AgTech leader AppHarvest, a certified B Corp., has named Julie Nelson its EVP of operations. Nelson will lead efforts to scale AppHarvest’s network of farms and to build manufacturing and supply chain capability to ensure efficient delivery of consistent, high-quality products to major grocers and restaurants.
AppHarvest is focused on farming more sustainably, using up to 90 percent less water than open-field agriculture and only recycled rainwater.
“Julie’s deep experience optimizing complex manufacturing and distribution networks for major consumer goods companies and her proven ability to drive productivity across the supply chain will help us to deliver improved profitability as we scale,” said AppHarvest President David Lee.
Nelson will play an integral role as an executive management committee member, reporting to Lee, and will aid in developing company strategy, establishing operations and driving efficiency to reach productivity and cost goals while ensuring quality and customer satisfaction.
“Julie has battleground-tested experience in scaling operations across sites,” said AppHarvest Founder and CEO Jonathan Webb. “Her recent focus on improving sustainability in the food and beverage supply chain by reducing food waste, energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions makes her a natural fit at AppHarvest.”
Nelson joins Morehead, Kentucky-based AppHarvest most recently from McKinsey & Co., following a long tenure with PepsiCo, where she led supply chain teams in the North American beverage business and the global operations team. Her focus areas included network optimization, scaling new digital technologies and end-to-end value chain productivity.
“AppHarvest’s mission aligns with my personal values,” Nelson said. “AppHarvest’s vision of combining the best that nature offers boosted with world-class technology to sustainably and affordably grow nutritious fruits and vegetables is inspiring, and I look forward to building a best-in-class operational team in support of this mission to build a climate-resilient food supply.”
Nelson holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She is an advisory council member for the West Virginia University Global Supply Chain Management Program.