2018 Speakers

  • Dr. George Lazarovits

    Research Director, A&L Biologicals Agroecological Research Services Centre, Canada

    Dr. Lazarovits graduated with his doctorate from the University of Toronto and worked as a research scientist (plant pathology) at Agriculture and Agrifood Canada until 2010. He accepted a position as research director at a newly formed company A&L Biologicals where he leads a staff of 5 researchers and 8 technicians. Their research program studies plant health from an ecological perspective where both beneficial and detrimental organisms in soil are considered to affect plant vigor. Dr. Lazarovits’ has extensive national and international collaborators and has over 120 refereed scientific publications, numerous book chapters and one book. He is an adjunct professor at Western University, was president of the Canadian Phytopathological Society, and has organized and participated as keynote speaker in numerous National and International Scientific Conferences.

  • 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 Business Development Crop Protection Knoell Group

    José Carvalho is Head of Business Development Crop Protection at Knoell Group. With his regional teams, José is looking after new regulatory policies and guidance development in the different regions, focusing on regulatory frameworks impacting agriculture productivity: plant protection products (chemical and non-chemical solutions) and new technologies. 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 (market-assess) in different regions, on behalf of several multinational companies. Before joining knoell in 2013, José worked for Bayer Environmental Sciences as Global Regulator Manager and the German Authority for Analytical Methods and Testing (BAM). José holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Analytical Chemistry from the Humboldt University Berlin and a Master in Pharmaceutical Sciences (Animal Immunology) from University of Porto, Portugal.

  • Roy Chen, Ph.D.

    Formulation Lab Team Lead Adama

    Dr. Roy Chen received his BS degree in Chemical Engineering from National CK University, Taiwan, his master degree in Organic Chemistry from New Mexico Highlands University and PhD degree of Polymer Science from University of Akron.  He also did post-doctor work in the University of Alabama, before he joined industry. He has co-authored more than a dozen publications in the areas of emulsion polymerization and e-beam resists.

    As an enthusiastic hands-on chemist and formulator, Roy has worked for companies like Union Carbide, Rhone Poulenc, Avenis, Bayer CropScientice and now ADAMA USA. He is the Formulation Team Manager with a focus of agricultural formulation product development and production support. Over his 35 years of experience, he is a co-inventor of 11 US patents and 2 patent applications of chemical and biopesticide formulations. Dr. Chen has been an expert of utilizing surfactants, water soluble polymers, and adjuvants in agrochemical and biological pesticides.

  • Rejane de Moraes

    Director of Business Development NAFTA Knoell USA

    Rejane de Moraes is the Director of Business Development  NAFTA at Knoell USA. Born in Southern Brazil, she moved to the United States to conduct her Ph.D. studies 25 years ago and stayed in the USA.  Rejane has a BS in Agronomy and a Master of Science in Crop Production, both from the Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil. Her PhD in Entomology was obtained at the University of Florida, Gainesville. She is Six Sigma Master Black Belt and PMP certified. Before joining Knoell USA, Rejane worked for the University of Delaware as a Course and Resources Coordinator for the Interdisciplinary Sciences and Engineering Lab. Prior to this, for DuPont Crop Protection for nearly 18 years in a variety of Project and R&D Management positions which enabled her to gain an excellent understanding of the business and technical aspects related to the discovery and product development.  

    Rejane is looking after regulatory development in NAFTA region (United States, Canada, Mexico) and Latin America.

  • Maximilienne Giannelli, Ph.D.

    Counsel Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP

    Maximilienne Giannelli, Ph.D., represents clients in complex matters involving patents and trade secrets. She counsels clients on how best to protect and defend their intellectual property and provides opinions on patent validity/invalidity and infringement/noninfringement. Max has extensive experience and expertise in a wide range of chemical and biological technologies, including agrochemicals.

    • (202) 408 4147
  • Neil Hoffman

    Chief Scientific Advisor in the Office of the Deputy Administrator in Biotechnology Regulatory Services USDA

    Neil Hoffman is the Chief Scientific Advisor in the Office of the Deputy Administrator in Biotechnology Regulatory Services, USDA/APHIS where he provides science expertise to the USDA administration, advice on how to address novel complex and scientific issues, and how to develop and implement change initiatives to improve the oversight of Biotech Crops.  Prior to his role as Science Advisor, Dr. Hoffman was Director of the Environmental Risk Analysis Division in BRS from 2003 to 2008. Prior to joining BRS in 2003, Dr. Hoffman spent a year as a program director in the Molecular and Cellular Biology Division at the National Science Foundation. From 1999-2002, Dr. Hoffman was a research manager at Paradigm Genetics where he directed the research and development activities for the establishment of high through put platforms for discovery of stress genes, new herbicide targets, and the mode of action of herbicides. From 1988-1999 Dr. Hoffman was a faculty member of the Department of Plant Biology in the Carnegie Institution of Science where he worked in the area of chloroplast protein targeting. Dr. Hoffman received his B.S degree in Biology from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from the University of California, Davis.

  • Sarah Hovinga

    Project and Product Support Lead, Disease Management, Biologics R&D Bayer US

    Sarah is passionate about sustainability and the effective use of agricultural tools in integrated crop programs.  A Senior Scientist for Bayer Crop Science’s Biologics Division, based in West Sacramento, California, Sarah leads a laboratory group focused on supporting research advancements for current products and products to-be.  Her team develops and conducts in vitro and in vivo experiments for testing crop protection and crop health effects of beneficial microbes.  She enjoys internal and external science communication in the context of agricultural advocacy and research.  Sarah studied plant biology and biochemistry at the University of California, Davis, and California State University, Sacramento, respectively.  With over twelve years of diverse experience in research and development for biologicals, Sarah brings a holistic and global perspective to the topic of current and future agricultural practices.  In her free time, Sarah is an avid gardener, a passionate outdoorswoman, and enjoys spending quality time with family and friends.

  • 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

    Global Head of Food Chain and Brand Protection - Agriculture Division of DowDuPont Corteva Agriscience

    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.

  • Bob McNally

    Director, Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division EPA

    Bob McNally serves as the Director, Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division, in EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP).   His Division includes over 50 scientists and risk managers who regulate pesticides used in organic agriculture, as well as biotechnology pesticide products. Previously, Bob led OPP's Field and External Affairs Division (FEAD) overseeing pesticide program efforts in EPA’s 10 Regions, as well as State and Tribal engagement.  In this position, Bob also oversaw the development of proposed regulations to better protect farm workers handling pesticides and harvesting crops. Previously, Bob managed the re-evaluation of many older pesticides used in agriculture and by homeowners to ensure these pesticides meet 21st century human health and ecological risk assessment standards.   Several of these pesticides were removed from the marketplace.

    Other management positions at EPA included stints in the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance and the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics.  In the latter office, Bob helped to lead a regulatory negotiation effort working with schools, the PTA, custodial unions and the asbestos industry to develop asbestos regulations governing the inspection and remediation of asbestos in school buildings.

    Bob entered federal service as a Presidential Management Fellow working at the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Office of Management and Budget.    He received a graduate degree in Public Policy from the University of Michigan, and his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland. 

  • 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.