FOUNDER & PRESIDENT
Russ has a long career promoting the private sector as a key driver for food security and economic growth. His work ranges from designing and managing agriculture research, extension and rural finance programs overseas, to evaluating project impact, to advising international donor agencies and foreign governments on how to structure policy priorities, regulatory frameworks, and programs that mobilize private capital and incentivize economic growth. Russ is passionate about the role of small- and medium-sized enterprises in promoting entrepreneurship, innovation, and private investment that will feed the world's population and create wealth for those living in poverty. A solid team player and effective leader, Russ has a proven track record in portfolio management, staff development, client relationship management, public communications, market analysis, and business development. He has served on several boards, and held both senior management and executive positions at prominent international development organizations. Russ holds a BA in Philosophy from Albion College, and a Masters of Public Administration from Michigan State University.
SENIOR TECHNICAL ADVISOR
Roberta Lauretti-Bernhard began her career as a livestock extension agent for the Ministry of Agriculture of Guatemala as a Peace Corp Volunteer. Since then, she has dedicated her career to small- and medium-sized agribusiness development and farmers, particularly women and young farmers. Her career passion and mission is to create and implement strategies that increase the skills, assets and market linkages for farmers, farm organizations and agribusinesses. Central to her mission and expertise is equitable (gender, youth) economic development, farm family nutrition security and sustainable management of the natural resource base. Roberta has held senior agriculture and agribusiness advisor positions for both public & private agencies, foundations and businesses and her core competencies are supply chain management & production planning in multiple value chains: livestock, poultry, vegetables, coffee, and cacao. She is a certified Veterinary Technician and has extensive program management expertise with multiple donors: USAID, USDA, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Rotary International, Gates Foundation, DFID, Dutch, GAC, Rockefeller Foundation, etc. Roberta is a fluent Spanish speaker, and has extensive travel and work experience in 39 countries.
Dr. Thoric Nils Cederström
SENIOR TECHNICAL ADVISOR
Dr. Thoric Cederström is an expert in sustainable food systems and livelihoods, and a champion of private sector driven, market-based approaches to malnutrition that involve both private and public-sector stakeholders as active partners. Thoric has broad technical experience and expertise in cash-based interventions, participatory food/livelihood security assessments, program design, capacity building, training, and monitoring and evaluation, including anthropometric surveys. From his roots growing up on a family dairy farm in Missouri, Thoric went on to work extensively in Mexico, Central and South America, Africa, and Central and South Asia. His experience includes senior technical roles with such organizations as the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Save the Children, Counterpart International, World Food Programme, and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Thoric’s expertise includes program design and assessment, food security in post-conflict settings, nutrition education, market-based solutions to mitigating post-harvest food loss, agribusiness communications and business development. Thoric holds a PhD in Development Anthropology and Agricultural Economics and an MA in Applied Medical Anthropology from the University of Arizona, and a BA in Anthropology and Archaeology from Universidad de las Americas, A.C. He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and conversant in French.
Dr. Hillary Egna
Senior Technical Advisor
Dr. Hillary Egna is a Unit Leader in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University, Associate Professor Senior Research in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Principal and founder of the AquaFish Network, and a consulting professor at Shanghai Ocean University, China. For the past 12 years, she has led the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Aquaculture & Fisheries (AquaFish Innovation Lab) as its Director and Lead Principal Investigator. She has over 25 years of experience creating, implementing, and building teams around international research for development work in aquatic resources, livelihood generation, environmental sustainability, and gender equity. Over her career, Dr. Egna has collaborated with stakeholders from 40 countries on multi-institutional, multidisciplinary, international projects focused on food security and poverty. She has long been involved in gender research and is a founding member of a new international group, Gender in Aquaculture & Fisheries (GAF). Globally, through her mentorship or support in aquaculture and fisheries, over 1000 men and women worldwide have received undergraduate and graduate degrees, and over 20,000 people have received short-term training. Dr. Egna has authored or co-authored over 200 general publications on diverse topics related to aquaculture and international development, including impact assessment methodology, remote sensing applications in aquaculture, gender dimensions in disaster management, and network analysis. She has a BS in Natural Resources from The University of Michigan, an MAg in Fisheries Science, and a PhD in Geography from Oregon State University. Hillary is first author on the popular CRC textbook, Dynamics of Pond Aquaculture. She received the 1997 Women in Leadership Award from the Northwest Chapter of the United Nations organization, UNIFEM; 2016 Gold Award from the Asian Fisheries Society; and in 2012 was the first woman since the award’s inception in 1969 to receive the Honorary Life Award from the World Aquaculture Society.
Dr. Susan Schram
Susan Schram is a recognized leader in promoting global food and nutrition security. She has held executive and program leadership positions at such organizations as Michigan State University, USDA, University of Maryland, The National Association of State Universities and Land-grant Colleges, Columbia University, the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa, ACDI/VOCA, and various consulting firms. Her expertise includes strategic planning, Congressional affairs, communications and outreach, partnership development, private sector engagement, cooperative development, agricultural research and extension program development. In addition to serving on the Board of Grow to Market, Sue has also held board of directors leadership roles for other important organizations that support agricultural development and food security: the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD); the US NGO Support Group for the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); the Advisory Board of the Congressional Hunger Center’s Mickey Leland Fellows Program; the Advisory Board of the Initiative for Global Development (IGD), the Board and Executive Committee of the Alliance to End Hunger; and the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA, one of 15 CGIAR centers). She was recently appointed as a Senior Associate with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Sue holds BS and MA degrees from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.
Bill Guyton is a senior leader in international agribusiness whose demonstrated commitment to creating and implementing global sustainability best practices has gained him recognition as an expert in public-private partnerships, resilient supply-chain development, and community-based strategies for reducing hunger and malnutrition. As a consulting expert, he has advised government agencies, NGOs, and private businesses in business development, strategic planning, market expansion, and partnership development. Bill founded and grew the World Cocoa Foundation from an initial six companies to a globally recognized organization having 115 members representing 85 percent of the global chocolate industry. In addition to Grow to Markets, Bill serves on the Advisory Board for the World Food Law Institute, the Board of the Alliance to End Hunger, as well as being an active member of the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development. Bill holds a BS in Agricultural Business from Colorado State University, and an MS in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University.
Bob Rabatsky, a Senior Vice President of Fintrac and the Senior Advisor for the Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation program, is an agronomist and agribusiness specialist with an MBA and over 35 years of experience designing, managing and evaluating complex USAID and multilateral agriculture development programs in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America. Prior to working with Fintrac he was Vice President and Group Director for Chemonics International with technical and fiscal responsibility for projects in agriculture, enterprise, infrastructure development, and public sector modernization. He has also worked with Management Systems International where he conducted program evaluation assignments in Africa and was responsible for company finances as its Controller. He began his career as an agriculture teacher in the Zaire (Democratic Republic of Congo) for the Peace Corps and for some strange reason is a passionate Cleveland sports fan.