Our WFA Advisors & Ambassadors

Our unique Advisory and Ambassador Boards help us identify key priorities for the industry, create content that accurately reflects the dynamic state of food and agriculture today and work with us on how we can all come together and create better business outcomes in the most important sector in the world.

Advisory Board

Belinda May Ball

Belinda May Ball

Head of Global Sourcing
ALDI South Group
Belinda May Ball

Originally from Manchester in the United Kingdom, Belinda May Ball serves as the head of Global Sourcing for the ALDI South Group at the global headquarters in Salzburg, Austria. Prior to working at ALDI, she had experience in the financial and hospitality sectors. After several years at ALDI in both Operations and Buying, Belinda relocated to Europe to establish a new central food procurement department, that operates on behalf of all 11 ALDI countries, pooling buying in a centre of excellence, focused on providing products with appropriate quality, price and sustainable credentials for all ALDI South customers. With a focus on long term secure an sustainable supply partnership, supply chain mapping and understanding is critical to current and future operations. Throughout her career, Belinda has been focused on people, leadership, development and employee engagement and she is keen to promote diversity and inclusion in her expanding team, with over 65 nationalities currently working in the operation.

Gerry Tominey

Former Chief Procurement Officer
Associated British Foods plc
Gerry Tominey

Experienced CPO with over 30 years of experience leading procurement transformation and buying teams across the food and beverage sector.

Megan Pydigadu

Chief Operating Officer
The Spar Group South Africa
Megan Pydigadu

Currenly the Chief Operating Officer of The Spar Group South Africa. The Spar Group is listed in South Africa and has operations in  South Africa, Ireland, South West England, Switzerland, Poland and Sri Lanka.  The Spar Group employs over 10 500 employees and has turnover of circa $7.5bn.

Megan joined The Spar Group in November 2023. She has in excess of 12 years experience at C Suite level. Her previous roles over the last 12 years have been in the CFO space. Her overall experience is across industries such as IT, IOT, Engineering and Mining.

Megan is a Chartered Accountant (SA) with a Bachelor in Commerce from the University of Natal, South Africa and a Higher Diploma in Accounting from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

Patricia Stroup

Chief Procurement Officer
Nestlé SA
Patricia Stroup

Patricia Stroup, a United States citizen residing in Switzerland, is an executive with extensive international experience in upstream supply chains, with specific expertise in the intersection of cost, sustainability and supply risk management as well as a unique background in food and agriculture.

Recognized as a dynamic and charismatic leader, Patricia is currently Chief Procurement Officer and Senior Vice-President of Nestlé SA, the world’s largest food and beverage company, and is also Chief Executive Officer of Nestrade, Nestlé’s global procurement entity.

Patricia has a long history in business and food production, stemming from her early career running her own dairy farm in the United States. She later worked in government relations, sustainability, communications, business development, and supply chain for agricultural cooperatives and manufacturing companies before moving into an international business career seventeen years ago with Nestlé, living and working in North America, Asia and Europe.

Seth Malley

Senior Vice President of Food Sourcing
Walmart Inc.
Seth Malley

Seth Malley currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Food Sourcing for Walmart. He leads a talented team responsible for procuring quality food products from around the world for Walmart’s 10,500 stores. He embarked on his journey with the company in 2006 as an intern on the Seasonal Candy team. Upon the completion of his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from John Brown University, he joined Walmart’s Merchandising Training program at the Home Office in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Seth's tenure at Walmart has seen him in various buying and leadership roles within the Food organization, specializing in areas such as Frozen Food and Beverages. Most recently Seth led the Candy, Convenience and Fuel Station Merchandising team leading the Walmart U.S. strategy for front-end and fuel station merchandise.

Passionate about food, Seth's life has always been closely intertwined with this industry. Raised on a farm in Arkansas, his childhood was marked by experiences such as raising blueberries and competitively showing beef cattle. His involvement with the local 4-H Club led to his appointment as the 2003 National Beef Ambassador, a role that allowed him to travel across the country educating youth about nutrition.

In addition to his professional pursuits, Seth is a self-taught chef with a fondness for recreating dishes from Julia Child's 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking' and his mother's treasured recipe box. His career and personal life both illustrate his deep-rooted passion for food.

Sunil Nayak

Zone President for Europe, and CEO
Continental Europe, Sodexo
Sunil Nayak

Sunil Nayak is Zone President for Europe, region CEO of Continental Europe and the executive sponsor for Global Strategic Accounts at Sodexo.

Sunil’s passion for food began when he opened a food cart on the streets of Mumbai in 1989, and continues today at Sodexo – a world leader in delivering sustainable food service and valued experiences in over 50 countries.

