Dean's Advisory Council
Lisa Alley-Zarkades is vice president — commercial development of animal wellness at HORN, one of the nation’s premier distributors of raw materials and chemicals for use in a variety of products including animal foods and supplements. Previously, she was vice president of HORN’s FoodTech group, and she served on the company’s Board of Directors from 2005 to 2009. Alley-Zarkades holds a bachelor of science in foods and nutrition from Cal Poly Pomona, where she serves on the Dean’s Council, and she was named Distinguished Alumna of the College of Agriculture in 2011. She is an active member of various food and animal industry associations and a board member of the World Pet Association. A resident of southern Orange County, Alley-Zarkades is an avid equestrian and animal rights advocate, having dedicated countless hours to the benefit of pets in her community.
Jeff Burch is the managing director/team lead of Bank of the West’s Southern California Agribusiness Banking & Nursery Greenhouse Group. He works primarily with companies in the commercial food processing, manufacturing and distribution sectors that are headquartered in Southern California. He also is the team leader for the bank’s portfolio of commercial nursery, greenhouse and retail garden center clients nationwide. Burch has spent more than 15 years with the bank in various roles, including 10 in the Agribusiness Division, which is the third-largest commercial bank lender to production agriculture in the country. The division’s expertise and focus ranges along the entire food chain from farm to fork. It has more than 1,000 customers with over $6.5 billion in loan commitments nationwide. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in finance and a master’s in business administration with an emphasis in entrepreneurship from Fresno State. He is also a graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School. Burch serves as a founder and board member of the Clovis Community Foundation in Central California and recently completed a four-year term on the Future Farmers of America National Sponsors Board.
Karen Caplan is a specialty fruit and vegetable guru and president and CEO of Orange County-based Frieda's Specialty Produce. Since introducing the Kiwifruit to America in the early 1960s, Frieda's has become the preeminent marketer and distributor of specialty produce to American supermarkets and foodservice distributors. A leader in the produce industry, Caplan was the first female chairperson of the national trade organization, the United Fresh Produce Association, and the first female president of the southern California-based Fresh Produce & Floral Council. In 2015, Caplan was the industry’s Women in Produce honoree, and in 2016, she received the Jim Hicks Agricultural Achievement Award from Cal Poly Pomona. Caplan has served on numerous boards and leadership positions, including chairman and vice chairman of the USDA Fruit & Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee and board member of the 9th District Federal Reserve Bank, Los Angeles Chapter. Caplan is a frequent keynote speaker, panelist, and podcast participant on leadership, management and produce. In 2015 the Caplan’s family business story was highlighted in the independent documentary film, “Fear No Fruit,” and was an official selection of the 2015 Newport Beach Film Festival, San Luis Obispo International Film Festival, Carmel International Film Festival and the 2016 Sedona International Film Festival. Caplan earned her bachelor of science in agricultural economics and business management from UC Davis. She writes regularly for The Shelby Report (national), The Fresh Fruit Portal (international) and the Orange County Breeze (regional). Her widely-read blog, What’s on Karen’s Plate, can be found at friedas.com/karensblog and via Twitter @karen_kiwi
Rose Epperson is is a certified arborist with over 35 years’ experience in the tree care industry. She is a principal in West Coast Arborists, Inc. and a past president of the Western Chapter of ISA. Rose holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Argosy University. In an effort to bring industry associations together, Rose created Epicenter Management in 2005. Her company manages several industry associations including the Western Chapter ISA and the Society of Commercial Arboriculture. In 2005, Rose earned her Certification as an Association Executive from the American Society of Association Executives. In 2006, she incorporated the Western Chapter’s John Britton Memorial Fund into a 501-c3 focused on research and education within the communities served by the Chapter known as The Britton Fund. Rose is active with ISA, a member of the California Urban Forest Council’s policy council and a past-President and current board member of California
Jordan Munday Garris is a retail apparel merchandising and management student. The Seattle native became interested in fashion while living in Munich in 2010 and hopes to work in the fashion industry. Garris enjoys helping others express themselves through their own personal style.
Bill Grier is a recognized executive and pioneer visionary in the digital print industry. As the CEO of AM4U Inc. and Critical Mass Manufacturing Inc., Bill is the inventor of and chief scientist responsible for perfecting Active Tunnel Coloration (ATC) technology. Bill provides strategic corporate leadership and 30 years of marketing, advertising, merchandising, and technological advances in textile and apparel production. Bill sits on the Industry Advisory Board at Cal Poly Pomona’s Department of Apparel Merchandising & Management. Bill’s vision of solving the apparel industry’s problems included the AM4U project. Bill also served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves for 37 years and retired as colonel.
