Steve Wiley

General Manager/COO

Steve is a long-time professional in the vegetable seed industry. He has 34 years of combined experience at Monsanto Vegetable Seed Division, Petoseed and Sierra Seed in Nogales, time spent primarily in Latin America where he became fluent in Spanish.Steve has experienced first-hand the technological evolution of the industry which has well-positioned him to oversee Takii’s new state-of art seed processing plant in Salinas. He is a member of the Board of Directors, Monterey County Farm Bureau. A native of the Salinas Valley, Wiley received his bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Science & Management from the 
University of California at Davis.

Keiji Nakamori

Assistant General Manager

Keiji is from Osaka, Japan and graduated from the Faculty of Business, Osaka City University with a Bachelor of Business degree. He joined Takii & Company, Ltd in Kyoto, Japan in April 1996, and has been part of the International Sales & Marketing Department spending most of his time in the vegetable seeds business. Keiji was assigned to Takii subsidiary companies, Takii Europe B.V. from April 1997 to March 2000 and Takii do Brasil Ltda. from April 2003 to March 2008. He began his tenure at American Takii in March, 2018

Jerry Vosti

National Vegetable Sales Manager and Marketing

Jerry has more than 38 years of sales experience in the vegetable seed industry. At Takii he is responsible for the sales management of vegetable dealers in the U.S. and Canada and oversees vegetable marketing activities. He has worked at Bayer CropScience Vegetable Seeds, Pybas Seed Company, INCOTEC and Seed Dynamics. Well-known and active in the Salinas Valley, he is particularly proud of teaching young children about growing vegetables through projects organized by the non-profit, Monterey County Agricultural Education where he serves as a Board Member. Vosti is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo.

Trace Pafford

Western Technical Vegetable Sales Manager

Trace is the primary contact for seed dealers in the Central Valley, Nevada and the Pacific Northwest. He also manages Takii’s product development with melons and onions as his primary focus.A graduate of California State University in Fresno, Pafford has more than 15 years of experience in the seed industry. Prior to joining American Takii, he worked for Bayer CropScience (Nunhems) as a senior account manager, managing its melon business in the western United States.

Mitchell Young

Eastern Technical Sales Manager

Most of Mitch’s agricultural education came from his father (a Cornell Cooperative Extension agent for 25 years). During college he worked summers as a field scout for Cornell’s IPM program and as a “field man” for Birdseye division of General Foods.He spent 20 years in manufacturing before returning to his agricultural roots as a Farm Manager for Bejo Seeds Geneva, NY facility. In 2013 he joined Takii as the Eastern Technical Sales Manager.Education – BS in Aviation Management – (He does hold a commercial pilot license) and a MS in Manufacturing Management.

Jose Solorzano

Research Station Manager, Yuma, Arizona

Jose has been with American Takii for over twelve years. He runs Takii’s Research Station in Yuma where he oversees all employees and the facility. He is also in charge of vegetable seed sales throughout the southwest and northern Mexico. Jose focuses on short day onions and melons. He has a BS in Plant Science from the University of Arizona.

Manuel Jimenez

National Product Development Manager

Manuel has been at Takii since 2005. Prior to that he worked a combined 24 years at Dole Fresh Vegetables and Tanimura & Antle Inc. in production, operations, breeding and variety development. As the Vegetable Technical Sales Manager at Takii he is responsible for vegetable product specifications and documentation to be distributed to the North American sales staff and the dealer network. Manuel has a BS in Plant Science, specifically Crop Production management, from CSU Fresno.

Julia Paul

Julia has been with American Takii for more than 10 years and provides marketing support for both the flower and vegetable departments. She coordinates trade shows, and does copywriting, editing and graphics. She previously worked in the marketing department of Bosch’s Security Systems division.

Yukie Benech

Vegetable Customer Service Manager

Yukie began her career with Takii after graduating from California State University, Fresno and has experience working in several areas including Accounting, General Administration, Inventory Control, Production and Sales & Marketing.  Currently, responsible for managing Customer Services for our dealer network and vegetable seed relating to inventory, quality assurance and contracts.  She has been with Takii for 34 years.

Silvia Escalera

Vegetable Customer Service

Silvia has been at Takii for almost 17 years; she started as a Flower Sales Assistant and later moved to the Vegetable Sales Department. She takes care of contracts, incentive program, price books and keeps track of Inventory/crop and seed purchasing. Prior to joining American Takii, she worked at Incotec as an Executive Secretary and CTR Research Assistant. She is Bilingual/Biliterate in Spanish.

Stephanie Benabides

Inventory Control

Stephanie was born and raised in Salinas and has been with American Takii since 2006, assisting many different departments within the company, including accounting, production and customer service. She holds an associate of arts degree in general studies from Hartnell Community College and a vocational accounting degree. She brings in a wealth of experience in logistics and customer service including working for UPS as both a package car loader and part-time driver and a customer service agent with United Airlines.