Annie's Project Appoints Seven New Board Members; Karisha Devlin and Doris Mold Comment
WHITELAWN, IL - We at ANUK love to see female voices uplifting other women, and that is exactly what we find with Annie’s Project. The national non-profit educational program recently made headlines, as seven new members have been named to the Board of Directors. Marji Alaniz, Carolyn Banks, Shannon Dill, Cleophus “Cleo” Franklin, Jr., Barbara Rater, Dr. Dee Singh-Knights, and Sam Schwoeppe bring the member count up to 11.
The priority of the Board in 2022 is to implement Annie’s Project’s new strategic plan: to find new ways to meet the educational needs of women farmers, ranchers, and growers and expand the program into more states, a press release stated.
Alaniz is the Senior Vice President of Communications, Operations, and Risk at AgriSompo and President and Founder of FarmHer. She has a lifelong passion for agriculture and has spent her career working in and around various facets of the industry, from over a decade in crop insurance leadership and risk management to the formation of FarmHer.
Banks is an Agricultural Business Management Specialist with Alcorn State University Extension Program (ASUEP) in Lorman, Mississippi. She provides continued leadership in conducting educational programs and technical assistance, conducts USDA Mississippi Farm Service Agency Borrowers Training Class, Women in Agriculture Conference, Homeownership Conference, and the Veterans in Agriculture Conference. She also serves as Board Secretary.
Dill is the Agriculture Extension Educator for University of Maryland Extension in Talbot County. She has been a faculty member of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources since 2001. She provides outreach and education to agriculture producers of neighboring counties in farm business planning, small farm enterprises, marketing, and livestock management and provides leadership to the MidAtlantic Women in Agriculture Network and the Maryland Beginning Farmer Success Project.
Franklin Jr.’s global executive leadership career spans over 30 years with John Deere, Case-New Holland, and Mahindra. He is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Franklin Strategic Solutions and Founder of Morningside University’s “Franklin Leadership Foundation,” a non-profit organization that invests in the development and creation of future leaders.
Rater serves as the Director of the Census and Survey Division where she provides leadership and oversight to sustain the high quality of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service census and survey data collection processes. She has led national programs and spearheaded international initiatives related to the collection, evaluation, and dissemination of agricultural statistics and has a passion for producing timely, quality results that can be used by decision makers to assess markets and policies and improve organizational performance and productivity.
Dr. Singh-Knights is a respected agribusiness economics and management expert at the regional, national, and international levels. In West Virginia, she coordinates valuable state programs such as the West Virginia Annie’s Project and the West Virginia Women in Agriculture Program, the West Virginia Agritourism Initiative, and the West Virginia Food Safety Training Team. She also serves as the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education State Coordinator. She has helped to develop and deliver annual educational and networking opportunities for the West Virgnia Women in Agriculture program, helping to enhance capacity among female agripreneurs to address current and emerging issues in the state’s ever changing business and regulatory environment.
Schwoeppe is a fourth-generation dairy farmer from southern Indiana, serves as Senior Account Manager, Supply Chain at Feeding America, where she works to convene food banks and community partners throughout the dairy supply chain to build relationships and increase nutrition served to communities across the U.S. with the protein and nutrients provided by dairy products.
“We are pleased to welcome these new Board members and look forward to the collaboration and expanding the impact of Annie’s Project,” says Co-Chief Executive Officer Karisha Devlin. The organization’s two women CEOs leverage each of their strengths during this critical phase of the organization’s growth.
Devlin’s Co-CEO also commented on the new appointments.
“Their range in expertise and leadership will add immense value to our Board,” stated Co-Chief Executive Officer Doris Mold. Returning Board members include Madeline Schultz, Board President; Jason Johnson, Board Vice President; Ruth Hambleton, Board Treasurer and Founder; and Wesley Tucker, Board member at large.
Congratulations to all of these leaders joining the team!