Frances Harder is founder and president of the Fashion Business Inc., which provides vital business development and job retraining programs to the U.S. apparel industry. She consults on product development, branding, merchandising, production, entering the U.S. market and exporting to international markets. She also is United Nations consultant to alpaca apparel manufacturers in Peru and
Suzanne Kellon is the associate director for the Nutrition Services Department at San Antonio Regional Hospital in Upland, and oversees the daily operation of both clinical and food service programs. She is a Cal Poly Pomona alumnae, earning her bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition and her master’s degree in agriculture-nutrition and food management with an emphasis in nutritional biochemistry. For the past 24 years, Kellon has been a certified diabetes educator. She also has 20 years’ experience as a clinical dietitian, working in all aspects of acute and long-term care. She also has 20 years’ experience in clinical management and hospital food service management. Kellon is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Society for Parenteral & Enteral Nutrition, the American Association of Diabetes Educators and the Association for Healthcare Food Service. She also has served on a
Joshua Klockmann ('17, agricultural science and plant science) is a first-year graduate student in agricultural science. He grew up on a 5-acre date farm in Imperial County, where he participated in FFA and 4-H. At Cal Poly Pomona, he has served as president of the Ag Council and the Los Rancheros agronomy and soil science club, and vice president of the Los Robles Horticulture Club. Josh served as the ASI senator representing the College of Agriculture in 2016-17. He is considering a career teaching agriculture in high school.
Ed Lugo is the founder of Robinson Calf Ranch, which operates in San Bernardino and Kern counties. In the early 1970s, he was general manager for Linkletter Enterprises, where he managed ranching and cattle feeding operations in California, Nevada, Idaho and Texas. In 1973, he founded L&S Cattle Feeders in Imperial, Calif., which marketed fed cattle in the Southwest and California retail and wholesale markets. Lugo formed Robinson Calf Ranch in 1990 with his oldest son, Wayne, and his youngest son, Eddie, joined the family business in 2005. In addition to serving on many educational, business and charitable boards throughout the years, Lugo chairs an organization for the development of a collegiate endowed scholarship program under the administration of the Knights of Columbus Council at his local parish in Bakersfield. He received his bachelor’s degree in animal husbandry at Cal Poly Pomona and his master’s degree in animal science Kansas State University.
Terry Noriega is the founder and president of Mariposa Landscapes, a full-service landscape firm that he started in 1977. The company is based in
Michael Real is the founder and president of Real Food Marketing, a brokerage specializing in the sales and marketing of frozen fruit, fruit juice concentrates and purees for the ingredient market. Michael started in the food industry while in high school, working
John J. Resich Jr. is an attorney and rancher and serves as chairman of the board and vice president of development of Green Hills Memorial Park, where he has designed, constructed and overseen the development of 17 projects over the last 15 years. He provides legal representation to cemeteries throughout California, gives legal advice concerning legislation and has testified as an expert witness for the cemetery industry. Resich owns ranching and farming operations in Wyoming, raising cattle and crops including corn, beans, alfalfa
Viral Shukla is majoring in food science and technology, with an emphasis in Culinology. He is a native of Pleasanton, Calif., who plans on pursuing a master’s degree and possibly a doctorate. Shukla wants to become a research chef so he can combine his knowledge and passion for the food sciences and culinary arts.
Carol Berg Sloan is a registered dietitian/nutritionist and independent consultant with expertise in food and nutrition communications, nutrition assessment and food service. Carol is currently the health research director for the California Walnut Commission, where she manages and coordinates the global and domestic nutrition and health research program. With 30 years of experience in the field of food and nutrition, Carol works with many food and nutrition companies and conducts print and broadcast interviews on a variety of health and nutrition topics. She is also a freelance writer specializing in food, nutrition and health features for national and local publications. Carol currently provides a nutrition column School News Roll Call. Carol recently served two terms as a delegate to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and was a member of the Academy Positions Committee and Finance and Audit Committee. She also served a
Ben Steiner is (’16, food and nutrition) is continuing his education at Cal Poly Pomona by pursuing a master’s degree in food science and technology. A single father and nontraditional student, Steiner transferred to Cal Poly Pomona after studying at Victor Valley College. He works as a teaching assistant running chemistry labs at Victor Valley College and also as a student assistant to Professor Martin Sancho-Madriz, chair of the Department of Human Nutrition and Food Science. As a graduate student, he will work on research in lutein with Assistant Professor Gabriel Davidov-Pardo.
Dale Stern, partner/co-chair, food and agriculture practice for Downey Brand, is a trusted business and legal advisor to major agriculture producers, processors and retailers throughout California. He has more than 25 years of experience representing California’s agricultural industry. His services to clients include formation of business entities and nonprofit organizations, assistance with day-to-day operations including the drafting of agreements for the sale and purchase of agricultural commodities, and interactions with governmental entities. He also drafts legislation and regulations and regularly appears on behalf of clients before the California departments of Food and Agriculture, Pesticide Regulation and Toxic Substances Control and various other agencies. In addition to being the chair for the College of Agriculture‘s Dean’s Advisory Council, he is a member of the American Agricultural Law Association, the California Association of Pest Control Advisors and the American Society of Association Executives. In 2010, Stern received the College of Agriculture’s Distinguished Alumni of the Year award. He earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural biology from Cal Poly Pomona and his law degree from the UC Davis School of Law.
Barbara Strachan was born in Argentina and moved to the United States when she was 17. She spent three years at a community college before transferring to Cal Poly Pomona. Strachan is studying Dietetics. She hopes to become a registered dietitian who works as a consultant to companies interested in keeping their employees healthy.