Secretary Perdue Announces Cotton Board Appointments

 (MEMPHIS, TN) – Today, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the appointment of 13 members, 13 alternates, and one advisor to The Cotton Board. The Cotton Board is made up of cotton producers and importers appointed by the Secretary to oversee the Cotton Research & Promotion Program (the Program).

The Cotton Board Chairman, George LaCour Jr., a producer from Morganza, Louisiana was pleased with Secretary Perdue’s appointments saying, “I look forward to working with the new appointees and gaining their diverse perspectives about the activities of our Board and our industry, as well as leaning on the experience and knowledge of the Members and Alternates who have been re-appointed to serve. I am very grateful that these leaders have agreed to provide their time and expertise to serve to this industry. “ 

The newly appointed members are: Pace Hindsley, Producer - Marvell, AR; Dustin Mancebo, Producer - Dos Palos, CA; Sally M. Gilligan, Importer - San Francisco, CA; Chuck J. Ward, Importer - Hickory, NC; David M. Dunlow, Producer - Roanoke Rapids, NC; Bryan K. Patterson, Producer - Amherst, TX; Sigifredo Valverde, Producer - Shallowater, TX; and Akiko Inui, Importer - New York, NY.  The re-appointed members are: Michael K. Kobori, Importer - Berkeley, CA; Debi M. Gregg, Importer - Irvine, CA; George G. LaCour Jr., Producer - Morganza, LA; James C. Robertson Jr., Producer - Indianola, MS; and Debra R. Barrett, Producer - Edroy, TX. 

The newly appointed alternate members are: Aaron Barcellos, Producer - Los Banos, CA; Rebecca E. Thom, Producer - Lake Providence, LA; James W. McKinnon, Importer - Rye, NY; Silas K. Smith, Producer - Rocky Mount, NC; Rafe A. Banks, Producer - AR; Jon T. Jones, Producer - Floydada, TX; Laurie A. Sutandar, Importer - Frisco, TX; Kody S. Bessent, Producer, Lubbock, TX; and Emily L. Gigot, Importer - Seattle, WA. The re-appointed alternate members are: Marshall D. Draughn Jr., Importer - Severna Park, MD; Patrick L. Johnson, Jr., Producer - Tunica, MS; Stefanie Rotta, Importer -Elkins Park, PA; and Michael C. Popp, Producer -El Campo, TX.

The re-appointed advisor is Marshal Cohen, Upper Brookeville, NY.

Each of these appointees will serve 3-year terms, ending December 31, 2020.

The Secretary also appointed: Rajiv Malik, Tiburon, CA and Douglas P. Guiley, New York, NY to fill vacant importer alternate positions expiring Dec. 31, 2018; Andrea Nypen, Lakeville, MN to fill an importer alternate position expiring Dec. 31, 2019; and Ronnie N. Hopper Jr., Petersburg, TX to fill a producer alternate position expiring Dec. 31, 2019

The Cotton Board will hold its next Board Meeting at the end of February to discuss the strategic direction of the Program for the coming year. "At our upcoming board meeting we include an orientation process for the new appointees that will educate them about the Program and ensure they are able to contribute immediately to the Board," said LaCour. 

The Cotton Research and Promotion Program is designed to advance the position of cotton in the marketplace.  It is funded by assessments on all domestically produced cotton and imports of foreign-produced cotton and cotton-containing products and is authorized by the Cotton Research and Promotion Act of 1966.  USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service oversees operations of the Board.


Contact: Stacey Gorman, Director of Communications, 901-233-9356, sgorman [at] cottonboard [dot] org


About the Cotton Board: The Cotton Research & Promotion Act established the Cotton Board as a quasi-governmental, non-profit entity to serve as the administrator of the Cotton Research & Promotion Program. Funded by America’s cotton producers and importers through the cotton check-off, the Program’s research and promotion activities are conducted worldwide by Cotton Incorporated, the Cotton Board’s sole-source contracting organization, to increase the demand for and improve the market position of cotton. The Cotton Research & Promotion Program continues to work in all areas of cotton’s pipeline – from the field to the consumer – to keep cotton the number one fiber choice in the U.S. For more information about the Cotton Board and the innovative activities stemming from the Program, visit