Kincannon & Reed Fills Senior Position for CropLife America

May 28, 2024 – Executive recruitment firm Kincannon & Reed, which exclusively focuses on food, agribusiness, and the related life sciences, has helped to recruit Jeff Blackwood as vice president of government relations at CropLife America in Arlington, VA. Principals Heinrich Gugger and Stephen Coffey led the assignment. “The CropLife America board of directors is pleased to welcome Jeff Blackwood as the next head of government relations at the association,” said Andy Lee, chairman of the board and president and CEO, Valent North America. “Jeff’s previous experience will be invaluable as he joins CropLife America, expands and builds the team, and proactively addresses both opportunities and challenges facing the agricultural industry.”

“We look forward to Jeff joining the CropLife America team,” said Alexandra Dunn, president and CEO. “His years of engagement across the industry and with staff at CropLife America will be an asset as we move into this election season and beyond. The expertise he brings will be beneficial as he advocates for the issues important to our members.”

Mr. Blackwood joins CropLife America after more than a decade as the policy lead for the agricultural solutions business of BASF Corporation. He brings years of expertise working with Congress, associations, coalitions, and other stakeholder groups on pesticide issues. Prior to BASF, Mr. Blackwood spent time working in government relations with associations and as a staffer for two senators and a member of Congress.

“I am excited to begin my work with CropLife America members and staff to advocate on behalf of an industry that I’ve spent the better part of my career working in,” said Mr. Blackwood. “I understand how passionate the members and my new colleagues are about the work they do, and I look forward to becoming a part of the team. CropLife America has a long history of communicating the importance of pesticides to growers, pesticide professionals, and consumers, and I look forward to contributing to that legacy.”

CropLife America is the national trade association that represents the manufacturers, formulators and distributors of pesticides. The organization advocates for and promotes the responsible use of innovative, safe and environmentally sound crop protection products (including herbicides, fungicides and insecticides) that are essential in the production of food, fiber and renewable or alternative fuels.

Related: Kincannon & Reed Recruits CEO for California Agricultural Leadership Foundation

In March, Kincannon & Reed recruited Ms. Dunn as the president and CEO of CropLife America. Ms. Dunn most recently served as a partner in the environmental, safety, and incident response group at the international law firm of Baker Botts, in its Washington, D.C., office. While at Baker Botts, Alex worked on pesticide issues, chemical regulation, water quality, enforcement, litigation, environmental justice, and community engagement.

Proven Search Firm

Founded in 1981, Kincannon & Reed serves clients throughout the world from locations in the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. The firm is based in Arlington, VA. Kincannon & Reed’s mission is: “We recruit leaders for organizations that feed the world and keep it healthy.”

Kincannon & Reed Recruits CEO for Highline Mushrooms
Kincannon & Reed recently placed Jose Cambon as the new CEO of Highline Mushrooms. “Jose is an ambitious, driven leader who enjoys a challenge,” said Janet Wightman, managing partner. “He is a strategic thinker with an impressive track record of building innovative teams that deliver results.” Mr. Cambon joins the company with more than two decades of experience, with the past 10 years in the mushroom sector in Australia. Prior to joining Highline Mushrooms, he held a series of progressively senior roles with Costa Group over the past decade. Most recently, he was GM of Vertical Farming.

Dr. Gugger is based in the agriculture and bioscience hub of Research Triangle Park, NC. Involved in hundreds of executive placements across the industry since joining Kincannon & Reed in 2012, he brings his broad network and executive experience from his roles as CEO in several start-up opportunities, including serving as CEO of Paradigm Genetics and his role as president of Syngenta Crop Protection, to each search engagement.

Located in Saratoga, NY, Mr. Coffey joined Kincannon & Reed after 15 years of search experience working with Fortune 100 clients on a global scale. As a member of a two-person team, he executed senior information technology searches for one of the Big Three automotive manufacturers. He was also responsible for relationship management with the global talent acquisition lead for a Fortune 50 conglomerate, filling executive-level roles across life sciences, test and measurement, and corporate units.

Related: Kincannon & Reed Recruits President and COO for Clarkson Grain Company

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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