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Nearly 500 participants representing companies that provide pest and plant health solutions for the specialty pesticide and agriculture markets met in Aventura, FL September 12-15, 2021 to collaborate, strengthen relationships and share information.

The joint annual meeting of RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment)® and CropLife America took place virtually and in-person. RISE President Megan Provost, who joined the association in December 2019 before the pandemic, led her first in-person annual meeting and encouraged meaningful collaboration and engagement.

“Advocacy is always more effective when we build and maintain strong partnerships,” said Provost. “By collaborating and engaging meaningfully with our internal and external audiences, by convening a forum for partnership and information-sharing, and by amplifying our collective impact by acting as a force-multiplier, RISE can build and develop our membership and our coalitions to promote and protect access to pesticides and fertilizers.”

New Governing Board Members

The RISE Governing Board elected one new member during the meeting: Bill Culpepper, SePRO Corporation.

The Board also elected its 2022 Executive Committee:

  • Stephanie Jensen, Chair, BASF
  • John Smith, Vice Chair, AMGUARD Environmental Technologies
  • Karen Larson, Treasurer, Clarke

Completing his term on the Governing Board is Neil Cleveland, PBI/Gordon Corporation.

Those continuing their terms on the 2022 Governing Board are:

  • Daryl Allen, Corteva Agriscience
  • Kathy Bishop, Lebanon Seaboard Corporation
  • John Johnson, Prokoz, Inc.
  • Scott Lazarczyk, SBM Life Sciences
  • Todd Mason, Sipcam Agro USA
  • Jose Milan, Bayer
  • Blaine Pinkerton, Nufarm Americas, Inc.
  • Scott Reasons, Syngenta
  • Brian Rowan, SiteOne Landscape Supply
  • Nadia Sinno, FMC Corporation

RISE Committee Chairs serving on the association’s Strategic Oversight Council are:

  • Aquatics Committee, Sam Barrick, SePRO Corporation
  • Communications Committee, Heidi Deja, BASF
  • Fertilizer Committee, Eric Miltner, Allied Nutrients
  • Law Committee, John Rebman, Bayer
  • Legislative Affairs Committee, Rick Deadwyler, Corteva Agriscience
  • Programs & Membership Committee, Jeff Michel, Bayer
  • Regulatory Affairs Committee, Jennifer Hughes, Corteva Agriscience

Steven Farrington, Gowan Company, was elected to serve as co-chair of the RISE Strategic Oversight Council with Provost. Carrie Tackema, Nufarm Americas, Inc., concluded her two-year term as Strategic Oversight Council co-chair during the meeting.

Award Recipients Honored

During the meeting, the new 2021 RISE Governing Board and committees met to develop tactics to address ongoing and emerging issues in 2022 and recognized the year’s outstanding volunteers with three notable awards.

Sean F. Casey, past RISE Governing Board chair and recently retired vice president of sales for turf and ornamental at Nufarm Americas, Inc., is the recipient of the 2021 E. Allen James Leadership Award. RISE’s most distinguished volunteer honor is named for its first president and recognizes exemplary leadership and outstanding contributions to the specialty pesticide and fertilizer industry and to RISE. Casey has been a voice of the specialty pesticide industry for more than 30 years. As the 2020 RISE Governing Board chair, he helped develop the association’s new five-year strategic plan and served as an active member in many other industry groups, including Project Evergreen. Casey served two terms on the Governing Board, and during his first helped to lead the association’s move to data-driven messaging and public relations to promote the specialty industry.

The 2021 RISE Grassroots Excellence Award was given to members of the New Jersey Green Industry Council for their extraordinary commitment to grassroots advocacy in the state capital. Created in 2012, the RISE Grassroots Excellence Award is presented annually to an individual, group or allied association that demonstrates outstanding effort and contributions to furthering the mission, vision and goals of the specialty pesticide and fertilizer industry’s public policy advocacy through grassroots.

RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment)

The 2021-2022 RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment)® Governing Board members are pictured from left standing: Bill Culpepper, SePRO Corporation; Jose Milan, Bayer; Todd Mason, Sipcam Agro USA; Brian Rowan, SiteOne Landscape Supply; Daryl Allen, Corteva Agriscience; Blaine Pinkerton, Nufarm Americas, Inc.; Nadia Sinno, FMC Corporation; and Scott Lazarczyk, SBM Life Sciences. Seated: Stephanie Jensen, Chair, BASF; Megan Provost, RISE President; Karen Larson, Treasurer, Clarke; and John Johnson, Prokoz, Inc. Not pictured: John Smith, Vice Chair, AMGUARD Environmental Technologies; Kathy Bishop, Lebanon Seaboard Corporation; and Scott Reasons, Syngenta.


RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment)

Sean F. Casey was awarded the 2021 E. Allen James Leadership Award. He served as RISE Governing Board Chair and retired in 2020 from Nufarm Americas, Inc.


RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment)

The New Jersey Green Industry Council was honored as the 2021 recipient of the RISE Grassroots Excellence Award. Accepting the award during the RISE-CropLife America joint annual meeting in Florida was Marney Stauffer, Corteva AgriScience, who serves on the NCGIC Board (center). Giving her the award were RISE Governing Board Chair Stephanie Jensen (left) and RISE President Megan Provost.


RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment)

The Communications Committee received the 2021 Strategic Driver Award.

The Governing Board presented the Communications Committee with the 2021 Strategic Driver Award recognizing the committee’s role in developing powerful messaging to promote the industry and to ensuring those messages are accessible to everyone engaged with the industry. The Strategic Driver Award applauds the work of volunteer leaders and the impact they have in helping RISE achieve its mission and vision.

Sessions Offer Insight

Also during the meeting, a Trends in Emerging Technology session focused on innovative solutions that will more accurately target pests and improve plant health. Other panels featured a discussion of current state legislative activities as they pertained to pesticide laws with panelists providing data-driven insights and specific examples on the effectiveness of grassroots advocacy in shaping pesticide policies.

A panel of former federal agency appointees shared their insights and experiences about the important work and accomplishments of industry regulators.

Additionally, Keynote Speaker David Wasserman, senior editor for The Cook Political Report who is recognized as one of the nation’s top election forecasters, provided analyses of 2022 mid-term elections and other insights.