Oregon Tilth celebrates 50 years with bold leadership transformation

July 10, 2024

Chris Schreiner as CEO and Leonard Freeman, Jr. as COO to drive organic sustainability and innovation.

(July 10, 2024) – Corvallis, OR – Oregon Tilth, a leading certifier, educator, and advocate for organic agriculture, is proud to announce the promotion of Chris Schreiner to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Leonard Freeman, Jr. to Chief Operating Officer (COO). This strategic leadership transition underscores Oregon Tilth’s commitment to operational excellence and continued growth.

“The updated titles and roles reflect our organization’s growing scale and complexity,” stated Board President Ani Kame’enui. “Chris and Leonard’s collaborative leadership is essential as we navigate the dynamic landscape of organic agriculture. Their combined expertise and dedication position Oregon Tilth to lead with integrity and innovation.”

Chris Schreiner, Oregon Tilth CEO celebrates 50 years with bold leadership transformation.

Chris Schreiner has over 27 years of experience in the organic sector. He grew up working on his family’s fourth-generation, 200-acre iris farm in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. After completing his undergraduate degree, he worked on a small organic farm that grew specialty crops sold directly to local restaurants and natural food stores.

Since 1998, Chris has been with Oregon Tilth. As Farm Program Coordinator, he managed the organic certification process for over 400 farms. As Quality Control Director, he handled policy analysis and USDA National Organic Program accreditation. 

Since 2009, Chris has been Oregon Tilth’s top executive. He has developed innovative partnerships with Oregon State University and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to expand resources for organic producers. In 2014, Chris served on the Oregon Governor’s Task Force on Genetically Engineered Agriculture. He also co-chaired the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s Research, Education and Extension Committee for six years. As CEO, Chris will continue to steer Oregon Tilth towards innovative and collaborative partnerships, fostering industry-wide change.

“As Chief Executive Officer, I will focus externally to drive our vision and values for change by leveraging my industry reputation and relationships. My strategic engagement will target systemic change through policy influence, financial investment, and collaboration with government agencies and universities. By broadening support for the organic sector, we will increase demand for our services as a leading organic certifier, educator, and advocate. This will also support our clients’ success, enhancing the organization’s mission impact,” said Schreiner.

Leonard Freeman, Jr., Oregon Tilth COO, celebrates 50 years with bold leadership transformation.

Leonard Freeman, Jr., who joined Oregon Tilth in June 2021, has played a pivotal role in integrating the organization’s core operational functions, focusing on Certification, Education & Advocacy, Marketing & Communications, and Information Technology. His career is a compelling blend of affordable housing, community engagement, and education, with significant contributions to the Atlantic Housing Foundation, the NFL, Equal Opportunity Schools, and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Dallas.

An accomplished writer and national influencer, Leonard has published widely on innovation, diversity, and leadership. He holds degrees in Kinesiology and Public Administration and is pursuing a Doctoral Degree in Organizational Leadership. Leonard’s dedication to innovation, data analytics, and community outreach positions him to elevate Oregon Tilth’s operational excellence as COO, ensuring the organization meets the evolving needs of the organic sector.

“As I step into the role of Chief Operating Officer at Oregon Tilth, I am honored to advance our journey of organizational growth and development. My focus will be on fostering a culture of servant leadership, where every team member feels empowered and valued. Together, we will build on our strong foundation in Certification, Education & Advocacy, Marketing & Communications, Finance, People and Culture, and Information Technology. I am excited to lead our dedicated teams as we chart our future, committed to ensuring that Oregon Tilth continues to lead with integrity and drive progress in the organic sector,” said Freeman.

As Oregon Tilth celebrates its 50th anniversary, the organization reflects on its journey and accomplishments. Founded on the simple yet ambitious belief that food and agriculture should be biologically sound and socially equitable, Oregon Tilth has been instrumental in the creation of the organic label. This federally defined and enforced designation strictly regulates how agricultural products are grown and processed, ensuring the meaning, integrity, and transparency of the organic label remain invaluable to our agricultural system and culture as a whole.

We’re honored to serve hard working farmers, ranchers, handlers, and operators who empower consumers. Here’s to many more years of fostering a healthy, sustainable future and growing good food together.

“This leadership transformation is part of our ongoing efforts to align the organization’s leadership structure with its mission and values. Oregon Tilth’s Board of Directors is excited about this new chapter and looks forward to continuing its mission to change the culture of food and agriculture in service of people and the planet,” said Ani Kame’enui, Board President of Oregon Tilth.


About Oregon Tilth

Oregon Tilth is a leading certifier, educator, and advocate for a brighter food future. We’re a team of regulatory experts, biologists, farmers, technical specialists, horticulturalists, communicators, administrators, inspectors, advocates, certification specialists, and educators working together to make our food and agriculture system socially equitable and biologically sound. We’re honored to serve hard working farmers, ranchers, handlers, and operators who empower consumers. 

For more information, visit tilth.org

Media Contact:

To request interviews, please contact Edward Johnson at edward@tilth.org.

Contact Information

Oregon Tilth Main Office
PO Box 368
Corvallis, OR 97339
Phone: (503) 378-0690
Toll Free: (877) 378-0690
Email: organic@tilth.org

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