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Executive Committee

Asia

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Shigeshi Onishi : Vice-President - Asia
Mr. Shigeshi Onishi is the Executive Director in charge of agricultural production, farm management, and farm land at the Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives in Japan.

He was named Vice President of ICAO at the general meeting in fall of 2015.

Mr. Onishi has worked in the agricultural cooperative sector since 1979 after he graduated from Hukkaido University's esteemed School of Agriculture. He has spent his career committed to agricultural production and sales throughout Japan and is proud to represent Japanese cooperatives abroad.

Europe

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Eugene Tomte : Vice-President - Europe
Mr. Eugen Tomte, the deputy director general of the Federation of Norwegian Agricultural Cooperatives (FNAC), was made the Vice-President of the Europe region in 2009.
In addition to being the deputy director general of the FNAC, with a special responsibility for cooperative affairs, Mr.Tomte is the chairman of the board of the Norwegian Cooperative Centre. His cooperative career began in 1974, and he has held a variety of positions in different agricultural cooperatives in Norway. He joined FNAC in 1988.

Africa

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George Angala: Vice-President - Africa
The Reverend Father George Angala, the chairman of the board of directors of the Uganda Cooperative Alliance, Ltd, was made the Vice-President of the Africa region in 2013.

As the chairman, Rev. Fr. Angala is the 'first among equals', leading board meetings and ensuring that the board adheres to its stated purpose. He is a guarantor of governance integrity. In addition to being the board's official spokesperson, he serves as the primary contact between UCA's CEO and the board, developing that body's agenda in conjunction with the CEO. He is also responsible for ensuring the contribution of shareholder-input to policy formulation, especially as it relates to ends policies.

Beyond his work as UCA's chairman, Rev. Fr. Angala mobilizes farmers to form primary and secondary cooperatives and participates in the training of cooperative leaders.

America

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Márcio Lopes de Freitas: Vice President - Americas
Mr. Márcio Lopes de Freitas, the president of the Organization of Brazilian Cooperatives (OCB), was made Vice-President of the Americas region in 2013.

A farmer and a member of a cooperative for over 25 years, Mr. Freitas, 54, was born in Patrocinio Paulista, São Paulo, Brazil. His passion for agriculture and cooperatives comes from his family.

He was first based on a property located near his hometown, where he still grows coffee and organic vegetables, in addition to raising cattle. Dedicated to the values and principles of cooperatives, Mr. Freitas seeks a better way of life for all.

His direct participation in the cooperative system began in 1994, on the board of the Cooperative of Coffee Growers and Ranchers (Cocapec) as well as in the Cooperative of Rural Credit (Credicocapec), where he served as president. His contribution to the development of cooperatives continued at the helm of the Organization of Cooperatives of the State of Sao Paulo (Ocesp) between 1997 and 2001 and now at that of the Organization of Brazilian Cooperatives (OCB). He is also the president of the National Service of Cooperative Learning (Sescoop) and the Organization of the Cooperatives of Portuguese Speaking Countries (OCPLP).

Mr. Freitas graduated with a degree in Business Administration from the University of Brasília (UnB).