“I’m passionate about supporting women in their career. It’s important to take time to connect with one another and learn from our shared experience.”
Elzandi Oosthuizen, VP Asia Pacific Marketing Lead, Bayer
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Our Advisory Board
The Women in Food and Agriculture Advisory Board brings together industry leaders and top experts from across the world. They have helped us craft content that accurately reflects the dynamic state of food and agriculture today and ensure that the agenda answers your most pressing questions and concerns.
Amy Cornell is a vice president with Bose Public Affairs Group as a member of the firm’s government relations team. Cornell focuses on the firm’s clients in the areas of state and local government relations, grassroots lobbying and stakeholder engagement.
In addition to her public affairs practice, Cornell is of counsel with Bose McKinney & Evans LLP in the Agribusiness Group.
Cornell serves as president of Agribusiness Council of Indiana (ACI) and is a member of the Purdue Agriculture Dean’s Advisory Council. She is an adjunct faculty member at the Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Recently, Cornell was chosen as the consultant who will lead the development of a new cooperative agriculture law program with IU McKinney School of Law and Purdue University. Prior to joining Bose Public Affairs Group, Cornell served as policy advisor and counsel for Indiana Farm Bureau.
Cornell received her bachelor’s degree in management from Purdue University. She went on to receive her juris doctorate from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and a LL.M. in agricultural law from the University of Arkansas School of Law.
Cornell is on the membership committee of the American Agricultural Law Association, a council member for the Indiana State Bar Association Agricultural Law Section, a participant in the Indiana Leadership Forum’s 2017 class and serves on the Purdue Agriculture Dean’s Advisory Council. She is a former board member and resource development Committee Chairperson for the Indiana Canine Assistant Network. She is a graduate of the AgrIInstitute Agricultural Leadership Program.
She is a member of Lebanon Christian Church and a volunteer for the Indiana Canine Assistant Network (ICAN).
Anne-Kristine Øen, CEO Salmon Group
Anne-Kristine Øen joined Salmon Group in 2017. Her whole career has been focused around Ocean industries.
She has broad communication and management experience from global shipping and -fish farming industries, having worked for listed companies such as Odfjell, Grieg and Marine Harvest.
Anne is born and bred in Bergen, Norway, where she is also based today.
She holds an MSc Econs degree in Marine Policy from London School of Economics.
Anne Villemoes is an internationally awarded Reputation Management Specialist who has worked the global scene of Food and Consumer politics from every communication angle for more than 25 years. For ten years, she was VP Group Communications and Corporate Branding at Danish Crown – one of the World’s largest pork producers and one of Europe’s leading processed meat producers.
Prior to that she has been responsible for communication in NGOs, Retail- chains and special advisor to minister of Food and Agriculture Ritt Bjerregaard. Her outset was journalism in first television and then the largest Danish newspaper for a number of years.
Today Anne Villemoes is a sought after public speaker in Denmark and abroad. She helps companies build brand strategy and solve crisis. Anne Villemoes does not shy away from controversy. She believes in transparency – and in calling it as she sees it. And she has proven her tools to be provocative – and to work. She chose to confront what had previously been a taboo subject, an approach she has explained in speeches at the Global PR Summit and at the EACD Summit and elsewhere that she entitled “Managing Reputation When You Kill for a Living.” Educated from The Danish School of Journalism early 1994 and from The Stanford Executive Program (SEP) in 2009.
She has taught communication at Aarhus University on the side for nine years and Strategic Communication at The Technological Institute. A strong believer in strategic approach to make sure we are all on the same path towards the same goal. Creativity is an important part of her approach to most issues and situations – as is a profound sense of humor.
Anthea McIntyre is a politician and businesswoman and devotes spare time to a range of voluntary-service roles.
As Conservative MEP for the West Midlands since 2011, Anthea is the Party’s spokesman in the European Parliament on both employment and social affairs, and agriculture and rural affairs.
As well as these two key portfolios, she is a member of the temporary committee created to examine regulation of pesticides and acts as co-ordinator on the committee for her group the European Conservatives and Reformists.
She has drafted Parliamentary reports on subjects including smart farming, encouraging entrepreneurs and re-shoring jobs and recently piloted legislation through the Parliament to prevent the import of deadly plant pests from abroad.
Prior to becoming an MEP, she stood for Westminster in the Redditch seat in 1997 and the Shrewsbury and Atcham seat in 2001.
Anthea has also served as a Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party and as a member of the Party Board.
A lifelong party activist, she is a former deputy chairman of the National Young Conservatives, chairman of the Party’s West Midlands Region, chairman of Hereford Conservative Association and, in 1977, became the youngest County Councillor in England.
