Board of Directors

The Trust Protocol is overseen by a multi-stakeholder Board of Directors comprised of representatives from brands and retailers, civil society and independent sustainability experts as well as the cotton-growing industry, including growers, ginners, merchants, wholesalers and cooperatives, mills and cottonseed handlers.

Photo of Gary Adams



Photo of Melissa Ho


World Wildlife Fund—US
Washington, DC

Photo of Lori Duncan

Dr. Lori

University of Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee

Photo of Joe Little


Hertfordshire, UK

Photo of Dahlen Hancock


DK & J Farms
Wolfforth, Texas

Photo of Fred Serven


Archer Daniels Midland
Chattanooga, Tennessee

Photo of Jim Martin


Parkdale Mills
Gastonia, North Carolina

Photo of Steve Dyer


Louis Dreyfus Company
Cordova, Tennessee

Photo of Hank Reichle


Greenwood, Mississippi

Photo of David Blakemore


Cotton Ginner
Campbell, Missouri

Photo of Hitesh Sharma


Levi Strauss & Company
Bangalore, India

Photo of Aaron Barcellos


Cotton Producer
Los Banos, California

Photo of Kris Johnson


The Nature Conservancy

Photo of Matt Coley


Cotton Producer
Vienna, Georgia

Photo of Ted Schneider


Cotton Producer
Lake Providence, Louisiana

Gary Adams

National Cotton Council of America

Gary Adams assumed the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Cotton Council in February 2015. He plays a key role in guiding the industry’s seven segments to reach consensus on critical policies affecting U.S. cotton, with the mission of helping all U.S. cotton industry segments compete effectively and profitably in global markets.

Prior to that, Gary served the Council for 13 years as the Vice President of Economic and Policy Analysis. As the Council’s chief economist, he provided economic outlooks for global cotton markets, as well as analyzing the impacts of farm and trade policies.

Gary also represents the U.S. cotton industry as a member of USDA’s Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee. Previously, Gary served on USDA’s Advisory Committee on Trade from 2005 through 2011 and the NASS Advisory Committee on Agricultural Statistics from 2003 through 2009.

Prior to joining the Council, Gary was a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Missouri. During his 13-year tenure at the university, Gary’s primary responsibilities included policy analysis and market outlook for the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute, also known as FAPRI. While at FAPRI, Gary and his colleagues were recognized by the American Agricultural Economics Association for their distinguished policy contributions.

Gary has B.S. and M.A. degrees in Applied Mathematics from the University of Alabama and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Missouri. Gary and his wife, Carol, have four children.

Melissa Ho

World Wildlife Fund—US, Washington, DC

World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) senior vice president, Fresh Water and Food, drives initiatives that increase the sustainability of agricultural systems and the conservation of water. Dr. Ho came to WWF from the Millennium Challenge Corporation, where she oversaw a $1.5 billion portfolio of infrastructure investments in West Africa. She also served at USAID overseeing the strategy development and implementation of Feed the Future and developed and implement-ed the agricultural water management strategy and grant portfolio at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She has a BSc in Environmental Systems from Cornell University, an MSc in Soil Science (plant-water relations) from the University of California, Davis and a Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Lori Duncan

University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee

Duncan serves as the Agricultural Sustainability Specialist with the University of Tennessee. As a faculty member in the university’s Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science Department, she develops applied research and disseminates educational and outreach programs in sustainable cropping systems with a specific interest in utilization of technologies. From the local to the national scale, Duncan works with growers, consultants, agribusinesses, NGOs, commodity organizations, and regulatory officials to promote sustainable management techniques and practice adoption. A Tennessee native, she was introduced to cotton at a young age with both of her parents working in a textile mill. Duncan holds a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Biosystems Engineering from the University of Tennessee.

Joe Little

Tesco PLC, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom

Joe has worked in the fashion industry for almost 30 years. Originally from Scotland, he has lived in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Turkey as well as the UK. He has worked with Tesco for the last 6 years and thrives on the special challenges that a value supermarket faces when delivering sustainable, affordable quality clothing.

Joe recognises the urgency to deliver transparency and traceability throughout the complete supply chain in our industry. He believes that the winners will be those who embrace transparency and unlock the values of science based targets aligned with UN SDG’s.

