Leadership Team & Advisors

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The Algal Scientific team brings together scientists with backgrounds in algae, immune health, and fermentation, along with experts with decades of experience in animal health and feed ingredients.  Combined with entrepreneurs with experience in founding and taking public high technology firms, our goal is to build a world class organization that successfully serves our markets, our partners, and our stakeholders.

The following individuals represent our senior management, our board of directors, and key science and business advisors.

  • John Tucker

    Chief Executive Officer

    John has over 20 years of experience building and leading commercial organizations. Prior to Algal, John served as the Chief Executive Officer at Alcresta Therapeutics.  Where he was responsible for bringing Alcresta’s first product; Relizorb to market.  At Alcresta John raised over $50 million dollars in capital.  Prior to Alcresta, John served as Chief Commercial Officer and Senior Vice President at Incline Therapeutics, Inc.  At Incline, he was responsible for all sales and marketing activities and he developed and drove the overall commercial strategy in support of its lead product, IONSYS, resulting in a $390 million purchase of Incline by The Medicines Company. He joined Incline from AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where he served as Vice President of Commercial Operations and Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations.  He was responsible for all sales and marketing activities with a primary focus on the oncology sector. Earlier in his career, he held a variety of both office and retail-based sales and marketing positions with increasing levels of responsibility at Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceuticals.

  • Steven Clarken

    President of Animal Health

    Steve Clarken is a visionary senior business and operations executive in the field of animal health with repeated success transforming operations with lackluster or declining sales and spearheading the development and execution of global business strategies. Steve’s background and global business experience has translated across many languages and cultures to help customers worldwide produce safe, high-quality food.

     

    Prior to joining Algal as President, Animal Health and Nutrition, Steve advanced through roles with Zoetis as the Vice President of the Poultry Division’s U.S. operations and Vice President and General Manager of the company’s Global Poultry Division encompassing biologicals, pharmaceuticals, and poultry/human flu devices. After transforming the U.S. Poultry Division into the fastest-growing poultry business nationwide with top market share in both the antimicrobial and device markets, Steve oversaw strategic direction, R&D, engineering, commercial, and production operations for the 200-employee global poultry organization generating $600M annually.

     

    Previously, Steve progressed through roles of increasing scope and business impact with Pfizer Animal Health, including Group Director of U.S. Beef Operations with 150+ employees and $300M+ in annual revenue; Group Director of multinational Commercial Operations, positioning the company for product portfolio and geographic expansion; and Group Director of U.S. and Canada operations. He architected the company’s first direct strategy for the swine market and the go-to-market AVA (annual volume agreement) strategy for the beef and dairy market. Steve led business teams in the launch of numerous pharmaceuticals and biologicals, including Draxxin, Excede, Advocin, Bovi-Shield Gold, and Spirovac.

     

    Steve received his undergraduate degree in Agriculture from South Dakota State University and completed additional professional training through Pfizer’s executive management program, Purdue University, and Columbia University.

     

    Steve enjoys boating, hiking, and pheasant hunting, and hopes to see the Minnesota Vikings win a super bowl someday.

  • Geoff Horst, PhD

    Chief Science Officer

    Geoff is a co-founder of Algal Scientific. Geoff received his B.S. (Oceanography) from the University of Michigan and an M.S. (Marine Biology) from California State University where he researched the effects of climate change on coral reefs. His Ph.D. at Michigan State University (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) focused on the nutrient physiology of toxic algal blooms. As an adjunct instructor at Michigan State University, Geoff taught courses in environmental sciences, ecology and marine/freshwater biology.

    As a result of his expertise in algal biology, Geoff developed the concepts leading to the company’s Hypertrophic™ treatment process. Geoff continues to engage with the research and development team and works closely with customers and strategic partners on both the beta glucan and water treatment technologies. As company spokesperson, he presents at technical and investor forums around the country including TEDx in Detroit.