Outside politics she is a director of MCP Systems, a consultancy specialising in business intelligence systems.
Separately she is a partner in a Herefordshire smallholding and vineyard with her husband Frank Myers MBE.
Anthea won the European Woman of Achievement Award for Business in 1997 and in 2009 her work helped win MCP a national award for technological innovation in the Health Service.
In the voluntary sector she chairs Herefordshire Conservative Business Forum, is an Ambassador for the Federation of Small Businesses and an official champion of English regional wines.
Before becoming an MEP she was a member of the BBC Midlands Advisory Council, Hereford Community Health Council, Midlands Electricity Consultative Council and the Regional Policy Committee of the Federation of Small Businesses.
Ashlee J. Davis – Global Lead for External Affairs, Global Inclusion & Diversity – Cargill
Ashlee Davis is the Global Lead for External Affairs within the Global Inclusion & Diversity team at Cargill. In this role she is responsible for developing strategies that position Cargill as a global thought leader in inclusion & diversity, ensuring that Cargill’s external brand and strategic partnerships across
more than 70 countries is one consistent with being an “employer of choice” for diverse populations.
Prior to Cargill, Ms. Davis served for 6 years in the Obama Administration both within the White House and as a Presidential Political Appointee at the U.S. Department of Agriculture where her roles included White House Liaison and Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights. In 2014 she was
recognized as 100 Black LGBTQ Emerging Leaders to Watch and has served as a law clerk at University Legal Services of Washington D.C.
Ms. Davis’s civic engagement includes serving as a board member of Nashville, Tennessee’s Community Oversight Board and a board member of the University of Pittsburgh’s Alumni Association and Colorado State University’s Corporate Diversity Advisory Council. Ms. Davis holds a B.A. in Politics & Philosophy
from the University of Pittsburgh and Juris Doctorate from the Howard University School of Law. She is a native of Nashville, TN.
Corporate Communications Director, Europe, Middle East, Africa and India (EMEAI)
Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM)
“20 years of experience leading corporate and marketing communications both in agencies and in-house for multinationals across diverse industries. Leading PR, digital and corporate communications departments from mid-size to fortune 50 companies.”
Aurélie is responsible for the strategic planning and implementation of ADM’s corporate communications for the EMEAI region. She specializes in strategic communication campaigns designed to drive business results, create a unified corporate voice and reinforce brand reputation. Internally, she works to continuously engage EMEAI employees to enable greater cooperation, cohesion and sharing of best practices across the business; whist focusing strongly on creating a diverse and inclusive mindset and company culture.
She started her career at leading international PR agency Cohn and Wolfe in Geneva, Switzerland, before bolstering her skills further working for the international aviation group, PrivatAir and leading aircraft communications service provider, SITAONAIR.
Aurelie completed her first degree at Université Paris Descartes, receiving an MA in International Law, where she specialized in developing economies. She also holds an MA in European Public Policy & European Affairs from London South Bank University and a diploma in Digital Communications from the Quadra University of Applied Science.
Dr Brylyne Chitsunge is a farmer who has always been a tireless advocate for food security through the empowerment of farmers in general and women in particular, not only in her native South Africa but also throughout the continent. For many years, she has been travelling the world to discuss issues such as sustainable agriculture, climate change, and supporting women farmers as a dynamic and inspiring activist. She is an internationally acclaimed expert and
facilitator on Agriculture and farming in the African context.
With more than 13 years of international experience across various geographies in Europe and Asia (Belgium, UK, Germany, France, Switzerland, Singapore) and functions (D&I, HR, production, logistics, procurement), Caroline is a an experienced senior leader working as Global Head of Inclusion and Diversity at Syngenta.
She holds a PhD in talent management and master degree in procurement. She is also certified by INSEAD in D&I and St Gallen university in research
In her current role, she works very closely with the company executives to drive the global I&D strategy, contributing to increasing the performance of the company through fostering an inclusive environment where people feel they belong and can be the best version of themselves.
Caroline Drummond MBE, Hon DSc, NSch,
HonFSE, FRAgS, FIAgM, FRSA, FSB, CEnv, BSc(Hons) Agric
Chief Executive of LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming)
Caroline has been running LEAF, the farming and environmental charity since it started in 1991. She is especially interested in the development of sustainable food and farming and she has over 38 years experience in this area.
She graduated in Agriculture and has broad practical agricultural experience from across the globe. Her work focuses on encouraging more sustainable farming practices and building a better public trust and understanding of farming, food, health and the environment – values that she is personally extremely passionate about. She is actively involved in many industry partnerships and initiatives in the UK and Europe.
