CCOF Leadership

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CCOF has an active membership and we want to hear from you.

Our management staff is available to speak with clients and members regarding organic standards, CCOF service, and policy and program suggestions. Management staff contact information is provided below.

Damewood

Kelly Damewood
CEO
CCOF
ceo@ccof.org

Damewood has spent over a decade working towards a single goal: helping organic farmers thrive. After her own experience running a small farm, Damewood went to law school determined to help farmers who farm in a better way. In her previous role as CCOF’s policy director, Damewood spearheaded key initiatives such as passage of state legislation to improve an outdated regulatory program for organic farmers and creating a groundbreaking project to drive organic production and consumption in California. Damewood holds a Juris Doctor degree from Vermont Law School and a Master of Laws degree in agricultural and food law from the University of Arkansas School of Law.

Crittenden

April Crittenden
Chief Certification Officer
CCOF Certification Services, LLC
april@ccof.org

 

As the chief certification officer at CCOF, April Crittenden has a wealth of knowledge about the National Organic Program and environmental stewardship in farming systems. CCOF is a nonprofit organization based in Santa Cruz, California that advances organic agriculture for a healthy world by advocating on behalf of its members for organic policies, supporting the growth of organic through education and grants, and providing organic certification that is personal and accessible.

Crittenden began her career with CCOF over 10 years ago. In various roles over the years, Crittenden gained an understanding of the organic regulations for growers, handlers, and livestock producers; helped implement improved client communication systems; and oversaw complaints, investigations, and CCOF’s pesticide residue and GMO sampling programs. In 2016, Crittenden worked with SC Labs to develop and implement the Envirocann Certification Program, which offers certification services to cannabis producers.

Crittenden graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with Bachelor of Arts degrees in environmental studies and anthropology. She also holds a variety of certificates from the National Organic Program, the Accredited Certifiers Association, and the International Organic Inspectors Association.


Ben Diesl
Chief Business Officer
CCOF
bdiesl@ccof.org

Ben Diesl has worked in organic agriculture for more than 15 years. Prior to starting with CCOF, he oversaw quality assurance, food safety, organic certification, and sustainability departments for over 50,000 acres of certified organic cropland in the Central Valley of California. As chief business officer, Diesl is responsible for ensuring that CCOF has the resources needed to meet the strategic goals set forth in our mission, vision, and values.

Diesl holds a Master of Business Administration degree from California State University, Bakersfield and a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from the University of Pennsylvania.

When not at work, Diesl enjoys spending time with his daughters, reading, writing, and drawing.
Beckett Parr

Jessy Beckett Parr 
Chief Program Officer
CCOF Foundation
jparr@ccof.org

With over fifteen years of project design and management experience, Jessy Beckett Parr is dedicated to bringing teams together to create positive change. With extensive knowledge of agriculture and food systems, Beckett Parr holds a Master of Science degree in community development from the University of California, Davis, a certificate in ecological horticulture from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College. Prior to joining CCOF, she spent five years producing a global documentary on soil and food systems, Symphony of the Soil.

Outside of the office, she enjoys sharing time and food with her husband and daughter and foraging on their peri-urban homestead.

Cowan
Jesse Cowan 

Finance Director
CCOF
jcowan@ccof.org


Jesse Cowan is a passionate proponent of organic agriculture. Before her career in finance, she worked on an organic vegetable farm in Pennsylvania, doing everything from harvesting and marketing to tractor work and chicken care. This experience instilled in her a passion for organic food and an appreciation for the hard work and expertise required to succeed as an organic farmer. After years with a local accounting firm helping small business owners with their finances and taxes, Cowan was thrilled to join the CCOF team where she could employ her professional skills to help further the organic movement. Cowan holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Brown University, a master’s degree in accounting from San Jose State University, and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Delaney
Renee Delaney
Director of Farm Programs
CCOF Certification Services, LLC
rdelaney@ccof.org


Renee Delaney grew up on a farm in central Illinois where her family raised cattle, hogs, corn, and soybeans, and was raised to admire those who cared for the land and could grow food. Delaney followed her passion for plants and earned a degree in plant biology from Southern Illinois University Carbondale while also working for plant nurseries, vineyards, landscaping operations, in greenhouses, and at the local co-op.

In 2005, she started her career with the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA). While at WSDA, Delaney verified a number of different state and federal agricultural regulations by conducting surveys, inspecting nurseries/tree farms/bulb fields, verifying phytosanitary certificates, reviewing plant nursery regulations, and beginning in 2008, working with the WSDA Organic Food Program. Delaney joined CCOF in 2016 and now serves as CCOF’s director of farm programs. Beyond her personal interest in organic agriculture, Delaney finds complete satisfaction in explaining, implementing, and verifying compliance to the USDA National Organic Standards.

