POWERPOLLEN LEADERSHIP TEAM

Todd Krone, Ph.D

Todd Krone, Ph.D

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Todd Krone co-founded PowerPollen after more than 20-years leading seed and biotechnology advancements at leading global agribusinesses, Corteva Agriscience and Bayer. In these roles, Todd led research and commercialization teams for many of the biotech traits currently on the market. He was responsible for directing the technical strategy and trait development efforts globally across five commodity crops. Todd earned a Ph.D. in plant breeding and genetics from University of Minnesota and a Master of Science from the University of Illinois.

Jason Cope

Jason Cope

Co-Founder and Chief Intellectual Property Officer

Jason Cope brings more than 20-years of industry experience in the development of theoretical and applied engineering solutions from leading global agribusinesses, Corteva Agriscience and Bayer. In these roles, Jason leveraged his broad knowledge of science, engineering and technology to deliver next generation biotech products. He currently holds more than 40 granted US and worldwide patents and oversees PowerPollen’s intellectual property strategy. He also guides operations and engineering initiatives for the company.

Carl Cox

Carl Cox

Chief Operating Officer

Carl Cox, Chief Operating Officer, is responsible for developing and executing strategic plans, including implementing our commercial strategy while ensuring superior customer relations. Carl brings extensive experience in operations, supply chain, logistics, manufacturing and strategic planning experience, having managed supply chain and operational excellence at recognized companies, such as United Airlines and Unifi. He also brings commercial experience from PE firms where he had significant P&L responsibility. Originally from a farming family, Carl graduated from the US Naval Academy with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and spent over 22 years on active and reserve duty as a Naval Aviator. He served in multiple combat tours in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo. Ashore, he served two tours in the Pentagon and one on Capitol Hill.

Mark Westgate, Ph.D

Mark Westgate, Ph.D

Chief Science Officer

Dr. Mark Westgate is a globally recognized crop reproductive physiologist and recently retired from Iowa State University where he was a faculty member for 21+ years. Mark served as the past president of the Crop Science Society
of America, and brings the science and biology expertise to the development and implementation of pollen preservation protocols for scaled pollen handling systems

Christine Bobst

Christine Bobst

External Advisor - Chief of Staff/CHRO

Christine Bobst is an executive team leader with over 25 years of agricultural industry networking and experience focused on talent development, succession planning, business strategic planning and internal operations that support leadership teams in achieving outstanding results.  Since 2017, Christine has offered consult to PowerPollen’s leadership team focused on talent, strategic planning and business process & administration optimization and has helped to accelerate the growth, internal structure, operations, and early successes of  PowerPollen.

http://www.bobstadvisors.com/

Crystal Bruntz

Crystal Bruntz

Senior Director of Finance/Controller

Crystal Bruntz joined the PowerPollen team as Sr. Director Finance & Controllership and is responsible for financial planning, accounting, and reporting.  Crystal comes to us with a wealth of experience in finance, domestic and international tax & accounting, systems implementation, total rewards & compensation, and education.  She has background working for Iowa companies; including Maytag, Kum & Go, and Pioneer (now Corteva).  Crystal most recently served as a Lecturer of Accounting for Central College. Crystal earned her Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from Central College and her MBA from Drake University. 

Jason Kelsick

Jason Kelsick

Senior Director of Engineering

Jason Kelsick joined PowerPollen in 2020 to lead its engineering team, after 13 years at Corteva Agriscience. Since receiving a master’s in mechanical engineering from Iowa State University, Jason has held several roles including for a large aerospace company creating and managing the development of 3D simulations for satellite ground and launch operations, and for a small robotic systems integration company developing conceptual simulations and mechanical design for agricultural, construction, and automotive industries. 

Federico Valverde, Ph.D

Federico Valverde, Ph.D

Senior Director of R&D; Biology

Dr. Federico Valverde is a plant physiologist focused on understanding cellular metabolism and interactions. Federico’s 25+ years of research on multiple crops brings a broad perspective on solving agricultural challenges. Previous roles involved research on mechanism of tolerance to nutritional, mechanical and temperature stresses. Federico holds a Ph.D. in horticulture from Iowa State University.

Kerry Taylor

Kerry Taylor

Director of Technology Transfer

Since joining PowerPollen in 2019, Kerry Taylor has led the technology integration and knowledge transfer for PowerPollen’s key accounts to achieve optimal efficiency, effectiveness and outcomes. Drawing on 25+ years of experience in agriculture, Kerry brings a deep understanding of plant biology, modern farming practices and data management to ensure a smooth implementation across the biological and engineering teams. Previously, he was a research scientist at DuPont Pioneer. Kerry earned a Master of Science in crop production and physiology from Iowa State University.