2018 Speakers

  • Jeff Blackwood

    Senior Manager of Government Affairs BASF

    Jeff Blackwood is a Senior Manager of Government Affairs for BASF in the Washington, DC office with advocacy responsibilities on legislation and policy related to BASF’s Crop Protection and Bioscience Research businesses.  Jeff has been working on public policy in Washington DC for over 16 years, with a specific focus on agriculture policy.

    Prior to joining BASF, Jeff was the director of government relations at The Fertilizer Institute in Washington, DC where he monitored and advocated legislative and regulatory matters regarding agriculture policy, chemical security, and water quality.

    Previously, Jeff worked for four years as Legislative Assistant to United States Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND), advising the Senator on legislation related to agriculture policy.  In this position he managed bills and amendments including several considered as part of the 2008 Farm Bill and the annual agriculture appropriations process.

    Prior to his work with Sen. Dorgan, Jeff was the Senior Grassroots Advocacy Advisor with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and spent four years as a Legislative Assistant to Congressman Brad Carson (D-OK).

  • José Carvalho, PhD

    Head of Global Business Development Agro Dossiers Knoell Group

    José Joao Carvalho is Head of Global Business Development and Regulatory Policy for Agro dossiers at Knoell, an independent service provider for Regulatory Affairs and Product Registrations since 20 years. With his regional teams, José is looking after new regulatory policies in the different regions, focusing on regulatory frameworks impacting agriculture productivity: plant protection products, biostimulants, new application technologies, soil-less technologies, soil amendments, genetic varieties and water policy.

    Previously he was an European and Global Registration Manager for crop protection and biocide products, coordinating active ingredient and product’s dossiers for approval by national regulatory agencies in different regions, working for several R&D companies. José Carvalho holds a PhD in Environmental Chemistry by the Humboldt University Berlin and Master in Pharmaceutical Science (Immunology) by University of Porto.

  • Timothy Johnson, Ph.D.

    VP Field Development and Technical Services Marrone Bio Innovations

    Thirty-two years of experience in the development of biopesticides.  The past nine years with Marrone Bio Innovations managing the company’s efforts to develop field efficacy data to support R&D, registration and commercial uses of new active ingredients for the control of fungal diseases, insects, nematodes and weeds in U.S. and international markets.

    Prior to joining MBI I spent 17 years at Ecogen Inc. in a variety of positions developing new Bt products and biofungicides and six years with Plato Industries developing boll weevil monitoring and pheromone-based management tools.

  • Dr. Wendelyn Jones

    Director Global Policy and Scientific Affairs DuPont Crop Protection

    Dr. Wendelyn Jones has over 15 years of experience in Global Regulatory and Product Stewardship.  She has worked as a regulator for the US Government, for a trade association, and for agribusinesses.  Currently, she leads the Global Stewardship and Sustainability Team at DuPont Crop Protection. Prior to that she served as the Director of Global Registration and Regulatory Affairs at DuPont Pioneer.   Her experience has spanned a range of agricultural technologies and sectors, and she has personally registered products in every region of the world.  Wendelyn has a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University and completed post-doctoral  studies at MIT. 

  • Robert Kennedy, PhD.

    Chief Scientific Officer Vestaron

    With over 25 years of research management experience, Bob leads Vestaron’s molecular biology and chemistry development teams. Management positions in Fortune 500 companies (Pfizer), academic appointments (Columbia, Michigan) and start-ups add to the leadership and technical experience he brings to Vestaron’s Research and Development success.

  • Dr. Mariola Kopcinski

    Director Scientific Alliances Plant Health Care

    Dr. Mariola Kopcinski worked in the US and Europe in research, strategic marketing, business management, new business development and licensing.  She successfully led multinational and cross-functional teams in AgBio area to transform a product concept to a well-defined post harvest business of over $100MM.  Leadership role in turning around declining $200MM fungicides product portfolio into $350MM in less than three years.  R&D Strategy Development at two major agricultural companies, DuPont and Syngenta.  AgChem and Biological Product Development and Portfolio Management at FMC.  Currently leading efforts for development and licensing of biological peptides, plant elicitors, at Plant Health Care, AgBiological and Biostimulants start up company.