Feder

Sean Feder 
Director of Inspection Operations
CCOF Certification Services, LLC
sean@ccof.org

Sean Feder grew up near San Francisco, and his family always had plenty to eat. He began to wonder: Where does all this food come from?

After graduating from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems Farm and Garden apprenticeship, Feder completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from UCSC, with an emphasis on botany and agroecology. He worked on a CCOF-certified organic farm, then enrolled at the University of California, Davis (UCD) for an Master of Science degree in plant protection and pest management.

In 1991, Feder started doing organic inspections for CCOF and served for two years on the CCOF Board of Directors. He was later hired as the first director of inspection operations. He is glad to have work that contributes in a small way to the vision of a world where food will be widely available for a long time.

Guth

Jacob Guth
Director of Food Safety
CCOF Certification Services, LLC
jacob@ccof.org

Jacob Guth has been working at the intersection of organic and food safety compliance for over 12 years with CCOF. As a reviewer, inspector, GFSI auditor, GLOBALG.A.P. scheme manager, and now director of food safety at CCOF, Guth’s passion is helping organic producers comply with food safety requirements.

Head

Chris Head
Director of Information Technology
CCOF
chead@ccof.org

Chris Head has always been fascinated by engineering and electronics, tinkering with hobbyist kits and participating in electronic enthusiast groups until personal computers became available and changed his world. From that point, he was hooked, staying late after school to program the sole computer they owned, then, over time, moving from systems programming to SQL database work, then to networking, support services, systems administration, and management.

Although his background is strongly technological, Head believes firmly in a well-rounded education and widely varied interests:  he has multiple tech certifications and a wealth of experience but holds a Bachelor of the Arts degree in English Literature. He’s performed Shakespeare, he loves roller coasters, and he enjoys wine and cooking. Most of all, he cherishes his long weekend walks with his dog, Winston.


Renee McKeon
Director of Certification Operations
CCOF Certification Services LLC
renee@ccof.org

Renee McKeon joined CCOF in 2009 as certification operations coordinator to give more administrative and operational support to CCOF's USDA organic certification services. Since then, she has helped scale the certification operations department as CCOF has grown and expanded to provide additional certification offerings. McKeon and the operations team ensure certification functions align in areas of workflow processes, database development, quality systems, and administrative non-compliance management. She enjoys the complex challenges and cross-functional work with CCOF reviewers, inspectors, executives, and staff.

McKeon has lived and worked in the Monterey Bay area since the early 1990s. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and has long loved the intricacies of people and cultures. She lives and works in Santa Cruz, California, with her husband and two children. McKeon loves a good BBQ with family and friends and any reason to celebrate.
Reed

Sarah Reed 
Handler Certification Director
CCOF Certification Services, LLC
sarah@ccof.org

Sarah Reed has always loved the natural world and followed this passion to study ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. After graduating, she worked in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries for several years before moving to CCOF as a handler certification specialist in 2008. The position played to Reed's strengths in organization, process development, and critical thinking.

Reed's enthusiasm for organic food and her hard science background has continued to serve her well in her current role as handler certification director. She is an expert in organic processing materials and standards, especially winemaking and the growing area of retail and restaurant certification.

Reed is a lifelong environmentalist who bikes to work, always carries a reusable water bottle and to-go container, and strives to create zero waste. Reed has been a vegetarian since the age of 11 and enjoys hosting and attending dinner parties, kickboxing, local wine and beer tasting, walking everywhere, and playing with her cat.

Josaphine
Josaphine Stevenson

Director of People Services
CCOF
jstevenson@ccof.org

Josaphine Stevenson has a strong background in leadership development and has dedicated her career to organizational development and promoting equitable food systems. As a certified leadership coach, she understands how important leadership development is for the growth of individuals and organizations. Prior to joining CCOF, Stevenson worked at the California Department of Public Health on healthy and sustainable food procurement policy and as a grant maker for the San Francisco Foundation. Stevenson has deep roots in Santa Cruz, where she was raised and where she returned to raise her son. Stevenson has a master’s degree in applied anthropology and is a former co-owner of the Cheese Board Collective in Berkeley California.

In her free time, Stevenson enjoys baking and gardening with her son, hiking, and finding a sunny spot to read a book.

Weber

Rebekah Weber
Policy Director
CCOF
rweber@ccof.org

Rebekah Weber has worked on the intersection of environmental and agricultural policy for nearly a decade. As the policy director at CCOF, she advocates for organic agriculture as part of the solution to protecting public health, restoring the environment, and growing the economy. Prior to joining CCOF, Weber served as an environmental advocate focused on cleaning up Lake Champlain, engaged in farmer outreach as a Fulbright Fellow in Nepal, and worked on agricultural policy for United States Senator Patrick Leahy. She holds a master’s degree in environmental law and policy from Vermont Law School.