He is one of life’s eternal optimists and when it comes to the future of our industry he describes himself as a “measured optimist”.

Joe is also a landscape and seascape artist with a special interest in micro fibres in our oceans.

Dahlen Hancock

Owner, DK & J Farms

At age 56, Dahlen Hancock has been farming for 35 years. His farming operation lies in Lynn, Lubbock and Hockley Counties and consists of cotton, corn and milo crop mix. He is a fourth generation farmer following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and great-grandfather who also chose farming as their professions. Hancock graduated from New Home High School and then attended Tarleton State University for two years before returning to the farm in 1980. He worked beside his father in a partnership and farmed 320 acres of his own until 1985 when 640 acres came up for rent and he branched off on his own. He married his wife Jody in 1986 and they have two boys who both farm one with him in his operation and one on his own. Dahlen and Jody formed DK & J Farms in 1990 and today their operation covers 6,300 acres, with about 3,000 acres being center pivot irrigated and 3,300 acres non-irrigated row crop production. Hancock serves as Chairman of Hew Home Coop Gin. He serves as a delegate and marketing pool representative at Plains Cotton Cooperative Association in Lubbock. He is currently serving as Secretary for Cotton Incorporated and First Vice President of Cotton Council International. Hancock also served as a delegate to the National Cotton Council of America and participated in the Policy Education Program that helped him learn early on about all the different segments of the cotton industry. Over the years, he has served in many different community and church leadership roles. He has been married to his wife Jody for 28 years. They attend Victory Life Church and reside in Wolfforth, Texas.

Fred Serven

Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Chattanooga, Tennessee

As general manager, Cotton, Serven is responsible for commercial teams of ADM’s cotton crush plants in Lubbock, Richmond, Memphis, and Valdosta and for its Southern Cellulose Products, Inc. facility in Chattanooga. He has served in various commercial management positions in ADM’s Grain and Oilseeds units and has experience in soy crush, canola crush, cotton crush, corn processing, grain origination, and export. Serven is currently a member of the National Cotton Council’s Public Relations & International Market Development Committee and its COTTON USA Sustainability Task Force. Raised on a corn, soy, cattle farm in west central Illinois, he earned his M.B.A. from Millikin University after receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Business Administration from Knox College.

Jim Martin

Parkdale Mills, Gastonia, North Carolina

Martin is executive vice president, Cotton Operations for Parkdale Mills. He is responsible for cotton purchasing, distribution and risk management. Previously, he served as director of Markets and Finance at Auscott Limited in Sydney Australia. Martin, who resides in Charlotte, N.C., began his career at J G Boswell Company in Los Angeles where he served as market analyst. Martin is a National Cotton Council director and serves on its COTTON USA Sustainability Task Force. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from San Diego State University and an MBA with emphasis in Finance from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.

Steven Dyer

Louis Dreyfus Company, Cordova, Tennessee

Dyer is the global head of Marketing for the Louis Dreyfus cotton platform and the head administrator and manager of ProCot Cooperative. His 28 plus years in the U.S. cotton industry includes experience in numerous growth origins and destination marketplaces. He is a director of the National Cotton Council’s export promotions arm, Cotton Council International, is a member of the COTTON USA Sustainability Task Force and served on the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol® Organizational Committee. The Memphis native spends most of his time in South Carolina. Dyer earned a B.S. in Business Administration from The Citadel.

Hank Reichle

Staplcotn, Greenwood, Mississippi

 Henry N. “Hank” Reichle, Jr., is president and CEO of Greenwood-Miss.-based Staplcotn. He joined the cooperative in 2004 after having served as chief financial officer with the internet-based cotton exchange, The Seam. Reichle currently is a director of both The Seam and AMCOT. He is a National Cotton Council (NCC) director and serves as president of Cotton Council International (CCI), the NCC’s export promotions arm. He also currently serves on the COTTON USA Sustainability Task Force. A Mississippi native, he holds a B.A. degree in Accountancy from the University of Mississippi.