In 2009 Caroline was awarded the Member of the British Empire (MBE) by the Queen, she has an Honorary Doctorate from Harper Adams University, a Nuffield Scholarship studying ‘What can Farmers Learn from Science to improve the Nutrition of our Food’ and was awarded Honorary Fellowship for the Society of the Environment. In 2017 she was awarded the IAgrE Award For Outstanding Contribution to the Landbased Sector and the Farmers Guardian
Outstanding Contribution to Agriculture. In 2018 she was awarded the RASE National Agriculture Award and an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Agricultural University. In 2018 she sat on Dame Glenys Stacey’s advisory committee for the Farm Inspection and Regulation Report.
Caroline is actively involved with the British Nutrition Foundation, North Wyke, the Agri-tech initiative – is a director of the Agri-tech centre on Crop Health And Protection, the Institute of Agriculture Management, and on the advisory board of the agricultural project for the Science Museum.
Caroline is married to a dairy farmer and they have a daughter.
Claudia Roessle is Director Agriculture in Microsoft Azure Global Engineering group. She is responsible for developing strategic partnerships around digital innovation and ag tech solutions within the agriculture ecosystem. She drives Agtech innovation that helps increase productivity in a sustainable manner leveraging technology such as AI, IoT, and blockchain. Claudia Roessle joined Microsoft in 1992 in Germany. She held several international roles with focus on Business Development, Sales & Marketing, Partner and Industry.
Elzandi Oosthuizen is Asia Pacific Marketing lead at Bayer. She started her 14-year career with Monsanto in South Africa and has held global and regional roles across the company’s Seed & Traits, Crop Protection, Vegetable operations. Most recently, she was part of the Monsanto corporate strategy team where she led teams that implemented integrated strategies to create value in new categories like data science, plant health and fertility in developing world regions. Prior to working in the corporate setting, she taught post graduate mathematics, and high school science and math for six years.
In addition to her work for Monsanto, Elzandi is passionate about promoting diversity and inclusion, as well as helping empower women. She demonstrates this passion through her involvement in several initiatives, including being and Executive Sponsor for Monsanto’s Supplier Diversity Mentoring Program, President for the Monsanto Women’s Network and Global Give Back Circle Mentors. She has been participating in the Next Gen Fortune MPW event and was named an Eisenhower Fellow for the Zhi-Xing 2017 program.
Elzandi holds a Bachelor of Science in Natural Science and Mathematics and a Bachelor of Science Honors in Genetics from the University of Pretoria. She also holds a Master of Science in Agricultural and Horticultural Plant Breeding from University of the Free State and an MBA from North-West University in South Africa.
In March 2017, Jacqueline was appointed Global Head of Banking for Food Inspiration Centre. Banking for Food Inspiration Centre contains Rabobank F&A Research, Education, Partnership and Innovation aiming to strengthen our position as Leading Global F&A Bank and contributing to our clients, partners and colleagues in our mission to feed the world sustainably. Our Banking for Food strategy underpins the importance for Rabobank to provide to its F&A clients across the globe access to knowledge, networks, and finance.
Jacqueline has 25 years experience in banking. She joined Rabobank in 1992 as a management trainee and has since worked in various departments—including Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate Banking, Equity Capital Markets, and Trade Finance. Prior to her current role, she was Head of Global F&A Sector Banking responsible with her team for positioning and driving transactions and innovative activities of our wholesale clients within the different F&A sectors globally.
She holds a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Logistics and Marketing from Wageningen University, and has received executive management training at the Harvard Business School and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Jane has combined her agricultural and horticultural education with a career in marketing, media and communications.
Jane is actively involved in the international rural leadership community and was the co-founder of the international Rural Youth Project, a youth leadership, enterprise and activism initiative, focused on better understanding and supporting young rural people, aged 18-28, to enact positive change in their communities.
Jane runs a marketing and communications consultancy specialising in agriculture, food and rural affairs; clients include AgriBriefing, Agrovista, BASF plc, Interagro, LEAF, the Oxford Farming Conference, Turriff Show, and Velcourt. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing as well as a Member of the Chartered Institute of PR. She is also a Fellow of the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists and a Professional Agriculturalist (P.Agric).
Jane is based in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, she on the executive board of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists, Chair of the IFAJ ‘Vision 2025’ Committee, is a Trustee of LANTRA, the skills and training organisation, and is on the steering committee for LEAF Education and Public Engagement.
