CURT MELTZER - Chief executive Officer and DIrector
A well-respected international attorney and businessman with over 30 years’ experience, Curt Meltzer has concentrated in the fields of corporate law, entrepreneurial ventures, and environmental, commercial, international, real estate and business law over the past 20 years. In these fields he has performed numerous and varied work including mergers and acquisitions, represented his clients in complex financing and corporate restructuring activities, and in all manner of business transactions. The range of companies represented by Mr. Meltzer have included the areas of finance, import-export concerns, green technologies, markets and commodities research, real estate, and retail, doing business internationally and throughout the U.S.
Mr. Meltzer’s outstanding reputation both domestically and abroad, his extensive experience across numerous business sectors throughout 5 continents, and his service as president of several respected green technology transfer companies, including International Energy & Environmental Solutions Ltd. and Demeter Technology Ventures Ltd., make him an ideal executive to merge Israel’s agriculture technologies with Kentucky Hi Tech Greenhouses, LLC and in doing so, introduce new industry, jobs, partnerships, and revenue to the United States. Mr. Meltzer's business acumen and determination have been instrumental to the founding of Kentucky Fresh Harvest, LLC, our first project in the state. Most recently, Mr. Meltzer has also been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the company, to formally reflect his increased role in the company over the past eight months.
In addition to completing his law degree with several honors at Brooklyn Law School, Mr. Meltzer also earned a Master of Science degree in Human Ecology from Rutgers University and a BS in Environmental Studies from the State University of New York at Binghamton. Mr. Meltzer was also honored to serve on the Board of Trustees of Felician University in New Jersey for six years.
Virginia Carol Hill - Director
Carol Hill is a native of Stanford and Lincoln County, Kentucky, but feels just as much at home in her mother’s native state of Texas. After graduating from law school at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, Ms. Hill returned to her hometown to practice law. Ms. Hill was a local prosecutor for 17 years and a municipal attorney for nearly 15 years. She served as the City Attorney for Stanford, Kentucky and Hustonville, Kentucky as well as representing the McKinney Water District.
When Ms. Hill was contacted about the greenhouse project, she embraced it enthusiastically and strongly advocated to bring the project to her community. Today, She is a director with Kentucky Fresh Harvest actively working to bring the project online. She is also involved with several other business projects.
In addition to her law degree, Ms. Hill holds a B.B.A. in Finance and a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Kentucky. She has been an active, lifelong member of New Beginnings United Methodist Church. She is involved in multiple civic activities and since 2009, She has been the President of The Foundation for the Historic McCormack Meetinghouse, Inc.
William K. Back - Director of Special Projects
Mr. Back is currently the Director of Special Projects for KFH. He is a leader; a visionary and a strategic planner who offers over 40 years of management, administration and accountability for delivering desired results with honesty, integrity and a no-nonsense approach to business. He is a distinguished retired Army Commissioned Officer, having served at all levels of Command throughout the U.S. and overseas. A graduate of the Pettit Collage of Law, he has several years of experience at the Cabinet Level leading advancement departments at Universities and Colleges. In addition, Mr. Back was CEO and President for American Digital Tech. II, and was pivotal to the success and eventual sale of the company to Time Warner Cable. Complemented by a legal background Mr. Back brings the rare combination of Private, Public, and civic business acumen that offers a strong and diverse business experience, fueled by a fervent work ethic and sustained by impassioned, personal commitment.
Haim Oz - Executive Agricultural Advisor
For over two decades, Haim Oz has been a leading authority and practitioner in high technology greenhouse production. Mr. Oz’s expertise in traditional farm production gave him a keen insight into the obstacles and risks agribusinesses can experience regardless of crop, climate, or producer and led him to research and develop what many consider among the most innovative and profitable technologies, cultivation techniques, and marketing and distribution strategies for fresh food production and post-production results in the business. His success in integrating state-of-the-art technology is most evident with the project results Mr. Oz has consistently exhibited since founding Oz Agribusiness Projects & Investments (OAPI) in 2011. Evidence of his flourishing and very profitable high technology greenhouse endeavors can be observed throughout Greece, Abu Dhabi, Mexico, Kazakhstan, and Venezuela. Prior to Mr. Oz integrating Israeli agriculture technology in other parts of the world, he served in numerous executive roles including: CEO of Hazera Seeds, Director of Marketing and Sales for NaanDan Jain Irrigation, Project Manager for Richel Greenhouse in Uganda and Sub-Saharan Africa, and Project Manager for Irrifrance Industries in Ethiopia.
John gardner - Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Gardner, is currently CFO of Kentucky Fresh Harvest. For the past 20 years has served various positions with Palmer Hamilton, LLC a privately held $25-million-dollar furniture company located in Elkhorn Wisconsin. His current position is majority owner and President/CEO.
Prior to joining Palmer Hamilton, he was the General Manager of the Disposal Products division of Allied Healthcare overseeing its 250 employee operation located in Toledo, Ohio. Mr. Gardner started his career with Price Waterhouse where he also received his CPA and then joined an agricultural company as VP of Finance and Operations before joining Allied Healthcare. Mr. Gardner also has experience in the Merger and Acquisition markets.
