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Wolf & Associates - Meet Our Team

Meet Our Team

Incomparable Knowledge and a Depth of Experience

Wolf & Associates has incomparable knowledge and a depth of experience in every link of the organic and sustainable supply chain, from farm to retail shelf. We have an unparalleled team of the most competent experts to work collaboratively to accomplish your vision.

Meet Our Management

BILL WOLF

Bill Wolf

BILL WOLF, President, CEO and W&A Founder, oversees strategic planning services and brings to bear over 35 years of experience producing organic products—from foods to fertilizer and pest controls. Bill entered the field of sustainable agriculture in 1971 when he conducted global environmental research working with R. Buckminster Fuller. Over forty years, Bill has made significant contributions to agriculture: he founded the first national organic farming supply company, served on the OTA Board of Directors, and was the founding President of the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) which independently reviews products intended for use in certified organic production and handling. He was a founding organizer of  New Resource Bank, the first community bank to focus on serving green businesses, which is now a part of Amalgamated Bank.

JOHN FOSTER

John Foster

JOHN FOSTER, Chief Operating Officer, is passionate about all things organic. His experiences over 30 years in the organic sector are as diverse as the organic industry itself—farming in Oregon, serving on the National Organic Standards Board, organic inspection and certification management, organic business development, supply chain strategy, and change management, among others. John works across all areas of the agency and especially relishes working with innovative ideas and long-term strategic initiatives, bringing positive change through enterprising, impactful, and creative problem solving. A current focus area is expanding W&A’s advisory capacity to best serve all facets of the organic community, addressing near-term demands as well as long-term aspirations.

SUE WAGNER

Sue Wagner

SUE WAGNER, Vice President of Administration, has 15 years of experience in the organic sector. Sue routinely performs technical research, materials review, and ingredient evaluations for NOP compliance. She also assists clients with applications for third-party material review programs (e.g., OMRI, CDFA Organic Input Materials Program and the Washington State Department of Agriculture), and the development of Input Compliance Plans. Additionally, she participates in the preparation of petitions to the National Organic Standards Board for the addition or removal of materials from the National List.  Prior to joining W&A, she held a variety of managerial positions in an environmental laboratory specializing in wastewater, groundwater, drinking water and soil analyses.

Meet Some of Our Associates

LUIS BRENES, based in Costa Rica, has core expertise and more than 31 years experience working in the organic sector both in business and academia. His experience includes organic tropical crops and agroindustrial food processing inspection, working with grower groups and as a trainer in organic standards. Luis has significant knowledge of USDA organic standards and and experience on EU, IFOAM, Costarican, Ecuadorian, UAE, JAS, Hong Kong, Pacific Organic standards. Luis is an excellent communicator, enjoys teaching and consulting.

XAVI CORTAL has over 25 years of experience in the organic sector. Beginning in the 90s in retail with then groundbreaking grocery chain Jimbo’s…Naturally! After moving to Oregon, he worked up to becoming Executive Chef at Portland’s Blossoming Lotus Restaurant. Seeing opportunities for growth up the supply chain, Xavi spent an intense decade of learning while at the mission-driven produce distributor, Organically Grown Company. There, he worked hands-on in organic processing, logistics, quality assurance, inventory maintenance, and compliance. In 2018, Xavi joined the leading non-profit certification agency, Oregon Tilth. With a focus on organic handling, Xavi’s work centered around onboarding new clients, reviewing Organic System Plans and updates such as facility additions, product additions and material reviews. He quickly became a trusted resource for regulatory information and context both internally and with Tilth’s largest clients. He operated a hotline, answering questions about everything from certification basics to international compliance and equivalency arrangements.

TARA CROSS is a senior level sales and marketing veteran with over 20 years of experience in brand and product strategy, portfolio optimization, and go-to-market strategy for multiple sales channels. As the former National Marketing Director of Allegro Coffee – a wholly owned subsidiary of Whole Foods Market – Tara has traveled extensively to collaborate with coffee, tea, spice, and chocolate producers, learning about their various varietals, growing and processing techniques, and communities. During her time at Allegro Coffee, she was given the opportunity to launch hundreds of new items within and outside Whole Foods Market. Tara is now an Associate for Wolf & Associates, where she uses her diverse experiences and knowledge to help clients develop their story and unique selling points and execute successful strategies for developing markets for their product.

KATHERINE DIMATTEO brings breadth and depth to challenges facing businesses and not-for-profit organizations in the organic community. While she was a partner at W&A, her projects included business and strategic plans, U.S. and international regulatory analysis and advice, educational and training programs, market analysis, technical review, product development and assessment, and triple bottom line evaluations. Among her accomplishments as the first Executive Director of the Organic Trade Association, she served on the United States delegation to the Codex Committee on Food Labeling, fostered alliances to benefit the organic community, and developed effective and dedicated teams in numerous organizations. Katherine is renown as one of the pioneering leaders in the organic industry and her deep experience will enable  your organization to grow with integrity.

