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Greater Vision 2015

Greater Vision is an annual ag based event attended by over students, farmers, shippers and members of the community at the CSUMB’s University Center. This year, the program is scheduled for 11/5/15, Thursday, from 9 AM to 12 PM at the Ball Room of the University Center at CSUMB with an Expo prior and after the program. The 2015 topic is: Emergent Technologies – How is Technology Transforming Agribusiness?
We are hoping to carry the lively conversation and results launched by the Forbes AgTech Summit and the Precision Agriculture Initiative of the SIC to understand and frame the role of technology in the transformation of the region.


7:35am – 8:00am
Check in for Expo/Expo Set up

8:00am – 9:00am
Expo Opens at 8am/Closes at 9am

8:00am – 9:05am
Meeting Call to Order by Chair of the College of Business
Dr. Marylou Shockley

9:05am – 9:10am
Welcome and Introductions by Dean of the College of Business, Dr. Shyam Kamath

9:10am – 9:15am
Welcome and Introductions by CSUMB President Dr. Eduardo Ochoa

9:15am – 9:50am
Dennis Donohue Opening & Tom Rolander Keynote Address –
Emergent Technologies – How is Technology Transforming Agribusiness?

9:50am – 11:05am
Lorri Koster: Remarks and Comments
Kevin Murphy: Remarks & Comments
Bob Whittaker: Remarks & Comments

11:05am – 11:35am
Questions and Answers:
Dennis Donohoe, Moderator

11:35am – 12:00pm
Questions from the Audience

12:00pm – 2:00pm
Expo Reopens

3:00 PM
Expo Closed


Tom Rolander

Tom Rolander currently works at AgSoft Consulting. He recently left a position as the Software Architect for Ecopia Farms in Campbell, CA. As a co-founder of several successful startups, Rolander has been in key management and engineering leadership roles. At Digital Research he was VP of Operating Systems, where he designed the multi-tasking (MP/M) and network (CP/NET) operating systems and was acquired by Novell. At KnowledgeSet he was VP of Engineering, where he led the development of the first encyclopedia (Grolier) on CD-ROM and was acquired by Banta. At PGSoft he was founding CEO and VP of Engineering, where he led the development of the iFolder and was acquired by Novell. At CrossLoop he was the founding CEO and CTO as the lead developer of the CrossLoop screen sharing products and was acquired by AVG.

Rolander’s awards include the 2013 Diamond Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence from the College of Engineering at the University of Washington, the 2009 Spirit of Innovation Award from NYU-Polytechnic, delivering the 2009 EE Commencement Address at the University of Washington, a US Patent “Server for Synchronization of Files” in 2006, and for iFolder as the 2003 Codie Award for Best Storage Software. Rolander holds MSEE and BSCE degrees from the University of Washington, Seattle.

Kevin Murphy

Kevin Murphy is the CEO of Driscoll’s. Driscoll’s grows and markets fresh strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries worldwide. They are headquartered in Watsonville, California, with operations in over twenty countries and sales in more than sixty countries.

With more than 20 years of business and agriculture experience, Kevin joined Driscoll’s in 2008; he came to Driscoll’s from Capurro Farms where he served for three years as President. Kevin led this family-owned company through a series of transformations that led to a merger of Capurro Farms with Growers Express.
Prior to Capurro, Kevin was with Fresh Express for almost 15 years. During that period he held various jobs that included heading up strategic planning, marketing and operations for the company.

Kevin was born and grew up in South Africa. He has an undergraduate degree in agricultural economics and a MBA. Kevin and his wife, Mary, have two children Hala and Sean and live in Monterey, California. His hobbies include running, sailing, squash and golf.

Kevin is also involved in his local community; currently he sits on the California State University Monterey Bay Advisory Council.

Bob Whitaker

Bob Whitaker received his Ph.D. in Biology from SUNY Binghamton in 1982. Upon graduation, Bob joined DNA Plant Technology Corporation serving as both vice president for vegetable research and development and vice president of product development. In 1998, Bob joined NewStar as vice president of product development and quality where he developed corporate global food safety programs, spearheaded product development, and had operational responsibility for two value-added processing plants. In April 2008, Bob became the chief science & technology officer of the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), overseeing food safety and technology efforts from field to fork. Bob has served as a volunteer leader for the United Fresh Produce Association, as chairman of the International Fresh-cut Produce Association (IFPA) board. Bob has been directly involved on a number of industry and government food safety and technology initiatives. In 2006, Bob was awarded IFPA’s Technical Achievement Award for his work in food safety and product development. He was named to the Executive Committee for the Center for Produce Safety (CPS) in 2007, and served as chairman of the CPS Technical Committee until 2013. Bob still serves as a member of the CPS Technology Committee which oversees the solicitation and awarding of funds for produce food safety research.

Lorri Koster

Lorri A. Koster is Chairman, CEO and a primary shareholder of Mann Packing Company; a grower, shipper, processor of fresh vegetables headquartered in California’s Salinas Valley. Mann Packing is certified as a women’s business enterprise through the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the nation’s largest third party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women in the US.

