Mr. Michaelis has served as a director of the company since 1997. Mr. Michaelis farmed for 40 years, and managed the last 20 years, the family citrus properties, growing from 20 to 1,500 acres. He owned and managed Michaelis Citrus Nursery, Inc., growing up to 300,000 trees annually. Mr. Michaelis' past positions included director and president of Tulare County Lemon Association and Tulare County Fruit Exchange, director of Grand View Heights Association, Tulare-Kern County Citrus Exchange, Tulare County Farm Bureau and president of Tulare County Farm Bureau, president of Ronald Michaelis Ranches, Inc., Martin Michaelis Groves, Inc. and Michaelis Citrus Nursery, Inc., director and vice president of Teapot Dome Water district, and director and president of Strathmore Packing House. Mr. Michaelis currently is a director of Ventura County Fruit Exchange, and trustee of Limoneira Foundation. He is also active on many boards at Grand Avenue United Methodist Church. Mr. Michaelis attended Porterville College and California State Polytechnic University Pomona majoring in fruit production.
Mr. Merriman has served as a director of the company since 1991. Mr. Merriman currently serves as an SAS consultant at Wells Fargo Bank Risk Management, San Francisco, manager of Blanchard Equity, LLC., and president of Spyglass Ridge Association. Mr. Merriman served as a SAS consultant for Macys.com from 2006 to 2009 and Wells Fargo Bank Risk Management from 1996 to 2005. Mr. Merriman is a Vietnam War Veteran where he served in the United States Marine Corps as an IBM systems programmer. Mr. Merriman graduated from Computer Science School, Quantico, Virginia, in 1973. He majored in viticulture at Santa Rosa Junior College in 1978, and studied enology at Edmeades Vineyards in 1979.
Mr. Sawyer has served as a director of the company since 1990. Mr. Sawyer is an attorney specializing in real estate, land use, environmental and water law, and currently of counsel to the Sacramento, California office of Best Best & Krieger LLP. He is a member of Ventura County Bar Association, the Sacramento County Bar Association and the Groundwater Resources Association of California. Mr. Sawyer was previously the corporate secretary of The Samuel Edwards Associates, from 1977 to 1981 and a director of The Samuel Edwards Associates, from 1981-1985. He is also a director of Ventura County Fruit Exchange, and a trustee of Limoneira Foundation, since 1985. Mr. Sawyer graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1972, and graduated from Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College where he earned his Juris Doctor degree in 1975.
Mr. Cole has served as a director of the company since 2006. Mr. Cole is currently chairman of the board of directors, chief executive officer and president of Calavo Growers, Inc., a NASDAQ listed company. He has held that position since February 1999. Mr. Cole has also been the president of Hawaiian Sweet Inc. since 1996. Prior to that, Mr. Cole was an executive of Safeway Stores from 1986 to 1996. Mr. Cole farms a total of 4,430 acres in California and Hawaii on which avocados, papayas and cattle are produced and raised.
Mr. Kimball has served as a director of the company since 1995. Mr. Kimball has been president of Kimball Engineering, Inc., which provides race car design and production services, since 1992. He is also managing partner of Kimball Ranches, a 110 acre avocado ranch near Santa Paula, California. Prior to that, Mr. Kimball designed Formula One race cars in England and Italy for McLaren International, Ferrari and Benetton Racing, from 1984 to 1991. Prior to that, he designed Indianapolis race cars for Parnelli Jones, Chaparral and Patrick Racing teams, from 1976 to 1983. Mr. Kimball is a director of Rincon Investment Company. Mr. Kimball graduated from Stanford University where he earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in mechanical engineering.
Mr. Slater currently serves as the President and General Counsel of Cadiz Inc., a Los Angeles-based land and water resource management company which owns approximately 45,000 acres of land in three areas of eastern San Bernardino County, California. For 27 years, Mr. Slater's practice has been focused on litigation and the negotiation of agreements related to the acquisition, distribution, and treatment of water. He has served as lead negotiator on a number of important water transactions, including the negotiation of the largest conservation-based water transfer in United States history on behalf of the San Diego County Water Authority. Mr. Slater is also the author of California Water Law and Policy, the state's leading treatise on the subject, and has taught water law and policy courses at University of California, Santa Barbara, Pepperdine University, and the University of Western Australia, among others. Additionally, Mr. Slater is a shareholder at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, where he leads the national water practice.