Crop Enhancement Appoints VP R&D, Builds Go-To-Market Team as AgTech Materials Science Pioneer Expands Industry Focus
Dr. Damian Hajduk heads up R&D; Mark Russell and Eric Flora spearhead market- and field-development efforts; Marcus Meadows-Smith, Mark Phillipson, and Mary Shelman to advise on business strategy
CAMBRIDGE, MA.—June 27, 2017: Crop Enhancement Inc., an innovator of sustainable agrochemical formulations for agriculture applications, has appointed Damian A. Hajduk, Ph.D., VP of research and development. Dr. Hajduk will lead efforts to expand the range of applications for Crop Enhancement’s breakthrough technology that improves crop yields, eliminates or minimizes pesticide use, and enables precise and effective delivery of active ingredients and fertilizers. To accelerate commercialization of its technology, Crop Enhancement also has formed an advisory board and added key personnel to its team to connect with leading growers and partners in the agricultural community.
“We currently have several in-market trials underway and the results are extremely encouraging,” said Kevin Chen, Ph.D., CEO of Crop Enhancement. “These new appointments will enable us to broaden our range of applications and build instrumental relationships with a broad network of industry and business partners.”
Dr. Hajduk joins Crop Enhancement from eatsa (also known as Keenwawa), a company that develops and operates automated quick-service restaurants featuring high-protein grains such as quinoa, where he was VP of food science. Previously, Dr. Hajduk was the chief scientific officer of Landec, a manufacturer of seed treatments for agriculture, packaging technologies for the food industry, packaged vegetables and salads for retail and food service, and biopolymers for medical applications. Before that, Dr. Hajduk served in a number of scientific and leadership roles at Symyx Technologies, where he developed and applied technologies for high-throughput research to accelerate product discovery.
In addition to Dr. Hajduk, Crop Enhancement has appointed two experts from the agricultural industry to lead market- and field-development activities:
- Eric Flora joins as field development manager. Mr. Flora’s 30 years’ experience in field research, technical product service and product development includes roles with Pacific Ag Research, Eurofins, and Dow Chemical. For the last 10 years he has conducted research in field, greenhouse and lab environments for many types of agricultural products, and has assumed broad technical training responsibilities. Most recently, he has assisted many diverse agriculture product companies with research, internally providing leadership in internal operations support and business development in California, Michigan, and Florida.
- Mark Russell joins as market development executive. Mr. Russell’s background includes positions with United Agri Products (now CPS) and ICI (now Syngenta). His 25 years’ industry experience covers the commercialization of a broad array of crop protection, nutrient and specialty products in specialty agriculture, turf, greenhouse, and nursery markets. Russell also has direct experience in the management of validation projects, and specializes in field testing, regulatory strategy, pricing models, and market channel plans.
Crop Enhancement also announced the formation of a three-person advisory board to spearhead business strategy.
- Marcus Meadows-Smith is currently CEO of BioConsortia. Mr. Meadows-Smith is an experienced and successful executive in the specialty chemicals and biologics sector, with a passion for innovation in sustainable agriculture. He was formerly head of biologics for Bayer CropScience, following Bayer’s $425M acquisition of AgraQuest, where he led the team that transformed AgraQuest from financial distress to the technology leader in the biological market. Previously, Mr. Meadows-Smith had a 14-year career at Chemtura Corporation, assuming multiple managerial roles and ultimately becoming EVP for a $2 billion portfolio of businesses that included crop protection, consumer products, and plastics additives.
- Mark Phillipson has been dedicated to market development for Crop Enhancement, and is now transitioning to an advisory role. He has worked at the intersection of agribusiness needs and community requirements for over 20 years, leading sales activities at Merck. For seven years, he was general manager and corporate affairs lead for Syngenta’s Hawaii-based research and development operations. Mr. Phillipson has also been prominently involved with several Hawaii policy-making organizations, including a tenure as president of the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association.
- Mary Shelman brings 30 years’ experience in business and academia, and is recognized as an expert in the global food and agribusiness sector. She was most recently director of Harvard Business School’s Agribusiness Program and is former chairman of the board of RiceTec, Inc., where she guided the largest U.S. rice seed company from its formation to commercial product launch. Ms. Shelman has served on numerous corporate and industry association boards, and is a past president of the International Foods and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA). Her strategic insights and extensive international network will guide successful go-to-market strategies for Crop Enhancement’s portfolio of products.
Crop Enhancement’s products target annual crop values in excess of $100 billion worldwide across regions that include North America, Southeast Asia, Greater China, Latin America, and Africa. To boost crop yields in these regions, Crop Enhancement has developed proprietary films and formulations that modify plant surfaces (leaves, stems, fruit, and seeds) to improve their resistance to pests and diseases, and decrease the need for harmful pesticides. Crop Enhancement’s formulations can also be applied with agricultural inputs like nutrients, fertilizers and other active ingredients, enabling farmers to precisely control their release, thereby reducing costs and increasing yield.
About Crop Enhancement
Crop Enhancement is a venture-backed agriculture technology corporation based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded by renowned materials scientist and serial entrepreneur Dr. David Soane, Crop Enhancement is developing sustainable agrochemical formulations that employ advanced and environmentally friendly chemistry to improve crop yields, eliminate or minimize pesticide use, and enable precise and effective delivery of active ingredients and fertilizers. Visit us at www.crop-enhancement.com.
Tim Cox, ZingPR, firstname.lastname@example.org, 650-369-7784