Board of directors
Mr. Appleton grew up in the family hatchery, egg business in NE Alabama, and graduated from Auburn University with a BS in Agricultural Economics and Poultry Science. He retired as the President of Merial Select, Inc. (wholly owned subsidiary of Merial, Ltd.) and continues to support the global poultry and swine industries as the Owner and President of ChixChat, LLC, a poultry sales, marketing, recruitment and consulting company.
Over the past decades, Stan has held many executive leadership roles in the global animal health businesses. In 1980, he helped start up Select Laboratories, Inc. as the Vice President of Sales, Marketing & Services. Later in 1996, he served as the President of Select Laboratories, Inc. and continued as the President of Merial Select, Inc. after the acquisition of Select Laboratories by Merial. In addition, from 1998 through 2008, Stan simultaneously served as the Executive Director of Merial Avian Global and Vice President of Merial Avian North America. His extensive career in the food & agriculture businesses involves a number M&A’s and business integrations.
Our Founder and CEO is the architect of over 140 innovative and commercially successfully launched bio-systems and industrial automation products. He has held various executive positions and led business operations, R&D, engineering, and sales teams for Dolan Jenner Industries, Applied Science & Technology, PerkinElmer, Kodak Molecular Imaging, MIDAS Vision Systems, Spire Corporation, Pfizer, and Zoetis. Among his achievements are the establishment of 46 fully integrated turn-key automated factories across the globe in China, India, EU, Latin America and the United States. Mr. Karimpour has successfully spearheaded three international joint ventures and seven global M&As.
A master at developing winning teams, Ramin has also established three global Centers of Excellence in R&D and manufacturing and numerous global sales and field service organizations during his tenure at PerkinElmer, Kodak and Spire.
Mr. Karimpour received his BS and MS in Electrical Engineering from Boston University and post graduate certifications from Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Massachusetts in Plasma Processing and Executive Management.
Ms. Lynch is our IP Counsel, as well as a member of our BOD and our Corporate Secretary. Kathleen received her degree in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. After working in the defense industry for a few years, Kathleen pursued a law degree from Franklin Pierce Law School in NH. Kathleen has worked in law firms, as well as corporate and university environments.
Her work as in-house counsel for an Irish pharmaceutical firm, Elan Corporation, took her to Dublin, Ireland for eight years. There she managed the corporate medical device patent portfolios, and trademark portfolios, and worked with colleagues to build and protect all corporate intellectual property assets. In addition, Kathleen worked in the area of licensing, joint ventures and acquisitions. Kathleen is one of the more experienced patent attorneys in the Research Triangle who has practiced intellectual property law for over 25 years. She worked with a select group of small and mid-size businesses and entrepreneurs to assess, protect and defend their intellectual property assets. She is a board member of the Wake Women Attorneys Association and serves on the planning committee for the NC Bar Business Law Section Annual Meeting. Kathleen also serves on the steering committee of the North Carolina Lawyer Entrepreneurial Assistance Program (NCLEAP). She was on the planning committee that implemented the Inventor Assistance Program for low income North Carolinian businesses and inventors.
Mr. Roberts is a highly experienced professional with 44 years in the poultry and food industry. From ConAgra, Foster Farms, Wayne Farms, and as President of Perdue Farms, he has experience in all facets of integrated poultry companies from the East coast to the West coast.
His professional career includes corporate human resources, profit and loss accountability of all business segments, sales and marketing, negotiation of long-term labor contracts, development of new brand identity systems, and highly effective strategic plans.
As President of Perdue, Roberts was responsible for profit/loss of $4.2 billion totally integrated poultry business. He was responsible for the acquisition of Coleman Natural Foods, leading to Perdue’s role as the largest natural antibiotic-free and organic poultry company as well as providing Perdue’s entry into the natural pork business. He provided leadership for over 20,000 associates, 15 plants in the US, a plant in China, trading offices in Hong Kong, China, Brazil, and Japan; as well as trading partners in Russia, Republic of Georgia, and Brazil.
He served as Chairman and an officer of the National Chicken Council and as a director of the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association. Roberts’ education includes a degree in Psychology and Sociology from University of Tennessee, Harvard Business School Agribusiness Series, CSC Index Executive Leadership Series, and University of California Executive Development Program.