Arie Hertz - Farm Manager
Over the course of his 40 year career, Mr. Hertz has managed agriculture projects in 7 countries on 4 continents. He’s overseen the development and management of farms, orchards, and greenhouses with as many as 400 employees and grown everything from bananas and mangoes, to roses and tomatoes. As the Farm Manager at Kentucky Fresh Harvest, Mr. Hertz is responsible for the day to day management of the greenhouse. His experience, leadership, dedication to excellence are invaluable to the team at KFH.
Shubin Saha, D.P.M., Ph.D. - Production and IPM Director
Dr. Saha is currently the Production and IPM Director for Kentucky Fresh Harvest LLC. Previously, Dr. Saha was a faculty member at Purdue University and the University of Kentucky as the Vegetable Crops Specialist. Dr. Saha has worked in Protected Agriculture in private business and research for the last 15 years. During his training, he also worked for K&M of the Treasure Coast, greenhouse cucumber operation and Beli Farms, greenhouse tomato and cucumber production. He brings a wealth of experience in vegetable production in addition to implementation of integrated pest management using both conventional and biological methods from his work in Research and Extension. Additionally, he has assisted growers of all sizes in field and greenhouse vegetable production primarily in Indiana and Kentucky but also include farmers in Canada, New Zealand, India, Alaska, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Illinois, Tennessee, Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, and Maryland. He holds a Ph.D. and D.P.M. (Doctor of Plant Medicine) in greenhouse vegetable crops from the University of Florida.
Peet Pienaar - Technical Project Coordinator
With over 25 years of experience in the field of agriculture, Mr. Pienaar has risen to management positions at agricultural projects worldwide, thus earning him a reputation as a specialist in the field of agronomy coordinating technical installations, managing employees in installing advanced modern systems, such as climate control systems, illumination systems, irrigation systems, fertilization systems and more.
Additionally, he has extensive experience in greenhouse management including the management of operations, growing of crops, marketing, packing, and shipping. He is an expert in greenhouse irrigation and fertilization systems. As a result of this vast experience, KFH has chosen Mr. Pienaar to lead the Technical Project Coordination for its flagship project in Kentucky.
Trevor Terry - Marketing and Communications Manager
After several years spent living, working, and studying in Boston, MA, in 2015 Trevor moved to his home state of Kentucky to pursue a career in controlled environment agriculture. As the Operations Manager at Kentucky River Energy, LLC, the family oil and gas business, he has gained valuable first-hand experience in the energy industry. Representing interests in that industry, Trevor began lobbying the Kentucky State Legislature in January of 2016.
In May of 2015 Trevor began an internship with Kentucky Hi Tech Greenhouses, LLC as a shadow member of the sales team. After a year spent traveling the state, meeting with investors, assessing potential sites and learning the ropes of agribusiness, in April 2016 Trevor was hired as the company's Marketing and Communications Manager. His detail-oriented approach to business combined with solid networking and communications skills make him a valuable member of the team.
Now, as the MarComm Manager for both Kentucky Fresh Harvest and the Brilliant brand, Trevor is responsible for communicating the complex concept of high-technology agriculture in a clear and concise manner to investors, local officials and, most importantly, our new neighbors in Lincoln County.
Jennifer Alcorn - Employee and Food Safety Manager
Jennifer Alcorn is a Food and Employee Safety Manager at Kentucky Fresh Harvest. Jennifer is responsible for training, developing and implementing a culture of safety and personal responsibility at Kentucky Fresh Harvest.
Jennifer brings 25 years of manufacturing experience where her broad education includes LEAN Manufacturing, LOTO and served on the Safety Response team for 18 years. She has recently been promoted to serve a dual role as both the Safety Officer and the Food Safety Manager.
Dana Pope - Human Resources Manager
Dana is passionate about creating a safe, inviting, and productive company culture at Kentucky Fresh Harvest. With 20 years of experience in manufacturing, as well as 8 years in HR, she brings with her the skills necessary navigate the unique challenges and opportunities involved in high-tech agriculture. Dana has been a key contributor in the implementation of programs to help improve employee relations and hiring processes. She is not only an asset to the HR Department, but also a fantastic representative for the company in community outreach efforts. Oh, she is also a mother of two and middle school cheer coach!
Jen Devine - Administrative Assistant
Kentucky native, Jen Devine, is proof positive that Administrative Assistants are born as much as made. Although she’s worn several hats over the course of her professional career, a drive to create order and to be of service has always been at the core of her work ethic. She brings that same high energy and positive intent to the team at Kentucky Fresh Harvest.
Jen’s devoted to her community. She’s been involved in the promotion of large-scale and non-profit events, serves on local boards, and donates her time to support at-risk individuals in Lincoln County and beyond.
Jen’s greatest passions are her family, fur babies and friends. She fervently enjoys board games, costumes, unicorns, hugs and contagious smiles.