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Staff

Although with a headquarters in the USA, the IOAS has always operated a virtual office with staff members being appointed for their knowledge and skills without concern for their being able to work in a certain geographical location.

Current staff members are:

AmaiaAmaia Aldana, Spain – Assistant Programme Manager / Lead Auditor
Amaia joined the IOAS in 2002 as a Client Manager (CM) in the IOAS for many years performing assessments of certification bodies against various international norms. Before, she worked for a German control body and was involved in development projects in Latin America and the Caribbean working on the development of organic standards, inspector training and certification body quality systems to meet international standards. She has a degree in Agricultural Engineering and was an Erasmus student in Germany. Her thesis topic was the effects of the European Regulation 2092/91 on the development of organic farming in developing countries. She now works in a more supervisory role in support of other client managers. Amaia represents the IOAS on the IFOAM Accreditation Requirements Committee. She lives with her partner and two young sons in Barcelona.

Andrea TuckerAndrea Tucker, United Kingdom – Communications Manager

Involved in agricultural product development and diversification from an early age, Andrea has since worked in a variety of service industries and has extensive experience in contracting, personnel and marketing. As Communications Manager she is concentrating on strengthening the IOAS’ communications activities in addition to providing business and operational support to the Executive Directors.

 

Andrés Vásquez Millán, Argentina – Client Manager

Andrés is based in Buenos Aires, Argentina and is an Engineer in Agronomy with a postgraduate in Environmental Management and an ISO 14001 Lead Auditor. He has worked for ten years for a Certification Body in Argentina, and has been their Certification Manager for more than five, working with several international scopes. He also worked for the Ministry of Agriculture, as an Environmental Specialist, working on Environmental Impact Assessments for rural development projects. This previous working experience has resulted in a strong understanding of the requirements for conformity assessment and certification for sustainable and organic standards.

 

CrisCristina Comezaña, Argentina – Client Manager / Lead Auditor

Cristina is an engineer in Agronomy from the University of Buenos Aires. She specialized on organic agriculture in Spain and was trained as an organic inspector through IOIA courses and other national and international trainings on the matter. She is also qualified in other international standards, such as ISO 9001 and OHSAS 18001. She worked as an organic inspector and auditor for other quality programmes for several years. Before joining the IOAS in November 2011, she had worked for one of the most important certification bodies in Argentina for 9 years. Her latest position was as Quality Manager. She lives with her husband in Buenos Aires.

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DavidDavid Crucefix, Spain – Executive Director (Operations) / Lead Auditor

David joined the IOAS as Assistant Executive Director in 2000 after an earlier career in development aid working mainly in the Caribbean islands, Africa and Asia followed by a move to organic agriculture as a grower, inspector and finally certifier. With IOAS he has performed many assessments of certification bodies all over the world and developed IOAS as a trainer.  David is now particularly responsible for overall operations in the IOAS. He has a degree in agricultural sciences and a PhD in plant pathology.

 

Gergana Nentcheva, Germany – Client Manager / Lead Auditor

Gergana grew up in Bulgaria where she received a degree in Food Technology. She worked in the field of food technology and ingredients for 5 years, in partnership with CHR. HANSEN and Palsgaard, before joining the European Commission as expert on food safety and quality. For four years she was the manager of an organic certification body in Bulgaria with a branch office in Macedonia. She joined the IOAS as Client Manager in April 2008. Since then she has taken special responsibility for food safety, taking training in GlobalGAP and liaising with our partner on food safety, ANSI.

 

JanJan Deane, United Kingdom – Lead Auditor

Jan Deane has worked with the IOAS since 1998, becoming the Programme Manager in 1999 and joint Executive Director in 2011, retiring from this position in 2016 but still works part-time to provide some assistance to the IOAS. Her involvement with the organic movement began almost 30 years ago when she and her husband Tim bought a small derelict farm and proceeded to transform it into a productive organic vegetable holding. At various times she has been an organic inspector, manager of an organic marketing cooperative, chairman of the Organic Growers Association, on the board of the UK Competent Authority and coordinator of the IFOAM Standards Committee. Jan and Tim were instrumental in developing the vegetable box scheme concept of which today there are thousands throughout the world.

