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.
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.
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).
Merrigan joined our board of directors in 2016. Dr. Merrigan has served as the executive director of sustainability at The George Washington University since 2014, where she leads the GW Sustainability Collaborative and GW Food Institute and serves as a professor of public policy. She has also been actively involved with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations since 1998, serving in various roles including delegation head, chairman and lecturer. From 2013 to 2014, Dr. Merrigan worked as an independent consultant advising clients on strategic business planning. From 2009 to 2013, Dr. Merrigan served as deputy secretary and chief operating officer of the United States Department of Agriculture. Dr. Merrigan is currently a board member of FoodCorps and Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. She was named as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2010. Dr. Merrigan received a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Environmental Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.A. in Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. from Williams College. We believe Dr. Merrigan’s qualifications to sit on our board include her extensive experience in and knowledge of agriculture and food systems as well as the perspective gained in the leadership roles she has in the agriculture and sustainability space.
Dr. Wochok joined the Board in 2016. He is currently President and Founder of the consulting company The Wochok Group, LLC. Previously he was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PGP International, Inc., a a 250+ employee stand-alone company of ABF Ingredients Company, a division of Associated British Foods, based in Woodland, CA. Before that, he also served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NURTURE, Inc. (in Missoula, MT), as President and Chief Operating Officer of Calgene, Inc., which was then publicly traded, and as the Chief Executive Officer of Plant Genetics, Inc. (also of Davis, CA), during which time the company completed an initial public offering and later merged with Calgene, Inc., creating the largest plant biotechnology company in the United States. He has also served as business development manager in the new ventures department at Monsanto and a lead scientist for Weyerhaeuser Company.
Dr. Wochok currently serves as Chairman of UC Davis’ California Institute of Food and Agricultural Research. He also serves as Industry Advisor to Michaelson Capital and is Director/Board Advisor, to Nucelis, Inc. and Cibus Global in San Diego, CA. Previously he served on the Board of Advisors for the biopesticide company, Phyllom, Inc.
Dr. Wochok began his career as a professor of biology at the University of Alabama, following an NIH funded post-doctoral position at Yale University. Dr. Wochock received his Ph.D. in Cell Biology and Plant Physiology from the University of Connecticut, an M.S. in Biology from Villanova University and a B.S. in Biology from La Salle University.