Sunil joined Sodexo in 2009 as CEO Sodexo India. He went on to grow and transform the business in India and held global strategic roles including CEO Corporate Services Asia Pacific and in 2019 CEO Corporate Services worldwide. He has been a member of Sodexo’s group executive leadership team since 2019 and in November 2022, he was appointed Zone President for Europe with responsibility for the implementation of Sodexo's strategic roadmap across the Zone and in January 2023, he was also appointed CEO of the Continental Europe region, leading 18 countries.

Sunil is an executive sponsor of diversity, equity& inclusion at Sodexo, providing direction and leadership to SoTogether – a global advisory board driving gender balance by advancing women at all levels of the organization. Externally, he is a member of the advisory boards of Women in Food and Agriculture (WFA) and Catalyst Europe.

Beyond his professional work, Sunil champions inclusion and founded Ra Foundation, an NGO that supports children’s education, a cause close to his heart. Sunil is Indian and speaks English and Hindi.

William Hovis

Former Chief Procurement Officer
The Coca-Cola Company
William Hovis

William (Bill) Hovis has over 30 years of experience in procurement, finance, supply chain and sales with The Coca-Cola Company and ALCOA. Over the course of his career, he was the Chief Procurement Officer and served as the Chairman of Coca-Cola’s franchised bottler procurement consortium which managed over $30 billion of annual spend. The consortium consisted of independent bottling companies, successfully brought together, to collaborate globally in over 150 countries. They provided a competitive buying advantage and were the source of significant margin enhancement for the participants.

Bill was a member of the senior leadership team of the Bottling Investment Group (BIG). BIG operated in a like manner to private equity, acquiring underperforming companies and transforming them into profitable, sustainable businesses for resale. He successfully managed a diverse commodity profile which was the most volatile element of the P&L. He also ran the hedging program at ALCOA and helped them acquire more business with increased flexibility to meet the customer’s needs.

Bill now advises companies on growth strategies, commodity management and business development. He believes supply chains are headed for substantial changes in speed, efficiency, and collaboration; the success of which will be determined by how much we act now.

WFA Ambassadors

Amy Cornell

President
Agribusiness Council of Indiana
Amy Cornell

Amy Cornell is the President of Agribusiness Council of Indiana.

In addition to her public affairs practice, Cornell is of counsel with Bose McKinney & Evans LLP in the Agribusiness Group. Cornell is also a member of the Purdue Agriculture Dean’s Advisory Council. Cornell received her juris doctorate from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and a LL.M. in agricultural law from the University of Arkansas School of Law. Cornell is on the membership committee of the American Agricultural Law Association, a council member for the Indiana State Bar Association Agricultural Law Section and a participant in the Indiana Leadership Forum’s 2017 class.

Claudia Rössler

Director Agriculture
Microsoft Azure Global Engineering Group
Claudia Rössler

Claudia Rössler is Director Agriculture in Microsoft Azure Global Engineering group. She is responsible for developing strategic partnerships around digital innovation and ag tech solutions within the agriculture ecosystem. She drives Agtech innovation that helps increase productivity in a sustainable manner leveraging technology such as AI, IoT, and blockchain. Claudia Rössler joined Microsoft in 1992 in Germany. She held several international roles with focus on Business Development, Sales & Marketing, Partner and Industry.

Christine Tacon

Chair
MDS
Christine Tacon

Christine Tacon became the UK’s first Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) in 2013 and has achieved significant cultural change in the sector, bringing greater fairness for producers supplying the UK’s largest supermarkets.

She has been much praised for her collaborative approach to the role and a government review concluded the GCA was an exemplary model of a modern regulator with an international reputation.

Currently, she also chairs MDS, which trains graduates in the food and fresh produce industry. As a founder of Women in Food and Farming she has supported women develop their skills and confidence through networking and meeting inspirational speakers.

Ebony Webber

CEO
MANRRS
Ebony Webber

Ebony is the Chief Operating Officer at MANRRS (Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences), where she provides support to the National Executive Committee, Advisory Board and oversight and management of Strategic Partnerships. Hailing from a small, rural community, Ebony found interest in developing students and providing resources and opportunities to increase access to academic and career related programs in underserved communities. By cultivating innovative programs and strategic partnerships, Ebony have been able to assist underrepresented students and professionals in recognizing and maximizing their full potential. Many of her responsibilities support her passion for advocating for inclusion and diversity and developing leaders, organizations and communities to feed and clothe the next generation.

