SAN FRANCISCO, CA March 14, 2019 – Sound Agriculture, a San Francisco-based company developing sustainable crop enhancement products, today announced the hiring of Karen Upson, Vice President of Finance and Operations, and Bruce Luzzi, Director of Field Development. With decades of industry insight and leadership, they will play a strategic role in the company’s continued growth and commercial product development.
Upson brings 20 years of finance expertise, including work in the biotechnology and consumer goods industries. Most recently, she spent eight years at Taxon Biosciences, leading the accounting and operations functions. While there, she was instrumental in completing the company’s Series A financing and acquisition by DuPont Pioneer. Upson is a former CPA, and has held roles in marketing and finance at Frito-Lay, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company, generating growth for leading food brands. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan, and an MBA from Emory University.
Luzzi has extensive global agriculture experience supporting discovery, product development, and commercial growth to maximize crop performance and economic outcomes for farmers. Previously, he managed product commercialization projects at Indigo Ag, oversaw global discovery and product trials at Plant Impact, and managed product and research projects for Syngenta and BASF, among others. Luzzi holds 17 patents, has authored 15 peer-reviewed papers, and is a recipient of the Franz Edelman Laureate award, honoring the world’s best applications of analytical decision making. He received a bachelor’s degree in agronomy from University of Illinois, and an M.S. and PhD in plant breeding and genetics from the University of Georgia.
“We are thrilled to welcome Karen and Bruce to our team,” said Eric Davidson, CEO. “These positions are pivotal as we focus on commercial expansion, and we are fortunate to bring onboard two individuals who have extensive expertise plus a deep understanding of the agriculture landscape.”
Sound Agriculture was recently nominated for the 2019 AgFunder Agrifood Tech Innovation Awards and is leading the way in the development of crop enhancement technology. The company is currently supporting large scale pre-launch trialing of Source™, a foliar spray that stimulates natural microbes in the soil, causing them to unlock existing nitrogen and phosphorous so they can be used by the plant. Source improves yield and efficiency in the field, while minimizing dependence on other chemical inputs. The product is scheduled to launch in 2020.
Karen Upson, left, and Bruce Luzzi.