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April 17, 2012

Seeds of Change:
    The Story of America’s Great Seedhouses and
    How they Affected American History

MIT Alum Barbara Melera
    President and CEO of Landreth Seed Co.

The flowers we enjoy, the food we eat—much of it comes from seeds. But how much do we know about how all of these seeds came to be? Did you know that in 1798 the first zinnia seeds were sold in America; that the spinach you eat today was developed in 1826; that the information contained in seed catalogs taught generations of Americans how to farm and live off the land? Ms. Melera will trace the history of the seed trade in America from 1784 when the first seedhouse establishment was opened through the 20th century. She will discuss the founding of Breck, Buist, Ferry Morse, Burpee, Park, Henderson, C. H. Lippincott and Bodger as well as Landreth and will tell the story of some of the seed trade’s greatest traditions—including the development of seed catalogs, and why they were established, and how the men who lead this industry helped to build a nation.

Venture capitalist Barbara Melera received an S.B. in Mathematics and Soviet Studies from MIT in 1971 and an S.M. in Finance and the Management of Technology from the Sloan School in 1981. She is currently the president and CEO of The D. Landreth Seed Company, the oldest seedhouse in America, established in 1784, and the fourth-oldest U.S. corporation. In September, 2003, she purchased Landreth from the then owners and proceeded to restore the company. Today Landreth is recognized as one of the leading providers of heirloom vegetable, flower and herb seed.

Prior to purchasing Landreth, Ms. Melera was the Managing Partner of Tritech Partners, LLP, a seed stage venture capital partnership which invested in early stage technology enterprises in the Mid-Atlantic region. As a venture capitalist she helped to found more than 30 companies and was a Director of more than 20 firms in the software, computer, telecommunication, environmental, healthcare, biotech and agri-science industries. Throughout her career she has been privileged to be involved with some of the most interesting, innovative technologies and entrepreneurs of the 20th century. (images courtesy of Barbara Melera and the Landreth Seed Co.)

Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Time: 6:00 Social Hour with cash bar
         7:00 Dinner
         8:00 Barbara Melera

Location: Renaissance Philadelphia Airport Hotel
         500 Stevens Drive, Philadelphia 19113
         Phone: 610-521-5900
         Hotel Web site  Directions  Free parking

Cost: MIT Club Members and their Guests - $25
         Non-Club Members and their Guests - $35
         Young Alum ('02-'11) Club Members and their Guests - $15
         Young Alum ('02-'11) Non members - $25

Reservations: via MIT Infinite Connection:

Club Membership: Join or Renew on-line:

For Questions: Steve Simmons, 610-531-7321 (work) or 856-722-1357 (home)
          e-mail steve.g.simmons@lmco.com

Posted by webmaster at April 17, 2012 06:00 PM