Graduating at the top of the Computer Science and Mathematics Department, Ebony received her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Stillman College and also holds a certification in Technology Management and a Master’s degree in Business Administration, both from the University of Phoenix. Ms. Webber is an alum of the United Way of Greater Atlanta Volunteer Involvement Program, National Urban League’s Emerging Leaders Cohort, and the Georgia Center for Nonprofits High Potential Diverse Leaders Cohort. She is also a member of the National Black MBA Association and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

Geeta Sethi

Advisor and Global Lead for Food Systems
World Bank
Geeta Sethi

Geeta Sethi is the Advisor and Global Lead for Food Systems at the World Bank. She is managing the World Bank’s program on Food Loss and Waste Reduction. She has more than 20 years of experience working as an economist on fragile, low-, and middle- income countries. Her work has focused on issues of rural development, service delivery and intergovernmental fiscal policies in around the world. She has delivered many lending programs to the World Bank Board and published books and articles in referred journals on issues relating to rural labor markets, trade policy and fiscal decentralization. Previously, she was the Chief of Staff to the Climate Change Vice President and Special Envoy, the Operations and Strategy Manger for Climate Change, and worked as the Program Manager for the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program. She has an MBA and PhD in Economics.

Jane Craigie

Co-founder
International Rural Youth Project
Jane Craigie

Jane has combined her agricultural and horticultural education with a career in marketing, media and communications.

Jane is actively involved in the international rural leadership community and was the co-founder of the international Rural Youth Project, a youth leadership, enterprise and activism initiative, focused on better understanding and supporting young rural people, aged 18-28, to enact positive change in their communities.

Jane runs a marketing and communications consultancy specialising in agriculture, food and rural affairs; clients include AgriBriefing, Agrovista, BASF plc, Interagro, LEAF, the Oxford Farming Conference, Turriff Show, and Velcourt. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing as well as a Member of the Chartered Institute of PR. She is also a Fellow of the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists and a Professional Agriculturalist (P.Agric).

Jane is based in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, she on the executive board of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists, Chair of the IFAJ ‘Vision 2025’ Committee, is a Trustee of LANTRA, the skills and training organisation, and is on the steering committee for LEAF Education and Public Engagement.

She was the first Waitangi Scholar in 1994 (Funded by the New Zealand Dairy Board), an alum of the Windsor Leadership Emerging Leaders’ Programme, the Institute of Agricultural Management Leadership Development Programme, the Scottish Enterprise (SE) Rural Leadership Programme and Scottish Enterprise’s Harvesting the Growth Programme.

Prior to establishing her own business, Jane worked for DiverseyLever, was Marketing Communications Manager for Genus plc (1991-97) and also for Cyanamid (part of American Home Products) from 1997-2001. From 2001-2004, she worked for digital specialists DBT Ltd (now part of Proagrica).

Lynda McDonald

Senior Executive
Tetra Laval International
Lynda McDonald

Senior Executive at Tetra Laval International

Mariana Vasconcelos

CEO
Agrosmart
Mariana Vasconcelos

Mariana Vasconcelos is daughter of farmers, co-founder and CEO at Agrosmart, recognized as a technology pioneer company by the World Economic Forum. Biz dev with degrees from UNIFEI, ESALQ/USP, UCLA and Singularity University, Mariana is Forbes under 30, Fast Company 100 Most creative in Business and was elected by the MIT Technology Review as one of the most brilliant Innovators under 35. She is global ambassador of Thought for Food, keynote speaker for Digital agriculture and future of farming, considered one of the top 100 influencers in Agribusiness by Dinheiro Rural and named one of the 50 people that are most impacting the world in 2017 by Kairos Society.

Natalie McCaffery

President
Education Ag Tech (E.A.T.)
Natalie McCaffery

The interdisciplinary nature of Agriculture is so prominent, especially when considering growth, in the industry, and my goals are to learn from others in this space as I start to build my path to support the next generation in agriculture. By representing WFA, I am given the opportunity to learn from a successful network of women while also having a voice in the direction of interest in food and ag. I’m also the President of the organisation Education Ag Tech (E.A.T.), a non-profit organization with the mission to advance the knowledge of our next generation on the importance of agriculture and how technology can be optimized and applied to farming methods, resulting in a healthier planet and population.

Smriti Canakapalli

Enterprise Strategy and Transformation Leader, Animal Nutrition and Health
Cargill
Smriti Canakapalli

Enterprise Strategy and Transformation Leader, Animal Nutrition and Health

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WFA Survey

Women in Food and Agriculture is back with our industry-wide survey to gather real-world insights into the professional landscape for women in food and ag. 

Inclusion and diversity in the workforce are essential in shaping a sustainable future. Previous survey results indicate there is a lot to be positive about when considering gender diversity. Now, approaching 2 years of a world consumed by the pandemic, we want to know if this has impacted gender equality? Has our work/life balance been affected? Is the increased focus on DEI programs making a difference? Get involved and help us find out!