Vertical Harvest Farms Appoints Todd P. Hanna as Chief Operations Officer to Lead Continued U.S. Growth and Profitability

Vertical Harvest Farms Poised to Scale Its Grow Well Model for Food and Futures

Jackson Hole, WY (September 27, 2021) – Vertical Harvest, the first urban vertical greenhouse in the United States, announced Todd P. Hanna as their COO. As the company sets sights on breaking ground in Westbrook, Maine this fall for its second US location, Hanna will lead the expansion plans, team growth and profitability model for the company in 10 new locations over the next five years.

Hanna joins Vertical Harvest with extensive experience creating, leading, and improving operations in for-profit and non-profit companies, and is a decorated military veteran, having served two combat tours as an officer in the Marine Corps from 2002 – 2008. Hanna has led teams and organizations of all sizes and across multiple industries, including real estate, nonprofit, financial services, construction, online publishing, and consumer packaged goods (CPG).

Co-founder and CEO of Vertical Harvest Nona Yehia stated, “Todd joins the Vertical Harvest team during an exciting time of growth for our company as we expand our locations throughout the US, starting with Maine this fall. Our network of farms will serve locally, support regionally and scale nationally to maximize our impact on food security, social equity and the environment. Yehia continued, “Todd’s experience and passion for conscious capitalism, his understanding of the complexity of this vertical farming industry, and knowledge and proven track record with CPG and mission-based companies working for the greater good is unmatched. We are delighted he has joined Vertical Harvest Farms.”

Todd Hanna commented, “Vertical Harvest is a company that is at the forefront of the massive, rapidly growing CEA industry. I am thrilled to join the team and help the company scale both operations and social impact. Vertical Harvest Farms is an urban farming force for good – we are equally committed to responding to global issues such as climate change and food insecurity as we are at addressing local social justice issues such as inclusive access to stable and secure employment at a livable wage, housing and healthy food. We are as focused on improving individual lives in the cities we operate as we are on growing nutritious food. Hanna continued, “The opportunity to help achieve such an important mission, to grow food and futures, and to be able to do so alongside the passionate, professional, dedicated people at Vertical Harvest is an honor and a privilege.”

Within the CPG industry most recently, Todd served in operational, board, and consulting roles for multiple brands. As CEO of Kate’s Real Food, a manufacturer of nationally distributed, organic, energy bars, Todd led the company through major strategic initiatives including a complete rebrand, introduction of new products, improvement and standardization of product manufacturing, and 100% organic certification. 

Following his tenure at Kate’s Real Food, Todd served as Chief Operating Officer at Orion Companies, owners of 11 local construction related businesses in Jackson, WY. In his role, Todd was responsible for working with the CEO to set overall corporate strategy, oversee the execution of that strategy, and ensure the financial, operational, and cultural success of each company and employee with the Orion Companies portfolio. He was directly responsible for over $20,000,000 in revenue, over 80 employees, and the management of multiple locations.

Prior to moving to Jackson Hole, Hanna lived in Austin, TX and was President of Aquila Commercial, a full-service commercial real estate firm in Austin. Todd led the company’s day-to-day operations and business development. During his tenure, Aquila was named one of Austin’s top 10 “Best Places to Work” and among Austin’s “Fast 50” companies (mid-size).

While in Austin, Hanna was also President/CEO of Explore Austin, a nonprofit he co-founded that is dedicated to changing the lives of underserved youth through mentoring and outdoor adventure; a Venture Partner at ATX Seed Ventures (an early-stage venture capital fund created by expert entrepreneurs serving emerging entrepreneurs) and a board member of Davos Brands (an importer and marketer of luxury wines, spirits, and sakes).

Todd currently serves as a member of the Advisory Board of Explore Austin and the Board of Directors of Jackson Hole Community School. He has served on numerous other non-profit boards as well. These include the Board of Directors of the Art Association of Jackson Hole, the Board of Trustees of Trinity Episcopal School, The American Red Cross of Central Texas, Songwriting With: Soldiers, Aware Awake Alive, The Seton Forum, & Good Shepherd Episcopal School. In addition, he served as the Co-Chairman of the Children in Nature Collaborative of Austin and was a member of The Nature Conservancy’s Conservation Council.

 

We are thrilled to announce a third farm location for Vertical Harvest — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania!  

The farm, scheduled to break ground later this year, will be part of the new Tioga District™ development — a federal qualified opportunity zone located in a food, health, and wellness desert in the upper north area of the city.

Stationed adjacent to the Temple University Health Sciences Campus and Temple University Hospital, the 70,000 square foot Vertical Harvest greenhouse will be part of the development’s Preventative Health Hub™ a 168,000-sq-foot, state-of-the-art national model for healthcare, health, and wellness with social impact.

Along with the farm already under development in Westbrook Maine, this Philadelphia greenhouse is part of our initiative to co-locate vertical farms with affordable housing in underserved communities across the nation. Specifically, this Philadelphia project will include an accompanying 50 affordable housing units for farm workers.

Exciting New Development Partners

Our partners in the project are Greg Day, principal and manager of TDB, LLC based in Westbrook, Maine. and TPP Capital Holdings (TPP), a Philadelphia-based, Black-led social impact private equity fund manager and healthcare real estate development firm. TPP is on a mission to change the face of Black health by investing in and transforming blighted and underserved black neighborhoods into integrated and scalable wellness-centric districts over the next 10 years. TPP’s principals Anthony B. Miles and Clinton Bush are co-architects of the Tioga District Preventative Health Hub™.

Within a five-city square block area, the full Tioga District™ development will create 1,407 residential units for rent or sale, the preventative health hub, 172,870 square feet of commercial/office space, 107,000 square feet of retail space and 92,392 square feet of pedestrian, streetscape and stormwater improvements.

The goal is to uplift Philadelphia’s distressed neighborhood of Tioga with a 85.5% black population, 45% high blood pressure rate, 43.3% obesity rate, 19.3% diabetes rate, 42% of people in poverty, $17,052 median household income, and an unemployment rate of 18%.

We are very proud that Vertical Harvest will be part of this incredible and forward-thinking development, says Nona Yehia, Vertical Harvest CEO. “Partnering with the visionaries at TPP, we hope to help address systemic inequities and facilitate change in underserved neighborhoods. Vertical Harvest’s reimagined food systems and the jobs they create can help these communities be more nourishing, resilient, and sustainable.”