Category Archives: Board of Advisors

John Denniston

A champion of green technology, John Denniston is Chairman of Shared-X, an agribusiness startup established to improve agricultural production in developing countries. A retired partner from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Mr. Denniston launched the firm’s greentech investment initiative. Prior to joining KPCB, he served as Managing Director and head of technology investment banking for the western U.S. at Salomon Smith Barney. Active in public policy issues, Mr. Denniston has testified before congressional committees, and serves on the board of advisors of the National Renewable Energy Lab. Mr. Denniston earned a B.A. in economics and a J.D. from the University of Michigan.

Ray Cesca

An expert in growing consumer brands and building supply chains, Ray Cesca formerly served as Managing Director of World Trade for the McDonald’s Corporation. During his tenure, McDonald’s expanded its footprint from 30 to 118 countries and more than doubled in size internationally. At CPC International, Mr. Cesca led a strategic business unit to grow American food brands around the world. He serves on the boards of Glenray Farms, which focuses on improving agricultural practices in China, and Aslan Group, Ltd, which operates crop and vegetable farms in the Ukraine. Mr. Cesca holds a B.S. from St. Bonaventure University and an MBA from Columbia University.

John Steffens, Ph.D.

A former faculty member in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University, John Steffens is the author of more than 70 publications and patents. An expert in plant biochemistry and molecular biology, Dr. Steffens also has extensive research and business experience in the private sector. Skilled in business and product development, regulatory affairs, and project management, Dr. Steffens has led trait development groups and managed strategic research collaborations, technology assessment, and open innovation programs. He holds a B.A. in biology and a Ph.D. in biology and chemistry, both from the University of Virginia.