College Advisory Council

The mission of the College Advisory Council is to support and promote the Cal Poly College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences in its program and activities. These dedicated men and women provide focus and direction and assist the university president and college dean in carrying out the Learn by Doing mission of the college and the university.

These Advisory Council members are people who care deeply about the future of Cal Poly and CAFES. Most past and present members are active supporters of the college. It is their responsibility, on behalf of the students and alumni, college contributors, the state of California and the agriculture industry, to provide our college leadership with vision and discipline. It is their responsibility to challenge the process and to keep true to a strong internal compass — the compass that always points the way to a better future for graduates and to a more successful future for Cal Poly. You may contact the Advisory Board or the dean at

Members (* denotes alumnus, 1 denotes council chair, 2 denotes council vice chair)

Name Title Company, Location
Dennis Albiani* Vice President California Advocates, Sacramento
Stephen Barnard* President & CEO Mission Produce, Inc., Oxnard
Irene Bernal Senior Product Manager Amazon, Seattle
Kiran Black Marketing Manager Sacramento Valley Walnut Growers, Yuba City
Ed Boutonnet* Chairman of the Board Ocean Mist Farms, Castroville
Richard Clauss Past Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder Hilmar Cheese Company, Hilmar
John Franzia, Jr.  Co-President Bronco Wine Company, Ceres
Troy Gillespie* CEO River Ranch Raisins, Reno
Sid Gorham CEO Granular at DuPont Pioneer, San Francisco
Bob Gray President/CEO (retired) California Ag Leadership Foundation, Salinas
Luawanna Hallstrom* Chief Operating Officer & Principal Collaborative Communications, Washington, D.C.
Heather Hammack* President Famous Software, Fresno
Jeff Huckaby President Grimmway Farms, Bakersfield
Merle Jensen* Director Greenhouse Vegetable Consultants, Tucson
Steve Junqueiro  President & CEO Save Mart Supermarkets, Modesto
Ejnar Knudsen CEO AGR Partners
David Krause President Wonderful Citrus, Delano
Debbie Lohmeyer Director Covance Food Solutions, Livermore
Jim Marderosian* Owner Bee Sweet Citrus, Fowler
Richard Matteis* Administrator California Farm Bureau Federation, Sacramento
Kirk Messick* 2 President & CEO Messick International Trade & Consulting LLC, Sacramento
Peter Oppenheimer* CFO (retired) Apple, Cupertino
Tracy Pezzini Director of Livestock Operations Bengard Ranch, Salinas
John Salmonson* 2 Consultant Brandt Consolidated, Fresno
Robert Taylor Attorney and Trustee Robert C. Taylor, Attorney at Law, Salinas
J. Brian Ternan* President Anthem Blue Cross, Los Angeles
Rob Trice Founder The Mixing Bowl, San Francisco
Kerry Tucker Chief Strategic Counsel Nuffer, Smith and Tucker, San Diego
Anthony Van Ruiten* Attorney Van Ruiten Law Corp., Sacramento
Stan Van Vleck* Chairman & Partner Downey Brand LLP, Sacramento
Mary Wagner President MK Wagner & Associates
Charles Walton* Chairman of the Board Smithers-Oasis Company, Kent, Ohio
Karen Watts* 1 West Region Professional Products Manager Crop Production Services, Inc., Anaheim
Lynn White* 2 Managing Director Twemlow Group, LLC, Charleston, S.C.
Jean-Pierre Wolff Owner and Vintner Wolff Vineyards, San Luis Obispo
George Wurzel* Vice President & COO J.G. Boswell Company, Corcoran
Donn Zea Executive Director California Dried Plum Board, Sacramento

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