CCOF’s Farmer-Led Board Names Millennial Woman as CEO

Kelly Damewood to Lead Next Era of Organic Certification, Advocacy, and Education
(December 10, 2018) Santa Cruz, CA — After conducting an extensive national search yielding dozens of applicants from around the country, CCOF’s Board of Directors selected current CCOF Policy Director Kelly Damewood to serve as CEO of the organization. 
“Kelly’s talent, ambition, and dedication set her apart from the rest. The board has full confidence in her vision and ability to lead CCOF into its next era of success,” said Chair of the CCOF Board’s CEO Search Committee Thaddeus Barsotti of Capay Organic. 
After joining CCOF in 2014, Damewood spearheaded several key organizational initiatives, including passage of state legislation to improve an outdated regulatory program for organic farmers and launching a groundbreaking project to support the growth of domestic organic food production in California. Damewood holds a J.D. from Vermont Law School and an LL.M. in agricultural and food law from the University of Arkansas School of Law. 
“I am ready to lead CCOF’s work to advance organic agriculture for a healthy world. I have spent the last decade passionately working towards one career goal—to help organic farming and food systems succeed. As a millennial, I represent the largest generation of organic consumers and the generation most responsible for carrying organic principles into the future,” said Damewood.
Damewood succeeds Cathy Calfo, who led CCOF through unprecedented growth in certification services and revolutionary new program development over her eight-year tenure as CEO. 
“As a current member of CCOF’s management team, Kelly’s intimate knowledge of the organization and her collaborative leadership skills will ensure a seamless transition,” said Calfo. 
“The board’s bold and forward-looking choice in selecting a next-generation leader demonstrates the organization’s commitment to ensuring the long-term success of organic agriculture,” Calfo added. 
“I have had the opportunity to work closely with Kelly during her tenure as policy director,” said CCOF Board of Directors Chair Phil LaRocca of LaRocca Vineyards. “I know first-hand that she has a deep understanding of the needs of organic producers and an unwavering commitment to the success of CCOF. Kelly will not only carry forth our legacy of integrity and innovation, but she will also break down more barriers and chart new courses for organic agriculture.” 
“Her young spirit is an energy that will help organic and CCOF grow into a new future,” LaRocca added. 
Damewood will begin serving in her new role as CEO on January 16, 2019. 
About CCOF
CCOF advances organic agriculture for a healthy world. We advocate on behalf of our members for organic policies, support the growth of organic through education and grants, and provide organic certification that is personal and accessible.
CCOF is a nonprofit organization governed by the people who grow and make our food. Founded in California more than 40 years ago, today our roots span the breadth of North America and our presence is internationally recognized. We are supported by an organic family of farmers, ranchers, processors, retailers, consumers, and policymakers. Together, we work to realize a future where organic is the norm.
For more information about CCOF, visit
Laura Mathias, CCOF Marketing Director
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2155 Delaware Ave., Suite 150
Santa Cruz, CA 95060