JOE DICKSON for over 20 years has driven the creation of innovative standards, certification programs and educational content that help shoppers, brands and retailers align consumer intent with real impact throughout the supply chain. Another key strength is creating dynamic educational content to help people – consumers, industry leaders, regulators and others – understand technically complex issues in agriculture, ingredient safety and food systems. Joe served on the National Organic Standards Board from 2010-2015 and has established a solid track record of developing standards and certification programs in food, agriculture, cosmetics and textiles, along with broad and deep experience in FDA and USDA government affairs, PR and communications, content strategy, and investor relations. An experienced consultant and team player, Joe has built his career developing rigorous standards and accessible, relatable information that builds deep trust between consumers and brands.

FRED EHLERT brings a depth of experience in organic inspection and certification, and an appreciation of well-designed systems to W&A. Fred’s expertise in organic fiber production and processing has made him a popular speaker at conferences in the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, and more.  His consulting credentials include projects in China, Mexico and the United States for companies seeking organic certification or verification of imported organic products. Fred’s diverse professional interests and responsibilities provide unique insights that help W&A’s clients move their projects forward with integrity.

JANINE GIBSON, through her activism in organic agriculture in Canada, helped to write the Canadian Organic Standard, stressing IFOAM crop, livestock and processing principles. She currently serves as IOIA President (Trainer & Peer Evaluator) and is the past national president of Canadian Organic Growers, past president Manitoba (MB) Organic Alliance; and has represented MB on the Organic Federation of Canada board and on the Canadian Organic Standards Technical Committee since 1998. She has trained extensively with the International Organic Inspectors Association (IOIA) and is accredited in three scopes since 1995. Janine lives on the solar powered co-op forest farm she co-founded in 1984, a validation of her decades of farming responsibly with a commitment to promoting health and problem solving in agriculture to protect soil, water, and biodiversity.

DANIEL GIACOMINI has 30 years of diverse organic experience in policy, regulatory compliance, livestock feeding & management, product development, strategy and problem solving. He served on the National Organic Standards Board from 2006-2011, as Chair his last year, and focused on issues livestock of livestock standards & materials, nanotechnology, animal care and ruminant grazing, organic yeast, and retailer certification. Daniel has consulted with companies domestically and internationally looking to enter US organic markets, including animal care products, innovative livestock feeds and supplements, and specialty human foods. He has worked on certification applications and challenges, organic equivalency agreements, and representing operations on inspection compliance issues. Daniel’s continuing education commitment includes classes in organic Livestock and Dairy production compliance, organic inspection, audit trail integrity, and organic fraud prevention.

HOLLY GIVENS is a versatile writer and editor specializing in high-impact research, writing and message development, brings marketing communications skills, creative problem solving, a sense of humor, public speaking expertise and success in building favorable public perceptions of ideas, products, and services to her work with Wolf & Associates. Former Communications Director of the Organic Trade Association, she has been part of the organic community since 1995.

KATRINA HEINZE brings more than a decade of experience in organic public policy, strategy, and regulatory compliance to W&A. Previously the organic subject matter expert for a large consumer products company, Katrina has also served on the National Organic Standards Board in a designated scientist seat. Today, Katrina serves on several non- and for-profit boards focusing on the intersection of growth and inspiring people to good in the world. Her strategic planning expertise encompasses quality management, food safety, sustainability, marketing, regulatory compliance and government relations. With a deep understanding of business needs and organic production from farm to fork, Katrina helps W&A’s clients clear a strategic path through thorny problems.

MARK KEATING has worked in organic farming and certification since 1988, and his diverse experience includes four years of service with the USDA National Organic Program.  As the NOP’s lead Crop and Livestock Specialist, he was responsible for drafting the production standards included in the Final Rule creating the National Organic Program. Mark also served on the faculty of the University of Kentucky Department of Horticulture between 2006 and 2009 during which the assisted in designing and launching the first undergraduate degree (B.S.) in Sustainable Agriculture at a land grant institution. He now combines consulting for W&A clients with conducting about 175 crop, livestock and handling inspections annually.

SABRINA KHAN is a business development professional with more than a decade of experience in organic trade, produce, ingredients, product development, and operations. Sabrina has participated in multiple trade missions with the Organic Trade Association and USDA to Europe and Asia. Her professional experience and international origins have yielded a robust, coherent perspective on the position and potential of organics in a global market. In her Business Development role, Sabrina manages conversations with prospective clients, ensures follow through on work processes, and identifies new opportunities for the W&A team. Sabrina is passionate about organic food and agriculture at all scales, and delights in bringing the benefits of organics to as many as possible.  

MARK KING is an experienced professional with a track record of measurable impact in sustainable, regenerative and certified organic initiatives and projects. His work has earned him a reputation for success at the national level and his skill as a leader has allowed Mark to serve as a driving force for collaborative ventures. Mark served on the NOSB from 2000-2005 representing Retailers and has been engaged as a consultant for over 20 years. Consistent engagement with critical aspects of food production, handling and marketing has consistently resulted in consistent and valued success for projects. Mark’s personal commitment to the advancement of the field and support for community extends to his volunteer service where he mentors those new to the workforce, guides investment in arts programs serving communities in need and supports youth development through athletics.

