AgriNovus Indiana adds start-up and state executives to Board of Directors

May 22, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS (May 22, 2018) — AgriNovus Indiana, the state’s initiative to promote and accelerate the growth of the agbiosciences sector, has added new members to its board of directors:

  • Ellie Symes, CEO of The Bee Corp.
  • Johnny Park, vice president of research for DTN, Inc.
  • Micah Vincent, director of the Indiana Office of Management and Budget
  • David Roberts, chief innovation officer for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC)

“These well-recognized thought leaders and innovators represent the best of Indiana’s diverse agbiosciences sector,” said Beth Bechdol, president and CEO of AgriNovus Indiana. “They are creative entrepreneurs who have built successful ag tech businesses and are state executives committed to making Indiana the home to unparalleled agbioscience talent and innovation. We look forward to the additional big picture and strategic thinking they will bring to our current board leadership.”

Ellie Symes is the co-founder and CEO of The Bee Corp. and is a rising star in the agbiosciences start-up community. Launched in 2016, The Bee Corp was founded in Bloomington, Ind. and assists beekeepers in reducing beehive loss through Internet of Things (IoT) and data analytics. The Bee Corp. offers decision-support software powered by real-time sensor monitoring and hive data analytics to better understand bee needs and behaviors, while also looking to enhance beehive health in the United States and around the world. The Bee Corp was recently honored with an ISBDC Small Business Impact Award and TechPoint’s Rising Star Mira Award.

Symes earned her Master of Public Affairs in Information Systems in 2018 and a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Management in 2016 from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Johnny Park is the vice president of research at DTN, Inc. and founder of Spensa Technologies, which was acquired by DTN in March 2018. Spensa was named by Forbes as one of the Top 25 Most Innovative Ag-Tech Startups in 2017. Park is passionate about agricultural innovation that will reduce reliance on manual labor, foster eco-friendly farming, and enhance crop production efficiency. Before Spensa, Park was a faculty member in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University where his research spanned various topics on robotics, machine learning and sensor networks.

Park received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees from the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University.

Micah Vincent is the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Governor Eric Holcomb and previously served as the OMB’s general counsel and policy director. He has also served as commissioner of the Indiana Department of Local Governance Finance and served former Governor Mitch Daniels’ administration as assistant general counsel and policy director for Utilities, Energy, and Higher Education, among other roles.

Vincent earned a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and a law degree from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

David Roberts is the chief innovation officer at the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. Roberts previously served as president of the Battery Innovation Center at the WestGate@Crane Technology Park; as a board member of a Chinese joint venture with a global auto parts distributor; IP counsel for a Fortune 50 company; and as an engineer in the defense industry.

Roberts received a law degree from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, where he served on the Indiana Law Review. Prior to law school, he received his bachelor’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Lehigh University.

AgriNovus Indiana is a strategic initiative that is guided by an Executive Committee and Board of Directors comprised of stakeholders from business, university, community and government leaders across Indiana’s diverse food and agricultural sector. AgriNovus Indiana’s board of directors serve as advocates for the initiative to other community and industry representatives.

About AgriNovus Indiana
AgriNovus Indiana is the state’s initiative focused on advancing the agbiosciences sector as a nationally recognized leader through education, research and talent development; strategic collaborations among corporations, industry associations, government and universities; the creation and support of new companies; and branding and targeted promotions to elevate the sector. AgriNovus Indiana is part of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP), an effort dedicated to the region’s continued prosperity and growth. Contact AgriNovus Indiana to learn more.