Richard Waycott President & CEO, Almond Board of California
Research Scientist, DPI VIC
The Almond Board of California’s President and CEO, Richard Waycott, joined the organisation in 2002. Mr Waycott has over 25 years experience in the food and agri-business industries, including
several years in Brazil working with the grain and oil seeds products divisions of Cargill. He was also based in Venezuela for a number of years working in the food processing and consumer products industries. Mr Waycott’s experience compliments the other professionals at the ABC by bringing an understanding of commercial operations and global opportunities to the Board’s programs and activities. During his tenure at the ABC, strategic planning and execution have been hallmarks of the ABC’s contributions to the phenomenal growth of the California almond industry. Trilingual in English, Spanish and Portuguese, Mr Waycott has a Masters in International Management from the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird) in Glendale, Arizona, and a Bachelor degree in International Marketing from New York University.
Mark has over 22 years of field research experience, resulting in 14 published scientific papers in the study of crop production and water use, in both dryland and irrigated cropping systems. Mark is currently undertaking a PhD in ‘Satellite based yield - water use relationships of perennial horticultural crops’.
Bob Curtis Associate Director, Agricultural Affairs, Almond Board of California Bob administers the Almond Board of California (ABC) production research program. The ABC funds research in horticulture,
Associate Prof John Fielke University of SA Associate Professor John Fielke is a researcher with the Barbara Hardy Institute and Associate Head, Teaching and Learning in the School of Advanced Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering at the University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes campus. John has a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering (SAIT), Master of Engineering Science in agricultural engineering (University of Melbourne) and a Doctor of Philosophy in soil science (University of Adelaide). His work has resulted in selection of steels and designs for tillage tools,108 new models of tillage and seeding equipment for Horwood Bagshaw and improved dried grape processing factories throughout Australia. John has received $7.4 million in grants and undertaken 42 design consultancies and 13 expert witness reports on machine failures. John currently teaches engineering drawing, CAD/CAM and mechanical design plus he supervises 5 PhD candidates. In 2011 John was contracted by the ABA to undertake a review of the Australian almond processing industry.
entomology, plant pathology and nematology, aflatoxin field studies, integrated pest management and pollination. He works to assure field implementation of research findings and hence is involved in issues which impact almond production and technology transfer. As such, Bob interacts closely with the University of California (UC) and other universities, the US Department of Agriculture, UC Cooperative Extension, ag organizations and state agencies. Bob rejoined the Almond Board in 2006, where he began his career 35 years ago. He has also worked for the California Strawberry Advisory Board and Campbell Soup Company in the areas of technical and research program administration and implementation. Bob received his masters (thesis research producing peer reviewed publications) in agricultural entomology from UC Riverside and a bachelors (cum laude) in zoology from UC Los Angeles.
Stavroula Drakos Category Business Manager Stavroula Drakos has spent the past 10 years with Coles
Supermarkets and for much of this time she has been involved with the Nut industry through various roles. Her initial foray with nuts was through the Snack Foods and Cooking Needs segments, where she was involved in the quality management of Private Label lines. She has visited numerous nut processing facilities in Australia, South Africa & Europe, gaining valuable insights in production quality and processing, observing “best in class” techniques. She completed a Graduate Certificate in Marketing in 2006, and in the following year, Stavroula moved into a Customer Planning Manager role for Health Foods. Packaged Nuts were a significant contributor to this category and Stavroula was able to gain meaningful insights in consumer purchase behaviour.