California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross swore in Kayla UnKayla UngarKayla Ungar, CDFAgar on Tuesday as the agency’s new special advisor for climate, water and drought. Ungar previously was an assistant cabinet secretary in the office of Governor Gavin Newsom. Before that, she worked for SGR Consulting, a finance strategy and political consulting firm. 

Pace International has hired Julie Smith as the senior human resources manager. Smith most recently served as vice president of human resources for McClarin Plastics, and before that she was the director of human resources at Legacy Fruit Packers in Washington.

Myriah Johnson has joined Farm Credit Services of America as the vice president of corporate sustainability. She previously was the executive director of sustainability for BrdgAl and before that was the senior director of beef sustainability research at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. 

Bev Paul has started Davenport Policy to help clients with agriculture policy and strategy. Paul has been with Gordley Associates for the last 20 years as a Washington representative. To learn more about Paul’s career, watch her Meet the Farm Hand interview

Curious Plot has announced seven promotions of individuals to leadership positions. Jim Zumwalt has been named agency chief operating officer. He will help oversee overall account and project management. He succeeds Steve Zabka, who has taken on the role of executive vice president of finance. Alison Rauchwarter now serves as the senior vice president of account operations. She will focus on account management best practices, account team training and development, and impLori Captain.jpgLori Captain, Dairy Management Inc.roved processes. Cristie Mather is vice president, management supervisor. She is responsible for leading a client portfolio of accounts focusing on food, food commodity organizations and food service clients. Sören Erickson has joined the agency as vice president and Wayne Carlson has joined as management supervisor. Nicola Freeman has been promoted to vice president and Stephanie Loch is the new group account director.

Dairy Management Inc. has hired Lori Captain as executive vice president of global sustainability strategy, science and industry affairs. Captain brings 20 years of experience working for Corteva Agriscience and its predecessor DuPont.

Joe Pezzini now serves as the chair of the Center for Produce Safety’s board of directors. Pezzini works for Taylor Farms where he is the senior director of agricultural operations. Bret Erickson, senior vice president of business affairs for Little Bear Produce, was also elected as secretary and Mark Powers, president of Northwest Horticultural Council, as treasurer. New to the CPS Board of Directors is Amy Gates, vice president of Seald Sweet/Greenyard USA.

Susanne Wasson has retired from Corteva Agriscience where she served as the president of the company’s crop protection business platform, a position she has held since 2018. Before that, she was the vice president of commercial effectiveness. She also has 20 years of experience working for Corteva’s predecessor Dow AgroScience. 

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