WHO ARE WE ?

We're a team that has been there - and knows the difference

Margaret Maizel

FOUNDER, VISUAL FARMS

Margaret Maizel is the Founder and President of Visual Farms. An expert in geo-spatial systems, she champions farms, and conservation efforts that created or improved programs at local, state and federal levels. She is an inventor of the Visual Farms’ US Patent #799754.

She was President, ONEIMAGE, LLC consulting to agriculture manufacturers, and national conservation organizations for 15 years following a position as VP, Integrated Systems, VantagePoint Network, Deere & Co in Fort Collins, Colorado. Previously, she was a Co-founder, of a Congressionally-funded program through USDA to integrate federal geospatial systems to support rural decision makers.

She was an Owner/operator, of a registered Angus cow-calf operation in the Shenandoah Valley near Berryville, VA, for 15 years while Chairman and member, of the Clarke County, VA Planning Commission. For five years, she Chaired the Virginia Land Records, Surveying and Mapping Commission as the Governor’s appointee to assist local governments in modernizing their land records systems.

Previously, she authored, 21 peer-reviewed papers in molecular genetics as a Research Associate, Harvard Medical School in Boston, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

Ron Olson

FOUNDER, VISUAL FARMS

Ron Olson is an Agronomist and pioneer in precision farming.  As an entrepreneur, he started and exited one of the earliest companies to assist farmers with GPS-based 2.5 acre grid soil sampling, VRT seeding and fertilizer applications, and yield mapping.

He later built a successful agri-business consulting firm. He is a facilitator of the Midwest Agricultural Innovation Network and consults with the leading US farmers in APPEX and Centrec peer networks.

  • Senior Agronomist, R&D Manager, Cargill Crop Nutrition where he led development of the MicroEssentials suite of fertilizers.
  • ‍B.S. degree,Agronomy and Education, University of Illinois. M.S., Environmental Science, Governors State U. IL.

Cecil Samuel

CTO, AI and REAL-TIME MACHINE LEARNING PLATFORM

Cecil Samuel is a seasoned technology entrepreneur and business leader with demonstrated experience delivering innovative, AI-driven digital transformation solutions. In his three-decade career in the technology Industry, 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 US Healthcare, Agriculture and Government sectors.

Focus areas as CTO for VISUAL FARMS:

  • Oversee the entire technology operations from product planning, establishing DevOps processes, product team governance and setting technology direction.
  • Rolling out our large-scale, real-time machine learning platform-based solutions.
  • End to end product lifecycle management from roadmap through delivery, launch, operations and support.

Jovany Jimenez

Director, Drone Services

Jovany is a co-founder of the new production company DRONESURF®. The new company uses combinations of drones and cameras with Ultra high-definition quality sensors to capture details of the terrain as they fly over farm landscapes. Imagery will be sent to the Visual Farms’ Real-Time Machine Learning cloud platform for access by farmers. Combined with BestSeedChoice, the Hybrid Crop Yield simulator, climate, landscapes and interactions with farmers, the depth of information to ‘see what we cannot see’ will improve the depth of insight and precision of recommendations.
With VISUAL FARMS, DRONESURF®’s timely and impactful aerial footage will be used to train drone pilots, quantify hybrid seed emergence, assess crop health, compare relative hybrid plant vigor and detect disease. From a near-real-time feed, customized Drone analytics in the platform will learn about each farm to help make intelligent decisions and provide timely recommendations to each farmer. Sensors and visualizations will be used to calibrate and benchmark hybrid seed performance and requirements in crop models during in-season production. DRONESURF® also collaborates in ventures and co-productions with many Los Angeles Film and TV production companies.
Jovany is a member of the 2016 graduating class of UCLA ANDERSON SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT with an MBA. He has a Professional Certificate in Advanced Program Management, CALTECH and Graduate Credits in Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering, STANFORD UNIVERSITY, 2012. His undergraduate degree is a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, 2010. Jovany is also a Certified Audio Engineer.

Betty Luce

FOUNDING INVESTOR

Betty is the founding investor for VISUAL FARMS. Having grown up on a multi-generational crop and livestock farming operation near Creighton, NE, she understands the importance of America’s family farms. She continues to support the organization with encouragement, enthusiasm, advice, strategy and occasional additional funding.

She is also a founding Trustee of St. Elizabeth's Episcopal School, a K-8 school in its 15th year with 157 students in Denver. The school serves a student population that is diverse, both racially and socio-economically.  Approximately 75% of the students receive scholarship funds according to their family's needs.The school is fully accredited and it's graduating 8th graders have gone on to Denver's finest private and public high schools.

Kim Drackett

ADVISOR

Charles M. (Kim) Drackett, Jr. is Chairman, President and General Manager of Fairholme Farms in Lewisville, Indiana.

As an entrepreneur and President and General Manager of Fairholme Farms, Mr. Drackett brings significant business and management level experience from inside the Agricultural Industry and from the financial services industry. In addition, through his business experience, Mr. Drackett has gained significant technological knowledge, adding additional value to the Board.

  • Graduate of Dartmouth College, the Indiana Institute of Food and Nutrition in Indianapolis and the Purdue University Short Course in Agriculture.
  • 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.
  • Director of Ameriana Bank since 1989 and Director of Ameriana Bancorp since its formation in 1990 until he retired recently.

VISUAL FARMS, LLC is a portfolio company of FIDELITY EQUITY PARTNERS, LLC; Fort Collins, Colorado

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