  • Robert Levine, PhD

    Chief Technology Officer

    Bobby is a co-founder and Chief Technology Officer for the company. He received a B.A. with Highest Honors in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Middlebury College and a Masters in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan. His Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan was in the laboratory of Dr. Phillip Savage. His research focused on processing techniques for algal biomass to produce biofuels. Previously his research in the Spatafora Laboratory at Middlebury College included the investigation of promising algae species for their use in wastewater treatment and biodiesel production, and the development of a photobioreactor for high-yield algae production and prototype testing. As an undergraduate researcher at the Angenent Laboratory at Washington University in St. Louis, he participated in research involving microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and wastewater treatment with anaerobic digestion.

    He has been the recipient of numerous grants and honors, and has several publications and conference presentations relating to algae and wastewater treatment.

    A key role has included working with our external advisors to optimize our process for the sterile production of beta glucan, leading our research on the process recipe and media formulation, and product development of our Algamune product line and future beta glucan derived products. He is also responsible for working with leading university and industry research partners in conducting trials demonstrating the efficacy and safety of our products.

  • Randolph Chick, DVM

    Director of Technical Services

    Randolph Chick, DVM resides in Northwest Arkansas where his family has been for six generations. As ASC’s Director-Technical Services, “Randy” is responsible for management of external research efforts, as well as customer evaluations and applications support for our algae-based feed additives in domestic animal species.
    The application of novel products in the production of animal-sourced protein and the enhancement of health status for all animals has been his career focus for thirty-plus years.
    Randy has past experience in bovine/equine/companion animal veterinary medicine as a private veterinary practitioner. After selling his practice, he held positions in regulatory, research (academic institution), and poultry integrator operations. Overall, his professional efforts for the past two decades have primarily concerned live production and processing of poultry.
    Providing product-based technical services and sound advice for corporate clients engaged in animal agriculture is an important goal for Algal Scientific Corporation, no matter the location.

  • Craig Banotai

    Head of Operations

    Craig brings over twenty years of experience in microbiology and fermentation. He spent 12 years, ending as a Senior Scientist, at Pfizer Global Research and Development in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he was responsible for expression development relating to production of over 500 proteins to support internal Pfizer projects in antibacterial, inflammation, cancer, cardiovascular, central nervous system and dermatology programs.

    As the head of the Ann Arbor fermentation facility he was responsible for the design and engineering requirements for both the fermentation and bioreactor labs set up, and supervision and development of all full-time employees, contractors and interns.

    Subsequent to his work at Pfizer, he was a Principal Scientist at Draths Corporation (now part of Amyris), responsible for expression development and large-scale production of enzymes.

    His role at Algal Scientific is to directly lead our efforts and the team in the process development and production of beta-1,3 glucan. He has a B.S. in Microbiology and Public Health, and an M.S. in Immunotoxicology, both from Michigan State University.

  • Jon Liberzon

    Director of Water Technologies

    Jon Liberzon is Director of Water Technologies for ASC and has been with the company since December of 2012. With research credentials in aquatic ecology and experience in environmental management systems and alternative sanitation technologies, Jon brings a diverse set of skills to the development of Algal’s Hypertrophic technologies. Previously, he designed and managed agricultural and sanitation projects in Haiti for a number of development organizations. He holds an M.Sc. in agricultural engineering sciences from the Technion Institute and a B.Sc. from the University of Michigan.

  • Mark Redshaw, PhD

    Board of Directors

    Dr. Mark Redshaw is an investment manager and founding member at Evonik Corporate Venturing. Evonik is a Global 500 company headquartered in Germany with revenues of 13B Euros. Dr. Redshaw has over 15 years of experience in various international roles relating to the Health & Nutrition business at Evonik, and five years as head of Evonik Animal Nutrition Services, the global leader in research, analytics and handling of amino acids. He has managed the operations in Africa and the Middle East. He studied agriculture at the University of Reading and has a Ph.D. from the University of Nottingham.

