Elin Miller – Chairperson, Board of Directors
Elin Miller has served on the board of directors since 2011. Miller is currently the principal of Elin Miller Consulting, LLC. She has extensive executive experience in the agricultural industry where she has been successful in both governmental and business roles. Appointed by the President of the United States, Miller assumed regional management of the US Environmental Protection Agency in the Pacific Northwest from 2006 to 2009. Prior to that, she led Arysta Lifesciences as President and CEO of North America and Australasia. Miller also held various positions at Dow Agrosciences/Dow Chemical including Vice President, Pest Management and Vice President Asia Pacific, and Global Vice President of Public Affairs. Earlier in her career, Miller also directed the CA Department of Conservation and served as Chief Deputy Director of the Department of Pesticide Regulation at CalEPA. She also currently serves as Chair of the national FFA Individual Giving Council and as a member of its Foundation Board of Trustees, Vice Chair of the Umpqua Community College Board of Trustees, Vice Chair of NeighborWorks® Umpqua and on Umpqua Bank’s Regional Board. Miller holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agronomy/Plant Protection.
Pamela Marrone, Ph.D. – Founder and CEO, Marrone Bio Innovations
An entrepreneur with extensive experience in the agriculture industry, Pam Marrone, PhD, founded Marrone Bio Innovations (MBI) in 2006 and has since raised $48 million in venture capital to continue her efforts to bring natural pest management products to the mainstream markets.
Michael Benoff – Board Member
Mr. Benoff has worked as independent consultant since 2008, advising clients on corporate strategy and corporate finance, including preparing business models, structuring debt acquisitions, managing capital markets transactions and advising on equity capitalization matters. Mr. Benoff previously served as the CFO of The Money Store Inc., retiring after its sale in 1999, after which he became active as a private investor. Mr. Benoff is currently a board member of the Sacramento Tree Foundation. Mr. Benoff received his B.A. in Politics at Princeton University.
Dr. Pamela Contag – Board Member
Dr. Pamela Contag is the CEO of Cygnet, Inc., a private company founded in 2009, active in the discovery and adaptation of natural products to applications in healthcare, energy, and food. From 1995 to 2006 she was Founder, CEO and President of Xenogen, where she took the company public and was named one of the “Top 25 Women in Small Business” by Fortune magazine. Dr. Contag also founded Cobalt Technologies in 2006, and served as CEO until 2009. In 2011, she was honored with the “Cleantech Innovator of the Year” award for her contributions at Cygnet. Dr. Contag has held board positions in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors and also consults in biotechnology for academics and industry. She is widely published in the field of microbiology and optical imaging and has over 35 patents in biotechnology. Dr. Contag received her Ph.D. in Microbiology at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Microbiology and Immunology and completed postdoctoral work at Stanford University School of Medicine specializing in Host-Pathogen Interactions.
Tim Fogarty – Board Member
Tim Fogarty has served on the Board of Directors since 2011. He is currently the Chief Financial Officer and a Partner of the Contrarian Group, Inc., an investment and management company which is also an investor in MBI through its limited partnership, CGI Opportunity Fund II, L.P. The Partnership’s general partner is Mr. Peter Ueberroth. Mr. Ueberroth is currently, and has been since 1989, the Managing Director of Contrarian Group, Inc. Mr. Ueberroth is well known for his previous roles as President of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee, Chairman of the United States Olympic Committee and his appointment as the sixth commissioner of Major League Baseball. Prior to joining Contrarian Group in 2006, Mr. Fogarty held various financial and executive positions within the insurance industry. Mr. Fogarty has a Bachelors of Science Degree in Accounting and holds a California CPA license.
George Kerckhove – Board Member
Mr. George H. Kerckhove joined the Board of Directors of Marrone Bio Innovations in July 2014. He worked with the American Standard Companies from 1988 through 2000, where he served as VP and Chief Financial Officer, Executive VP and Global Sector Manager of various countries and President and General Manager of the European Division. Prior to that, he served in a variety of positions from 1962 through 1987 with The Trane Company, from Product Manager in several product departments, VP and General Manager, Process Equipment Division, and Executive VP and General Manager of both the US and International Commercial Equipment Divisions. Mr. Kerckhove received Bachelor of Science degrees in Agricultural Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, a Master of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering, and an MBA, all from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Mr. Kerckhove currently serves on both the investment and nomination committees of the Gundersen Medical Foundation board of directors. He previously served on the board of directors for Merix Corporation, where he chaired the audit committee, Wellspring International, American Standard Companies and the Mississippi Valley Conservancy Land Trust.
Rich Rominger – Board Member
Rominger is an icon in California’s agricultural community and is recognized as a leader in bipartisan efforts to keep American agriculture healthy and sustainable. Rominger served as the chairman of the MBI board of directors from 2007–2013.
Active in farm organizations and cooperatives, Rominger served as Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture for eight years during the Clinton Administration, where he worked to improve farm policy, including the establishment of the National Organic Standards. Prior to his term in Washington, DC, he was Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture for six years. He currently serves on the University of California (UC) President’s Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources, and recently completed a term on the Board of Regents of the University of California representing alumni. He is on the board of directors of the respected American Farmland Trust, the Roots of Change Council, and the Ag Innovations Network, founded to support the emergence of a sustainable food system. Rich received a Bachelor of Science Degree (summa cum laude) in plant science from UC Davis, where he met his wife Evelyne, and is a member of the agricultural honorary society of Alpha Zeta.
Rominger and his wife Evelyne raised a daughter and three sons on the same family farm where he grew up. Their sons now operate the farm with participation from their daughter, growing alfalfa, barley, beans, corn, native grass seed, oats, rice, safflower, sunflowers, tomatoes, wheat and wine grapes. Some of the crops are grown organically. The farm participates in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), and the Conservation Security Program (CSP).