    Member of Credentials Advisory Council, Sustainability Institute at AICHE, Chairman of Sustainability Body of Knowledge Team for AICHE certification and CSTP, member of IFS Managing Board.

    Ph.D. and M.S. in plant pathology and biochemistry in Seed Biocontrol, post-doctoral from Cornell University in biocontrol, MBA in finance from the University of Rochester.

  • Dr. Paul Reibach

    Technical Director Chemistry Smithers Viscient

    Dr. Reibach is currently the Technical Director for Chemistry at Smithers Viscient in Wareham MA where he is responsible for developing new technologies for conducting a broad range of regulated analytical chemistry studies and identifying new business opportunities to leverage Smithers current capabilities. He received a BA in Biology from The University of Texas at Austin and a PhD in Plant Physiology from Texas A&M University. Prior positions have included Rohm and Haas Research Laboratories, Cerexagri Inc., the Ag Division of Arkema Chemical Company, and JRF America. At Smithers Viscient the chemistry department conducts analytical chemistry research in support of global pharmaceutical, pesticide, and specialty chemical registrations. Prior areas of expertise include plant metabolism, animal metabolism, soil metabolism and environmental fate studies such as degradation in aquatic systems, aqueous photolysis, and soil photolysis. He has developed numerous residue analytical methods which have been utilized for trace level analysis of soils, crops, and animal tissues. He has conducted pesticide field dissipation studies, groundwater monitoring studies, and the field and analytical component of crop magnitude of residue trials. Dr. Reibach has issued over 200 technical reports and publications that have been submitted to various regulatory agencies worldwide. He has a passion for STEM education and has been involved in teacher training and development for the past 25 years. 

  • Dr. Sheryl Reilly

    Senior Regulatory Consultant TSG USA

    Dr. Sheryl Reilly is a leading consultant in the area of biochemical pesticide products. Dr. Reilly assists clients in developing strategies to register and comply with complex regulatory and data requirements associated with microbial and biochemical pesticide products. 

    For the majority of her career, Dr. Reilly held senior level positions in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP). Dr. Reilly served as Branch Chief of the Biochemical Pesticides Branch and later the Microbial Pesticides Branch of the Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division (BPPD). She supervised interdisciplinary branches of risk managers and risk assessors responsible for all registrations and registration reviews for biochemical and microbial pesticides. Dr. Reilly later served as the Senior Advisor for Regulatory Policy and Science for BPPD where she represented the division on several Agency wide workgroups. In addition to her leadership positions at EPA, Dr. Reilly also worked as a Human Health Science Reviewer in the Office of Pesticide Program’s Health Effects Division.

    Prior to joining TSG, Dr. Reilly worked as a Senior Regulatory Specialist at SciReg, Inc. While at SciReg, Dr. Reilly was responsible for evaluating scientific data for compliance with U.S. and international guidelines, determining requirements for establishing food tolerance and tolerance exemptions, and informing clients of relevant regulatory matters affecting their products.

    Dr. Reilly is an active member of the Biopesticide Industry Alliance (BPIA) and serves on the Board of Directors of the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI). Dr. Reilly is often asked to speak at various industry association meetings given her depth of experience with biochemicals.   

  • Susan Shepherd

    President Smithers Viscient

    Susan Shepherd is the President of Smithers Viscient, with nearly 30 years of service at the Wareham, Massachusetts site. Her extensive experience includes overseeing studies conducted in a GLP-compliant testing environment and she has held a number of leadership positions in reporting, data management, lab services, and ecotoxicology.  

  • Dr. Mark Whittaker

    Managing Director APIS

    Mark has a PhD in entomology and is an established expert on the registration of biopesticides in Europe and the US. He is the Managing Director of APIS, a specialist contract research lab at the forefront of microbial safety testing.