Biotechnology, Crop Production, and Food Nutrition Scientist
Wally grew up in Central Wisconsin and attended University of Wisconsin (1967-1975) earning Bachelor and Master Degrees in Science (Agronomy), and a Ph.D. Degree in Plant Breeding and Genetics. Wally joined the faculty of the University of Guelph (Ontario) as a crop scientist in January 1976.
During the period 1976 to 1993, Wally served as a professor (1976-1993) and department chair (1988-1993), at UG and also served for multi-year periods on Ontario Premier’s Technology Council (1988-92), as Director and Chair, Board of Governors for the (Canadian) Natural Research Council’s Institute of Plant Biotechnology, as Chair of US Soybean Breeders Work Group, and as Vice President of Allelix Inc., a Private/Public partnership (private sector and Canadian federal government). In 1993, Wally joined Ciba Geigy Corp. as V.P Research of their USA Seeds Division (headquartered in NC) and a year later was appointed as Global Head of Research for Ciba-Geigy Seeds Division, stationed in Switzerland.
From 1994-2004, Wally served in several senior or executive management roles in Ciba, Novartis Seeds AG, and Syngenta AG (all related through mergers/demergers), including roles as Head of R&D, VP Plant Biotechnology and Head of Plant Sciences; and Chair of Board of Directors for Zymetrics Inc., (a joint venture corporation). In these roles, he established the first Novartis Genomics Institute in La Jolla, CA (1999) and dramatically expanded the Corporations Biotechnology Institute in Research Triangle Park, NC (1998). During the same period, Wally served on the Board of Trustees of the Center for International Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Colombia, South America; as a director and treasurer of the International Service for the Acquisitions of Agricultural Applications Inc. (ISAAA), a non-profit NGO with staff in Asia and Africa that provides technology to subsistence farmers in the third world; and as a member of the Private Sector Committee of the CGIAR (advisory group for federal governments funding international research toward global food security). During his career, Wally published more than 150 scientific publications, authored or co-authored several books and was granted numerous patents related to biotechnology, crop production and food nutrition.
Since retirement in 2005, Wally and his wife Lynn have resided in Phelps (on Long Lake). While here, Wally has conducted or lead reviews for several major R&D programs for the Australian government, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and the government of Vietnam (at request of the USA); served as a USA delegate to the Asia Pacific Economic Community (APEC); continues to serve as a board director and treasurer of ISAAA; and served supervisor roles on the Phelps Town Board and Vilas County Board. Lynn and Wally’s daughter Chandra and her family live in the Denver, CO area and their son Thad and his family live in the Chicago area. Wally has served on the VCEDC representing Phelps since 2015.