Mary Wagner, PhD

Expert Advisor

Mary K. Wagner is a recognized executive leader and board director with a reputation for creating innovative products, managing risks, handling corporate crises, and managing food quality and safety. She is a strategist, an operational leader and a team builder who has been an executive in branded global retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies. Today, she leads MK Wagner and Associates Inc., a provider of solutions in innovation and food safety.

Mary is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Premium Brands Holdings (TSX:PRBZF) (a Canadian specialty food manufacturing and distribution company),Griffith Foods International (a developer and manufacturer of sustainable food ingredients and solutions), Jones Dairy (a manufacturer of pork and alternative protein products), Skagit Valley Malting (a provider of sprouted grains to the brewing and baking industry), SōRSE Technology (a provider of a unique emulsification system utilized by companies producing CBD or hop based products) and Blue Nalu (a company focused on developing and marketing seafood from cell culture). She also serves as the Chair for the Food Safety Advisory Board for Ecolab.

In December 2016, Mary retired from Starbucks Coffee Company as Senior Vice President of Global Product Innovation, Food Safety and Quality where she was responsible for creating global food and beverage products for Starbucks’ retail, food service and consumer packaged goods. Her contributions helped Starbucks be recognized as the Product Development Management Association’s (PDMA) Outstanding Corporate Innovator in2014.

Mary previously worked at Mars, Inc. as General Manager of Mars Botanical, a manufacturer of cocoa flavanol supplements sold through retail and internet channels.

She has also served as Chief Technology and Quality Officer at E&J Gallo Winery, the largest winery in the world. Reporting to Gallo’s CEO, she created their first Global Technology and Quality function, which resulted in a launch of a Global wine style varietal mapping tool, as well as several sustainable solutions for making wine and growing wine grapes.

As Chief Technology and Quality Officer at Taco Bell, Mary created several new product platforms for their restaurants and was the point person to manage the company’s response to the highly publicized genetically modified corn (STARLINK) crisis in 2000.

Mary began her career as an executive in the food and nutrition area of General Mills Inc. and among her various roles served as VP of R&D and Quality/Regulatory Operations at Gorton’s Seafood.

Among her many board directorships, she has served as President of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT),Founder and Chair of the National Grape and Wine Initiative (NGWI) and Founder and Chair of the Hemp and Cannabinoid Science Institute (HCSI). She was also appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture as Co-Chair of the USDA National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics (NAREEE) board.

Mary has a passion for youth and education. She has been a director on the national board of Girls, Inc. and on the board of the children-focused Red Shield for the Modesto Salvation Army. She has served as a director of the Yosemite Foundation. Mary is currently on the boards of various not for profit organizations such as Washington STEM, Peace Trees Vietnam, The Transforming Age Foundation and Seattle #4 Rotary. She has been a commencement speaker and frequent presenter to industry, government, and university groups. She is the recipient of several awards for her leadership in food, nutrition, and innovation.

Mary holds a Professional Director Certification from the American College of Corporate Directors (ACCD) and is a Governance Fellow of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD). She is a member of Women Corporate Directors, as well as the Belizean Grove.

Mary is a graduate of Harvard’s Program for Management Development (PMD), and a participant in the Kellogg Family Governance program. She has a BS and MS from Iowa State University and a PhD from the University of Minnesota.