Governor Gavin Newsom has elevated Yana Garcia to deputy secretary from assistant secretary for environmental justice, tribal affairs and border relations at the California Environmental Protection Agency. Garcia Gonzalez has served as assistant secretary for environmental justice and tribal affairs at the California Environmental Protection Agency since 2016. She was associate attorney at Earthjustice from 2015 to 2016, staff attorney at Communities for a Better Environment from 2013 to 2015 and a legal research attorney at the San Francisco County Superior Court from 2012 to 2013…Caroline Godkin has been appointed to deputy secretary for environmental policy and emergency response at the California Environmental Protection Agency. She previously served as the deputy secretary for legislation at the California Natural Resources Agency since 2016. She was deputy director for legislation at the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection from 2011 to 2016 and senior fiscal and policy analyst at the Legislative Analyst’s Office from 2008 to 2011.

John May has been tapped by the board of directors for Deere & Company to serve as the new CEO succeeding Samuel Allen, effective November 4. May was also selected to serve as a member of the board, effective immediately. May previously served as Deere’s president and chief operating officer since April 2019, and will become the 10th chief executive in the company’s 182-year history.

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has sworn in Brandon Lipps as deputy undersecretary of the Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services (FNCS) and Pam Miller as the administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) at USDA). Lipps has served as Administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service, and also as acting deputy undersecretary of the Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services since July 2017. Miller has served as the USDA’s Food and Nutrition, and Consumer Services (FNCS) senior associate administrator for policy since September 2018 … Perdue also announced the appointment of five individuals to the United Sorghum Checkoff Program (USCP) board of directors. Serving a three-year term includes: Kendall Hodgson, Little River, Kan.; Jeffry D. Zortman, Fowler, Kan.; Kent L. Martin, Alva, Okla.; Joshua Birdwell, Malone, Texas. Serving a one-year term at-large is James Haase, Eads, Colo.

Mary Bohman is now the deputy director of the Bureau of Economic Analysis. She brings over 20 years of experience to the Bureau, previously serving at the Department of Agriculture. She most recently served as associate administrator of the Department's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services. Before that, she was the administrator of USDA's Economic Research Service

The Farm Credit Administration selected Robert Coleman to serve as the new chief operating officer, succeeding Bill Hoffman, who retires on Sept. 3, after 25 years of federal service. Coleman has served as chief examiner and director of the Office of Examination for the past nine years. Roger Paulsen, who has been deputy director of the Office of Examination since 2013, will serve as acting chief examiner.

David Grahn has been tapped by the Farm Credit Administration (FCA) to serve as the new director of the Office of Regulatory Policy. Grahn joined FCA in early 2018 as associate general counsel in the Office of General Counsel. Before that, he served 30 years at the USDA, beginning as a law clerk and ending as associate general counsel for the International Affairs, Food Assistance, and Farm and Rural Programs Division in the Office of General Counsel.

David Grahn

David Grahn

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has hired Regina Tan to serve as the director of the Center for Veterinary Medicine’s Office of Research. Tan comes to FDA from the Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), where she oversaw the organization’s Office of Food Safety. Before joining FNS, Tan was the director for Recall Management and Technical Analysis at USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service. Tan has also served at CDC as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer and Preventive Medicine Fellow.

Chobani promoted Peter McGuinness to president of the company. He previously served as the chief commercial and marketing officer since 2017. McGuinness will oversee Chobani's Demand function, supply chain, manufacturing, sustainability, and research and development functions. Chobani has also promoted Federico Muyshondt to chief customer officer, Jason Blaisure to senior vice president of supply chain, Parag Agrawal to chief information officer, and Grace Zuncic to chief people and culture officer. Mick Beekhuizen is departing Chobani where he served as the chief financial officer. Michelle Brooks, current Chobani treasurer, will serve as interim chief financial officer.

Kraft Heinz has named Paulo Basilio as the new CFO, replacing David Knopf. Basilio currently serves as the chief business planning and development officer and will take over as CFO on September. 1. Knopf became CFO in 2017, and will return to 3G Capital where he served as a partner starting in 2015. 

General Mills Inc. promoted Kofi Bruce to the position of CFO, effective Feb. 1. Bruce will also become vice president for financial operations, effective immediately. In a transition period, Bruce will work alongside outgoing CFO Donal Mulligan, who will move into an advisory role once the transition is complete. 

Steve Dietze has joined the EFC Systems as the new senior vice president of business development, effective August 14. Dietze will focus on opening new markets and strategic business relationship opportunities for the company. He comes to EFC Systems from Wilbur-Ellis Company where he’s worked the past 16 years, most recently as vice president of strategy. 

Nigyar Makhmudova is the new executive vice president of growth and innovation at Danone S.A. She brings over 25 years of experience, and will be responsible for overseeing Danone's global marketing, innovation, R&D and digital sales functions.

The American Farmland Trust (AFT) hired Mitch Hunter as its new research director. He is in charge of building AFT’s collaborative research program, including its "Farms Under Threat” initiative. He will be based in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Sipcam Agro USA has promoted Michael Maravichto vice president of sales and marketing. He previously served as the vice president of specialty business.

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture hired Lacy Pitts as the new executive administrator to NASDA CEO Barbara Glenn. Pitts most recently interned in the office of Rep. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., and is a graduate of Kansas State University.

The World Food Prize Foundation added Purvi Mehta, head of Asia Agriculture for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to the Council of Advisors. Mehta will review, advise and guide the World Food Prize leadership on their policies as well as help lead and design the Foundation programs.

Lacy Pitts

Lacy Pitts

Eric Henshall has been promoted to senior legislative assistant in Rep. Anna Eshoo’s, D-Calif., office. Henshall covers the portfolio for agriculture, energy, environment, natural resources, transportation, and immigration.

Joshua Izaak has been promoted to legislative director from senior policy counsel in Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán’s, D-Calif., office. Izaak handles the telecommunications, technology, labor, and small business portfolio.

Heather Purcell has been promoted to deputy chief of staff and communications director in the office of Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif.

Alejandra Leynez is the new legislative assistant for Rep. Linda Teresa Sánchez, D-Calif., covering the portfolio for immigration, labor, and employment. Leynez previously served as a fellow to Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif.

Justin Weiss is now the communications director for Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash. He comes from Rational 360 where he served as senior associate. 

John Ochs passed away on August 6 at the age of 68. In 1981, Ochs moved to Washington D.C., to work for John Block, Secretary of Agriculture under President Ronald Reagan. He served eight years at USDA, then moved to work for the Ford Motor Company. He became the director of public relations, moving to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and finally to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he retired in 2003. He was a 35-year honorary member of the National Farm Broadcasters Association, receiving the Distinguished Service Award in 1985. He also received the Distinguished Service Award from the United States Department of Agriculture in 1986. His funeral will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, October 26, 2019, at St. Joseph’s Parish in Stringtown, Illinois. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675, in John's memory.

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