We are a group rallied around a shared belief in what Farming Now can do.
Founder & CEO
Jonathan Webb grew up in Kentucky and has been committed to developing sustainable projects from Central Appalachia. Prior to founding AppHarvest, Jonathan supported the Executive Director of the Army Office of Energy Initiatives to help meet the White House goal of supplying 20% of the Department of Defense’s electricity usage from renewable sources by leveraging private sector capital for the projects. Jonathan received his bachelor's degree from the University of Kentucky.
Chief Operating Officer
Seth Norat helped China-based industrial equipment manufacturer Shandong Borun Process Industrial Technology set up its U.S. headquarters, Birtley Industrial Equipment, in his home state of Kentucky. Before that, Seth lived in China for four years and was an Operations Officer with the U.S.-China Energy Cooperation Program (ECP), where he coordinated business operations and communications between the ECP Management Board, Executive Committee, and U.S. government officials. Seth is a Kentucky native and received his bachelor’s degree from the College of Charleston.
Director of Strategic Initiatives
Amy Samples, a Kentucky native, is thrilled to bring her enthusiasm and skills to the AppHarvest team. Her focus includes community partnerships and educational programs. Prior to joining AppHarvest, Amy provided operations management for a regional land trust in Kentucky and she spent several years with The Nature Conservancy. In support of university extension, Amy has also provided community planning outreach and research coordination. Amy holds a master's degree from University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment and a bachelor's degree from Clemson University.
Ramel Smooth Bradley is a former starting point guard for the University of Kentucky, the winningest program in college basketball. Ramel graduated with a degree from the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment then played basketball professionally in Europe and the Middle East for nine years, with stops in Croatia, France, Israel, and Turkey. On a visit home to Brooklyn, he saw firsthand how a lack of access to affordable, healthy food caused difficulties for his family and community. He returned to Kentucky to join AppHarvest and leads our agricultural entrepreneurs program at Shelby Valley High School in Eastern Kentucky's Pike County.
VP of Development
Matt Gosnell grew up in Kentucky and has led business and land development efforts in five countries. Prior to joining AppHarvest, Matt worked in municipal finance in Chicago, management training and conflict resolution in South America, and most recently as Project Developer for a U.S. Department of Defense office responsible for reducing costs through renewable energy programs. Matt oversaw projects with investments exceeding $250 million and covering more than 1,000 acres. Matt received his bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Kentucky, magna cum laude; and master's degree in international affairs from the Universidad Externado de Colombia.
Kiran Bhatraju, Board Member
Kiran Bhatraju is a native of Pikeville, KY and on the Board of AppHarvest. Kiran is a 2x entrepreneur, has worked on Capitol Hill, and is a published author. He is currently CEO of Arcadia Power, a nationwide home energy platform that works with more than 100 electric and gas utilities to purchase clean, renewable energy across all 50 states. His 2013 book, Mud Creek Medicine, about healthcare entrepreneur Eula Hall from Mud Creek, KY won the Kentucky Literary Award. Kiran serves on the Board of the Environmental Voter Project and is a proud Kentucky Colonel.
Greg Couch, Board Member
Greg Couch is a native of Eastern Kentucky and on the Board of AppHarvest. Greg is the President of Meridian Wealth Management LLC, a firm that has over $600 million under management. Greg is also on the Board of Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH). ARH is Appalachia's largest employer with over 5,000 employees. Greg received his bachelor's degree from Eastern Kentucky University.
J.D. Vance, Board Member
J.D. Vance is an investor, commentator and author of The New York Times No. 1 best-seller Hillbilly Elegy, described as "riveting" by The Wall Street Journal and "essential reading" by The New York Times. J.D. is the managing partner of the Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, a $150 million early stage venture capital fund that invests catalytic capital in the most promising seed stage companies located outside of Silicon Valley, New York City and Boston.
Jeffrey W. Ubben, Board Member
Jeffrey Ubben is a Founder and the Chief Executive Officer of ValueAct Capital where he is Co-Portfolio Manager of the ValueAct Spring Fund. Mr. Ubben is the former Chief Investment Officer of ValueAct Capital and is a member of the firm's Management Committee. Mr. Ubben is a director of The AES Corporation, where he is a member of the Compensation and Financial Audit Committees, and of AppHarvest. He is the former chairman and director of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc., and a former director of Catalina Marketing Corp., Gartner Group, Inc., Mentor Corporation, Misys plc, Sara Lee Corp., Twenty-First Century Fox Inc., Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Willis Towers Watson plc, and several other public and private companies. Prior to founding ValueAct Capital in 2000, Mr. Ubben was a Managing Partner at Blum Capital Partners for more than five years. In addition, Mr. Ubben serves on the boards of Duke University, Northwestern University and the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, is a contributing member to the World Economic Forum, and formerly served as chair of the national board of the Posse Foundation for nine years. He has a B.A. from Duke University and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.