June 16, 2014, Guelph Ont – John Kelly has been hired as the new executive vice president of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (OFVGA). He will assume his position on July 1, taking over from retiring CEO Art Smith.
“As a board we are looking forward to working with John in his new role with the OFVGA,” says board chair Ray Duc, a grape grower from the Niagara area. “This is a critical time in our industry and John has the qualifications and experience to take the OFVGA to the next level.”
Throughout his career, Kelly has been focused on innovation development and implementation, and advancing products and technologies in the agriculture, food, biotechnology, pharma and bioeconomy sectors. He most recently led Erie Innovation and Commercialization, a four and a half year initiative of the OFVGA with a mandate to diversify agriculture and food opportunities for the sand plains area of the South Central Ontario Region (SCOR).
“I am very pleased to be taking on this role with the OFVGA and I thank the board of directors for the opportunity,” says Kelly. “This is a very important time for the OFVGA and it is crucial that the challenges and issues affecting fruit and vegetable growers be directly addressed. Our job will be to implement the strategy and direction of the board.”
He has also held executive positions with various companies, including KeliRo Company Inc., MaRS Landing, Land O’ Lakes, Ralston Purina, Rhone-Poulenc Canada Inc. and Aventis CropSciences Inc., as well as the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food. Kelly holds a B.Sc. (Agr) and Ph.D. from the University of Guelph, and a Master of Science from the University of Alberta.
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