Ag Innovations’ talented team includes staff and consultants that are matched to the needs of each project. Our current team includes:
Brian R. Leahy provides expert consulting on pesticide policy, Williamson Act land use issues, and organic agriculture. Mr. Leahy served as the Director of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation for the Administration of Governor Jerry Brown and as Assistant Director of the Department of Conservation in charge of the Division of Land Use Protection during the Governor Schwarzenegger Administration. Before joining state service, his roles included Executive Director of California Certified Organic Farmers; Staff Attorney with Legal Aid of Nebraska; and owner/operator of Cherokee Ranch, a 900-acre organic/wildlife friendly rice farm. He is currently on the Board of Ag Innovations and on the Advisory Committee of the Western Integrated Pest Management Center.
CEO / CIO
Meyer Family Enterprises
Stephen Hohenrieder is the CEO and CIO of a single-family investment office where he oversees a portfolio that includes a range of assets, business interests and structures. He is an entrepreneurial investor who is particularly interested in companies, real assets and people that are financially focused but also strive to create social and ecological benefit.
Since 2008, Stephen has invested private capital along the value chain of our food system in ways that promote more regenerative land management practices, the production of healthy food at scale, and connect people to each. He has been exploring a thesis for how our food system is evolving, and how it is increasingly defined by fragmentation. This thesis is the foundation of an investment strategy that has included assets such a land, livestock and crop production, processing, supply chain infrastructure, services, technology and consumer packaged goods. Stephen has been focused on companies that are building authentic core brands through products that represent transparent, high-integrity supply chains from land to the consumer.
Stephen has served in a unique role that bridges production agriculture, consumer products, the capital markets, and impact-oriented values. His combination of education, experience, systems approach to investing, and love of the land have enabled him to play a strategic role in building more regenerative food systems. He actively collaborates with other investors, funds, universities, and non-profits.
Stephen lives in Marin County with his wife and three daughters, and his family grows wine grapes near Lodi, CA. He received his undergraduate degree in Agribusiness from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
Lucas Patzek is the Executive Director of the Napa County Resource Conservation District. He believes deeply in the District’s collaborative and non-regulatory approach to inspiring better land management, and has worked with similar Districts across California and Washington States. For the past 14 years he has worked with diverse stakeholders to improve agricultural and natural resource systems by finding common ground and working together on long-term solutions. His experience includes serving as a County Director and Agriculture & Natural Resource Faculty with the Cooperative Extension Service in Washington, the Associate Executive Director of Ag Innovations, a Senior Program Manager of local government energy efficiency programs at PG&E, and as a consultant on international agriculture projects from Algeria to Cambodia and Mexico. He earned a Ph.D. in Crop Science from Washington State University, and a B.S. in Biology from University of California, Santa Cruz.
Angelina Ceja is currently the vice president and chief education officer at AgSafe, a nonprofit organization in Modesto providing safety and human resources and practical education to the agricultural community. In the past 10 years, she has helped develop and expand programs and create supervisor leadership curriculum to address issues and challenges facing the agricultural workforce. Prior to joining AgSafe, she worked in the nonprofit sector providing support for leadership initiative programs in the Central Valley. Ms. Ceja currently serves as a board member for Protected Harvest.
Ms. Ceja possesses a master’s degree in Public Administration and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from California State University, Stanislaus.
In her free time, she enjoys traveling and reading.
Charlotte is the executive director of the California Farmland Trust, a nonprofit agricultural organization dedicated to the protection of farmland in California and a mission to help farmers protect the best farmland in the world.
In addition, Charlotte is also a managing partner of Mitchell Farms, a diversified family farming operation in Sacramento County consisting of walnuts, turkeys, and sheep.
Charlotte is a graduate from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in 1995 with a degree in ag business. She serves on the Ag Innovations board, Sacramento County Agricultural Advisory Committee, Florin High School Ag Advisory Committee, and treasurer of the California Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Team.
Charlotte, her husband Ken, and their two sons live on the family farm. Ken is also a graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in poultry science and serves as past district director for the California Farm Bureau. Her motivation to live and work in the agriculture industry is to see the next generation be afforded the opportunities that exist in agriculture. She has a commitment and passion for ensuring her boys have the opportunity to be sixth generation farmers.
STRAW Restoration Manager
Growing up in California’s Central Valley, I spent most of my childhood either working in our family’s almond orchard or exploring the rivers and wetlands of the Valley and the Sierra Nevada Mountains just east from home. These experiences led me to a life-long fascination with the critical role agriculture plays in ecosystem health and the quality of life here in California.
I joined the STRAW (Students and Teachers Restoring A Watershed) Project in 2000, and Point Blue (then PRBO) in 2011. As Restoration Manager, I provide leadership and science expertise to STRAW’s habitat restoration projects with students, teachers and community members on public and private landscapes, working with our phenomenal STRAW Project Managers to get these projects in the ground and thriving.
I received a B.S. in Fermentation Science from the University of California, Davis in 1996 and a California Single Subject Teaching Credential with CLAD emphasis in Biology from Dominican College in 2000.
I live in Sonoma County with my wife and two sons. In my free time I enjoy time with family and friends, music, various forms of cycling, and time outdoors throughout the Western US and beyond.
Amy Wolfe is a partner in Mujeres Poderosas, a collaboration of hard-working, determined, and passionate women sharing their collective wisdom for the betterment of organizations. She has spent nearly twenty years in executive capacities within the charitable sector, most recently as the President and CEO of AgSafe. Her career also includes tenure as a professional staff member in the California State Assembly and with the creative team for E&J Gallo Winery.
Ms. Wolfe currently serves on Ag Innovations, Protected Harvest and Modesto Rotary Club Boards of Directors. Her previous Board service and leadership includes the Association of Fundraising Professionals, League of Women Voters of Stanislaus County, Modesto Chamber of Commerce, and United Way of Stanislaus County.
Ms. Wolfe possesses a Master of Public Policy and Administration from California State University, Sacramento and a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Communications from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. In addition, she is accredited as Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE).