The Board of Directors of the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology has appointed Linda Chimenti, current Chief Operating Officer (COO) of CAST, as the next Executive Vice President of the 40-year-old organization. Dr. John Bonner, current Executive Vice President/Chief Executive Officer (EVP/CEO), will leave that position at the end of January 2013 to pursue other interests.
Ms. Chimenti has years of experience as a CAST administrator, and she is committed to the organization’s mission. As she says, “It is an honor to have the opportunity to take on a new role in CAST, an organization that I have served for twelve years with growing responsibilities.” Ms. Chimenti also considers the move a compliment to the entire CAST staff. “The Board of Directors has expressed their confidence in our ability to maintain CAST’s output of high quality, credible publications and programs.”
After working at Iowa State University’s Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Ms. Chimenti joined the CAST organization in January 2001 as Managing Scientific Editor and has led the editorial department continuously since that time. During this period, she has been responsible for the production of approximately 140 CAST publications, including Task Force Reports, Issue Papers, CAST Commentaries, Annual Reports, and organizational histories.
In 2008, Ms. Chimenti was promoted to Director of Council Operations and added staff supervision and management duties to her responsibilities. She assisted the Board of Directors and Board of Representatives with a major restructuring of the organization’s governance in 2009. Since 2010, Ms. Chimenti has served as COO, working closely with Dr. Bonner on initiatives to expand CAST’s impact and broaden its audience.
“John Bonner has been an excellent mentor during the years we’ve worked together,” says Ms. Chimenti. “He has provided team leadership for the staff and brought many new ideas for moving the CAST organization forward. He set a high standard for the next EVP to follow.”
Since 2005, Dr. Bonner has worked extensively with the CAST Board of Directors and Board of Representatives to revitalize the organization, and to establish a Board of Trustees. Working closely with Ms. Chimenti, he implemented many new projects, including the production of videos based on CAST publications; the active use of social media to communicate with a wider audience; and a CAST Education Program to make materials available to university students and staff at land-grant institutions.
Dr. Bonner hosted rollout presentations of CAST publications at venues in Washington, D.C., and visited numerous congressional offices to familiarize staffers and legislators with CAST resources. Dr. Bonner also developed a major campaign emphasizing the “Three I’s” concept: Input, Impact, and Investment. As he stated, “I am confident that Linda is focused on the ‘Three I’s’ concept, and she will do an excellent job as EVP of CAST.”
According to Dr. Phil Stahlman, CAST President, “We are very pleased that this transition of leadership will take place within the CAST organization now that Dr. Bonner is stepping down to pursue other interests. We are deeply grateful for all he has done for CAST, and we wish him all the best. We welcome Ms. Chimenti to her new role and look forward to working with her in this capacity.”
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