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Meet CIOPORA Board

CIOPORA President & Board 2020 - 2023

Steven Hutton


Steven Hutton is a third-generation nurseryman and the past President & CEO of the Conard-Pyle Company/Star Roses & Plants. He served many years as President of the National Association of Plant Patent Owners and was a member of the Board of the Wholesale Nursery Growers of America and a member of the International Plant Propagators’ Society. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Longwood Gardens, one of the world’s premier public gardens.

Steven was first elected President of CIOPORA during the AGM 2017 and has been recently reelected by the overwhelming majority of votes for the second three-year term (2020 - 2023). Since assuming the position of CIOPORA President in 2017, Steve has been successfully working on expanding CIOPORA’s outreach within the horticultural sector in his native USA and beyond. He has contributed tremendously to building CIOPORA’s relationships with the U.S. Government, including USPTO and USDA, and representation of CIOPORA members’ interests before competent authorities worldwide.

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Wendy Cashmore

Co-Vice President

Wendy Cashmore is a director of several New-Zealand based businesses.  Her primary interest is the breeding and development of new apple varieties through her holding in Trajectory762 Limited.  This is complemented with activities fostering capability development in businesses where more effective commercialization models and strategy to deliver new outcomes for plant variety intellectual assets is essential through Plant IP Partners Limited - a New Zealand-based plant variety IP consultancy company working internationally. Wendy has been an active member of CIOPORA since the 50th Anniversary of the association in Rome, 2011.  Elected to the Board in 2014, Wendy has served as a co-Vice Chair since 2017. 

With a long professional history in the international fruit breeding and commercialisation world, Wendy is passionate about all aspects of plant variety intellectual property, plant breeding, and the communication and relationships that make those things successful.

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Dr. Jan de Riek

Co-Vice President

Dr. Jan de Riek is research group leader at ILVO - The Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research, Belgium. He is the chairman and the brainpower behind the CIOPORA Working Group Biotechnology. At the ILVO Dr. de Riek is preoccupied with molecular genetics and breeding research in ornamental and agricultural crops. He acquired his doctorate degree in plant biotechnology at the University of Gent. 

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Dominique Thévenon


Dominique Thévenon is the Executive Secretary at the AIGN, the Associated International Group of Nurseries, France. She currently holds an honorary position of CIOPORA's Treasurer handling the finances of the association. She is also an independent contractor in the field of IP management. Dominique Thévenon holds a degree in Law and Languages obtained at the University of Grenoble, France. For many years, Dominique chaired the CIOPORA Crop Section Fruit and represented CIOPORA at the CPVO. For her long-term engagement and commitment to CIOPORA, Dominique was awarded the CIOPORA Silver Pin at the AGM 2018 in Ghent, Belgium.

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Michael Carriere

Board member

Michael D. Carriere is the Assistant Director at UC Davis Innovation Access, USA. He is a UC Davis graduate and holds a Ph.D. in Plant Biology. After three years at a breeding company in the private sector, he came back to UC Davis to manage its highly competitive strawberry licensing program. For over 20 years in this position, he has been serving as the University’s liaison at the public-private interface and has acquired extensive experience in plant IP management and litigation. He also works as an instructor at UC Davis PIPRA/Law School licensing academy. Michael has been representing UC Davis InnovationAccess at CIOPORA since 2006 and, with his high rate of participation in CIOPORA events and the CIOPORA Academy workshops, he has long become a household name in CIOPORA.

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Bruno Etavard

Board member,

Chair Crop Section Cut Rose/IRBA

Bruno Etavard has been active in the field of plant breeding since 1982. In 1988 he joined Meilland International, the world-leading company in rose breeding, as a License Manager. Bruno Etavard has been a member of IRBA, the International Rose Breeder Association, since 1988. He joined the Board of CIOPORA in 2010.

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Maarten Leune

Board member

Maarten Leune is Managing Director of the Royalty Administration International, a specialist in plant breeders' rights, royalty monitoring, and collection. Previously he worked as a Managing Director at the Chrysanthemum Breeders Association NV. Maarten Leune obtained his degree in Economy and Agriculture from the HAS Dronten.

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Andrea Mansuino

Immediate Past President

Andrea Mansuino is a fourth-generation breeder and nurseryman, whose family has been involved in ornamental plant breeding for a century. A Genova University graduate in Biological Sciences, Andrea has worked in horticulture since 1987. Currently, he owns a nursery in Sanremo, where he works on a hydrangea breeding program and production of energy from renewable sources. Andrea is the Director of a family business devoted to the representation of third-party breeders and advising on international business, IP management, and ornamentals breeding. Andrea is a shareholder at NIRP International S.A. and served as R&D Director at NIRP East Africa. From 2011 to 2017 for two consecutive terms, he served as President of CIOPORA.

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Dean Rule

Board member

Dean Rule resides in Ecuador where he directs the greenhouse rose breeding, selection and marketing program of the E.G. Hill Company and its subsidiary International Rose Breeders LLC for the local and international markets.  He also manages the selection and marketing program of Jan Spek Rozen in Ecuador and has been heavily involved in the local IP laws and local and international enforcement and lobbying. Dean has a M.Sc. in Horticulture from The Ohio State University with a specialty area of plant and post-harvest physiology. 

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Ingrid Slangen

Board member

Chair Crop Section Cut Flowers

Ingrid Slangen is the Head of IP & Legal Affairs at Selecta one, Germany. Originally an English/Spanish translator by trade, during her career at Selecta, Ingrid has gathered extensive expertise in legal and plant IP matters. For over 15 years she has been working for Selecta, a world-leading breeder, producer, and marketer of asexually propagated ornamental plants with headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. As a Head of IP & Legal Affairs at Selecta, Ingrid is responsible for managing the company’s global IP portfolio as well as all licensing, contractual, and legal affairs. Right from the beginning, Ingrid represented Selecta in CIOPORA and became the Chair of the CIOPORA Crop Section Gypsophila (now, Cut Flowers) in 2013. In this position, Ingrid participated as an observer in many Board meetings and supports CIOPORA pro bono, including the representation of CIOPORA at the EU/CPVO.

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