Mentors

Participants in our accelerator program experience mentorship and engagement with top-tier industry leaders in agriculture and technology.

Our mentors include serial entrepreneurs, successful founders of agriculture businesses, venture capitalists, and other world-class individuals dedicated to helping grow companies and providing guidance on vision and strategy.

Interested in becoming a mentor? Contact us.

David Zoldoske

Center for Irrigation Technology, Director

Dr. David Zoldoske serves as the director of the Center for Irrigation Technology and California Water Institute at California State University Fresno, where he has been actively working on “water use efficiency” issues for over 30 years.

He recently served as vice-chair of the California Department of Water Resources strategic planning caucus for New Water Technology: Objective 11, an effort which became part of the California 2013 State Water Plan; served as a member of the California Department of Food and Agriculture Nitrogen Tracking and Reporting Task Force; and served as a member of the A-2 subcommittee to the SBx7-Agriculture Stakeholders Committee.

Zoldoske was recently named “person of the year” by the California Irrigation Institute, and received a similar award from the Irrigation Association in 2013. He is a Senior Fellow with the California Council on Science and Technology and an Honorary Member of the American Society of Irrigation Consultants.

He is also a past President of the Irrigation Association (2005); a member of the “SMART” Water Application Executive Committee; founding Executive Director for the Water Resources and Policy Initiative for the California State University system (2008-2013); and past President of the American Society of Agronomy: California Chapter (2002).

Aric Olson

President of Jain Irrigation, Inc.

Aric Olson, the president of Jain Irrigation, Inc. (Fresno, CA) is a thought leader, frequent speaker, and panelist for domestic agriculture and water issues. He has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and a Masters of Business Administration to go along with twenty years of manufacturing company experience in which he held responsibilities for manufacturing, distribution, engineering, sales & marketing, and human resources.

He has been a member of Jain Irrigation’s management team responsible for successfully integrating eight major acquisitions into the leading global irrigation technology company in the world, in the last ten years.

He is a past-president and the current treasurer of the Irrigation Association and a founding committee member and chairperson of Blue Tech Valley.

He is a certified Six-Sigma Black Belt and Manager of Quality/Operational Excellence from the American Society of Quality. He is a Certified Supply Chain Professional and Certified in Production and Inventory Management by APICS, the Association for Operations Management. Additionally, he is a Certified Agricultural Irrigation Specialist and Certified Irrigation Designer by the Irrigation Association.

Sarge Green

Water Management Specialist

Sarge Green is a water management specialist with the California Water Institute at California State University, Fresno. He facilitates a collaborative effort to manage water resources in the San Joaquin Valley through integrated regional water management planning. Green is also assisting two San Joaquin Valley counties in developing groundwater ordinances designed to assure availability of groundwater for County users while also comporting with the goals of the State of California’s new groundwater law. He served as General Manager of Tranquility Irrigation District in western Fresno County for 18 years, and also worked for 13 years at the California Regional Water Quality Control Board. Currently he is a member of the California Water Quality Monitoring Council and serves as the Chair of the “Clean Water Subcommittee” for the Association of California Water Agencies.

Seana Day

Partner, The Mixing Bowl & Better Food Ventures

Seana brings over 13 years of investment, M&A advisory and technology experience to Better Food Ventures and the Mixing Bowl. Most recently, her roles in the food and ag landscape include Director of Strategy and Business Development at AgTech Insight, Fish 2.0 Associate and Managing Director at Centerra Capital providing Agribusiness investment advisory. Prior to her involvement in food and ag, Seana was a technology investment banker at AGC Partners in London, Ridgecrest Capital Partners in the Bay Area and Headwaters MB in Denver. Her background also includes Head of Restructuring and Operations at Versata Enterprises. She is now based in her hometown of Turlock, the heart of California’s ag-land.

Kurt Maloney

Consultant

Kurt Maloney born in Kenosha Wisconsin attended Kenosha Technical Institute for Hydraulic and Pneumatic engineering. Then moved to Colorado to attend Colorado University for Business. His work experiences include Product Management for Center Pivot irrigation, Program Manager at Toro Irrigation in the R&D Department, Agricultural Marketing Manager, International Marketing Manager and Domestic Residential Marketing Manager.

Later in his career at Netafim Irrigation he helped develop a new category in the landscape industry, Dripperline, where he created training materials and educational programs to teach Distributors, Landscape Designers and Contractors the ways to save water and simplify installation of irrigation systems.

Over the past three years he served on the BlueValleyTech T.I.E committee and is a volunteer to the California Energy Commission Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). Currently he is a Partner at Ag H2O a consulting firm in Fresno that specializes in Agricultural irrigation training, education and market analysis. He is an avid bread baker, enjoys traveling and photography.

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