Lorri was raised in the agricultural industry and is the third generation of her family to work in produce. She started her full time career at Mann in 1990. During this tenure, Lorri directed the firm’s marketing and communication programs.

In 2000 Lorri left Mann to join as vice president of marketing. After their acquisition by World Commerce Online, Lorri resigned to accept an associate publisher position with Produce Business magazine. After several years of writing, raising two young boys and working for Mann on a consulting basis, she returned to the company full time in 2006 to represent her family’s interest and lead the business development, marketing and product innovation efforts.

Lorri has participated on numerous committees for the Produce Marketing Association, the United Fresh Produce Association, Western Growers and the Grower Shipper Association of Central California. She was a member of both the board and executive committee of the Produce for Better Health Foundation. She is a past board member of PMA’s Foundation for Industry Talent and remains active in their fundraising efforts via the Joe Nucci Memorial Golf Tournament.

In 2000 Lorri was president of the board of directors of the International Fresh Cut Produce Association, being the first woman to chair an American produce trade association. She is a past chairman of the Grower Shipper Association of Central California where she became the second woman to hold the position and represented the first father-daughter and third generation chairmanship as her father was at the helm of the association in 1983 and her great uncle, Art Sbrana, in 1936.

In 2005 Lorri was named one of the industry’s top 40 produce professionals under the age of 40 by Produce Business magazine. In 2009 she was asked to keynote and was given an award of excellence at the United Fresh Produce Association’s Women in Produce event. In 2011 she was named one of the industry’s “Top 25” by trade publication THE PACKER. Progressive Grocer magazine named her one of the Top 100 Women in Grocery in 2011. In 2013 THE PACKER named Koster Produce Marketer of the Year, making her a second generation recipient as her father earned the distinction in 1983.

Currently Lorri serves as a board alternate for the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement, She is a past director and officer of the United Fresh Produce Association where she was an advocate for creating more access to fruits and vegetables in schools and federally funded feeding programs.

On a local level, Lorri is a graduate of Leadership Salinas Valley and was named Outstanding Young Farmer by the Salinas Jaycees in 1994 and Outstanding Young Citizen in 2005. In 2006 she was named an Outstanding Young Californian by the California Junior Chamber of Commerce and Ag Woman of the Year by Salinas-based non-profit Ag Against Hunger. Lorri serves on the board of the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership. She is a trustee at the Panetta Institute for Public Policy. Lorri is also a member of the Business Advisory Council for Rancho Cielo and serves on the Steering Committee for their current Capital Campaign. Lorri also serves on the board of The First Tee Program for Monterey County and is a member of the Business Advisory Council for CSU, Monterey Bay’s School of Business. In November of 2015 the Center for Community Advocacy will be awarding Lorri their Ben Heller Award in honor of her advocacy for farm workers.

Lorri has a Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations with a minor in business marketing from California State University, Chico. A “baseball mom” and “Forty Niner Faithful” she resides in Salinas with her husband Tom where she loves cheering on their two boys, Jack and Sam.

Dennis Donohue

Dennis Donohue was born in San Fernando, California, in 1954. His family moved to Salinas in 1957 when his father Jim became the City’s Parks & Recreation Director, a post he held for nearly thirty years.

Dennis attended Mission Park School in Salinas. He was in the Class of 1972 at Palma High School, played varsity basketball and was a varsity first baseman. He went on to earn a B.A. in History from the University of San Francisco (1977), where he was the Valedictorian. He then received an M. A. in Religious Education from Gannon University (Erie, PA) in 1980.

Dennis began his business career in Silicon Valley with Atari, then the fastest growing company in the world. He also worked in sales for Microsoft and Verbatim before returning to Salinas in the late Eighties. Dennis has been in agribusiness since 1988, he also worked for River Ranch Fresh Foods, Fresh Express and Fresh Western.
Dennis Donohue has worked at Royal Rose LLC since 1997, and became President of the company in 1998. The Salinas based company Royal Rose team has grown right along with the produce market. The core Salinas’s team remains intentionally small and focused, led by local legend Dennis Donohue (who also served three terms as mayor of Salinas).

Always involved in community service, Donohue was elected Mayor of Salinas, the “Salad Bowl Capital of the World” in 2006.

Dennis is married to the former Paula Johnson, who grew up on the old Williams Ranch in the Alisal. Paula, an alumna of Notre Dame High School, teaches physical education at Harden Middle School. Their daughter Emily, 28, who also works in agriculture, and their son Allan, 25, a graduate of Pitzer College.

Margaret D’Arrigo Martin, GSAF, Chair

The Greater Vision Program is a collaboration between the Grower-Shipper Association Foundation (GSAF) and California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB). This highly informational series explores important topics and issues affecting the agriculture industry and the larger community in which we all live. We believe better decisions and policies will come from community leadership that is better informed as to issues faced by the farming community combined with an understanding as to how the industry really works.

The produce grown in our community touches the lives of virtually everyone living here as well as millions of people across the nation and throughout the world.

Finally, we are also featuring an Expo of AgTech companies at the Greater Vision 2015 Event. Were about 20 organizations are showcasing new technologies and products.

You are invited to attend the 2015 Greater Vision Program and Expo at no cost.