Regrow Ag is excited to welcome Tony Tricozzi as our new Head of Strategic Partnerships.
Tony brings more than a decade of experience at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), where he was one of their leading experts on sustainability in agribusiness. He was most recently a Partner and served a client base that ranged from Fortune 500 agribusiness majors (e.g., AgChem companies, equipment manufacturers, commodity traders) to AgTech players to private equity & venture capital firms.
Trained as an industrial engineer, Tony has deep experience in growth strategy, corporate development & partnerships, and go-to-market acceleration. Previously, he worked in M&A Strategy & Corporate Development at Mondelēz International and as a Graduate Student Instructor of Industrial & Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan. Tony earned his BSE and MSE degrees at the University of Michigan, and an MBA at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Are you interested in connecting with Tony? Reach out to him on LinkedIn.
Q&A: Get to Know Tony
Q. Why did you decide to join Regrow?
A: I wanted to work for a mission-driven company that can meaningfully advance sustainability in agriculture, and I believe Regrow is building the tools and infrastructure to do just that! I love the emphasis that Regrow is placing on strategic partnerships to advance its mission, which underscores my belief that it will require thoughtful collaboration and partnerships across the value chain to drive progress.
I’ve always been attracted to companies with collaborative, impact-driven colleagues and great cultures.
As I learned more about Regrow and met more of the team, I knew I had found a strong cultural fit that would allow me to thrive in the next phase of my career.
Q. Can you tell us a bit more about your career journey, and how you came to be so passionate about sustainable agriculture?
A: I started my career as an Industrial and Operations Engineer at the University of Michigan, which is where I learned systems-level thinking and first developed a passion for complex supply chains. I decided that I wanted to apply those skills in the context of consulting, to get to work on big picture strategic questions for some of the world’s largest companies, which ultimately led me to Boston Consulting Group.
As I grew more senior within BCG, I began to specialize in topics of climate & sustainability in food & agribusiness, working for equipment players, seeds and chemical players, commodity traders, and even investors.
When it comes to climate change, agriculture is at a really unique crossroads between ‘problem’ and ‘solution.’ The industry is a large contributor of GHG emissions and is one of the most adversely affected by extreme climate events; but the beautiful thing is it doesn’t have to be that way, and if we enable the adoption of more resilient farming practices, we can help protect farms against extreme weather, reduce GHG emissions, and even draw down carbon from the atmosphere and store it in the soil. I loved being able to provide guidance around these issues and ultimately knew I’d wanted to focus my career on this topic.
But I came to an inflection point where I had to decide whether I wanted to continue to advise on these topics as a consultant, or whether I wanted to find a role where I could have a more direct impact and really own and drive the recommendations I was making.
I already knew about Regrow, since I’d spent a lot of time studying the various tools and models for my clients who were interested in reducing Scope 3 emissions, and was impressed by the tangible work Regrow is doing to really build the infrastructure to enable more sustainable agricultural value chains. Ultimately, once I'd made the decision to explore external options, the Regrow opportunity came up and I found a super collaborative and passionate group that I was thrilled to team up with.
Q. What has been the most pivotal decision in your career so far?
A: I left Boston Consulting Group for a year to get my MBA at Kellogg, where I took the approach, “take professors, not classes”...which basically means, give yourself the opportunity to learn from people who are super passionate about the topics they teach and see if they can help you develop that same passion. So when I returned to BCG, I used the same strategy and went to work for one of our managing directors and partners who led our agribusiness practice. I did my first project in Ag for a commodity trader based in Europe and the rest is really history. From then on, I worked exclusively on food and ag projects, and over the last five years, focusing on sustainability in that value chain has been unavoidable.
Q. What’s the best career advice you can offer to others?
A: For people who are at inflection points in their career or are considering a change because you’re desiring a specific new experience…don’t delay! If you find something that intrigues you and you're passionate about, just dive right in. After only a couple weeks at Regrow, I’ve found it so energizing and motivating. The work just comes so naturally because I really care about it and I know I’m contributing to something that will make the world better for my children.
Q. Speaking of children, what are you comfortable sharing about your life outside of work?
A: I currently live in Chicago with my wife and our 22-month-old son, but we're planning a move back to Ann Arbor, Michigan soon. My wife and I met at the University of Michigan and decided that we’d like to be closer to both sets of our parents who live only an hour from the area, as we have a second son due in early May. So we’re really looking forward to the life changes ahead in this exciting phase for our family! We also love spending time outdoors, watching sports (obviously huge Michigan Wolverines fans), and really love to travel, especially to visit family members that live all over the US and Europe. We’re hoping to be able to keep doing that with two kids in tow…our first son had been on more than 20 planes before he was 20 months old!
I also look forward to being able to tell my boys about the work I do when they get older, and hope they’ll be proud of the path I’ve chosen.
Our firstborn doesn't quite understand the concepts of decarbonization or soil carbon sequestration yet, but one day he will… for now, we’re more focused on our ABC’s and 123’s.
Q. Finally, what are some of your early goals as you start this new role?
A: During my time consulting for this industry, I noticed considerable confusion around how the market works, who plays which roles in the value chain, and where competitive boundaries are drawn. While this is normal for early stage markets, it’s also unnecessarily holding us back: it’s causing artificial competitive boundaries to form (in reality there’s minimal overlap between Regrow and other players in our space), driving costly inefficiencies (multiple parties attempting to build in-house solutions or tools that have already been developed elsewhere and vetted), and most concerningly, stalling progress and preventing industry from driving positive change with the sense of urgency that our farmers and planet deserve.
So I hope that some of the things I’ll accomplish early on are to: 1) offer clarity on Regrow’s role and how our work complements others’ sustainability efforts and 2) really strike a tone of collaboration with the broader industry (even our so-called “competitors”) and find ways that we can work together to offer the most effective solutions that quickly achieve the urgent sustainability outcomes we’re all aiming for.
I'd love to connect with anyone who shares the same passion and belief that together our industry can accomplish so much more. If you’d like to connect or are simply curious about how Regrow might be able to support your sustainability journey, please reach out on LinkedIn.