As AeroFarms, the world’s largest indoor vertical farming company of its kind, continues to grow, so does its world-class executive team. AeroFarms announced that Dane Almassy has joined as VP of Sales to help drive further retail expansion to meet increasing consumer demand for AeroFarms’ safely grown, nutritious and delicious produce.
Since 2004, AeroFarms has been leading the way not only for indoor vertical farming but also agriculture from genetics to post harvest. AeroFarms has grown over 850 different varieties of crops and sees potential even beyond food production to extend to other verticals like pharmaceutical, cosmeceutical, and nutraceutical.
With almost 20 years of CPG sales experience with companies like Earthbound Farm, Aurora Organic Dairy, and PepsiCo, Dane Almassy combines his passion for sustainable agriculture and his expertise in strategic selling, supply chain innovation, category management, and field execution to lead Sales and expand distribution into new channels and geographies. He has his BA from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
AeroFarms has been in major expansion mode with major announcements this past year of the build-out in Abu Dhabi UAE of what will be the largest R&D Indoor Vertical Farm of its kind and the launch of the first ever municipal indoor vertical farming program in the United States with the City of Jersey City (NJ) and the World Economic Forum Healthy Communities and Cities initiative. To help meet this growth, AeroFarms has made other key hires to build out its leadership team. Andreas Sokollek, Stacy Kimmel, PhD, and MaryAlice Feinstein joined AeroFarms over a year ago as Chief Operating Officer, VP of R&D, and Chief People Officer respectively, and Mark Boyland joined during the summer of 2020 as General Counsel.
“These key executive hires, each with deep industry expertise, have been helping us further capitalize on opportunities around the world as we continue to scale and build out our incredible culture and team, all aligned around our mission of growing the best plants possible for the betterment of humanity,” said David Rosenberg, AeroFarms Co-Founder and CEO.
Having started his career working for the United States Department of Justice, Mark Boyland has forged a career leading intellectual property and compliance in Chief Compliance Officer and General Counsel roles with companies like Tata Consumer Products, Benjamin Moore, Suburban Propane and Scholastic. As General Counsel and Board Secretary, Mark oversees all legal issues related to financing, transactions, intellectual property, commercial matters, employment, litigation management, and board governance. He has his JD from Georgetown University and BA from Cornell University.
Andreas Sokollek has a proven international Operations track record with over 30 years of senior food manufacturing experience with established and high-growth companies including as COO for Schweid & Sons, SVP Supply Chain & Operations for Chobani, and SVP Operations and Manufacturing for different Kraft Foods global divisions. Known for successes in improving safety, quality, operational efficiencies, and lowering costs of highly-automated manufacturing networks, Andreas is responsible for all of Operations, R&D, Food Safety and Quality Assurance, Engineering, Farm Construction, and Software Development. He has his MS in Food Engineering from Technical University of Munich.
With an expertise in food science, Stacy Kimmel has a 23-year track record of success driving Innovation to solve business problems and commercializing new food products. With extensive R&D background at Campbell’s Soup Company and McCormick & Company, Stacy oversees all R&D as AeroFarms continues to lead the indoor vertical farming industry with break-throughs for the broader agriculture community. She has her PhD and MS in Food Science from Penn State University and BS in Food and Nutrition Science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
In her 13 years at Google, MaryAlice Feinstein oversaw major growth and expansion and was responsible for recruiting, training and development, retention as well as a professional development coach in Google’s Career Guru program. Previously, she was a senior recruiter for information technology group CTG and a senior management recruiter for consulting company Keane. In her role as Chief People Officer, MaryAlice oversees all aspects of people and talent operations including recruitment, employment, leadership development, training, performance management, retention, succession planning, organizational development, diversity and inclusion, employee relations, compensation, and benefits administration. She has her BS in Industrial and Labor Relations and Human Resources from LeMoyne College.
In addition to these key executive hires, AeroFarms added last year to its Board of Directors James C. (Jim) Borel. Jim has over 40 years of experience in the global agriculture and food industry, and he served as Executive Vice President and member of the DuPont Office of the Chief Executive until early 2016 where he had responsibility for the company’s global agriculture and food ingredient businesses. Jim currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Neogen Corporation (NASDAQ – NEOG), Renewable Energy Group Int’l (NYSE – REGI), Farmers Edge, and Just, Inc. (Formerly Hampton Creek). He also advises selected agriculture & food ventures and serves on the Board of Advisors for Sajjan India Ltd, is a member of the board of trustees of the University of Delaware and the Alpha Gamma Rho Educational Foundation, and the Board of Governors of Iowa State University. Jim graduated from Iowa State University with a BS in Agricultural Business.
Commented CEO David Rosenberg, “We are honored to have Jim join our talented Board in helping solve some of the most pressing agriculture problems of our time with a critical lens on sustainability and how we can do better. Jim’s deep agriculture experience from Dupont where he was responsible for all aspects of their $15 Billion global agricultural and food ingredient businesses will help ensure our focus on large-scale solutions.”