John Roush has served as a member of our Board of Directors since April 2017. Mr. Roush also serves as a board director and member of the Compensation Committee and Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee for Advanced Energy Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ: AEIS) and as a board of director member at LeMaitre Vascular, Inc. (NASDAQ: LMAT). Mr. Roush served as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Novanta Inc., a global supplier of precision photonic components and subsystems to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the medical, industrial, scientific and microelectronics markets, from 2010 to 2016. Prior to joining Novanta Inc., he was a corporate officer and served in several senior leadership positions for twelve years with PerkinElmer, Inc., a provider of technology and services to the diagnostics, research, environmental, safety and security, industrial and laboratory services markets. Since 2009, Mr. Roush had been serving as president of PerkinElmer’s Environmental Health business. From 2004 to 2009, Mr. Roush led PerkinElmer’s Optoelectronics business unit, which supplies specialty photonics products to biomedical and industrial OEMs. From 1999 to 2004, Mr. Roush served in various general management roles within the Optoelectronics business unit. Prior to joining PerkinElmer, Mr. Roush held management positions with Outboard Marine Corporation, AlliedSignal, Inc., now Honeywell International, McKinsey & Company Inc. and General Electric. Mr. Roush received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School. The Board has concluded that Mr. Roush should serve on our Board due to his experience at an executive level and his more than 15 years of experience supplying products into the medical device and life sciences industries.
Mr. Fofaria directs our legal team and works with our partners to advance the Corporation’s best interests in HR and Communications. After a stint as an award-winning journalist for The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun and The Boston Globe, Rupen pursued his law degree and graduated with Honors. After working as a litigator with a stellar record in court defending clients in commercial litigation, Rupen joined Loeb & Loeb to manage the IP portfolios of seven Fortune 500 companies. Rupen has spearheaded the funding of over three dozen startups, worked with entrepreneurs on how to marry ideas with business, tax and legal savvy, and was named a Rising Star among lawyers by Super Lawyers Magazine.
Mr. Hutchins serves as Senior Principal Research Scientist at ALS-S, focusing on delivery methods for post hatch vaccination of chickens with live coccidiosis vaccines. In his prior position at Zoetis and its legacy companies, Pfizer Animal Health and Embrex, he developed and patented novel bioprocessing methods for the manufacture of a live oocyst-based coccidiosis vaccine for in ovo delivery to chicken embryos. Additionally, he led multiple teams of scientists in research generating novel biodevices that targeted automated in ovo delivery or in ovo classification. Jim holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has extensive experience in analytical chemistry, specializing in chromatography and spectroscopy, and began his career developing mycotoxin analyses at North Carolina State University in the Poultry Science Department. Jim advanced to further positions in the Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory at the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine and in the Immunodiagnostics Department at the Becton Dickinson Research Center before beginning his 27-year career in poultry biotechnology research at Zoetis.
Mr. Kheradpir leads our Mechanical Engineering efforts. Over 30 years ago, after completing his engineering studies, Kamyar joined a product development and industrial design team. Working as the manager of R&D with an aerodynamics research team, he gained practical experience in project management, team motivation and interpersonal relations. Branding himself as an Aerospace/Mechanical consultant since 1993, he has served dozens of Fortune 500 firms in the areas of product development, biotech R&D, fluid-dynamics, plastics, optics, machine design, automation, materials handling, manufacturing, robotics, tooling and mechanical simulation. His area of concentration is rapid prototyping, additive manufacturing and computer aided design. Kamyar has been awarded several US and international patents.
Dr. Gilbert Feke
Dr. Feke leads our Optical Engineering efforts. Gilbert has over 20 years of experience in high-end optical systems development and most recently served at Bruker Corporation, a manufacturer of scientific instrumentation, where he developed multimodal optical systems for preclinical imaging with applications for cancer research and other diseases.
Previously he held senior engineering positions at Kodak Molecular Imaging Systems and Raindance Technologies Inc., respective manufacturers of preclinical Oncology instrumentation and microfluidics products for life science applications. Prior to that, Dr. Feke served at JDS Uniphase Corporation, a global telecommunication optoelectronics components manufacturer.
