Meet the people behind our Giant Views commentary this issue.
President and CEO, INCOTEC Group BV
JanWillem Breukink has 30 years of experience working in the seed industry. He started his career in 1978 within the vegetable seed company Royal Sluis. He played an important role in developing INCOTEC from a small department within Royal Sluis to a full-sized independent leading seed technology company servicing the global seed industry. Breukink has served in various positions within INCOTEC, which has facilities in the Netherlands, Sweden, the USA, Brazil, Japan, India, Australia, China and South Africa, and more than 400 employees. He has been a member of the International Seed Federation’s Seed Treatment and Environment Committee since 1987, and for 10 years he was chairman of the committee.
Robert B. Clark
President and Chief Executive Officer, PICKSEED Companies Group
Robert (Rob) Clark is the president and CEO for the Pickseed Companies Group, a private company which focuses on development, production and distribution of turfgrass and forage crop seed. Pickseed has locations across Canada and Oregon and operates under the Pickseed, Mapleseed, Seed Research of Oregon and TurfOne brand names. Clark joined Pickseed in 1999 and previously held senior management positions within the poultry farming, food processing and beer industries.
Head of Cereals for North America, Syngenta
Raised on a farm south of Winnipeg, Man., Norm Dreger has been with Syngenta and its predecessors for his entire career, holding positions in sales, marketing and product development across Canada as well as internationally. After the formation of Syngenta, Dreger moved back to Canada to take on a sales management position, followed by head of customer experience management, head of business development and services and then head of cereals for Syngenta Canada. In early 2011, Dreger was named head of cereals for North America. Based in Calgary, he is responsible for the development and marketing of Syngenta’s integrated cereal solutions.
Vice-President, Seed and Crop Protection, Viterra
As vice-president of seed and crop protection with Viterra, Monte Kesslering works within Viterra’s Agri-Products Groups, which includes agronomic services, research and development, seed, crop protection products, fertilizer, equipment, wool and financial services. Kesslering works with leading canola, cereal, flax and forage breeding partners to bring new and innovative varieties that provide value to farmers.
Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Seed Trade Association
Patty Townsend is a well-known agricultural association professional, whose career spans member-based associations throughout the agricultural sector. She joined the Canadian Seed Trade Association as vice-president in 2006, with a primary focus on government, member and public relations, strategic planning and governance. She was appointed CEO of CSTA this past June. After university she spent three years in a radio and television newsroom before dedicating her career to association management, and public and government affairs at the provincial, national and international levels. Prior to joining CSTA, Townsend was the executive director of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance.
Erich E. Veitenheimer
Partner, Patent Counseling and Prosecution, Cooley LLP
Erich Veitenheimer is a partner in Cooley’s Patent Counseling and Prosecution practice group based at the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Veitenheimer specializes in developing and implementing strategies to enable companies, universities and non-profit research organizations to procure worldwide protection for their inventions and/or to provide them with the necessary freedom to operate. He has extensive experience in obtaining and defending patent positions by using practical, cost-effective approaches to resolving patent and trade secret disputes. Veitenheimer brings a wide variety of scientific experience to his legal practice, including a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.