DR. JANET KINTZ-EARLY has over 30 years of experience in pest control, pest control education, pesticide-related regulatory affairs, and pesticide efficacy research. She received her B.S. in Biology from Ursinus College, and both her M.S. and Ph. D. in Entomology from Clemson University.  Between degrees, Janet interned at both Longwood Gardens and Villanova University where she gained invaluable real-world experience about horticultural and structural integrated pest management.  After completing her graduate work, Janet worked at Nisus Corporation where she was initially a R&D Scientist and then became the Regulatory Affairs Manager responsible for EPA/state pesticide registrations, marketing language compliance, and all data generation necessary to support the registrations. Janet is a member of Pi Chi Omega and the Entomological Society of America.

MARK LIPSON is a founding leader of U.S. organic agriculture since 1985.  Through his various foundational roles (CCOF, OFRF, USDA) he has directed core public policy strategies and implementation for the organic sector.  His expertise integrates legislative, regulatory and media aspects of state and federal policy issues.  His personal experience as a 40-year partner in Molino Creek Farm (organic fresh produce) provides ground-truth on the power and practicalities of organic farming.   As a policy operator at the highest level of USDA (Organic Policy Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture), his portfolio included research funding, local food systems, genetic engineering policy debates, organic data collection, food safety legislative implementation, organic crop insurance programs, as well as the organic label regulatory apparatus management.

FAYE LITZINGER has supported organic agriculture since before the codifying of the National Organic Program regulations. She has a passion for healthy soil, which she nurtured in her internship with the USDA National Resource Conservation Service while studying Environmental Science at UC Santa Cruz. She has worked for several certification bodies in nearly every aspect of organic certification, from inspection and review to accreditation and quality management and she has worked tirelessly to detect and eliminate organic fraud. She also worked as a compliance expert for a certified organic berry company in Washington state. Faye has extensive experience with the Non-GMO Project and was the principal architect of a Non-GMO verification program. Faye has embraced her love of organic farming and food by serving for several years as the Executive Director of the Farmers Market in her local community.

BRIAN MAGARO began his journey in the organic industry farming with his father, which led to the development, ownership, and management of several related farming, processing and distribution operations. Experience as a hospice volunteer taught him how to listen to people and to hear their needs, an invaluable tool for working in inspection & consulting. Brian has served on the board of directors for the local Chamber of Commerce, International Organic Inspectors’ Association (IOIA), and Pennsylvania Certified Organic (PCO). He has worked with a number of companies to develop and advance their goals for organic production and processing while maintaining operational efficiency and profitability. With 30 years in the organic sector, Brian also enjoys the opportunity to mentor those who wish to work in the organic industry and actively works to promote the future and value of the organic food sector.

KRISTIN MATULKA is a freelance organic regulation compliance auditor who works from her small, diverse homestead in rural Nebraska. Kristin left the fast-paced world of litigation as an established legal assistant to practice her passion for organic permaculture. With roots in the ground level of organic principles, she launched into the heart of organic regulations and certifier accreditation in 2018. Kristin is convinced that strong certification bodies lend themselves to stronger producers and currently works with many widely recognized organic certifiers, providing quality system, accreditation and internal audit support, specializing in the USDA National Organic Program as well as many international organic regulations.

SANDY MAYS has more than 20 years of experience in organic production and marketing. Sandy works with businesses across the country to oversee the organic certification of products, source organic ingredients, and develop organic system plans including pest control programs. Prior to joining W&A, Sandy worked for ten years in the creative department of Young & Rubicam, one of the world’s largest advertising companies.

KELLY MONAGHAN has more than two decades of work in the organic community in Canada, the United States and Europe, is an IOIA-accredited process inspector and trainer.  Her in-depth understanding of what is required by certifiers enables North American manufacturers to efficiently prepare for and receive organic certification.  She co-wrote the Canada Organic Retailing Practices Manual & Guide and has developed advanced audit techniques curricula with which she regularly trains inspectors and certifier staff.  Feasibility studies for organic production and new organic product development are additional strengths Kelly brings to W&A. Kelly’s knowledge of the organic industry in North America, coupled with her ability to clarify complex issues, makes her an asset to any team seeking high integrity solutions.

SYLVIA R. TAWSE has been leading communications campaigns for over 35 years, from managing national PR product launch and issues campaigns to overseeing communications strategy during crises, to facilitating rebranding for national and international clients. She was honored in 2017 by Naturally Boulder receiving its “Industry Leader/Community Champion of The Year” award and has also been honored by Organic Trade Association for her service to the organic industry. Sylvia has first-hand knowledge of the organic practices as she and her husband own and operate Pastures of Plenty Farm in Arroyo Seco, NM, which has been featured in Eating Well, Sunset and Better Homes & Gardens and on The Food Network. She loves to help natural and organic companies, nonprofits and trade associations at all stages of their development to grow and thrive with true brand storytelling that is meaningful and magnetic.