OMRI Board of Directors
The OMRI Board of Directors broadly represents the constituencies of the organic industry with members selected from the community of certifiers, inspectors, farmers, suppliers, processors and handlers, and organizations serving consumer and environmental interests. The Board is the highest governing body at OMRI. It determines OMRI policy and standards and plays an active part in guiding OMRI in its public service role and in carrying out its mission.
Chair, Jennifer Scott, Centre for Systems Integration, London, Ontario, Canada.
Jennifer has worked for 15 years in the seed and crops sector for the Canadian Seed Institute, a not-for-profit organization created to deliver ISO 9000 quality system-based programs to monitor compliance in the seed industry with the Canadian Seeds Act and Regulations. This original work led to opportunities for CSI to become involved in providing auditing services for non-GMO IP systems, food safety programs and eventually, organic certification under the Centre for Systems Integration division. CSI holds COR and JAS accreditation currently, and maintained until recently both NOP and EU accreditation. Jennifer works within CSI as an auditor, inspector, reviewer, trainer, Quality System Manager, and in program development, maintenance and delivery. Jennifer holds a B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Waterloo, and a diploma in Crop Science from the University of Saskatchewan.
Vice-Chair, Jackie DeMinter, Midwest Organic Services Association (MOSA), Viroqua, Wisconsin.
Jackie comes from a Texas farming background and has a degree in agricultural education. She taught middle and high school agriculture for several years in Texas and Wisconsin and has worked for MOSA since early 2005. Jackie is the Certification Policy Manager and does a variety of outreach and educational programs for MOSA. She works on the OMRI Livestock Review Panel and Advisory Council. Jackie serves as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Accredited Certifiers Association Board of Directors and participates in various working groups.
Secretary, Tina Ellor, Philips Mushroom Farm, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.
Tina is the longtime Technical Director at Phillips Mushroom Farm. She is also a former member and Crops Committee Chair for the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB).
Treasurer, Paul Sachs, North Country Organics, Bradford, Vermont.
Paul has studied natural soil system dynamics for close to 30 years and is considered one of the foremost authorities in the country on organic land care. He has written five books and hundreds of articles for trade journals, and speaks regularly at association conferences for professionals involved in both agriculture and horticulture. He has served as a member of the Technical Advisory Panel for the National Organics Standards Board of the USDA. Since 1993 Paul has completed work on five manuscripts that include the first and second edition of Edaphos: Dynamics of a Natural Soil System, Handbook of $uccessful Ecological Lawn Care, Ecological Golf Course Management (Co-authored with Richard Luff), and Managing Healthy Sports Fields.
Chair Emeritus, John Ashby, California Natural Products, Lathrop, California.
John has over 25 years experience developing Natural and Organic foods. He is currently the General Manager of the Ingredients Division of California Natural Products – an organic innovator that has been making Organic foods since 1985. As a food scientist and Natural and Organic Foods advocate he has lectured extensively at Universities, and has over 25 published articles. He is currently the Chair of the State of California’s Organic Products Advisory Committee and holds an Sc.B. in Cellular Physiology and Biophysics from Brown University, and an MBA From Wharton.
Brett Bakker, New Mexico Department of Agriculture, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Brett Bakker has been involved with organic certification since 1991 when he became an inspector for the State of New Mexico Organic Commodity Commission, now the New Mexico Department of Agriculture Organic Program. He began his agricultural career saving heirloom seeds as a member of the Seed Saver’s Exchange and Native Seeds/SEARCH in 1980. This work continued with seed banks at Ohkay Owingeh (San Juan Pueblo), Talavaya Seeds, High Desert Research Farm, and Jemez Pueblo Youth Garden Project, among others. He is a past board member of the Accredited Certifiers Association and founding board member of the native-based Flowering Tree Permaculture Institute . He continues to head the NMDA Organic Program.
Nicole Dehne, Vermont Organic Farmers, Burlington, Vermont.
Nicole is the Certification Administrator of Vermont Organic Farmers (VOF). She began working for VOF in 2003, the year after the National Organic Program regulations went into effect. Since that time, Nicole has worked to represent the views of Vermont organic producers at the National Organic Standards Board meetings and as a member of the Accredited Certifiers Association. Nicole has a BA from the University of Montana and a Postbaccalaureate Certificate in Education from the University of Vermont. In her spare time, Nicole hones her chicken wrangling skills while operating her small, certified organic poultry operation in the Intervale region of Burlington, VT.
Jim Koan, Almar Orchards, Flushing, Michigan.
Jim has been the owner/manager of Almar Orchards for over 35 years. The last 15 years he has been a certified organic fruit grower. An avid land steward, he strongly believes in educating consumers regarding the value of locally grown and pesticide/herbicide-free produce. Jim continues to speak publicly both locally and nationally as part of a collaborative effort with Michigan State University in order to meet one primary goal: restoring the lost art of the small, diverse and sustainable farm operation.
Margaret "Meg" Tuttle McGrath, Ph.D., Cornell University, Riverhead, New York.
Meg holds a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from Pennsylvania State University. She holds an M.S. in botany from the University of Vermont and her B.A. in Biology is from Carlton College. Since 1988 Meg has worked in the Cornell University Department of Plant Pathology, first as an Assistant Professor and then as an Associate Professor in 1996. Meg is a member of the Cornell Organic Production Program Work Team and the Northeast Organic Network. Meg’s extensive research, publications and presentations cover organic disease management.
Mary O. Mulry, Ph.D., FoodWise One LLC, Longmont, Colorado.
Mary holds a Ph.D. in food science and human nutrition from the University of Florida and a B.S. in Food Science from the University of Wisconsin. Mary has worked in the field of product development, and technical and regulatory issues related to the natural and organic food and dietary supplement industries since 1983. She is currently the Private Label Manager at Natural Grocers, a natural products retailer based in Denver, CO and Founder and President of FoodWise, Inc., a food consulting business. Some of Mary’s past positions include Senior Director of Product Development and Standards for Wild Oats Markets, Inc. and Vice President of Research and Development for Celestial Seasonings.
Gwendolyn Wyard, Organic Trade Association (OTA), Corvallis, Oregon.
Gwendolyn holds a degree in Food Science with a Fermentation Science Option and a minor in Chemistry. She received her certificate as an independent farm and processing inspector through the International Organic Inspector's Association (IOIA) in 1997 and worked for multiple certifiers thereafter inspecting organic farms and processing facilities. Gwendolyn worked for many years as the Processing Program Technical Specialist for Oregon Tilth specializing in policy analysis and technical review of materials for use in organic products. She currently serves as the Associate Director of Organic Standards and Industry Outreach for the Organic Trade Association.