David Blakemore

Cotton Ginner, Campbell, Missouri

Blakemore is president of Blakemore Cotton & Grain, LLC, with interests in ginning, grain, fertilizer and trucking. He has served in numerous leadership positions among them as president of the National Cotton Ginners Association, the Southern Cotton Ginners Association and Cotton Producers of Missouri and as a Cotton Incorporated director. He is a director for the National Cotton Council, serves as chairman of its Flow Committee and as a member of its Quality Taskforce. Blakemore also has served in multiple leadership capacities with Ducks Unlimited, a waterfowl and wetlands conservation organization. He holds a BSBA in Accounting with Distinction and an MBA in Finance from Southeast Missouri State University.

Hitesh Sharma

Levi Strauss & Company, Bangalore, India

The Sustainable Sourcing and Traceability Lead, Material and Circular Economy (Global Sustainability), Hitesh Sharma has a diverse experience in the fashion industry and value chain. He is actively engaged in developing sustainable sourcing models and keeping Levi Strauss on track to achieving 100% sustainably sourced cotton by 2025 together with a 2030 ambition of sourcing more sustainable materials for its products. This corporate commitment to sustainable cotton is part of a broader internal initiative to move the company toward a more sustainable and circular product strategy. Hitesh previously has worked with H&M Group as Material Program Manager Cotton, Global Material Innovation and Strategy. He strongly believes that working directly with producers and resolving issues jointly is the key to achieving supply chain transparency.

Aaron Barcellos

Cotton Producer, Los Banos, California

Barcellos is a partner in A-Bar Ag Enterprises-consisting of 7,500 acres of almonds, asparagus, olives, pima cotton, pistachios, pomegranates, processing tomatoes and wheat. Seeking to build a multi-generational farming operation, the family partnership utilizes socially responsible and sustainable farming practices among them drip irrigation, reduced tillage, satellite imagery and solar energy. Barcellos earned an agriculture business degree from Cal Poly and is California Ag Leadership Program graduate. He is a director of multiple organizations among them the National Cotton Council’s export promotions arm, Cotton Council International, and the Central Delta Mendota Groundwater Sustainability Agency.

Dr. Kris Johnson

The Nature Conservancy, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Kris Johnson is the deputy director of agriculture at The Nature Conservancy, North America. He leads the joint design, implementation and assessment of the region’s two conservation agriculture strategies: Soil Health and Nutrients, and Sustainable Grazing Lands. Kris is also a member of the steering committee for the Ecosystem Services Market Consortium and serves on the Science Advisory Council for Field to Market. Dr. Johnson is an author of 15 peer-reviewed papers. He received his bachelor’s from Bowdoin College and received his master’s and doctorate in conservation biology from the University of Minnesota.

Matt Coley

Cotton Producer, Vienna, Georgia

Coley, a fourth-generation farmer and agribusiness owner, oversees an operation consisting of 3,500 acres of cotton and 400 acres of peanuts and Coley Gin and Fertilizer. He has served as a board advisor to the National Cotton Council (NCC) and as a director for Southeastern Cotton Ginners Association and currently serves as vice chairman of the Georgia Cotton Commission. He was a member of both the Leadership Georgia Class and the NCC’s Emerging Leaders program. After earning a B.S.A. and a M.S. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Georgia and before returning to the family farm, Coley served as an agriculture intern for Senator Saxby Cham-bliss (R-GA) and as a staff member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry.

Ted Schneider

Cotton Producer, Lake Providence, Louisiana

Since 1984, Schneider has been the owner/operator of a 3,600-acre farming operation in north-east Louisiana and southeast Arkansas that is dedicated to sustainable, responsible agricultural production. His Lake Providence, La.-based operation’s primary crops are cotton, corn, soybeans, rice, wheat, and grain sorghum. A former director of the National Cotton Council (NCC), he currently chairs the COTTON USA Sustainability Task Force. He has been a leader in the NCC’s American Cotton Producers, served as president of the NCC’s export promotions arm, Cotton Council International, and is a director of Cotton Incorporated. Schneider earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Louisiana State University.

Deepika Mishra

Sustainability Consultant

Deepika Mishra is a passionate, innovative, enthusiastic scientist with demonstrated ability to lead and collaborate worldwide in the development of novel life sciences technologies and techniques to enhance sustainable agriculture to have a true impact that addresses challenges of climate change. She works as a sustainability consultant for the National Cotton Council and Cotton Council International.