Directors & General Manager
The members of the Board of Directors are all volunteers who have made a commitment of time, energy and expertise to assure a successful future for World Potato Congress Inc.
President & CEO
Peter VanderZaag is a Canadian farm boy who spent many years working to help farmers in Africa and Asia starting in Bangladesh in 1973. After obtaining his PhD, Peter joined the International Potato Center (CIP) in 1979 and lead work in Central Africa, based in Rwanda and later as the CIP Regional Director for SE Asia based in the Philippines.
In 1986, Peter initiated the CIP work in China and closely cooperated with scientists and farmers in the subtropical SW China as a Visiting Professor at Yunnan Normal University and the Joint Academy of Potato Science until 2020. He focused on the introduction of improved CIP germplasm and high quality seed potato production. For his work in China, Peter received the “National Friendship Award“ in 2014, the highest honor given to a foreigner. Peter also served as a member and as chair of the CIP Board of Trustees.
Peter has served the World Potato Congress since 2013 initially as an International Advisor and then as a Director. Peter played a key supportive role in developing the programs for the past 3 congresses in China, Peru and Ireland.
Peter, is also a private potato breeder. He, along with his daughter Ruth and son-in-law Nick own and operate Sunrise Potato, a large potato farming operation in Canada (www.sunrisepotato.com).
Professor and Extension Potato Specialist
University of Idaho
Dr. Olsen is Professor and Potato Specialist with the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Idaho, USA., is the first woman to serve on the WPC Executive and was the first female President of the Potato Association of America. Nora has co-authored and presented hundreds of extension and scientific presentations and publications. She has been with the WPC as a Director since 2014 and during these years has been instrumental in launching the WPC webinar series. Nora’s husband is a turfgrass farmer and she still has the opportunity to occasionally help out her brother on the family farm, which grows and markets specialty potatoes.
Dr. Nigel Crump,
Dr. Crump has a Ph.D. in Agricultural Science and a diverse background in several sectors including science, industry, and government. He has extensive experience in business process, service, operations, planning, and policymaking.
He has a strong background in formulating and implementing policy to support trade using good science-based rationale, particularly in relation to potato pest and disease issues.
Dr. Crump is the General Manager, Australian Seed Potato Industry Certification Authority (AuSPICA) a not-for-profit and industry-based organization in Victoria, South Australia, and New South Wales. In this role, he oversees the development and implementation of science and technology for the practical advancement of the seed scheme and the facilitation of trade. Dr. Crump is also actively involved in the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Specialized Section on Seed Potatoes, as a Co- Deputy Chair. Dr. Crump currently serves as Acting Chair of Potatoes Australia Ltd, as well as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the World Potato Congress Inc.
P.Ag.,N.Sch., B.Sc., MBA
Greg Donald has been the General Manager of the PEI Potato Board since 2009.
The PEI Potato Board represents PEI potato producers working together to ensure long term profitability and sustainability through marketing, advocating, negotiation and activities that support quality potato production.
Greg has a BSc. Degree in Agriculture with a major in plant protection from Dalhousie University. He also attended UNB and obtained a Master’s in Business Administration.
Greg has over 30 years of experience in the potato industry, including five years with McCain Foods in New Brunswick in the area of agronomy, potato production, potato procurement and green crop field management. He then spent 14+ years in progressively responsible management positions in the agricultural crop input business in Atlantic Canada and Maine with the Cavendish Group.
Greg also participates in a number of local and industry organizations including a director with the Kensington North Watershed Association, a member of the Prince Edward Island Institute of Agrologists, a director of the Farm & Food Care PEI, a director with the PEI Farming 4R Island, a director of the Canadian Potato Council, a director of the United Potato Growers of Canada and a director of the World Potato Congress. Greg completed the Nuffield Scholar Program (an international agricultural adult education program) that included a study of the Potato industry in Belgium (processing focus), Holland (seed focus) and the UK (fresh focus).
Greg, his wife Becky live in Margate, PEI. They have a daughter Abby and son Jack. Greg enjoys family activities, boating, outdoor activities and travelling.
Bret A. Nedrow,
Bret A. Nedrow started his life and career in potatoes on a seed potato farm in Ashton, Idaho, USA. Educated at the University of Idaho with a B.S. in Agribusiness Management and a M.S. in Agricultural Economics. Bret has been involved in the potato processing world for 22 years starting with Nestle Food Service in Moses Lake, WA.