  • Michael Gruber

    Board of Directors

    Mr. Gruber is an Investment Partner of the Independence Equity Fund. Mr. Gruber’s prior industry experience includes key operational roles in high growth corporations, two of which went public and one of which was acquired by a strategic investor. He was also a Director of Taproot Ventures, an affiliate of the Harbour Group, an investment and holding company with assets under management of $1.3 Billion. Mr. Gruber received a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.

  • David Abramson

    Board of Directors

    Mr. Abramson is currently a Principal in SDA Ventures LLC, a firm that advises emerging growth, middle-market companies and multi national companies primarily in the health and wellness, nutritional products, food ingredients and food service on matters including corporate development, business acquisition, customer relationships, growth strategies and corporate finance.

    Mr. Abramson serves as an Operating Professional to the global private equity investment firm of Paine & Partners to identify and execute investment opportunities in the global human and animal food and nutritional products industries.

    From 2003 to 2011, Mr. Abramson worked at Martek Biosciences Corporation (NASDAQ: MATK), serving as President of the Company beginning in 2006.  Martek is a leader in the innovation, development, production and sale of high-value products from microbial sources that promote health and wellness through nutrition.  The Company’s technology platform consisted of its core expertise, broad experience and proprietary technology in areas such as microbial biology, algal genomics, fermentation and downstream processing. This technology platform resulted in Martek’s development of a number of products, including its flagship brand, life’sDHA™, a sustainable and vegetarian source of algal DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) important for brain, heart and eye health. The product is now a branded ingredient in infant formula, pregnancy and nursing products, foods and beverages, dietary supplements and animal feeds. During Mr. Abramson’s tenure, market penetration grew to 99.5% in its core U.S. infant formula business.

    Mr. Abramson played a key role in transitioning Martek’s business from a R & D company to a fully integrated, profitable, commercial organization with over $470 million in annual sales. During his tenure as President, annual revenues rose from $270 million to over $470 million; gross margins increased from 36% to over 53%; annual pretax income grew from $24 million to $91 million; and annual cash flow from operations went from $36 million to $146 million.  Other accomplishments include Martek’s 2010 acquisition of Amerifit Brands, Inc. (where Mr. Abramson chaired its Board), a developer, marketer and distributor of branded consumer health and wellness products focused on women’s and digestive health benefits with annual revenues of approximately $100 million, and the sale of Martek to Royal DSM N.V. in 2011 for close to $1.1 billion. For a year after Martek’s sale to DSM, he served as a Senior Advisor to DSM Nutritional Products (Basel, Switzerland) advising DSM on various commercial relationships and new corporate opportunities.

    Prior to joining Martek, Mr. Abramson was the Executive Vice President and General Counsel for U.S. Foodservice(NYSE) (1996-2003). In addition, Mr. Abramson served as Executive Vice President for Legal Affairs at Ahold, U.S.A. (2000-2003), and on the board of directors of U.S. Foodservice from 1994-2003.  During his tenure with U.S. Foodservice, he directed acquisitions which increased the company’s business more than 500%.  Mr. Abramson also played a leadership role in the ultimate sale of U.S. Foodservice to Royal Ahold, N.V. for a price in excess of $4.0 billion.

    Prior to joining U.S. Foodservice, Mr. Abramson was the President of Levan, Schimel, Belman & Abramson, P.A., a corporate law firm specializing in corporate matters, mergers and acquisitions.  He also has served on the boards of several non-profit community organizations, including Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Howard County General Hospital: A Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Mr. Abramson currently serves on the Board of the Wellness Institute of the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, and Smart Tots, a non-profit organization funding research for pediatric anesthesia safety. Mr. Abramson graduated from George Washington University in 1975, where he obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting.  He received a Juris Doctor Degree, with honors, from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1978. Mr. Abramson is a member of the Maryland Bar.

     

  • Tanguy Chau

    Board of Directors

    Tanguy Chau focuses on diversified technology investments.

