ROCKINGHAM, Va. — Shenandoah Growers, Inc., the nation’s most commercially advanced indoor agriculture company leveraging its biology and technology platform, national customer network and distribution channels to deliver USDA certified organic herbs and leafy greens to more than 18,000 retailers nationwide, today announced the addition of a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to its Executive Leadership Team, continuing a series of recent strategic hires by the company.
Matthew Ryan, former Chief Marketing Officer for Starbucks, Inc., has joined Shenandoah Growers as the company’s next Chief Executive Officer. Mike Buckley, most recently Senior Vice President of Business for Postmates, joins as the company’s next Chief Financial Officer. After more than 20 years as Chief Executive Officer, Timothy Heydon will continue to be fully engaged with the company. Tim will work directly with the Board of Directors, offering strategic counsel rooted in his decades of leadership shepherding the company from its origins in field agriculture through its evolution to the nation’s leading controlled environment agriculture company.
“Matt is a proven leader and strategist with an impressive track record of building strong, competitively advantaged brands in roles at Starbucks and Disney. As Shenandoah Growers seeks to do the same in produce – scaling across many different crops, sales channels and geographies – Matt’s leadership will be invaluable,” said Philip Karp, President, Shenandoah Growers. “Shenandoah Growers is also incredibly fortunate to be retaining the deep institutional knowledge of our outgoing CEO, Tim Heydon. Tim’s vision and steady hand have guided the company’s growth for the past two decades. The strong position we hold today as both a market and technology leader are a credit to Tim, and we are so pleased that he will continue to be an integral part of our team as this journey continues.”
“When I looked at the booming business of indoor agriculture, Shenandoah Growers stood out as the company with the strongest track record, and the best technical and biological know-how to transform its existing market-leading position into a long-term strategic advantage,” said Ryan. “My career has been shaped and defined by innovative, market-leading companies. Here, the opportunity for growth could be even greater, as Shenandoah Growers is uniquely positioned to deliver against the converging demand for affordable, high-quality and organic produce, and the need to grow it sustainably and reliably.”
With decades of experience leading strategy and marketing efforts for high-profile brands, including as Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Strategy Officer at Starbucks and as the head of Brand Management for The Walt Disney Company, Ryan has a keen understanding of what it takes for a company like Shenandoah Growers to achieve scaled topline growth. In addition to his previous roles, Ryan currently sits on the Board of Directors for Kaiser Permanente. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude.
Buckley brings several decades of experience in financial, operational and executive roles, guiding both public and private companies through periods of rapid growth and change. Prior to joining Shenandoah Growers, Buckley served in numerous business and financial executive roles including at Postmates during its acquisition by Uber, and at Nike as CFO of Nike Direct overseeing Nike’s fast-growth direct-to-consumer business, among other roles. Buckley was a managing director at Intel Capital, where he headed its consumer investment practice. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s General Management Program and received his Bachelor of Arts in Quantitative Economics from Stanford University.
“Mike’s sharp business acumen and track record of developing and implementing winning growth strategies at consumer brands like Postmates and Nike make him an incredible asset to our fast-growing company,” said Karp. “As we continue to expand, Mike will ensure that we are well-positioned to maintain our current momentum well into the future.”
“I was attracted by what Shenandoah Growers has already been able to accomplish through its ‘biology first, technology to scale’ approach, in terms of sales growth and profitability, growth in market share and long-standing retail customer relationships,” said Buckley. “I’m excited to help maintain the company’s current course financially while simultaneously scaling to serve new and diverse markets.”
The appointments of Ryan and Buckley follow the addition of Cameron Geiger as Chief Operating Officer and Dr. Tessa Pocock as Chief Science Officer. Geiger, a former Walmart executive, brings decades of senior experience in technology and end-to-end supply chain roles. Pocock, formerly of Plenty Unlimited Inc., is a preeminent lighting and plant biology expert.
About Shenandoah Growers, Inc.
Founded in 1989, Shenandoah Growers is the leading grower and marketer of fresh organic culinary herbs in the United States, providing sustainable, USDA certified organic, regionally grown produce to retailers coast-to-coast. The Rockingham, Virginia-based company has developed the nation’s largest commercial indoor organic growing systems and continues to redefine how to bring fresh, organic, and sustainably farmed produce to market – operating across a nationally integrated platform of farms, production, and logistics facilities. For more information, please visit www.shenandoahgrowers.com.
Under the THAT’S TASTY® BRAND, Shenandoah Growers provides USDA organic, non-GMO, regionally grown, and sustainably farmed fresh culinary herbs and greens. Launched in 2017, the THAT’S TASTY BRAND offers consumers ways to add Pure Organic Flavor™ to their everyday cooking by offering a full line of products including living organic herb plants, fresh cut herbs, herb purees, lettuces and microgreens. www.thatstasty.com.