Get to know us, connect with us and let’s start a conversation.
BETH BECHDOL | PRESIDENT + CEO
Beth Bechdol excels at building unconventional alliances, connecting people who may not know they need connecting and telling the exciting and inspiring story of the agbiosciences to everyone she meets.
Beth has served in leadership roles at Ice Miller LLP, the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee under Indiana Senator Richard G. Lugar and with Informa Economics.
Beth believes in serving your community and giving yourself to worthy causes that will change the world. She serves as board chair for the Indiana Humanities Council and is a board member for the Indiana State Fair Commission, Conner Prairie and the Purdue Research Foundation. She is also an enthusiastic supporter of the National FFA, having served as Chair of both its Sponsors’ Board and Board of Trustees.
Beth is a die-hard Hoya and Boilermaker. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in International Law and International Affairs from Georgetown University and a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University.
DANIEL DAWES | SENIOR DIRECTOR OF STRATEGY + INNOVATION
Dan Dawes is our champion connector and metrics keeper. He also spends one day a week as an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Purdue Foundry where he helps students, faculty and local alumni move innovative ideas to the marketplace more effectively.
Prior to AgriNovus Indiana, Dan had an impressive 30+ year career at DuPont Crop Protection and served in a variety of sales and marketing roles. His extensive experience in business leadership, project management, marketing and sales makes him a critical asset to advancing Indiana’s agbioscience sector. He leads the efforts of building an agbioscience entrepreneurial ecosystem and serves as a catalyst for strategic collaboration among individuals, corporations, industry associations, government and universities.
Dan is a proud Boilermaker. He graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis on Ag Economics and currently serves as Vice Chairman for the Board of Directors for the Purdue Alumni Association.
BUILDING A WORLD-CLASS TALENT PIPELINE
MELISSA REKEWEG | SENIOR DIRECTOR OF TALENT
Melissa Rekeweg shines when presented with the challenge of leading a project from ideation to actualization. Melissa leads the development of new, transformational agbioscience career discovery and talent pipeline initiatives for AgriNovus.
Melissa’s unique background in both education and in the agricultural industry perfectly complement her role in launching these initiatives. She has served in multiple leadership roles with the Indiana Department of Education as the Indiana FFA Executive Director, a Perkins Specialist, and the Director of Secondary Career and Technical Education. During her career she also worked for Crossroads Bank, the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and Purdue University College of Agriculture.
Melissa is a Boilermaker at heart and lifelong agricultural advocate. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education and today shares her extensive leadership development expertise on the AgrIInstitute Board of Directors and Purdue Extension Board – Boone County.
CONFIDENTLY TELLING OUR STORY
LIBBY FRITZ | DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS + ENGAGEMENT
Libby Fritz is our supreme multi-tasker. She collects information quickly, can swiftly and effortlessly bounce between projects and has the memory of an elephant.
In her role as our director of all things messaging, she leads our communication and marketing efforts, stakeholder engagement messaging and event development. If there is a way to tell our story—whether through fun computer stickers, airport advertising or bringing people together to engage in a conversation—she will find it!
Libby has been telling the Indiana agriculture story to several different audiences throughout her career. She understands the importance of sharing the story to legislators and elevating farmer success stories from her time at the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and the fun challenge of sharing the agriculture story to urban audiences from her time at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and Event Center. She is a Boilermaker through and through with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Communications.
CREATING UNEXPECTED PARTNERSHIPS
BRIDGET O’REILLY | DIGITAL MEDIA MANAGER
Prior to joining AgriNovus, Bridget O’Reilly had only stepped on a farm maybe once or twice in her life. But, she couldn’t be more passionate about the critical convergence of agriculture and technology to sustainably and responsibly feed the planet for future generations.
Bridget is our online voice behind the #timetotell and #agbioscience social campaigns that share Indiana’s agbioscience story. She believes that change starts at a local level and has always chased careers promoting communities that are collaborative in economic development, public art and sustainable practices. Some of her past employment includes being a social media manager, an art gallery director and a marketing director at a hydroponics start-up.
She is the only “Hoosier” on #TeamAgriNovus with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History and Media Sciences from Indiana University.
CONNECTING CAREERS TO THE AGBIOSCIENCES
TAMI NEIGHBORS | FIELD ATLAS MANAGER
Tami Neighbors describes herself as a lifelong learner and educator. There are few better traits to have for her work leading the ongoing content development and promotion of Field Atlas, our online career discovery platform.
Tami’s background of developing future talent through Indiana FFA and Purdue University, along with her personal investment and commitment to student success, complements her role in promoting the available careers and industry-relevant skills needed in the Indiana agbioscience sector. Tami has served in education and organizational-related roles with the Indiana FFA Association and as a student teacher university supervisor for Purdue. She started her career as the agricultural educator at Mt. Vernon High School and most recently was the strategic coordinator for Adult Ministry.
Tami is a passionate Boilermaker with a Bachelor of Science degree is Agricultural Education from Purdue University.