William Hilliard has 30 years in private legal practice specializing in corporate development and compliance. Hilliard served as general counsel and chief development officer for Thomas and King, Inc., a franchisee of Applebees and Johnny Carinos, culminating in the sale of Applebee’s 87 units. Prior to serving as general counsel for Thomas and King, Hilliard was a partner in the Lexington firm Gess Mattingly & Atchison, P.S.C. Mr. Hilliard is a farm owner and horse breeder. He is the founder and former president and director of Kentucky Horse Council, Founder and director of the Kentucky Polo Association, He currently serves as a director of the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation and Banker Land Company as well as the managing member of several real estate ventures.
Andrew R. Graves is a 7th generation hemp farmer and 25-year outspoken advocate for industrial hemp. As chairman of Atalo Holdings, Inc, Mr. Graves is committed to creating value for shareholders and opportunity for the new American farmer through research, development and commercialization strategies. Atalo Holdings has become a leader for disruptive technologies in agricultural hemp and crop science under his guidance. Atalo’s Hemp Research Campus, in Winchester, Kentucky, is an incubator for innovative seed improvement, agronomics, processing, and commercialization techniques, developing scalable technologies for sustainable, alternative protein and food-based wellness solutions in the emerging hemp industry.
Mr. Graves has overseen the family agricultural enterprises for 30+ years, tending cattle and growing soybeans, wheat, corn & tobacco and has spent the past 25 years leading efforts to legalize and re-commercialize industrial hemp. Mr. Graves was advisor director at Second National Bank and Commerce National Bank in Lexington, Kentucky from 1989-1999. He was a director on Grain Marketing Board for Southern States in Richmond, Virginia and currently serves on the board of the Kentucky Hemp Research Foundation and the Kentucky Hemp Industries Association.
Andrew served as president of the Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative Association from 1994 until 2000 and as a board member of the North American Industrial Hemp Council. Mr. Graves was president of the Fayette County Farm Bureau from 1993 thru 1995, and in this role was instrumental in obtaining the 1994 National Farm Bureau resolution in support of allowing U.S. farmers to grow industrial hemp. In 1995, Andrew worked with then former Kentucky governor Louie Nunn to write and pass legislation fostering an interest hemp research in Kentucky and across America.
Tom Hutchens has 30 years experience in seed research, development and production and brings expertise, knowledge and international recognition to Atalo Holdings. From 1980 through 2012, Mr. Hutchens became vice president of F.W. Rickard Seed Company in 1980, then became president from 1989 to 2012. Hutchens led the Company to become the world’s foremost burley tobacco seed breeder, controlling 85-90% of the world’s certified burley tobacco seed market. After the sale of Rickard Seed to U.S. Tobacco in 1998, Hutchens became director of the agricultural seed company, Profigen LLC.
Mr. Hutchens personally holds a recognized patent for the air curing of burley tobacco to reduce tobacco specific nitrosamines, the cancer-producing elements of cigarettes. Tom has served as President of the Kentucky Seed Improvement Association, Inc. and as President of the Kentucky Turrets Syndrome Association.
Jimbo Graves is the 8th generation of the Graves family involved in the production and marketing of hemp products. As Director of Sales at Atalo, Jimbo oversees marketing, sales and customer service for Atalo’s wholesale, white label and proprietary label hemp-derived CBD products, delivering tinctures, water soluble powders, gel caps and creams to an international market. Jimbo received his Bachelor of Business Administration and his Masters in Non-Profit/Public/Organizational Management from the University of Georgia.
Rhonda Cornett serves as the Director for Grower Communications at Atalo and Chief Operating Officer for Hemp Knowbility. She is also a hemp farmer with several years of personal experience growing the crop. Rhonda comes to us as a former Grower Representative with Altria (Philip Morris USA) as well as being a high school agriculture teacher and FFA advisor for 11 years. She and her husband Brent, and children Jarrod and Miranda reside in London, KY.
Rhonda received both her Masters degrees from Eastern KY University in Educational Administration and Educational Leadership. She earned her BS in Agriculture Education, Communication, and Leadership from the University of KY.