She was the first Waitangi Scholar in 1994 (Funded by the New Zealand Dairy Board), an alum of the Windsor Leadership Emerging Leaders’ Programme, the Institute of Agricultural Management Leadership Development Programme, the Scottish Enterprise (SE) Rural Leadership Programme and Scottish Enterprise’s Harvesting the Growth Programme.
Prior to establishing her own business, Jane worked for DiverseyLever, was Marketing Communications Manager for Genus plc (1991-97) and also for Cyanamid (part of American Home Products) from 1997-2001. From 2001-2004, she worked for digital specialists DBT Ltd (now part of Proagrica).
Jane Rickson is Professor of Soil Erosion and Conservation in the School of Water, Energy and Environment, Cranfield University, UK. She studied agricultural engineering at Masters level, followed by a PhD on geotextiles for soil erosion control.
She has over 30 years’ experience of research, consultancy and teaching in natural resource planning, specialising in land and water management. Her work has focused on the assessment, monitoring and management of soil resources to aid better understanding of soil functions and their role in the delivery of ecosystems goods and services, including water regulation (quantity and quality), agricultural production and carbon storage (climate change mitigation). She has specialised in soil and water engineering, with focus on soil degradation processes (such as soil erosion) and sustainable land management. She has over 25 years’ experience of research project management, specialising in multi-disciplinary approaches that seek to integrate fundamental and applied land resources science at a range of spatial and temporal scales.
Collaborating with many research organisations, her work is directed at various audiences including Research Councils, industry, farmers and policy makers at the local, national and international level. Recent research projects include:
- AHDB: Development of a Soil Management Information System (SMIS)
- Defra SP1318B: Better understanding of the soil protection landscape
- Defra SP1318: Scaling up the benefits of field scale soil protection measures to
understand their impact at the landscape scale
- Welsh Government: Review of the England and Wales soils evidence base
- Committee on Climate Change (Adaptation Sub Committee): Provision of research to
develop the evidence base on soil erosion
- Defra SP1606: The total costs of soil degradation in England & Wales
- EA (Wales): Economic impact of soil management for agricultural fields in Wales.
Economic Consultancy Framework 21730
She has published widely in international, peer reviewed journals, conference proceedings and trade articles.
She is a Fellow and President of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers, a Chartered Environmentalist, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and member of the Institute of Professional Soil Scientists.
Judith is responsible for all aspects of Sainsbury’s product offer, from Policy formation on aspects such as Ethical and Sustainable Sourcing, through to Product Technology, Development, Safety, and Packaging along with Corporate Responsibility and Public Affairs. Also driving the Quality and Innovation agendas whilst protecting and enhancing the reputation of Sainsbury’s Brand. She has worked in the food and drink industry for 37 years and is a Biochemist and Registered Nutritionist and Scientist.
In addition to her work at Sainsbury’s, Judith is a Non-Executive Director of the Environment Agency, and sits on the Board of Trustees for Farm Africa, the Matt Hampson Foundation, the Executive Board of The Princes Trust Accounting for Sustainability Project, she is also an ambassador for the Woodland Trust. Judith is a Fellow of both the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST), and the Royal Society of Arts and Manufactures (RSA), from 2013 – 2018 she Co-Chaired the Government’s AgriFoodTech Council, and currently sits on the Food and Drink Sector Council.
Kristen Eshak Weldon, Head of Food Innovation and Downstream Strategy, a member of LDC’s Executive Group.
Kristen Weldon joined LDC from Blackstone, where she spent 13 years in positions of increasing responsibility, most recently as Senior Managing Director (Partner) and Co-Head of the London office for Hedge Fund Solutions. Ms. Weldon was Head of the Commodity Strategy and was involved in portfolio management as well as hedge fund manager evaluation, selection and monitoring. Prior to Blackstone, she worked in commodity and interest rate derivatives at JPMorgan in London and New York. She also served as Founding Board Member of 100 Women in Finance London Ltd. between 2007 and 2017. In addition to the Sloan Masters (MSc) degree in Leadership and Strategy from London Business School, Ms. Weldon holds a degree in Finance and International Business from Georgetown University (US), UK and US securities regulatory FCA qualifications, and received several awards over the years recognizing leading women in finance.”
Dr. Mark Lyons grew up in the Alltech business, having traveled with his father and Alltech’s founder, Dr. Pearse Lyons, from a young age to visit customers. With experience working in all regions and nearly all departments — from palletizing bags in production to researching in the lab — he has a deep and uniquely personal knowledge of the company.
