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.
Deborah B. Dunie
Deborah " Deb" Dunie brings over 30 years of senior level business experience to Harvest Returns through her experience at key executive positions with leading technology companies. Deb retired in 2015 as Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of CACI International, a worldwide information solutions and services provider (NYSE: CACI). During her tenure at CACI she focused on driving the solutions/services portfolio, and was instrumental in identifying and closing 18 mergers/acquisitions aligned to the corporate growth strategy.
Deb is a currently a Board Director of two publically traded Fortune 500 companies, SAIC (NYSE:SAIC), and Alliant Energy Corporation (NYSE:LNT). Prior to CACI, Deb was a member of the Department of Defense Senior Executive Service within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. In November 2006 Deb was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Prior to her work with the federal government, Deb was responsible for e-business solutions within the national intelligence solutions group at Oracle Corporation, guided the strategic direction of Raytheon E-Systems' Advanced Technology Program and was in charge of new and follow-on business development in advanced technologies at Martin Marietta/GE Aerospace.
Deb also serves on the Board of Objective Interface Systems, Inc., a privately held technology company, and the Advisory Board of Bricata, LLC., a venture-backed advanced technology company in the cyber domain. She is a member and former Chair of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) International Technical Committee. She also is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Industry Advisory Board, the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering Advisory Board, the George Mason University Volgeneau School of Engineering Industry Advisory Board, the Tufts University Electrical and Computer Engineering Advisory Board, the Washington CTO Roundtable Board of Directors, and the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Capital Area Chapter Board. Deb is a National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Board Leadership Fellow; recognized for her commitment to the highest standards of boardroom excellence. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University in Medford, MA, and a Master of Electrical Engineering degree from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ.
Mike is Chief Executive Officer of RiceTec, a privately-owned company that develops and produces hybrid rice seed for American and international markets. He assumed responsibility for the position upon joining the company in 2014. Mike has been engaged with production agriculture and the seed industry for over 35 years. Prior to joining RiceTec, he served as an executive with DuPont Pioneer, responsible for global seed production operations. Mike has played an active role in the seed industry as a member of the American Seed Trade Association Board of Directors, including Chairman in 2011/2012, and the International Seed Federation Board of Directors. He was appointed to a term on the USDA Agricultural Trade Advisory Committee by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture in 2013. Mike has also been a member of numerous nonprofit boards and advisory panels, including the Iowa State University Seed Science Center, Iowa 4H Foundation, ChildServe and, most recently, the First the Seed Foundation. Mike earned his degree in Agronomy from Iowa State University.
Adam has been the No. 1 Leadership columnist for Forbes.com since 2009, written a quarterly column for CIO Magazine since 2010 and been a contributing editor for the International Journal of Innovation Science since its founding in 2008. His columns have boldly predicted highly unexpected declines for market leaders such as Tribune, Sears, and Research in Motion years before anyone else.
For two decades, Adam’s accurate forecasts about market shifting trends and his predictions for industry leading corporations has made him a frequent press interviewee regarding Apple, Microsoft, HP and other tech companies, as well as the automobile, media and retail industries. His insight to business growth and overcoming organizational obstacles have been featured in Inc, Adweek, Washington Times and on BBC television.
Since 2004, Adam has been CEO and Managing Partner of Spark Partners, a strategy and transformation consultancy. In 2010, Adam became the founding CEO of Soparfilm Energy, a corporation that invested early in fracking for oil and gas production. Additionally, Adam has been on the Board of Directors at several successful privately held companies, including Crosfield Electronics and Benchmark Technologies in the U.K., Biometric Access Corp. and Apex Interactive and in the U.S. Adam provides board advisory services and is a certified Fellow in the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) where he is a regular speaker on risk management.
Adam was formerly an executive with PepsiCo and DuPont and is a Boston Consulting Group alumni. Adam received his MBA from the Harvard Business School with Distinction. He now travels the globe giving keynotes and leading risk management workshops sharing his insights to how companies and executives can succeed.