s Board of Directors
2016 – 2018: Chairman of Farm Credit Foundation’s Board of Directors
Candidate Statement: During my tenure at American AgCredit, we have experienced many changes and undertaken many challenges. Looking forward, some of the biggest challenges ahead are: AI, Technology, Corporate Culture, ESG, Diversity, Geopolitical Volatility, Cyber Security and other major disruptors of paramount concern. I have a passion and commitment to serve all stakeholders and an understanding of and appreciation for cooperative principles. Serving at American AgCredit has given me first-hand experience and understanding of the time commitment required to effectively be prepared and serve both as a director in board service and as an advocate for American AgCredit within the Farm Credit system.