He also assisted with the startup of the grading company Ag World Support Systems LLC. Bret currently works for The JR Simplot Company and has for 20 years in Washington, Idaho, North Dakota, and Portage La Prairie, Manitoba in various positions in potatoes.
He is currently the Director of Raw Procurement overseeing North America potato operations, raw development, and sustainability for the Simplot Food Group. Bret is also a current member of The Potato Association of America.
Jang Bandhur Singh Sangha
Chairman, Sangha Group Of Companies
Mr. Sangha is a member of The Sangha Group of Companies located in the heartland of Punjab, Northern India. For 60 years, The Sangha Group of Companies has been the largest producer of seed and table potatoes in India.
Mr. Sangha is a graduate of Cornell University with a Masters in Fruit & Vegetable Science. In 2017, Mr. Sangha was awarded the Progressive Cold Chain Business Award for Performance and Excellence in the field of Cold Chain. Prior to becoming a World Potato Congress Director, Mr. Sangha was a member of the World Potato Congress’ International Advisors.
Prior to being appointed as a WPC Director, André Devaux was named as an International Advisor with WPC Inc. in 2018. He is currently our project lead on the International Potato Day.
Mr. Devaux holds a PhD in Agriculture Science, Université Catholique Louvain (UCL), Belgium, with more than 35 years of professional experience in the global South. Extensive and proven expertise in managing multidisciplinary teams to strengthen agriculture innovation in Latin America, Africa and Asia, with special emphasis on production and utilization of the potato for enhancing food security, in the context of agricultural innovation systems and inclusive value chain development. He has published more than 50 articles, books and reports. Experience mainly with the International Potato Center (CIP) but also working experience with FAO and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
With more than 30 years of experience in potato journalism at home and abroad, Jaap Delleman knows how to interpret new developments in the potato sector quickly and enthusiastically. This publisher of various trade books and editor-in-chief of the magazines Aardappelwereld and PotatoWorld also likes to get involved in the potato crop as an enthusiastic potato fan. He shares his knowledge and experience, gained from visiting growers and processors on all continents, with great verve with a rapidly growing international circle of readers. His professional passion and skill with the camera ensures that his written word is complemented by striking photographs and portraits. Besides publishing magazines and books, Jaap, after a recent study also qualified as a digital marketing professional, develops together with his experienced and driven Team Aardappelwereld a professional way of offline and online communication. Through this cross-media strategy, players in the global potato industry are provided with both a platform and a source of information. In a sector that never stands still, Jaap continuously develops himself and his business strategy in order to be of service to all links in the potato chain.
A graduate of the University of Guelph, Mr. Douglas has enjoyed a public service career spanning over 41 years. His career has provided him with an appreciation and understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing Canadian producers. From 2015 to 2016, Mr. Douglas was the Clerk of the Executive and Secretary to the Cabinet for the Government of Prince Edward Island. Previously, he held other senior-level positions in the Prince Edward Island government including Deputy Minister, Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal and Deputy Minister, Agriculture.
Mr. Douglas spent most of his career in the PEI Department of Agriculture where he served as Director of the Agriculture Resource Division and Manager of the Farm Extension Services. Throughout his career, he also served as a member and representative for the Province of Prince Edward Island on various provincial and national level boards and committees related to agriculture and transportation and infrastructure renewal.
Blair Richardson has fulfilled the responsibilities as CEO and President of Potatoes USA since 2013. On behalf of Potatoes USA and the potato industry, Blair sits on several produce and potato industry boards including the Alliance for Potato Research and Education, the Potato Leadership, Education, and Advancement Foundation, the Alliance for Food and Farming, and others.
Mr. Richardson actively engages in issues of importance to the potato industry and is passionate about the need to proactively protect and defend the reputation of the potato. He is a strong proponent of aggressive advocacy and marketing tactics.
Prior to this, Blair served in similar positions with other private and industry organizations in California and has been an active farmer of both almonds and cherries while he was CEO/Partner of a large grower/packer/sales company specializing in fresh stone fruit, grapes, and citrus.
Mr. Richardson sold his last farm in California in 2021, which capped 32 years of working and/or farming in the state that began in 1989 with a ten-year career in the California cotton industry.