Madeline Thomas

Madeline is an experienced agriculture and animal health market researcher.  Prior to joining Context, she spent seven years as a Research Analyst and Manager with Kynetec / Ipsos Agriculture and Animal Health.

She has extensive experience in both qualitative and quantitative market research, spanning the full spectrum of project work from project planning and proposal design to in-depth analysis and communication of insights and recommendations to clients.  Madeline is also actively involved in the St. Louis Agribusiness Club and the Missouri Agricultural Foundation.

Madeline lives in St. Louis, Missouri

Brian Love

Brian has a diverse background in crop improvement and international agriculture development.  Brian brings a broad range of experience in integrating biological and social science approaches to enable data intensive, insight-led crop improvement.  His areas of focus include:

Experience / Specialties:

  • Row crop and vegetable breeding
  • Breeding operations (software, data, and support)
  • Agricultural development
  • Program management

Marianne Smith Edge

Marianne has over 30 years of experience providing strategic nutrition consulting and communication strategy for the food and healthcare industry, ranging from biotechnology and food sustainability to food safety and consumer health issues.

  • Former Senior VP, Nutrition & Food Safety Communications, International Food Information Council, Washington, DC
  • Nationally recognized speaker in consumer insights and food systems issues.
  • Marianne a past president of The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics and served two terms on the USDA National Research, Extension, Education, & Economics Advisory Board, the advisory board to the Secretary of Agriculture.

Jeev Singh

Jeev has a decade of experience in consulting, strategy, and corporate development. He has worked in technology, finance, and consumer products industries. His geographic experience includes living and working in North America, Western Europe, and Southeast Asia.

Nancy Himmelfarb

Nancy Himmelfarb shows businesses how to leverage sustainability to build trust, competitive advantage and impact. She has helped numerous Fortune 500 companies, industry associations and smaller organizations develop impactful sustainability strategies, positioning, and corporate communications. She brings particular expertise in stakeholder engagement, governance matters and reporting, with 15 years’ experience as corporate attorney, C-Suite executive and board advisor for public and private companies. Nancy is on the Board of the American Sustainable Business Council, frequently writes for sustainability-related publications, and speaks at industry conferences and company meetings. She holds a B.A. with Distinction from Stanford University, a J.D. from UCLA School of Law, and a graduate certificate in sustainability management from University of Chicago.

Her expertise includes:

    • Sustainability positioning & strategy
    • Materiality
    • Stakeholder engagement
    • Board work & overall sustainability governance
    • Sustainability reporting, including alignment with ESG criteria, SDGs, GRI, SASB & other reporting frameworks
    • Other sustainability communications

Clay Moyer

Clay graduated from The University of Tulsa in May 2020 and joined Context in June 2020. At TU, he was Founder and President of Aspiring Management and Marketing Professionals, a student in the Global Scholars Program, and served as a Student Representative on TU’s University Council. His agriculture background consists of working on his family’s cattle ranch, interning at the Southern Plains Range Research Station, and working for a biopesticide startup in Panama called Advanced Biocontrollers.

Sarah Aubrey

Sarah Beth Aubrey’s mission is to enhance success and profitability in agriculture and rural communities by building capacity in people.

She believes everyone has a unique definition of success and strives to foster that potential whether through one-on-one executive coaching, by facilitating peer groups, or by leading boards through change-based planning initiatives.

An entrepreneur since 2003, in 2015 she founded A.C.T., Aubrey Coaching & Training, a performance-based leadership training and executive coaching firm. In January 2018 she launched Elevate Ag, a farmer and agribusiness CEO peer group network program.

Sarah began her career with Novartis moving next into business development and training with ABG, Inc. Entrepreneurial at heart, at 26 she launched a retail meat business and at 30 a grant writing firm. Both businesses have been sold to investors. As the former CEO of Prosperity Ag, LLC, She wrote over 300 successful grants, in 39 states, yielding nearly $60 million.

A partial list of clients includes: Nutrien/Crop Production Services, Valent USA, American Feed Industry Association, the National Sorghum Association, Indiana Farm Bureau, the State of Indiana, Brock Grain Handling, Purdue University, Wabash Valley Power Company, Farm Journal Media, Vectren, Virginia’s Ag Region 2000, NTCA The Rural Broadband Association, and Beck Ag, CornProTrailers, and Bayer Crop Science.

Education & Certification
•BS, Agricultural Communications – University of Illinois
•MS, Strategic Communication – Purdue University

Jeffrey Verpaalen

Jeffrey Verpaalen brings more than 25 years of business experience in the chemical, food, pharma, and seed industry. Strong and broad international experience with prior leadership roles in Europe, South America and the United States. Based in Europe Jeffrey will work directly with Context Network Partners, clients and project teams to deliver management consulting and strategy solutions in support of our mission for advancing agriculture globally.

Virgil Sparks

Virgil is a successful senior manager with experience as a Leader in Agriculture Research & Development and Seeds Supply Chain. Expertise in directing a team of geographically dispersed applied scientists responsible for field experiments resulting in the delivery of high performing crop varieties, hybrids and crop protection products. Strengths in product evaluation, product development, seed production and product marketing of corn, soybeans, wheat, rice, grain sorghum and cotton. Management skills extend to the international markets of Brazil, Argentina and Chile for Product Development and Seed Production. His expertise includes:

  • Head North America Soybean Product Evaluation, Syngenta Crop Protection
  • Head of North America Corn and Soybean Development, Syngenta Seeds
  • Director of Soybean Product Development, GarstSeed Company
  • Director of Operations, GarstSeed Company
Education & Certification
BS, Agribusiness, Southeast Missouri State University

Sarah Frank

Sarah joins The Context Network with experience in project management, economic development, customer strategy, as well as specialty crop production in the agriculture industry. Through prior roles, Sarah conducted value chain analyses for a variety of specialty crops in the Western US. She has also managed state and federal grants focused on advanced research and marketing of new, high-value crops for NC, such as food colorant and bioenergy crops. Sarah currently resides in Raleigh, NC.

Education & Certification
  • BS, Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University
  • BS, Business Management, Oklahoma State University