Nadiia Trone

Nadiia is an executive strategist and management consultant with 15+ years of leadership in positions including CFO, COO, Chief Controller and more across the agricultural and fast-moving consumer goods sectors. Nadiia has been at the forefront of innovative organizational change and overseen mergers and acquisitions for businesses driving up to $400M in annual revenue. As a consultant, Nadiia supported the development of a $150M expansion strategy for a major agricultural business, ultimately boosting revenue by operational transformation and go-to-market strategy. Furthermore, as a consultant for a pharmaceutical client, Nadiia increased revenue by 3.5X over 18 months through strategic planning and execution. Nadiia’s international background and expertise in finance and project management have established her as an accomplished executive with proven results.

Lydia Nokels

Lydia joins The Context Network with experience in pricing, finance, and eCommerce/OMNI operations. In previous roles, Lydia has specialized in working with data analytics to create comprehensive dashboards and tools to highlight key performance indicators as well as challenges and areas for improvement. Lydia has proposal experience preparing competitive efforts with comprehensive pricing data, cost and labor estimates, and data modeling support with an analytic focus. Lydia resides in Dallas, Texas.

Vic Smith

Vic is a strong strategist with high impact experience from several major agrichemical and life sciences companies. He has extensive commercial management experience with a solid scientific base. His experience base spans commercialization of new biotechnology-based products across the continuum to generic agrochemicals. He has technical, operations, sales, and marketing management senior level experience both on a global and North American basis.

Vic’s focus and previous experience includes:

  • Business and commercial strategy
  • Retail distribution
  • Green and sustainable solutions
  • Logistics/supply chain operation in North America
  • Product/system commercialization

Brittany Fowers

Brittany Fowers started with The Context Network working as an independent consultant on projects and is now working within the administration / operations support team.

Emily Pfaffenbach

Emily joins The Context Network with experience in the agriculture equipment sector, specialty crop implements, customer service, and various management practices bringing a unique perspective to the team. Growing up in Southern Indiana, she was immersed in agriculture-based development programs such as 4-H and FFA from a very young age. While attending Purdue University for her undergrad she majored in Agribusiness Marketing, Communications, and a secondary degree in Entrepreneurship. She was heavily involved with various College of Agriculture leadership committees, including serving on Purdue’s National Agri-Marketing Association team, and Purdue Ag Week. Emily will be residing in Raleigh, NC.

Kristen Ward, Ph.D.

Kristen joins The Context Network with more than 15 years of innovation, strategy, brand marketing and operations experience across multiple industries. Kristen is an experienced agricultural and resource economist adept at conducting complex research analyses, translating insights into tactical and strategic recommendations.

She spent 7+ years working with commercial farmers, irrigation districts and agencies in California to achieve water quality and environmental standards where her primary research focused on developing an integrated economic-engineering mathematical programming model of California’s water supply scenarios under various environmental and natural resource policies. Kristen brings an entrepreneurial spirit and passion for identifying impactful solutions within agriculture with a focus on increasing productivity and environmental sustainability.

Chad Robertson

Chad joins The Context Network with previous experience as a grain merchant for Columbia Grain International. During his time as a merchant, Chad gained experience managing and trading grain inventories, coordinating logistics, researching market opportunities, and creating global and local supply/demand reports. Prior to this, Chad attended the University of Idaho where he was exposed to corporate financial analysis, capital allocation, investment analysis, economic research, and commodity pricing and risk management. Chad was born and raised in Idaho, where agriculture is the backbone of many communities. Because of this, Chad is passionate about helping these communities and The Context Network’s clients advance agriculture efficiently and sustainably.

Lubos Grepl

Lubos is a senior executive leader with more than 35 years of experience in the Agricultural Ecosystem developing and operationalizing strategies on the board of sector-leading companies, innovators, and startups. In the last three years, Mr. Grepl was successfully operating his consultancy & advisory business, advising professionals, market leaders, and Startup’s with insights on business development and transformations with innovative market-based solutions. He is always passionate about identifying and embracing innovative technologies that bring improvements in the ecosystem, increase efficiency to allow agriculture to achieve significant sustainability gains in a response to climatic and regulatory requirements. From the early ’90s until 2018 held various leadership positions at Monsanto and Syngenta, in Central and Southeast Europe. Some of these experiences include:

  • General Management, Marketing, Sales experience, developing and implementing innovative Go-To-Market approaches
  • EU Regulatory system and new policies landscape ( e.g. European Green Deal, Farm to Fork Strategy ) shaping the EU Ecosystems
  • Carbon Framing Framework incl Carbon sequestration initiatives and implementation from the EU policy and business opportunity perspectives
  • Extensive Familiarity & Experience in Central and Eastern Europe markets incl Turkey, Israel with a focus on growers/customers universe
  • Strong Strategy & Management capabilities incl. strategy execution and the implementation drivers
  • Seed, CP, Biologicals, Seed Treatment Knowledge & Expertise
  • Focused on post-integration, merger organizational setups, and business models for simplicity, efficiency, and gains

Jared Spader

Jared grew up on a diversified livestock operation in Missouri, and as a 4th generation producer, is involved with his family’s farming and ranching operations in Illinois and Missouri where they raise corn, soybeans, Angus cattle, and Quarter horses.

He began his career at Osborn & Barr (now OsbornBarr Paramore), where he served in a wide variety of strategy, business development, research, operations, planning, and leadership roles.  He then joined FleishmanHillard, serving as Senior Vice President and a leader of Fleishman’s Food and Ag Practice Group.

More recently prior to joining Context, Jared served as Vice President – Strategy & Business Development / U.S. Operations Lead for AgCall, Inc., a consulting firm focused on the food and agriculture industry and led the establishment and operation of AgCall’s U.S. business from 2013-2020.

Education & Certification
  • University of Missouri – Columbia, College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources with a B.S. in Agricultural Economics
  • MBA from the Crosby MBA Program at the University of Missouri-Columbia
  • Education coursework focused on strategy at Washington University and the Harvard Business School.

Neil DeStefano

Neil brings over 40 years of experience across the  value chain of the crop protection industry for agrichemicals and application systems. He brings specific expertise in business strategy, portfolio expansion, business and product development, marketing communications, and project management. During his career he held numerous leadership positions with a proven track record of successfully developing and launching several new product innovations with commercial results.