Richardson, Gary

Name: 
Richardson, Gary
Title: 
Cofounder of Plantacor
Texas A&M Class: 
1976
Inducted: 
2014

Biography:

Gary Richardson was born into an Aggie family and spent time on family ranches in both South and East Texas before entering Texas A&M University in the fall of 1972 as an Accounting major.  After a dose of intermediate accounting, Gary changed his major to Agricultural Economics.  Gary was a member of Company C-1 in the Corps of Cadets, Parson’s Mounted Cavalry (PMC), a member of the Recon Platoon, and served as the Scholastic Sergeant and Scholastic Officer of C-1 and a Squad Sergeant in PMC.  On May 8, 1976, Gary graduated from A&M in the morning, attended Final Review of the Corps that afternoon, and married his wife Monica in the All Faiths Chapel on Campus that evening. He furthered his education in 1991 at the ASTA Management Academy at the Krannert School of Business at Purdue University.

Gary briefly worked as an operator for Shell Chemical before moving to Levelland, Texas to work at Anderson Grain as an assistant manager at the grain elevator in September of 1976.  Gary and Monica left Levelland in 1978 and moved to Devine, Texas to be closer to the family ranch.  In 1981, he became a district sales manager for Growers Seed Association, which was acquired by Agrigenetics Corp. and changed to GroAgra Seed Company, where he managed South Texas seed sales and development until 1988.  In 1988, he was promoted to Vice President of the international division of Agrigenetics, and moved to northeast Ohio where he was responsible for the sales and business development activities for Asia as well as the operations for the whole international division. In 1992, Agrigenetics was acquired by the Mycogen Corporation, a San Diego biotechnology company.  After this acquisition, and subsequent relocation to San Diego, California, Gary continued in the same role he had in Ohio.  After working for Mycogen for two years, Gary left to start Global Agro Inc. which focused on developing proprietary germplasm in corn, sunflowers, and safflower.  As CEO, Gary was responsible for the overall management of the company and helped to establish licensing arrangements around the world, augmenting Global Agro Inc.’s developmental breeding programs. Gary led the effort in 1998 to merge Global Agro into a new biotech company, Akkadix. In 2001, Gary worked on refocusing the company and funding it through several outside sources. Unfortunately, the uncertainty that followed September 11, 2001 led to the eventual closure of Akkadix.  

Gary next founded Greenbiofactories, LLC in 2002, a California company focused on using plants to produce specialty chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and nutraceuticals. After returning to Smithville, Texas in 2002, Gary helped form a consortium of ten Indian companies, the Swadeshi Group, and worked with them in sourcing agricultural technologies. In June of 2003, Gary cofounded a company named Plantacor, a drug development company which utilizes a license from Texas A&M for several unique compounds sourced from cruciferous vegetables.  Plantacor is currently raising the funds to complete preclinical studies and enter human clinical trials targeting “Basal-like” or triple negative breast cancer.  In 2012, Gary was asked by a friend in San Diego to lead a canola project in California.  The company, Valley Oils Partners, LLC, utilizes non-GMO canola developed by Cibus. As president of the company, Gary has established relationships with regional seed distributors and is currently creating a joint venture with an established commodity processing and oil distribution company and building a crushing and refining facility in Stockton, CA.  

Gary has been a member of the College of Agriculture Development Council (COADC) since 1998 and has served on the executive committee for the past seven years, including chairman from 2010 to 2012. He has been a member of the International Board for Texas A&M since 2004 and is on the executive committee.  Gary is a member of the advisory committee for the Academy of Future International Leaders (AFIL) and has delivered the “World Food Supply and its Implications” lecture to the AFIL class for the past seven years.  He is a former Trustee and Counselor of the Texas A&M Research Foundation and director and former Chairmen of the Brazos Valley WorldFest.  Gary has served as a director and as Chairman of the International Committee of the American Seed Trade Association in Washington, DC and represented the industry on trips to Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt.  In 2005, the US State Department sponsored Gary at the China/US Relations Conference held in Beijing where he represented industry in discussions on intellectual property and licensing.  In 2012, The IC2 Institute at The University of Texas invited Gary to travel to the Republic of Korea to meet with Korean companies on technology licensing and collaborations.

Gary and his wife Monica have been married for thirty eight years, have three children and live in College Station.  Jessica is married to Maj. Peter W. Koeneman, USMC (Ret) and recently located to College Station with their four children, Noah, Jacob, Caleb and Grace.  Justin ‘02 is married to Jill ‘02 and live in Fulshear, TX with their three children- Kirby, Colton and Maggie.  Julia is active in BCS dance and sports, her church youth group and enjoys attending Texas A&M sporting events.

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