Board of Directors
- Edgar A. Terry
Mr. Terry was elected to the Board in October 2017. Since 1982 Mr. Terry has worked for his family company, Terry Farms, Inc., which produces various vegetable and strawberry crops in Ventura County, California; he currently serves as its President and Chief Financial Officer (1990-Present). Additionally, he serves as President of Willal, Inc. (1990- Present) and as Vice President of Rancho Adobe, Inc. (1990- Present). Mr. Terry also teaches corporate finance at California Lutheran University (1987-Present). In the past, Mr. Terry served as President of the Ventura County Farm Bureau (2001-2003) and as Chief Financial Officer of the District 63 Umpire Association (2006-2013). Mr. Terry currently serves as a director (and on various committees) on a number of companies and other entities, including; Terry Farms Inc.; Federal Farm System Audit Committee; CoBank; Willal, Inc,; Rancho Adobe, Inc,; Ventura County Irrigated Lands Group; Ventura County Fair Foundation and the Center for Economic Forecasting Advisory Board at California Lutheran University. Mr. Terry is a graduate of California Lutheran University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Business Administration degree.
Mr. Terry’s extensive experience in, and knowledge of agribusiness, finance, and the Ventura County community provides the Board with important knowledge and perspective regarding the responsible use of the Company’s land and water resources, technical and financial expertise, and community relations.
Mr. Merriman has served as a director of the Company since 1991. He currently serves as SAS Consultant to Kaiser Permanente Actuarial Services, since 2014. Mr. Merriman is president of Merriman Consulting, a SAS consultancy; prior clients include University of Texas, Medical Branch, Allianz, American Express, Bank of America, Kaiser Physicians Medical Group, Pearl S. Buck Foundation, Fireman’s Fund, and ALCO Partners. Mr. Merriman served as a SAS Consultant for Macys.com (2006-2008) and Wells Fargo & Co. Risk Management (1996-2005, 2009-2010) and WellsFargo.com’s Digital Channels Fraud Risk Analytics (2013-2014). Mr. Merriman served as president of Spyglass Ridge Association, a mutual benefit non-profit corporation (2009-2013). Mr. Merriman serves as a trustee of the Limoneira Foundation. Mr. Merriman majored in viticulture at Santa Rosa Junior College and studied enology at Edmeades Vineyards (1978-1980). Mr. Merriman is a Vietnam War Veteran where he served in the United States Marine Corps as an IBM systems programmer. He graduated from Computer Science School, Quantico, Virginia, in 1973.
With forty combined years of corporate management, systems consulting, and oversight experience in the positions discussed above, Mr. Merriman brings to our Board a deep understanding of our culture, compensation policies and governance and provides valuable leadership and insight in such areas.
Robert M. Sawyer. Mr. Sawyer has served as a director of the Company since 1990. Mr. Sawyer retired from the practice of law in 2016, having served as Of Counsel with Remy Moose Manley LLP and Best Best & Krieger in Sacramento, California, and as a partner with Norman Dowler LLP in Ventura, California, in a career that focused on water law, real estate, land use and the California Environmental Quality Act. He is a former General Counsel for the Casitas Municipal Water District and Special Counsel for the Friant Water Users Authority. Mr. Sawyer was corporate secretary for The Samuel Edwards Associates from 1977 to 1981, a director of The Samuel Edwards Associates from 1981 to 1985, and a director of the Santa Paula Citrus Fruit Association. He is also a trustee of the Limoneira Foundation and a director of Farmers Irrigation Company. Mr. Sawyer graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in music in 1972, and from Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College where he earned his Juris Doctor degree in 1975.
Mr. Sawyer’s extensive knowledge of California real estate, land use, environmental and water laws and regulations provides our Board with an important perspective in these areas and makes him particularly well-suited to serve as a director.
Mr. Kimball has served as a director of the Company since 1995. Mr. Kimball has been president of Kimball Engineering, Inc., which provides car design and production services, since 1994. 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, Ferrrari and Benetton Racing from 1984 to 1992. Prior to that, he designed Indianapolis race cars for Parnelli Jones, Chaparral and Patrick racing teams from 1976 to 1983. Mr. Kimball graduated from Stanford University where he earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in mechanical engineering.
