SALINAS, April 27, 2021 – It is our pleasure to announce that Dr. Peggy Perry (9) and Dr. Robert Flores have been named interim co-directors of education for the California Ag Leadership Foundation (CALF). With more than 50 years combined engagement on the Education Team, Perry and Flores bring substantial experience, program awareness and mentoring skills to the positions. Their new roles will begin on May 1, 2021 to coincide with the departure of current Director of Education Shelli Hendricks. Perry will also continue her role as coach to all program fellows.

During this interim period, which is expected to last until February 28, 2023 to coincide with the commencement of Class 51, Executive Vice President Abby Taylor-Silva (45) and Program Coordinator Judy Sparacino will also take on additional roles. Predominately, Abby will oversee development of the national and international seminars, with the guidance and support of the Education Team, and Judy will build upon her current role related to selection and program support. As part of their roles, Perry and Flores will eventually help to guide the selection of a new director of education.

CALF President and CEO Dwight Ferguson expressed his gratitude and excitement to Perry and Flores. 

“We are very fortunate to have Peggy and Bob join our team in these new roles during such a critical and transformative time for the foundation,” said Dwight. “We are on the cusp of finalizing a strategic plan that will help sustain our fellowship program well into the future, so we may continue to grow leaders who make a difference. Peggy and Bob have the unique skill sets needed to ensure our program, the most critical component of the foundation, is nurtured and given what it needs to achieve excellence.”

Perry is a professor emeritus at Cal Poly Pomona, and has spent her career teaching in the fields of plant science and leadership. Her teaching specialties have included California native plant materials, culinary produce, women in agriculture, leadership development and various issues related to agricultural literacy. Her research has focused on faculty vitality and institutional leadership and adult development. Perry was a member of Class 9 of the California Agricultural Leadership Program (CALP), and has been a member of the Education Team since 1986. She has also led the coaching element of the program for the past 10 years.

Flores recently retired from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo after a 37-year career in higher education. He joined Cal Poly in 1983 after teaching high school for five years. At Cal Poly, he served as a department head and professor in the Agricultural Education and Communication Department. Flores has been a member of CALP’s Education Team for almost 25 years and served as director of education from 1997 to 2000. He has also served as a presenter on the topics of preferential behavior, learning styles and values programming. In retirement, Flores continues in his role as a member of the Education Team. Additionally, he is a member of the Medical Service Corp for the County of San Luis Obispo and a co-advisor to the Latinos in Agriculture student organization at Cal Poly.