The World Potato Congress President, John Griffin, would like to extend a congratulations and warm welcome to our new incoming Executive Director, Ellen Kouwenberg, who will be replacing outgoing General Manager, Brian Douglas.
Born and raised in a family of 9 children, her family operated a potato/beef operation in PEI, Canada. She received her BBA through UPEI and studied International Business at the University of Copenhagen travelling extensively throughout Europe and Russia exploring various business models as part of those studies.
Upon her return, she worked with the PEI Department of Agriculture in various capacities including, Potato Services, Farm Business Management, and the International Programs Division. A secondment led her back to the private sector where she completed a feasibility study into and the establishment of the PEI Potato Quality Institute (PQI), a nationally accredited testing laboratory which she then managed and expanded.
After her departure from PQI, she has continued to work in the global potato network, collaborating on projects with USA University potato variety research programs, expanding international technical and regulatory trade, and farm biosecurity. She brings experience to the World Potato Congress through her global connections, facilitating incoming and outgoing agricultural missions and trade shows involving countries in North Africa, Central and South America, Philippines, USA, and the Middle East. Ellen resides with her husband and their three children on a 285-cow milking herd dairy farm. Ellen has over 25 years as 4-H youth leader, sitting on various boards and committees in this and other organizations within her community, and as such, has been recognized with a Women In Agriculture award for her on-going contributions.
We look forward to working with Ellen in her new role.