He has spearheaded many critical projects, including simultaneously managing a biorefinery project in Kentucky, the establishment of a plant in Serbia and the creation of Alltech’s flagship yeast production facility in São Pedro, Brazil. He also spent nearly four years in Mexico rebuilding the company’s solid state fermentation plant in Serdan, which is one of the largest of its kind in the world.
In 2012, Dr. Lyons relocated to China, the world’s largest feed market, as part of Alltech’s focus on the Asia-Pacific region. Living in Beijing and travelling throughout the country, he led the Alltech China office and focused on building bridges between China and the wider industry through research, education and strategic initiatives.
Under his leadership as director of North America from 2009 to 2011, Alltech expanded its presence with the opening of new offices and a growing involvement in all agricultural sectors. Today, Dr. Lyons is based at Alltech’s headquarters in Kentucky.
He has served as a board member of the American Feed Industry Association and is active in many industry groups, such as the International Poultry Council, the National Turkey Federation, the National Chicken Council and the National Pork Producers Council. He is also vice president of the Soil and Fertilizer Alliance of China and is a committee member of the China Toxicology Association. He is proud to be the only foreign member welcomed to China’s Feed Industry Golf Group, which represents more feed tonnage than all of Brazil.
Dr. Lyons has published papers and patents in areas ranging from enzyme production to global economics and is interested in the assurance of food safety and quality throughout the entire food chain. Recently, he was named as one of “The top 50 Irish business men and women in the BRIC countries” and “40 Under 40” leaders in agriculture by Vance Publishing Corporation.
He received his bachelor’s degree in political science and environmental science in 1999 from the University of Chicago. He received his master’s degree in brewing and distilling in 2001, followed by a Ph.D. in the area of solid state fermentation, at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. Dr. Lyons is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, French and German, and he has a working knowledge of Mandarin.
Sonia Studer, Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Nestle International. She has over 16 years’ experience in Human Resources Management in senior leadership roles in large organisation in Switzerland and abroad: Nestle International, Nestle Suisse, Nespresso, Nestle Purina Petcare Europe, Credit Suisse, DHL. She holds a master Degree in Business Administration of University of St Gallen, Switzerland, a coaching certification, and her background is multicultural as she is swiss with german and Algerian roots.
ver 28 years experience of managing and developing complex areas of business, primarily in food, agribusiness and the retail industry. Regular broadcaster on BBC Business programmes and used by media to comment on changes in the UK retail sector. Member of IWF for 26 years from 1991-2017 including serving on the London Board. Co-Founded the Women’s Farming Union to save the UK Top fruit industry and improve the marketing of British Foods built the organisation into a national movement covering all food and farming commodities. First Women Director of Safeway Stores. Chair of London Tourist Board during the two worst crises London faced FMD and 9/11. Involved in £40 million programme to restore London Tourism. Founded TWA Communications, the strategic business consultancy in 1996 and has worked with over 30 major companies at Board level to assist in business development and communications. Worked with Board of Sainsbury’s Stores from 2007 to advise and set up a key stakeholder programme and develop their £1 Billion Corporate responsibility programme.
Asked by Westminster Council to Chair the Ebury Bridge Futures group for the largest affordable housing development in London. Currently serving as a non executive Director of the New Covent Garden Market Authority. Former Governor of the Royal Agricultural University.
Made Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Societies, Honary Fellow London City and Guilds and Member of Worshipful Company Farmers. Presented with Award for Women of the Decade in FOOD Farming and Innovation at the Women’s Economic Conference 2018.
Bill has been appointed Vice President Europe, Middle East, Africa & Asia in January 2018, he is responsible for developing and implementing appropriate human resources strategies for the organization that are aligned with global, segment and region business strategy. Bill also continues in his dual HR business role as Vice President for Bunge’s Global Agribusiness & Trading Product Lines where he is responsible for the talent strategy for the global segment as well as operational leadership for the global trading product lines.
Bill has over 20 years of human resources experience and 16 years specifically in the Agribusiness and Food Industry. He joined Bunge in 2002 with the acquisition of Cereol S.A. and since has held various global and regional positions such as Vice President Global Talent Management, Vice President Human Resources EMEA, Regional Human Resources Director and Compensation & Benefits Director in the EMEA headquarters as well as Manager Executive Compensation & International Mobility in the global headquarters in White Plains, New York.
Previously, Bill had worked for four years in Cereol Europe and Central Soya, affiliates of Eridania Beghin-Say, first in the United States and eventually in the headquarters of Cereol in Paris where he worked in the areas of Training & Development, Talent Acquisition and Compensation & Benefits.