Global Ag Professionals

Trust Global Ag : Your Outsource Resource for Agricultural Product Development 

Dr. Lafayette "Fate" Thompson

President and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Thompson founded American Agricultural Services, Inc. and iAdvantage Software, Inc. following a distinguished career in both academia at the University of Kentucky and North Carolina State University, and in the commercial world with CIBA-Geigy (now Syngenta). Dr. Thompson possesses a unique understanding of research, development and registration of agricultural products. A decisive, results-oriented, bottom-line leader, Dr. Thompson provides the passionate entrepreneurial drive for these companies to create value in the industry. Dr. Thompson has reached the ultimate level of creating value in the industry with Global Agricultural Development Corporation.


Dr. Thompson received his undergraduate degree from N.C. State University and his Ph.D. from University of Illinois.

Put Global Ag professionals to work creating maximum value for you.

Kelly Butler Chapman, MS

Business Development Manager

Kelly is a life-long member of the agricultural community. Her diverse agricultural involvement includes row crops, specialty crops, horticulture, livestock, and business management.   She has been privileged to work in weed science, traditional plant breeding, DNA/protein/transgenic organisms, plant pathology, and basic agronomic practices.  Her career has involved R&D support roles for Dow, DuPont, F.W. Rickard Seed Company, Bayer CropScience, iAdvantage Software, and American Agricultural Services. 


Kelly holds a Masters’ degree in Crops Science (Plant Breeding & Genetics) from North Carolina State University.

Laura Seastrum, BA

Director of Development

Mrs. Seastrum began her career in the commercial Ag industry working in the residue labs at CIBA-Geigy (now Syngenta).  Over the next two decades, she broadened her experience working in a variety of different areas of the crop protection business for Novartis, Syngenta and Bayer CropScience where she played an integral part in the registration of crop protection products.  She has lab experience including wet chemistry, method validation, protein biochemistry, test substance characterization, insect bioassay development and insect lab set-up.  She has extensive experience in GLP study management and the preparation of high quality study reports for global regulatory submission. 


Laura received her undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of North Carolina.

Sio Wia Hoi, MS

Project Manager

Mr. Hoi is a crop science professional with credentials that include two decades of experience spanning transgenic crop breeding and selection, crop physiological and ecological assessment, field and greenhouse study design, regulatory processes, and residue studies at Monsanto (now Bayer Crop Protection) and American Agricultural Services, Inc.  


Hoi received his undergraduate degree in Agronomy and his M.S. in Plant Breeding from Iowa State University.

Dr. Frank Norris

Study Director

Frank has over 40 years of experience in the ag chemical industry with USDA, BASF, Mobile, Rhone-Poulenc, Aventis, and Bayer.  Frank has managed hundreds of studies involving, environmental fate (soil & groundwater), metabolism, crop residue, and the extraction of plant products.  He has authored more than 20 journal articles. 


Frank holds a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Utah State University.

Carla M. Wells

Director of IT

Carla has more than 30 years of IT experience spanning multiple industries.  Carla is well versed in hardware and software development and maintenance.  She has more than 20 years of experience in EPA GLP and computer validation requirements for systems used in GLP data management and reporting.  As the Director of Development for iAdvantage Software she provides ongoing support to American Ag. Services with respect to data collection, reporting, and storage for all studies.

Katie McKenzie, BA

Project Management Assistant & Archivist

Miss McKenzie is seasoned business support professional with a broad base of experience in multiple industries and non-profit organizations.  Katie’s skills include project coordination/timeline management, logistics, customer service, marketing, report writing, and office management. 


Katie holds a B.A. degree from North Carolina State University.

Dr. Kevin B. Kelley

Senior Project Manager

Dr. Kelley has been involved in agricultural research and development to support the agricultural industry for 20+ years. Projects have included crop residue and environmental fate under GLP guidelines, field efficacy of products for weed, insect & disease control, as well as USDA-APHIS regulated GMO crop research.  Dr. Kelley’s experience includes postdoctoral research for the USDA-ARS potato breeding program and field research for AgraServ, Inc. 


Kevin earned his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.

Dr. John Salmeron

Adviser & Senior Consultant

John Salmeron brings decades of experience at both multinational and start-up organizations (Syngenta, Precision BioSciences, Intrexon).  John’s career has centered on project management and team engagement in seeds, traits and genomics research and development.  He earned a Ph.D. in Botany and Genetics from Duke University, an A.B. in Biology from Washington University in St. Louis, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California at Berkeley.  He is a Project Management Professional as certified by the Project Management Institute.  Dr. Salmeron founded S Research Partners, LLC to serve the agricultural community, working with highly innovative companies to address their research and business development goals.

Les Thompson

Vice President of Business Development

Les has been involved in agriculture and horticulture for over 40 years.  His involvement started at a young age on the original American Ag Services field station in Wilson, NC.  He moved on to Landscape Design at North Carolina State University.  Les has remained active in the horticulture industry of North Carolina in roles that involved sales, design, installation, client acquisition and retention, and business ownership.  He brings over 25 years of experience forging and retaining relationships with clients, vendors, outsourced contractors, and colleagues.

Dr. Timothy Hunt

Adviser & Senior Consultant

In the agricultural chemical development and registration community, Dr. Hunt is highly regarded for his expertise in the chemistry (methods, procedures, strategies) of environmental substrates, crop residue and toxicology necessary for successfully meeting regulatory requirements for timely registrations and submissions. During his career, he successfully managed these vital areas of product development for Union Carbide Agricultural Products Company, Inc., Rhone-Poulenc Ag Company, and Bayer Crop Protection.

Dr. Hunt studied Entomology, Crop Science, and Toxicology at North Carolina State University, from which he received a PhD.

Michael Preston, JD, MBA

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Preston has exemplary skills in creating value in growth companies and companies in transition. In positions with both Ernst and Young and Southeast Interactive Technology Funds, he has advised numerous companies on growth strategies and capital raising efforts. He is the founder of Preston Financial Advisors, LLC. As CFO, he has helped organizations achieve their milestones.

Mr. Preston received his B.S. from Ohio State University and his MBA and JD from the University of Maryland.

Dr. Rich Patterson

Adviser & Senior Consultant

Dr. Richard Patterson has extensive and wide-ranging experience in Research and Development of agricultural chemical and biotechnology products.  Dr. Patterson established RJ Patterson and Associates to provide quality assurance and regulatory compliance consulting for diverse disciplines required for technology development, management, and transfer in agriculture and biotechnology.  His client base has included numerous large companies plus smaller companies including start-ups.  He is an expert and long-time leader in GLP quality assurance and regulatory compliance. Previously, Dr. Patterson led the initiation and establishment of CIBA-GEIGY Corporation’s Biotechnology Research Unit in Research Triangle Park, NC USA. Then, as the first President of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Dr. Patterson laid the foundation for the Center to become a vital catalyst for biotechnology research and business.

Dr. Patterson received his PhD in Plant Physiology from University of California at Davis followed by post-doctoral research at Cornell University.

Dr. Rob Everich

Adviser & Senior Consultant

Dr. Everich’s distinguished career in agricultural chemical research, development, and registration spans three decades. For over two decades with ADAMA Crop Protection, he managed development and registration efforts for proprietary and generic products for crop, non-crop and public health protection. In the last few years, as a private consultant, he has used his experience and expertise assisting ag chemical companies with product development program design and review, regulatory strategy, and registration submission.

Dr. Everich received a PhD in Entomology from the University of Maryland.

219 East Chatham Street, Suite 200

Cary, North Carolina 27511

919 469-3600


Global Agricultural Development Corporation 2020

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