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 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
- Stakeholder engagement
- Board work & overall sustainability governance
- Sustainability reporting, including alignment with ESG criteria, SDGs, GRI, SASB & other reporting frameworks
- Other sustainability communications
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 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.
Jeffrey Verpaalen has joined The Context Network as Associate Principal following 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 Principals, clients and project teams to deliver management consulting and strategy solutions in support of our mission for advancing agriculture globally.
Kayla Hedrick is a proven strategic marketing professional with more than 15-years of experience dedicated to the agriculture industry. Her background spans the supply chain from seed research through end-use product, including special focuses in row crow production, ag lending, renewable fuels, precision agriculture, grower organizations and soy processing/end uses. She’s led planning and execution for established brands and startups, introducing new thinking to existing thought processes. She lives in rural Illinois with her husband. She brings the following skills to the team:
- B2B customer insights and message development
- Cross-industry collaboration and joint initiatives
- Integrated, multi-channel marketing campaigns from market research to go-to-market strategies.
- Digital, print, broadcast content strategy and development
- Event planning and facilitation
- Lead generation through public relations, internal communications and advertising channels
- Training development and execution
Education & Certification
- B.S. Agriculture Communications and Education, University of Illinois
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
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.
- BS, Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University
- BS, Business Management, Oklahoma State University
Ronnie brings a broad experience and deep knowledge of the fresh produce supply and distribution channel throughout the retail and foodservice market segments. Having worked 20+ years in the fresh produce industry, Ronnie is actively engaged in consulting, speaking and educational/training endeavors. His high-energy, highly interactive style imparts “real world know-how” to his clients, audiences and trainees. He has worked with the full range of the fresh produce supply channel, from seed companies, to growers/shippers, to consumers. His areas of expertise include:
- Consultation on a full range of issues from post-harvest technology quality and handling, to sales and marketing restructure and strategies, to consumer attitude/preferences
- New business venture opportunity assessment and strategic business partnership and acquisition
- Development of long-term strategic plans, and implementation of new go-to-market strategies.
- Extensive training to both U.S. and foreign grower/shipper organizations on product standardization, and sales and marketing techniques
- MS in Industrial Psychology – San Jose State University in California
Rob has extensive experience in finance, systems, and process from multiple perspectives: as an employee, an owner of several companies and as a consultant. With an emphasis on practical and robust solutions that transform business results, Rob ensures clients can implement and maintain gains going forward.
Experience / Specialties:
- Outsourced CFO
- Streamlined month end processes to produce accurate and timely financials
- M&A financial due diligence
- Analysis of Customers/classes and Items/groups to drive strategic decisions
- Insightful financial and operational reporting
- Risk management
- ERP system design, selection and implementation. Architecture of simple or complex custom systems
- Data hygiene – GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out)
- Process mapping, re-engineering and documentation to drive consistent results
Education & Certification
- BS, Management/Marketing – Information Systems, St Joseph’s College
- Multiple courses from Dr Michael Hammer, the father of process re-engineering