Get to know the Cotton Inc. leadership and research teams experts on cotton science and business.
- J. Berrye Worsham, President & Chief Executive Officer
- Kater Hake, Ph.D., Vice President, Agricultural Research
- Edward M. Barnes, Ph.D., Director, Agricultural Research
- Patricia F. O'Leary, Ph.D., Senior Director, Agricultural Research
- Mary Ankeny, Director, Dyeing Research, Global Product Supply Chain
- Tom C. Wedegaertner, Director, Cottonseed Research and Marketing
- Janet Reed, Associate Director, Environmental Research
J. Berrye Worsham is president and chief executive officer of Cotton Incorporated, the research and marketing company representing U.S. upland cotton. In this role, Mr. Worsham oversees the company's global research and marketing programs.
These efforts are conducted through its World Headquarters in Cary, N.C., where all research and development activities are conducted, and its Consumer Marketing Headquarters in New York. The company also has international offices in Hong Kong; Mexico City; Osaka; and Shanghai.
Mr. Worsham joined Cotton Incorporated in 1983 as manager, cotton analysis. He also served as director, fiber & economic analysis; director, market research; vice president, corporate planning and program development, and most recently, executive vice president and chief operating officer.
Before joining Cotton Incorporated, Mr. Worsham was senior business analyst of JI Case Co. in Racine, WI. Mr. Worsham is a member of the Advisory Board for the Department of Textile Products Design and Marketing at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, School of Human Environmental Sciences.
A 1978 graduate of the University of North Carolina with a B.S. in Business Administration, Mr. Worsham received his M.B.A. from UNC-Greensboro in 1979.
Mr. Worsham and his family reside in Cary, N.C.
Kater Hake is the Vice President of Agricultural Research at Cotton Incorporated where he is responsible for the cotton production research program. Kater leads a team of six scientists who develop and support innovative problem-solving research to increase the profitability and sustainability of cotton farming in the U.S.
Kater came to Cotton Inc. from a long career in cotton research and management. Most recently he was the Vice President of Technology Development at Delta and Pine Land Company. He has also held positions at Texas A&M University, The National Cotton Council, and the University of California. He holds three degrees from the University of California at Davis and at Riverside.
Ed Barnes is Director of Agricultural Research at Cotton Incorporated where for the last six years he has managed agricultural engineering related projects, including programs on ginning, precision farming, irrigation, and conservation tillage systems. He is a 21-year member of the American Society for Biological and Agricultural Engineering and is current chair of the society's Precision Agriculture Committee.
Prior to coming to Cotton Inc., he spent seven years as an Agricultural Engineer for the USDA, Agricultural Research Service at the U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory in Phoenix, Ariz. developing applications of remotely sensed data for agricultural management.
Over the course of his career he has authored or co-authored numerous technical publications, received two USDA certificates of merit, and served on the Editorial Board of Agricultural Water Management. He received his Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University in Biosystems Engineering and B.S. and M.S. from North Carolina State University in Biological and Agricultural Engineering.
Patricia Frazier O'Leary joined Cotton Incorporated in 1993. As a Senior Director in the Agricultural Research Division her primary responsibility is to coordinate and manage cooperative research related to insect pest management in cotton. Professional activities include membership in the Entomological Society of America, the America Phytopathological Society and the Society for Invertebrate Pathology. She also serves on the advisory council for the National Science Foundation Center for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and the steering committee for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Southern Region IPM Center. In the international arena she is a member of the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC)'s Expert Panel on the Social, Environmental and Economic Performance (SEEP) of the world cotton industry.
A native of Bolivar County, Mississippi and the daughter of a cotton farmer, Dr. O'Leary has B.S. and M.S. degrees from Delta State University and a Ph.D. from Mississippi State University. Prior to joining Cotton Incorporated she worked in the contract research industry and held research and product development positions in companies producing biologically based products.
Mary Ankeny joined Cotton Incorporated in 1995 as Manager of Dyeing and Finishing Technical Services after working at Amoco Fabrics and Fibers (now BP) out of Atlanta, GA, as a Research Engineer in the Lightweight Nonwovens Group. She transitioned into Manager of Dyeing and Finishing Research in 2001 and into Textile Chemistry Research and Preparation and Dyeing Research in the following years. In 2006, Mary became Associate Director of Dyeing Research and in 2008 was promoted to Director of Dyeing Research where the focus is preparation, dyeing, printing, and sustainable wet processing technology.
Mary has a BS in Textile Engineering from Philadelphia University in Philadelphia, PA and a MS in Textile Technology from the Institute of Textile Technology in Charlottesville, VA.
Tom Wedegaertnergrew is the Director of Cottonseed Research and Marketing for Cotton Incorporated.
Having grown up on a sheep and rice farm in rural California, he began his work with cottonseed when he accepted the position of Assistant Director of Research and Education with the National Cottonseed Products Association in Memphis, Tenn. While in Memphis, he continued his graduate studies at the University of Memphis and in 1988 completed degree requirements for an MBA in Marketing. Subsequently, he moved to Seattle, Wash., where he was employed as a Marketing Representative for the Anderson Clayton Company.
Tom attended Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo where he received a B.S. degree in Animal Science. He continued his education at Colorado State University earning an M.S. degree with a specialization in cattle nutrition.
Janet Reed, Associate Director of Environmental Research with Cotton Incorporated, is a focal point for their Environmental Research program and is charged with setting the record straight on cotton's environmental impact. She is responsible for assessing all phases of cotton production and processing and for identifying potential research opportunities that could positively impact the environment. Janet provides scientific outreach to retailers and represents the cotton production/manufacturing industry to the public at large.
Janet was previously with Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc., having held positions in both the scientific and business realms, her most recent assignment being Regulatory Affairs Manager for cotton traits. Before that, she was a Research Associate with Texas A & M University at the Texas A & M Experiment Station in Weslaco, Texas. She has also been a geneticist and plant biologist for Allied Corporation in Syracuse, N.Y.
Reed, a graduate of the University of Tennessee, has a B.S. in horticulture and an M.S. in plant genetics, and has extensive experience in plant cell biology.
Her 25 plus-year career in the agricultural biotechnology industry encompasses the full scope of trait commercialization starting from the development of plant tissue culture methodologies and gene transfer systems and their use in the production of genetically enhanced plant varieties, to coordination of regulatory studies and submission of data packages to regulatory agencies.
She has worked closely with U.S. and international scientists and with state and federal regulatory agencies, including the EPA, USDA and FDA in obtaining regulatory clearances for plant biotech products. She is familiar with the regulatory processes of other countries and has completed several U.S. environmental law courses at Duke University.
Janet is a member of several professional organizations, such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), the Agronomy Society (ASA) and Society of Environmental Toxicology (SETAC). As a regulatory manager, she was a member of the Global Industry Coalition (GIC), an industry group formed to support developing countries in the establishment of science-based regulatory frameworks for plant biotech products.