Sam Fiorello is Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. He also serves as President of the Bio Research and Development Growth (BRDG) Park at the Danforth Plant Science Center.
Sam has extensive experience in managing financial, intellectual property and other administrative functions. Prior to joining the Danforth Center in 1998, he was Chief of Staff at Monsanto Company’s Office of the President, where he helped develop the business plan and initial pool of funding to establish the Danforth Plant Science Center in 1998.
The Center has grown to become the largest nonprofit, independent research institute focused on plant science in the world. The Center’s mission is to improve the human condition through plant science and focuses scientific research at the nexus of food, energy and the environment to improve the productivity and sustainability of agriculture. This means more productive crops that provide better nutrition, more sustainable crops that have a smaller environmental footprint, the creation of leading-edge companies to bring innovation to market, and well-trained plant scientists who will guide the next generation.
The Bio Research & Development Growth (BRDG) Park at the Danforth Plant Science Center was established to help plant and life sciences companies bridge research, resources and relationships to achieve commercial success. In addition to providing state-of-the-art wet laboratories, office space and a prominent incubator, BRDG Park’s location on the Danforth Center’s campus facilitates access to the intellectual capital of top scientists, as well as to greenhouse, growth chambers, microscopy and proteomics facilities and other vital resources. BRDG Park houses approximately 15 enterprises and a workforce training program that contribute to the growing bioscience and ag tech ecosystem in the region.
Sam is also a co-founder of the Ag Innovation Showcase, an annual investor conference that launched in 2009 in partnership with the Larta Institute. This event brings the agtech community from more than 25 countries together to create synergy between the multitude of products and projects that are contributing to the explosive growth of the industry.
Sam received a graduate degree in Public Administration from the University of Texas, and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Wisconsin. He is active in the community and serves on the Federal Reserve Board, Agriculture Industry Advisory Committee and is a co-founder of the Upstream Theatre Company.
Sam and wife Rebecca live in St. Louis, Missouri and are the parents of two sons, Graham and Max, and daughter Audrey.