Smart Earth Seeds Advisory Board
Ken Davenport, Ph.D
Ken Davenport has 30 years of chemical research and development and Ag biotech business development experience. At Chromatin Inc. Dr. Davenport spearheaded activities in sorghum development and technology acquisition. Before joining Chromatin, at Hoechst Schering AgrEvo, Dr. Davenport led the strategy team and oversaw the implementation of what became Bayer CropScience's FiberMax® cottonseed business. He also served as the Business Director for Bayer CropScience's plant-made pharmaceutical initiative. Prior to joining Bayer he served as the CEO of ArborGen LLC, a forestry biotech enterprise. He began his career with Celanese - later Hoechst Celanese - where he was the principal investigator for technologies that underpinned the commercialization of numerous fine and specialty chemicals, including acetaminophen and ibuprofen, which led to BHC Corporation (Boots Company-Hoechst Celanese) receiving the 1997 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award. Davenport earned his Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry from Texas A&M University.
Ms. Fritz has over 20 years’ experience successfully building industrial biotechnology businesses. From 2004 - 2014 she built Allylix from a start-up, raising $34 million in venture financing and creating a pipeline of products for the flavor & fragrance and insect control markets. In that time she established key strategic partnerships, scaling up and commercializing the first two products which culminated in a successful sale of the business to a European biotechnology company. From 1999 to 2004, at Dow Chemical, Ms. Fritz built a renewable chemical business and a biopharmaceutical contract manufacturing business. From 1993 to 1999, at Cargill, she built a plant biotechnology business focused on developing new food ingredients and industrial products from canola oil. She is currently advising multinational and early stage companies in defining and building renewable chemical businesses. Ms. Fritz has an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, an M.S. from George Washington University and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University.
Mr. Unger is an experienced senior executive with a diverse range of experience in management, technical and market service, supply chain management, quality control, and sales and risk management. Mr. Unger spent 40 years in the Oilseed and Edible Oils industry, retiring from Cargill, Inc., Idaho Falls, Idaho on January 1, 2010. While at Cargill, Mr. Unger was primary lead in a startup business using biotechnology and conventional plant breeding to develop a new class of high-stability zero-trans-fat edible oils that provided improved food taste and odours. He was instrumental in building a specialty oils business from primary concept to a very successful commercial business with annual sales of several hundred million dollars. He held positions as Director of Operations, General Manager/Business Unit Leader.
Mr. McNamara has been in the Fats and Oils business since 1969, focusing on soybean and corn products in the United States and canola oilseed products in Canada. Mr. McNamara was President and CEO of Canbra Foods, where oil and meal sales supported a 1,200 MT per day crushing plant. After leaving Canbra in 1998, Mr. McNamara worked with Dow AgroSciences to introduce the specialty canola oilseed, Nexara. He then worked with Ellis Don Corporation to build an expeller pressed oilseed business which was later sold to Viterra Inc.
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