FOUNDER / CEO
In 2016 Chris Rawley, while visiting a farm investment in Central America, conceived the idea of building a crowdfunding platform to streamline agriculture investment. He soon founded Harvest Returns to bring that vision to reality. Rawley has held corporate management roles in Jones Lang LaSalle, Electronic Data Systems, L-3 Communications, and served as a defense consultant at Special Operations Command headquarters with Blackbird Technologies. He has invested in real estate and income-producing agriculture for nearly two decades.
As a Captain in the United States Navy Reserve, Rawley is the Commanding Officer of a unit focused on building maritime security off the coast of West Africa. During his 25 year military career, Rawley has filled a variety of leadership positions in naval, expeditionary, and joint special operations units afloat and ashore. He has deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, throughout Africa, the Middle East, and Western Pacific. Rawley has a degree from Texas A&M University and earned an MBA at George Washington University.
Austin Maness, as COO, manages all facets of the company’s logistics, deal flow, and human resources. Some of Austin's greatest memories were spent summers as a kid working with his grandparents on their small farm. During a ten year career as an US Army Officer, he served at several levels of command from tactical to strategic operations. While deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, Maness conducted countless combat operations as well as cultivated relationships with local governing officials in support of mission objectives. Maness managed a $65 million, non-lethal support program in southern Turkey for the US Department of State in support of the moderate Syrian armed opposition, working with senior government officials and suppliers to provide materiel support to rebel forces. He also developed and cultivated an advance network of local activists to provide time-sensitive information to US agencies. Because of his passion and participation in motorsport events, Maness was recently selected to serve as a Regional Director for Team Shelby, the social marketing arm of Shelby American Inc. Maness earned a Bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University and completed a Masters at Kansas University.
Michael DeSa’s technical background, years of leadership and project management experience with the U.S. Marine Corps and extensive travels and investment experience throughout Latin America make him uniquely qualified to strategically counsel companies and investors throughout the region. He has guided high net worth individuals and institutional investors in every aspect of foreign land investments from project sourcing and risk assessment/mitigation, to boots-on-the ground due diligence, overseas land management, and ownership structuring. DeSa has detailed farming experience with a wide variety of row and permanent crops, hydroponic greenhouse produce, bees, and proteins. He is also a published author with articles appearing in Global AgInvesting, Agri Investor, Huffington Post, and the Marine Corps Gazette. DeSa graduated from Texas A&M with a Bachelor of Science in agricultural engineering.
DIGITAL MEDIA & MARKETING SPECIALIST
Based out of Tampa, Florida, Allison Spence keeps the digital media and marketing creative and engaging for Harvest Returns. A Missouri native, Spence grew up in a rural town where she found a immense gap in communication and understanding about agricultural topics between agriculturalists and the general consumer. She soon realized how important being an “agvocate” would be throughout her life and future career in agricultural communications. In the past, Spence was a copywriter at a web design company where she developed content for clients and enhanced inbound marketing efforts with blog posts, social media marketing, email marketing and search engine optimization. She also interned for the University of Missouri-Columbia’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources as the social media intern. Spence recently earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Science and Agricultural Journalism and a minor in Agricultural Economics from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Patty was born and raised in Hanoi, Vietnam. She left home at 16 to go to high school in New Zealand. Do earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Texas Christian University (TCU) in 2017. GO FROGS! During her time at TCU, she was highly involved in various student activities and held several leadership positions such as Resident Assistant, President of the International Student Association, and Vice President of Habitat for Humanity. Prior to joining Harvest Returns, she had opportunities to work as an audit and tax intern at several CPA firms.
Brigadier General (Ret) Stephen Joyce
BG(R) Joyce enlisted in the Alaska National Guard in 1979, went to Flight school as a Warrant Officer candidate in 1984, and obtained his Commission through Officer Candidate School in 1986. He commanded units at all levels from Platoon through Brigade, and deployed twice as a General Officer. He is a graduate of both Wayland Baptist University and the US Army War College. His numerous awards include Air Force Crew Member Badge, Master Army Aviation Badge, Legion of Merit, and Defense Superior Service Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster.
Steve formed Strategic Solutions in 2012 upon Active Duty retirement from the U. S. Army after 33 years of service. Strategic Solutions provides strategic planning, consulting, coaching, and business development services to a diverse group of clients, which includes private and publicly held companies, National Guard Bureau, Departments of Defense, State, and NATO. He is also a Governance and Board Leadership Fellow of the National Association of Corporate Directors and currently sits on numerous boards. They include Vice Chairman, United Water Federal Services Advisory Board; Chairman/CEO, Army Aviation Heritage Foundation; Chairman, Congressman Ferguson’s Veterans Advisory Board, and Americas Adopt a Soldier Board.