The founder and president of VISUAL FARMS, Margaret Maizel is an expert in geospatial systems, leading conservation efforts that created or improved programs at local, state and federal levels. Recognizing the challenges farmers face in accessing enterprise-scale, real-time, science-based farm information systems, Maizel founded VISUAL FARMS and often prototypes new analytics solutions with complex information systems for the agriculture industry.
Before founding VISUAL FARMS, Maizel spent 15 years as president of Oneimage LLC, consulting to some of the world’s largest agriculture manufacturers, seed companies and national conservation organizations. She also previously served as vice president, Integrated Systems at VantagePoint Network, Deere & Company and was a co-founder of a congressionally funded program through USDA for a decade to integrate federal geospatial systems to support rural decision-makers. With her husband, Jake Maizel, she also co-owned and operated a registered Angus cow-calf operation in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia for 15 years.
A seasoned technology entrepreneur and business leader with demonstrated experience delivering innovative, artificial intelligence-driven digital transformation solutions, Cecil Samuel oversees VISUAL FARMS’ entire technology operations, from product planning, establishing processes and product team governance to setting technology direction, rolling out large-scale, real-time machine learning platform-based solutions and end-to-end product lifecycle management.
Throughout his three-decade career, he has held leadership positions in incubating global technology and innovation centers, centers of excellence (CoEs) and has achieved success in operationalizing and scaling them up to enable rapid business growth and value. His primary industry focus has been in the U.S. health care, agriculture and government sectors.
Doyle Albee’s varied career includes public relations, marketing communications and digital marketing, with experience across a broad range of industries. He has worked with startups, members of the Fortune 500, both public and private organizations and led communications for a multimillion dollar initial public offering.
Albee’s background includes 10 years with Coors Brewing Company (now MillerCoors) in both public relations and marketing positions, as well as directing global communications for hard disk drive manufacturer Maxtor before founding and managing his own public relations firm, which offers public relations, content development, website design, social media management, creative and video services and webinar production from offices in Boulder, Denver and Fort Collins, Colorado.
Leveraging extensive experience across the entire product lifecycle (Pragmatic-certified in marketing), from marketing strategy, business planning and product planning through to positioning, pricing, promotion and working with sales to help build pipelines, close business and develop strategic partnerships, Mark Demers brings an outstanding large-scale efforts coordination ability to VISUAL FARMS.
With a track record of increasing sales and partnerships, streamlining operations, building and positioning new products in new markets and developing solid branding and communications, Demers has directed executive strategic planning sessions, developed and revised company business models/strategy/vision, built marketing plans and budgets, developed strategic product plans and roadmaps, created new field-based solutions with a full complement of launch materials, managed international product launches and developed alliance/channel playbooks.
Named one of the World’s Top 100 People in Finance by Top 100 Magazine; one of the 10 Most Influential Business Leaders of 2020 by Exeleon Magazine; 100 Global Women of Excellence by Sovereign Magazine and a United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Partner, Larisa Miller leverages a deep background in international boutique consulting and investment to develop innovative and sustainable business strategies and facilitate VISUAL FARMS’ global market expansion.
She currently serves as CEO of Phoenix Global LLC, executive vice president of STP Capital Partners, LLC and chairwoman of LTP Capital Partners, LLC. She also frequently speaks to global audiences about business investment, entrepreneurism, multisector investment, the importance of sustainable development goals. Prior to joining the VISUAL FARMS team, Miller worked for the commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s secretary of agriculture and later for the Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge in the office of public policy. She also spent several years working for the Royal Family in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates as personal consultant and business development manager, with focus on sustainable development.
Having grown up on a multigenerational crop and livestock farming operation near Creighton, Nebraska, Betty Luce understands the importance of America’s family farms and recognized the value VISUAL FARMS’ innovative solutions bring to farmers across the U.S. and around the world
Luce’s father served as President of the Nebraska Crop Improvement Association in the 1950’s, actively working with agronomists at the University of Nebraska to develop NC+ Hybrids, producing improved seed varieties acclimated to growing conditions throughout the state. Luce invested in VISUAL FARMS in her father’s name to support his values.
Beyond being VISUAL FARMS’ founding investor, she is also an advisor, continuing to support the company with encouragement, enthusiasm, advice, strategy and additional funding as needed to support the ongoing development of Visual Farms.
Luce is a successful businesswoman, with a lifetime of experience in historic preservation, building renovation and real estate sales..She has participated in the founding of several non-profits, and currently is Vice President of the Board of Trustees of St. Elizabeth’s, an intentionally inclusive K-8 Episcopal School.
The chairman, president and general manager of Fairholme Farms in Lewisville, Indiana, Charles M. (Kim) Drackett, Jr. owns Visual Farms’ trial farm, piloting the company’s technological solutions.
As an entrepreneur — and through his work at Fairholme Farms — Drackett brings significant business and management level experience from inside the agriculture industry and from the financial services industry. Prior to Visual Farms, he served as a trustee of the Indiana Pork Producers Association and as a director of the Cincinnati Nature Center, where he was chairman of its Agricultural Operations Committee. He also previously served as director of Ameriana Bank and director of Ameriana Bancorp since its formation in 1990. Through his prior business experience, he gained significant technological knowledge, adding additional value to the Visual Farms board of directors.