Dr. Feke holds a Bachelor of Arts in Physics from Boston University, and a Master of Science and Ph.D. in Applied Physics, both from Yale University.
Mr. Riggsbee is a machine vision and image analysis specialist with 15+ years of experience with startups and Fortune 500 companies. He began his career fresh out of NCSU working in the plant phenotyping labs of Paradigm Genetics and quickly began to look for ways that he could grow as a professional in a startup environment. In addition to working in the lab, he combined his science education background and interest in photography with a familiarity with computers and began adding value to the high throughput gene discovery pipeline by creating image analysis applications that enabled researchers to gather higher quality data with less variation from images taken of the plants. After Monsanto acquired the company in 2005 he began working full time as an Imaging Systems Developer, building imaging systems and creating image analysis software for researchers at the RTP site and across other parts of the company. These efforts contributed to the development and construction of the Monsanto Automated Greenhouse at the RTP research site. He began to lead the Imaging team at the RTP site in 2012 where he helped increase the phenotyping capabilities of the Automated Greenhouse, improved the code testing methodologies used by the team and delivered on various system upgrade projects.
Ms. Sweet is a seasoned Supply Chain leader with over 25 years of management experience including leading multi-million dollar ERP system implementations, and overseeing all aspects of material management. She is a goal-oriented project manager with solid expertise in building and leading cross functional teams through dramatic change and improvement. She embraces a “continuous improvement” approach. Connie brings many years of experience from her past positions as Director, Material Services, Implementation Manager – ERP Systems and Senior Business Process Analyst, Supply Chain at Embrex, Pfizer Animal Health and Zoetis. She has an in-depth knowledge of all areas associated with the Supply Chain, Inventory Management, Logistics, Procurement and Customer Service. Connie is a Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Certified Purchasing Manager (CPM).
Dr. John Andrew Smith
Dr. Smith is a veterinarian with Master degrees in Avian Medicine and Medical Microbiology. A respected poultry industry expert, John is called upon by the poultry industry’s most influential organizations to provide guidance and insight on trends and operations. He has served as President of the Association of Veterinarians in Broiler Production; as Chair of the National Chicken Council, Poultry Health Committee; as Chair and Vice Chair on the United States Animal Health Association, Committee on Transmissible Diseases of Poultry and Other Avian Species; as well as the American Association of Avian Pathologists, US Poultry and Egg Association. John’s has over 35 years’ corporate experience working as Director of Health and Hatchery Services at Fieldale Farms Corp., and several academic positions at the University of Georgia, Colorado State University and Auburn University. Dr. Smith received his DVM, MS in Medical Microbiology and Master of Avian Medicine from the University of Georgia.
Dr. Liz Turpin
Dr. Turpin is a respected scientist with a strong background in team building and delivering results. With more than 18 years of experience in infectious diseases, virology, diagnostics, assay development and toxicology, Liz has held positions at the USDA, University of Wisconsin, Pfizer and Zoetis. Dr. Turpin has developed and tested over 20 vaccines and devices for use the animal health industry. These products include vaccines for in ovo and day of hatch delivery. Dr. Turpin has also led international teams focused on evaluating vaccine take in the field, offering training and process improvements to address disease outbreaks.
Mr. Wagner began automating industrial machinery over 30 years ago. His career as a Controls Engineer started in a cotton mill where he utilized his military training and high school electronics education in support and repair of manufacturing machines and plant utilities. While at the cotton mill, Scott taught himself electrical controls and how to write code for programmable controllers (PLCs). He also became a licensed electrical contractor. From then until now, Scott’s background in plant maintenance and exposure to many manufacturing processes such as steel, polyester, plywood, and brick have provided a solid foundation for his practical designs in control of industrial machinery.
Mr. Wolfe has over 15 years of experience in mechanical and bio-engineering with proven strengths leading teams of scientists in research and development initiatives targeting the design and performance optimization of market-leading bio-devices, systems, and processes. He has had success developing proprietary technologies and processes resulting in five issued US patent awards. Steve brings decades of experience from his previous assignments as Lead R&D and Bio-Process Engineer and Team Leader at Embrex, Pfizer Animal Health and Zoetis. At ALS-S Steve is leading the design and development of new microfluidic systems for new bio-devices and systems. He has a Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia.
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