Day 1 Keynote Speaker
Regional Director, North America
100 Resilient Cities
Otis' entire career has been dedicated toward resilience and urban development in the private, non-profit and public sectors. He has worked in housing, community economic development, strategic planning, performance management, municipal administration, urban, regional and transportation planning. Prior to joining 100RC, Otis served as CEO of Newark, NJ’s economic development corporation. He was a senior manager at a national public-sector management consultant firm leading their strategic planning, change and performance management work in municipalities and large urban school districts. His extensive public sector experience includes serving in various leadership positions with five different mayors in three large US cities. He has been a chief of staff managing a $2 billion budget; city planning director for the America’s largest independent city; and he has served as 1st deputy housing commissioner for the 5th largest public housing and community development agency in the US. An honors graduate, Otis earned his BA from Rutgers University and a masters from M.I.T
Day 2 Keynote Speaker
Rosalind Franklin Award for Biotechnology
Vonnie’s career has been driven by a passion for agriculture, technology and sustainability. Currently a consultant in Ag innovation, she has held leadership roles at prominent companies including DuPont, Monsanto, and Syngenta along with start-ups and venture funds to identify revolutionary science and bring products to market. She has built a number of agricultural and bio-industrial start-ups with successful exits. Serving on company, advisory, industry, and government boards, she is a known voice in the industry with frequent publications and speaking engagements. She has a vision to commercialize new technologies creating revolutionary products that are good for people and the planet. Vonnie is one of the leading female executives in the biofuels industry and winner of the 2017 Rosalind Franklin Award for Biotechnology. Vonnie will be speaking about the role of Big Data in agriculture and emerging biotechnologies as they apply to urban agriculture.
Special address by Ambassador Andrew J. Young at the AgLanta Conference. Andrew J. Young has earned worldwide recognition as a pioneer and champion of civil and human rights. Ambassador Young’s lifelong dedication to service is illustrated by his extensive leadership experience of over sixty-five years, serving as a member of Congress, African American U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Mayor of Atlanta, and ordained minister, among other positions.