Leadership

Photo: Dusti Gallagher.
Dusti Gallagher, President/CEO
Dusti Gallagher, who has owned and operated Fritz Consulting, an agricultural marketing consulting company, since 2010, became President/CEO in February 2018. As the founder of Fritz Consulting, Gallagher provided leadership and management services to agricultural companies including organization leadership and management, employee recruitment, staff and board development, strategic and financial planning, and goal initiation and execution. She previously served as the Strategic Lead for Sorghum and Co-Director for Developing Sorghum Doubled Haploid Technology with HPI. Prior to founding Fritz Consulting, Gallagher was the Chief Executive Officer of Kansas Wheat, a producer led organization. She led the restructuring of Kansas Wheat Commission and Kansas Association of Wheat Growers. In this capacity, she participated in several national industry committees. Gallagher has also served three years as Western States Regional Director of the United Sorghum Checkoff Program, developing and carrying out producer outreach and marketing programs across a five-state region. Gallagher began her agricultural career as the wheat analyst for the Foreign Agricultural Service, United States Department of Agriculture. She was responsible for global wheat situation and prepared the wheat outlook for FAS’s monthly publication covering global trade in grain. Gallagher, a native of Oklahoma, received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Agricultural Economics from Oklahoma State University. She currently resides in Wamego, Kan., with her husband, Paul, and two children, Maya and Nathanael.

Photo: Rob Berard.
Rob Berard, Chief Financial Officer
Rob assumed the Interim President/CEO role in January 2014 upon the retirement of Forrest Chumley. He has been working with HPI since 2011 as the CFO, a role he still fulfills. Prior to joining HPI, Rob Berard has spent more than 20 years in leadership positions with a focus in accounting and finance. As a financial leader, he has core competencies in budgeting and planning, banking relationships, software implementation, internal controls and project leadership. Berard earned a B.S. in accounting from Kansas State University and is a certified public accountant.

Forrest Chumley, Ph.D., Senior Advisor - Science and Special Projects
A veteran of the agricultural biotechnology industry Dr. Chumley was named President and CEO of HPI in early 2010. Forrest retired from full-time work with HPI in December 2013, however he remains a valuable asset to the Company. Prior to joining HPI, he spent more than 25 years in research and business leadership roles with the DuPont Company, K-State Research and Extension, and Edenspace Systems Corporation. A native of West Virginia, Dr. Chumley received a B.A. degree from Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of California at Berkeley. He and his wife, Dr. Barbara Valent, reside in Manhattan, Kansas.

Mohammad Asif, Chief Scientist
Mohammad Asif was employed with Pakistan Agriculture Research Council, Islamabad, Pakistan as Research Scientist since 1996 where he was involved in the development of high-yielding, drought tolerant and disease resistant wheat cultivars through conventional breeding. He completed his B.Sc. (Hons.) and M.Sc. (Hons.) degrees in Agriculture with specialization in Plant Breeding and Genetics from University of Arid Agriculture, Rawalpindi, Pakistan. He studied at University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada where he completed his PhD degree in Plant Science and also worked as Postdoctoral Fellow. During his stay at University of Alberta, he focused on the improvement of doubled haploid production technology in wheat and triticale along with QTL mapping and marker assisted breeding for various agronomic, quality, disease resistance and competitive ability traits in wheat. He has written more than 40 research/review articles and 12 book chapters. He has also edited/authored four books including 1) Progress and Opportunities of Doubled Haploid Production and 2) Managing and Breeding Wheat for Organic Systems: Enhancing Competitive Ability Against Weeds, recently published by Springer, USA.

Photo: Justin Gilpin.
Justin Gilpin, HPI Board Chairman
Justin Gilpin became the CEO of Kansas Wheat in 2009. He has been involved in a number of U.S. Wheat Associates committees, is past-chair of the Kansas City Board of Trade Cash Basis committee and was an adjunct research scientist for Kansas State University's Department of Grain Science and Industry. He currently serves as Chairman of Heartland Plant Innovations. He is a 1998 graduate of Kansas State University's milling science and operations program.

Aaron Harries, HPI Advisor
Aaron Harries has been the director of marketing with Kansas Wheat since July 2006. Prior to joining Kansas Wheat he was employed by the Kansas Grain and Feed Association in Topeka for 10 years. While at KGFA, he also had responsibilities with the Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association, the Kansas Certified Crop Adviser Program and the Kansas Association of Ethanol Processors. He graduated with a degree in agriculture communications from Kansas State University.

Photo: Ameha Gebreiyesus.
Ameha Gebreiyesus, Research Associate
Before joining HPI, Ameha Gebreiyesus worked as a Research Associate in the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research mainly on durum wheat breeding and genetics research. He earned a B.S. in plant science from Alemaya University, Ethiopia. He received his first M.S. in Biology (Applied Genetics) from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, and a second M.S. in genetics and molecular plant breeding from University of Hannover, Germany. He earned a post-graduate diploma in Biosafety in Plant Biotechnology from Ghent University, Belgium. Gebreiyesus joined HPI in Sep. 2011.

Photo: Tyler Suelter.
Tyler Suelter, Research Associate
Tyler joined HPI in October 2012. Tyler received two undergraduate degrees from Kansas State Universty in Biology and Chemistry. During that time he worked as a Research Assistant on a carbon cycling project and a genomics project in native ecosystems. Tyler grew up on a family farm in Lincoln, Kansas.