Friday, October 31, 2014

Giant Biographies

Brett Begemann, Executive Vice President, Seeds and Traits, Monsanto

Brett Begemann is the executive vice president with commercial responsibility for Monsanto’s businesses in North America, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), Asia Pacific, China, India and South America. Begemann leads the strategic approach and global coordination aimed at accelerating the growth potential of Monsanto’s businesses. As a part of his strategic priorities, Begemann develops and directs regionally adapted strategies focused on the expansion of the company’s seed-and-trait platform and growth initiatives in each region. Begemann offi cially joined Monsanto in 1983 as a sales representative in Minnesota. Throughout his career with the company, he has served in a variety of sales, marketing, commercial development and general management positions for Monsanto in both U.S. and international markets.


David Hingst, General Manager, Hoegemeyer Hybrids and Past President, Independent Professional Seed Association

In his fifth year of service on the Independent Professional Seed Association board and at the time of filming, David Hingst was the president of IPSA. Prior to joining the IPSA board of directors, he was actively involved in the research committee functions and has been involved with IPSA during its 21-year history as a representative from Hoegemeyer Hybrids. Hingst joined Hoegemeyer Hybrids in 1977 and since has served as production manager, sales manager, general manager and president. Currently he is part of the general management team with a focus in soybean product selection and supply management.


David A. Voss, Vice President, Commercial Development, Cibus

David Voss has more than 25 years experience in the seed and biotechnology industry, with particular expertise in the commercialization of new technologies using seed- and plant-based products. He oversees commercial development for Cibus. Prior to joining Cibus, Voss served as director of commercial development for the Plant and Industrial Products Division of ValiGen, and, from 1995 to 1999, he was responsible for Mycogen Seeds’ oil crops portfolio. Voss also spent nearly 15 years with Dekalb Genetics Corporation, where he rapidly advanced within the organization and held position in production, sales and marketing. In  1992, Voss was promoted to business unit manager and was responsible for a $50 million business unit. In this role, he increased his unit’s revenues from $18.5 million to over $50 million annually, with a concurrent increase in pre-tax profits from $800,000 to over $6 million.


Stefan van der Heijden, Global Research Director, Barenbrug Holding

Stefan van der Heijden has been the global research director at Barenbrug Holding, the dutch-based seed company specializing in grasses and legumes, since 2004. Prior to that, van der Heijden worked at Cebeco Seeds Group. He has been active in the seeds industry since 1982 and is experienced in a range of agricultural crops such as potatoes, corn, cereals, pulses, fl ax, sugarbeets and grasses. He has been involved in biotechnology, in particular, since 1987 through his involvement with KeyGene in Wageningen, the Netherlands, before moving on to Cebeco Seeds and later Barenbrug. In addition to his role as global research director and acting as a member of the executive board at Barenbrug, van der Heijden is a member of the Breeders Committee and Forage and Turf Section of the International Seed Federation and chairman of the Working Group on Essentially Derived Varieties of Grasses.


Andrew W. LaVigne, President and CEO, American Seed Trade Association

Andrew LaVigne joined the American Seed Trade Association in February 2006 as the president and chief executive offi cer. With a 17-year career in government relations, industry representation, public affairs advocacy and management, LaVigne is an expert in the areas of agriculture, food policy and international trade. During his time with ASTA, he has led the expansion of the association’s domestic grassroots program and the reorganization of the international cooperator program. He also pushed to coordinate regional and international phytosanitary standards to facilitate the movement of seed globally. Prior to joining ASTA, the Florida native was executive vice president/ CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual, representing citrus growers on issues affecting their businesses. Prior to that, LaVigne spent four years as president/executive director for Florida Fertilizer and Agrichemical Association. He also worked in the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, serving as a Legislative Director and as an Agriculture Committee staffer. In both positions, he handled agricultural, environmental, immigration and trade issues. He currently serves on the board of directors for the National Friends of the Arboretum and is a member of the Agricultural Policy
Advisory Committee for Trade.


Dana Eaton, Product Development Head, GreenLeaf Genetics

Dana Eaton is a research director and scientist with product development experience in the private sector, universities and international public research centers in the United States, Latin America, and Africa. Eaton has an extensive background in management, plant genetics, diverse agricultural systems, teaching and extension. In his current role as product development head at GreenLeaf Genetics, he manages the genetic portfolio of inbreds and hybrids from companies in the United States, Canada, Europe and Latin America. He also coordinates the introgression of traits from GreenLeaf’s parent companies, which permits GreenLeaf to offer its customers a diverse set of traited genetics.

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