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Western Growers Engages Dennis Donohue to Lead Center for Innovation & Technology®

Posted on November 02, 2016 11:55 AM by WGCIT

Industry Veteran Brings Nearly Three Decades of Experience in Agriculture and AgTech 

IRVINE, Calif., (November 2, 2016) -- Dennis Donohue, former mayor of Salinas, will work with Western Growers to further develop the Western Growers’ Center for Innovation & Technology® (WGCIT) into a premier agtech startup incubator. In this role, Donohue will drive agtech initiatives, bolster innovation programming, further facilitate relationships between start-up companies and growers and spearhead business development at the WGCIT in Salinas, Calif.

“As farmers continue to face relentless challenges, Western Growers makes it a priority to work with industry leaders who will advance our efforts to accelerate the development of innovative technologies and help ensure specialty crop agriculture remains strong and vital,” said Hank Giclas, Western Growers’ senior vice president, strategic planning, science & technology. “Dennis is not only highly regarded for his role in creating an agtech ecosystem throughout the Salinas Valley and Silicon Valley, but he also brings with him 30 years of expertise in agriculture across the nation. We are honored to have him join us and know that his wealth of experience will be crucial in helping move our agtech efforts swiftly forward.”

Donohue has been lauded for his leadership in agriculture where he has played a key role in creating innovative business models, identifying new technologies and developing initiatives that integrate agtech and innovation into the business structure at organizations such as Cultiva Global, European Vegetable Specialties/Royal Rose, River Ranch Fresh Foods, Fresh Express Farms and Fresh Western Marketing. Additionally, his dedication to the community and region is unmatched. Donohue’s strong civic commitment includes his leadership as Salinas’ Mayor from 2006 to 2012 and serving on governing boards at the Grower Shipper Association of Central California, Salinas Chamber of Commerce and Steinbeck Innovation Foundation.

“Because the Center for Innovation & Technology offers unbeatable resources such as market access and direct connections to growers, I firmly believe that it’s one of the best advances in the agtech movement,” said Donohue. “Western Growers’ commitment to accelerating innovation and industry success is inspiring, and I’m ecstatic to work with Western Growers to drive the future of agriculture.”

Donohue holds a master’s degree from Gannon University in religious education and a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of San Francisco. He currently lives in Salinas with his wife, Paula.

High-resolution image of Dennis Donohue is available here.

About Western Growers:
Founded in 1926, Western Growers represents local and regional family farmers growing fresh produce in Arizona, California and Colorado. Our members and their workers provide half the nation's fresh fruits, vegetables and tree nuts, including nearly half of America's fresh organic produce. For generations we have provided variety and healthy choices to consumers. Connect with and learn more about Western Growers on our Twitter and Facebook.