 

JanningJanning Kennedy, Chile – Client Manager

After earning her MS degree in Agronomy, Janning began her career in organics as one of the first paid inspectors for CCOF, where she worked until 2006. During her 18 years with CCOF, Janning inspected all types and sizes of farms, worked as a Certification Coordinator. She was promoted to Director of Handler Certification in 2001. She organized the inspector training program, and served on the Certification Standards Committee. Eventually she moved with her husband to Mexico, where they managed a100 hectare farm. Janning coordinated harvest, packing, and export to the US. She also coordinated the organic certification program and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certifications. In 2009 she and her husband moved to Chile where they currently live. Janning has been with the IOAS as part-time Certification Manager since May, 2013.

 

JennyJennyfer Karall, Brazil – Client Manager/Lead Auditor

Although born in Germany, Jenny has lived all her life in Brazil and completed a degree in Agronomy in 2001 with special emphasis on environmental management and a thesis on biodynamic agriculture. Straight after graduation she started work as both an advisor to various biodynamic farms and joined the certification body IBD as a freelance inspector. She became a full time employee of IBD in 2003 and their Quality Manager in 2007. Jenny joined the IOAS in 2010, completed her lead auditor training in 2011 and has taken on special responsibility for our work in organic textiles. She lives with her family just outside São Paulo.

 

KenKen Commins, USA – Executive Director (Business) /Chief Financial Officer / Lead Auditor.

Ken has worked in the field of organic agriculture since the 1970s, first as a producer in Ireland and then increasingly involved with inspection and certification. He was there at the birth of IFOAM accreditation and of the IOAS. Ken was the IOAS’ sole employee for those early years and Executive Director up until 2011. He has served on numerous committees throughout this time and has been a key architect of the IFOAM accreditation requirements. Ken now works part-time with the IOAS focused on finance, IT and business development but still gets out to do certification body audits. He lives with his wife on a 1.200 acre organic farm in North Dakota.

 

Maxime Sizaret

Maxime Sizaret, Northern Ireland – Assistant Executive Director

Maxime has a Master’s Degree in Assessment of Environmental Problematics encompassing environmental issues analysis, environmental project development and environmental project management. Previously employed as Chief Executive of the Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust, he successfully drove the organisation through a period of change followed by a period of development. With over 14 years of experience in the field of environment management and sustainable development and he has a strong belief in the potential for a positive relationship between environmental management and socio-economic opportunities through developing the market for products from organic and sustainable agriculture and ensuring the integrity of the sector.

 

Nune Darbinyan, Armenia- Client Manager
Nune has a strong scientific background with a PhD in Agriculture combined with extensive practical experience.  In the past, Nune has worked as General Director of an organic certification body recognized by the EU and accredited by USDA NOP, as well as being President of a non-for-profit environmental organization promoting sustainable development and organic agriculture. Her familiarity with quality and certification systems based on compliance and knowledge of evaluation and surveillance procedures ensures she will be an asset to Clients during the accreditation process.

Polonca

Polonca Mehraban Repič, Slovenia- Client Manager

 

Involved with organic production, processing and marketing for years, Polonca graduated with a B.S. Agronomy from the University of Maribou, Slovenia. Her years of experience as an inspector, auditor, quality manager, certifier and trainer in addition to living on her own organic farm, has ensured she has a good all round understanding of organic and sustainable agriculture. Polonca became a welcome addition to the team in 2015.

 

susanSusan Hepper, USA – Office Administrator
Susan joined the IOAS in 2001 and is the glue which holds the IOAS together! She covers a broad range of administration duties working with the upper management and staff providing supportive services, assisting clients with enquiries and taking responsibility for bookkeeping and day to day operations of the IOAS head office. As a lifelong resident of North Dakota, Susan is located in Dickinson, the North Dakota office. She and her husband Kurt live in the country and enjoy their horses and cattle which are part of Froelich Legacy Quarter Horses and the Froelich ranch located in North Dakota USA.