Kyle Raney comes to us from his position as Global Quality Manager at Alltech, a leading worldwide producer and processor of yeast and organic trace minerals for the sustainable nutrition of plants, animals and people. Prior to Alltech, Kyle as Lead Microbiologist at Martek Biosciences. Kyle earned a B.S. in Biology from Union College and an M.S. in Brewing and Distilling fromHeriot-Watt in Edinburgh.
Brent Cornett serves as Director of Agronomic Research and Development at Atalo and Agronomy Specialist for Atalo’s hemp consulting subsidiary, Hemp Knowbility. He is also a full-time farmer, growing hemp, produce, corn, cattle and hogs in London, Kentucky. Brent has extensive knowledge producing field and greenhouse hemp as well as processing and managing hemp. Brent received his B.S. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Kentucky.
Nathaniel Calloway serves as Laboratory Scientist supporting manufacturing and hemp research at Atalo. After graduating from the University of Kentucky with a B.S. in Chemistry, he gained experience in quality control in the pharmaceutical industry. He brings exertise in analytical services from a federally regulated manufacturing background, and a passion for analytical excellence. Nathniel lives and works in Winchester, Kentucky.
David Spalding spent 27 years at the University of Kentucky as an Extension Associate for Horticulture and 10 years as a contracting office and economist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Spalding has been a tireless proponent for the legalization of industrial hemp for more than 25 years and has led numerous regional and national legal and legislative initiatives, including programs for breeding and certification of feral Kentucky hemp seed in Canada.
Spalding was founding director Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative, a founding member of the Madison Hemp and Flax Company and the Hemp Fed beef Company. David serves on the board of the Kentucky Hemp Industries Association.
Nicole serves as territory manager for the southern area, as well as a consultant for Hemp Knowbility. She is a native of Laurel County, Kentucky. Nicole grew up with an active equestrian background and graduated from Morehead State University with a B.S. in Agribusiness, where she lived and worked on the university farm.
Nicole is seen here at the Hemp Knowbility booth at the 2019 Kentucky Hemp Summit.
Robby VanHook serves as Director of Grower Agronomy and Crop Logistics as well as Agronomy Specialist for Atalo’s hemp consulting subsidiary, Hemp Knowbility. Robby has been a seedman for many years, working for FW Rickard and his own seed company. He is also a lifelong farmer with many years experience producing hemp, tobacco, forages and cattle. His family and he reside on the family farm in Cynthiana, Kentucky.
Rob serves as Territory Manager for the Central/Western Kentucky area, as well as with Atalo’s consulting subsidiary, Hemp Knowbility. He is a graduate from Western Kentucky University with an M.S. in Agriculture, specializing in industrial hemp research. Rob also has a background in extension where he was a horticulture agent in North Carolina. During his time at WKU/NCSU Extension, Rob conducted research projects in industrial hemp, yielding him a strong knowledge base in practical hemp research.
Austin Vice-Atalo Lab Technician. Austin says, “I started as an extra hand which exposed me to many areas of Atalo, gaining a better understanding of growing, processing, extraction, manufacturing and quality control of farm fresh hemp biomass. I grew up in Winchester, Kentucky and am a graduate of Morehead State University. I’m a soccer enthusiast, hiker and dog lover!
Barbara Appleman serves as a Atalo’s Territory Manager for the Northern Kentucky area and is a consultant for Atalo’s subsidiary, Hemp Knowbility. She comes to us from Bracken County and lives in the Germantown Community with her husband and two children. Barbara grew up on a dairy and tobacco farm and has been in farming most of her life.
Barbara has a background in customer service and public relations.
Joyce Rose serves as Office Manager at Atalo. She coordinates all office services and supports the executive team with goal tracking, travel and human resources functions. She serves as assistant secretary to the board of directors and is the official fun planner and executor.
Joyce received her B.S. in Computer Information Systems from Campbellsville University . Her family, which includes 2 dogs and 2 cats, lives in Lexington where she volunteers as an NICU Cuddler.