Mike Zelkind, 80 Acres Farms
Mike Zelkind is the co-founder and CEO of 80 Acres Urban Agriculture. Previously, Mike was President, CEO of Sager Creek Vegetable Company, a Division of Del Monte Foods. He connected with many farmers along the way and valued the role of local food in enabling stronger and healthier communities. Over his career, he held Senior Executive roles within leading Domestic and International companies, large and small. These include Fortune 50 Food & Beverage, Retail and Consumer Packaged Goods Companies, as well as major Consulting and Private Equity Firms.
Mike began his career in Supply Chain. He progressed to General Management and quickly became recognized as an International Operations Executive. In the last 10 years, he has successfully turned around several troubled businesses. For over 25 years, Mike has been working with top tier food companies. Among them, General Mills, Del Monte, Bumble Bee and ConAgra Foods . Other companies include top tier consultancies and start-ups such as AT Kearney and ICG Commerce, focusing on the food industry. Over the last 15 years he has worked with Private Equity (such as Oaktree Capital and Bain Capital’s Sankaty) to drive over $2.5B of shareholder value.
Mike has played competitive Chess since the age of 10. He has competed in several of the most prestigious International Chess Tournaments around the world . In addition, he achieved a title of Life Master at the age of 19. In 1996, after earning his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Computer Science and Mathematics, he ranked #1 in his Master’s in Business Administration class of a top 20 Executive MBA program. He also earned the top Leadership Award: John Robson Scholar. He was selected for a very prestigious Community Leadership Program by the Wexner Foundation. He is fluent in Russian and has basic Spanish communication skills.