    Prior to Formation 8, Tanguy managed teams and projects for McKinsey & Company’s tech and healthcare practice in Palo Alto. Before that, he led energy investments with the Angeleno Group, a growth equity firm in Los Angeles. Tanguy also founded Sample6 Technologies (formerly Novophage), a synthetic biology company enhancing food safety. He served on the Board of Directors for the Harvard COOP, and was elected to the MIT Board of Trustees in 2012.

    Tanguy received his PhD in Chemical Engineering, and MBA in Finance from MIT; and was a University Medal Finalist at UC Berkeley where he completed his undergraduate. He also competed internationally as a member of the Belgian national sailing team, and the Belgian chemistry Olympiad team.

     

     

  • John Deniston

    Board Advisor

    John Denniston was most recently a Partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. At KPCB, John worked with a wide variety of portfolio companies, with a primary emphasis on the Greentech industry. John was a member of the KPCB Partner team that many years ago conceptualized and launched KPCB’s Greentech investment initiative.

    He is actively involved in Greentech public policy issues, having testified before several Congressional committees. John serves on the Board of Advisors of the National Renewable Energy Labs. He is a frequent speaker at Greentech industry conferences.

    Prior to joining KPCB, John was a Managing Director and Head of Technology Investment Banking, Western U.S. at Salomon Smith Barney.

    Before that, he was a Partner at the law firm Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, where he was the Head of the firm’s Venture Capital Practice Group, co-head of its Information Technology Practice Group, and served on the Investment Committee for its venture capital fund.

    John earned his BA and JD at the University of Michigan.

  • Paul S. Satoh, PhD

    Science Advisory Board

    Dr. Satoh received his PhD in Biochemistry from Wayne State University in 1964 and worked in academia for several years. He worked in Upjohn Company, a pharmaceutical company in Kalamazoo, MI from 1972 to 1998 in both research and management. After retirement from Upjohn Company, he was a Vice President for Basic and Exploratory Research at Neogen Corporation, Lansing MI until 2009. His expertise includes protein chemistry, immunology, analytical instrument design and diagnostic product development. Dr. Satoh has been an adjunct professor of chemical engineering in Michigan State University since 2005. He holds 6 patents; published 45 articles in peer review journals, 3 book chapters, 26 presentations and 95 non-peer reviewed publications and company technical reports.

    Dr. Satoh attended the Eli Broad Graduate School of Management receiving his Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.  He is bilingual in English and Japanese languages. He is a naturalized US citizen (1974).

  • Walter J. Weber, Jr., PhD

    Science Advisory Board

    Professor Weber is a Distinguished University Professor Emeritus in the Department of Chemical, Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan. Professor Walter Weber has been teaching and leading research at the University of Michigan for over 40 years and has advised over 75 doctoral students. His work has been on the development of advanced technologies for industrial and municipal water and wastewater treatment, hazardous waste treatment and disposal, pollution control, and water reclamation and reuse.

    Before joining the faculty at Michigan in 1963, Professor Weber was a postdoctoral research associate at Harvard University. He earned a PhD in1962 in Water Resources Engineering and an MA in Environmental Chemistry in 1961 from Harvard. He received an MSE in 1959 in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Rutgers University, and a ScB in 1956 in Chemical Engineering from Brown University.

    Professor Weber was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1985 and is the recipient of numerous awards and honors.

  • S. Joh Kang, PhD

    Science Advisory Board

    Dr. Kang is a wastewater treatment engineer with over 30 years of experience in technical leadership and project management. As Vice President and Director of Water at Tetra Tech, he oversees the full scope of services in wastewater infrastructure. Nutrient removal is one of his areas of specialty. Tetra Tech is the leading North American consulting firm in water treatment. His B.S.E. Civil Engineering is from Seoul National University, his M.S. Sanitary Engineering from, Georgia Institute of Technology, and he earned his Ph.D. in Civil/Environmental Engineering at University of Michigan.