Mr. Kimball’s experience as an entrepreneur and producer of avocados provides our Board with focused and insightful operational experience and leadership.Chairman of the Board
President & CEO
Mr. Edwards has served as a director of the Company since 2009. Mr. Edwards has been President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company since November 2003. Previously, Mr. Edwards was the president of Puritan Medical Products, a division of Airgas Inc. Prior to that, Mr. Edwards held management positions with Fisher Scientific International, Inc, Cargill, Inc, Agribrands International and the Ralston Purina Company. Mr. Edwards is currently a member of the board of directors of Compass Group Diversified Holdings LLC, a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and Calavo Growers, Inc., a company listed on the NASDAQ
Global Select Market. Mr. Edwards is a graduate of Lewis and Clark College and the Thunderbird School of Global management where he earned a Master of Business Administration degree.
As the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, Mr. Edwards brings to our Board an intimate understanding of our business and operations. Mr. Edwards provides our Board with company-specific experience and expertise, in addition to his substantial experience as a chief executive officer and senior executive across a variety of industries.
- Scott Slater
Mr. Slater has served as a director of the Company since 2012. Mr. Slater is currently a shareholder with the law firm of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck and has 35 years’ experience representing clients in complex water matters, primarily in the Western United States. He serves as a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He provides transactional counseling and drafted proposed legislation and represented clients in water litigation across California and was the lead negotiator of the largest water conservation based transfer in United States history. The author of California Water Law and Policy, the leading water law treatise in California and he has also taught water law in the United States, Australia and China. He was selected by the California Daily Journal as one of the top 100 lawyers in California. He is presently the Chief Executive Officer and serves on the Board of Directors of Cadiz, Inc., a publicly traded company that has acquired and is holistically managing and developing indigenous water resources in desert regions in Southern California for agricultural and municipal uses. Mr. Slater also served on the Board of Advisors of Water Asset Management since 2006.
With his significant experience in the water field, Mr. Slater brings vast knowledge to the Board and the Company to assist them in, among other things, continued stewardship and management of the Company’s water assets.
- Don Rudkin
Mr. Rudkin was elected a director of the Company in October 2014. Mr. Rudkin currently serves on the Board of Directors and as Audit Committee Chairman of Vicro MFG Corporation, a furniture manufacturer, Mr. Rudkin previously was a full time faculty member in the Masters of Business Administration and Masters in Applied Finance programs at Pepperdine University where he taught Financial Accounting, Managerial Accounting, Auditing and Financial Statement Analysis for nine years. Mr. Rudkin was a partner and had a long career at Deloitte & Touche LLP, an accounting and financial services firm, most recently serving as a Regional Compliance Officer from 2005 to 2012, consulting on independence, ethics and CPA licensing matters. Mr. Rudkin attended California State University Northridge where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in accounting. Mr. Rudkin also obtained a Master in Business Administration from California State University Long Beach.
Mr. Rudkin’s long career in public accounting as well as his academic background and experience add technical and financial expertise to our Board. His compliance, independence and ethics background provides our Board with valuable knowledge in corporate governance.
- Elizabeth Blanchard Chess
Ms. Chess was elected a director of the Company in November 2016. She has been actively involved with the Santa Paula and Ventura County agricultural communities and various Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties civic and non-profit organizations for many years. Ms. Chess currently sits on the board of the Museum of Ventura County and on the board of the Ventura Music Festival of which she is past president. Ms. Chess was recently invited and now serves on the Foundation Board of California State University Channel Islands. In the past she served as the Executive Director of the New West Symphony for which she handled management, fundraising, and community relations for five years. Ms. Chess has also had a long career of editing and publishing a quarterly magazine on central coast farming. Ms. Chess has a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in history and European history, respectively from the University of Southern California.
Ms. Chess’s extensive experience in, and knowledge of the Santa Paula and Ventura County communities provides the Board with an important perspective in the areas of community relations and responsible use of the Company’s land resources.