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Source: Council for Agricultural Science and Technology news release

The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST), a nonprofit organization that specializes in assembling and communicating science-based agricultural information to a broad audience, is announcing its planned management succession.

Dr. John Bonner, current Executive Vice President/Chief Executive Officer (EVP/CEO) of CAST, will be leaving that position at the end of January, 2013, to pursue other interests. Ms. Linda Chimenti, current Chief Operating Officer (COO) of CAST, will assume the role of EVP effective February 1, 2013.

Ms. Chimenti joined the CAST organization in January 2001 as Managing Scientific Editor and has led the editorial department continuously since that time. During this period, she has been responsible for the production of approximately 140 CAST publications, including Task Force Reports, Issue Papers, CAST Commentaries, Annual Reports, and organizational histories.

In 2008, Ms. Chimenti was promoted to Director of Council Operations and added staff supervision and management duties to her responsibilities. She assisted the Board of Directors and Board of Representatives with a major restructuring of the organization's governance in 2009. Since 2010, Ms. Chimenti has served as COO, working closely with Dr. Bonner on initiatives to expand CAST's impact and broaden its audience.

Prior to joining CAST, Ms. Chimenti worked for the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD), a public policy research center at Iowa State University.

Dr. Bonner came to CAST in 2005. During his term as EVP/CEO, he has worked extensively with the CAST Board of Directors and Board of Representatives to revitalize the organization, and to establish a Board of Trustees.

Working closely with Ms. Chimenti, he implemented many new projects, including the production of videos based on CAST publications; the active use of social media to communicate with a wider audience; and a CAST Education Program to make materials available to university students and staff at land-grant institutions.

As EVP/CEO, Dr. Bonner developed a major campaign focused on the "Three I's" concept: Input, Impact, and Investment. He hosted rollout presentations of CAST publications at venues in Washington, D.C., and visited numerous congressional offices to familiarize staffers and legislators with CAST resources.

According to Dr. Phil Stahlman, CAST President, "We are very pleased that this transition of leadership will take place within the CAST organization now that Dr. Bonner is stepping down to pursue other interests. We are deeply grateful for all he has done for CAST, and we wish him all the best. We welcome Ms. Chimenti to her new role and look forward to working with her in this capacity."

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