Rachel ZwillingerRachel Zwillinger

Gov. Gavin Newsom has appointed Rachel Zwillinger as assistant general counsel for enforcement at CalEPA. Zwillinger previously served as a water policy adviser at Defenders of Wildlife and has also worked for the Natural Resources Defense Council. The CalEPA position does not require Senate confirmation.

Newsom has also tapped Joe Tyler as the new director and chief of Cal Fire, formally known as the Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention. He succeeds Thom Porter, who retired from the role in December. Tyler is a 31-year veteran at Cal Fire, most recently serving as the deputy director of fire protection.

The California Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development has hired Candy Gage as the new export program manager. In this role, Gage will serve as the director of the California State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) in future funding rounds with the US Small Business Administration. Gage previously served as the director of the Fresno Center for International Trade Development. She was also a part of the original team that brought STEP to California. 

Joe TylerJoe Tyler

Bolthouse Farms has tapped Shelby Layne as the new director, environmental, social and governance hub. She has been with Bolthouse Farms for nearly three years in marketing and innovation roles. Joey Antonelli also recently joined the ESG Hub team as manager, ESG customer management. Antonelli has been with Bolthouse Farms for five years, previously serving as a national sales manager. He also has experience working for the Campbell Soup Company.

Kimberly Atkins is joining Laura Wood Peterson Consulting, a firm focused on sustainability issues and agricultural policy, as a new vice president of public affairs and policy. Atkins has spent the last 16 years with the U.S. Grains Council, most recently as the vice president and chief operating officer. She graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in political science and communications and then began her career as a communications coordinator with the council. The job change is effective April 13.

Kimberly AtkinsKimberly Atkins

Kelly Gast is the new chief financial officer of Bayer’s Crop Science division, effective April 1. She succeeds Michael Schulz, who decided to leave Bayer for personal reasons after 16 years with the company. Gast currently serves as CFO for Bayer’s U.S. organization. Sara Boettiger, senior vice president and head of global sustainability and public affairs, is also leaving the company. Bayer has decided to combine the sustainability and public affairs teams with the strategy team, under the leadership of Frank Terhorst, executive vice president of strategy and sustainability, effective March 1.

Mary Emma Young is headed to the American Frozen Food Institute to be the new vice president of communications, effective March 28. Young currently serves as the senior director of communications and strategic planning for the Pet Food Institute. Before joining PFI, Young was the communications and marketing director for CropLife America. Her last day with the organization is March 18. Young will succeed Adrienne Seiling, former AFFI vice president of strategic communications, who now serves as AFFI’s senior vice president of industry affairs and member services.

The National Confectioners Association has hired Lee Anne Pirrello as the new vice president of member value and engagement strategy. Pirrello most recently was the vice president of membership at the American Medical Informatics Association.

Samantha BuchalterSamantha BuchalterSamantha Buchalter has moved into the role of vice president at The Russell Group. She has been with the firm for five years and previously was the director of legislative and regulatory affairs. While at The Russell Group, Buchalter helped expand the firm’s climate and sustainability advocacy portfolio.

Will Margerum has joined the U.S. Grains Council as the new communications coordinator, located in the Washington, D.C. office. Before joining the council, Margerum interned at several offices in the D.C. area, including West End Strategies, and has worked on a few campaign efforts for candidates in Pennsylvania. He attended George Washington University and was a contributing sports editor for the GW Hatchet.

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