SALINAS, Nov. 27, 2018 – The California Agricultural Leadership Foundation (CALF) has named Shelli Hendricks as its new director of education, effective Dec. 3, 2018.

As director of education (DOE), Hendricks will be responsible for the program curriculum, in coordination with the four partner university deans, and for delivery of the leadership content presented in the campus and travel seminars. The DOE works closely with the core faculty from the campuses, as well as the president of the foundation. The collective education team is responsible to the board of directors through the president. As directed by the board, the DOE is responsible for carrying out the mission of the foundation to continue to deliver innovative and transformational leadership content that is challenging in order to improve the overall condition of agriculture in the state of California.

“With sincere thanks to the search committee, and special appreciation to Dr. Charlie Crabb for his role as interim DOE, we are very excited about Shelli joining the Ag Leadership team given her impressive background and knowledge,” CALF Chairman Jeff Elder (Class 35) said. “Her desire to continue the upward trajectory of the program, along with its extraordinary curriculum, energizes us all for the future.”

Hendricks has over 20 years of experience as a leadership development professional, working as an instructional designer, executive coach and business consultant in several Fortune 500 companies. Her responsibilities have included curriculum design, program management, leadership development, facilitation, change management and executive coaching. Hendricks earned a bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State University and a master’s degree in educational technology from Nova Southeastern University, and she is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in organization development and change from Fielding Graduate University.

“As a native Californian from the Central Valley, I have had lifelong exposure to many of the issues and challenges faced by the agriculture industry,” Hendricks said. “I also know firsthand about the challenges that leaders deal with in their businesses and organizations. I look forward to this exciting opportunity to help grow leaders who make a difference.”

Hendricks succeeds former DOE Dr. Michael Thomas, who served in the position for eight years. Thomas earlier this year accepted a new challenge as the interim associate dean for academic affairs for Fresno State’s Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology.

“Dr. Thomas was a vital cog in the strategic realignment of the Ag Leadership curriculum and how it was delivered,” CALF President Barry Bedwell (Class 13) said. “His ability to connect with each class of fellows is renowned and his teaching style was tremendously effective and well-received. And while replacing an individual of the caliber of Dr. Thomas can indeed be intimidating, we are confident that by having Shelli in this vital position we will continue the tradition of producing influential leaders in support of California agriculture.”

CALF operates the Ag Leadership Program, which is considered to be one of the premier leadership development experiences in the United States. Since it was first delivered in 1970, more than 1,300 men and women have participated in the program and have become influential leaders and active volunteers in agriculture, government, communities, business and education.