Jim Blome, Chief Executive Officer, grew up on a family corn and soybean farm in Hubbard, Iowa, and is a graduate of Iowa State University. Prior to joining Calyxt, Jim was the President and CEO for Bayer CropScience LP (North America). He also held executive positions at Valent (Sumitomo Chemical), Agtrol International and Agriliance LLC (a Land O’ Lakes and CHS joint venture). Jim currently serves as the Independent Non-Executive Chairman of Concentric Ag Technologies; Inc. He is the 2013 recipient of the Henry A. Wallace Award from Iowa State University for outstanding leadership and service to agriculture.
Dan Voytas, Chief Science Officer, graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1984 and received his Ph.D. in genetics from Harvard Medical School in 1990. He is a co-founder of Calyxt and one of the inventors of the TALEN® technology. In addition to his role at Calyxt, Voytas is a professor in the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development at the University of Minnesota (UMN), which he joined in 2008, and is Director of the UMN’s Center for Precision Plant Genomics. In 1992, Voytas joined the faculty at Iowa State University. Prior to this, he conducted postdoctoral research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dan is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Academy of Sciences.
Bill Koschak, Chief Financial Officer, brings over 10 years of corporate, finance and accounting leadership to Calyxt as an operating or corporate CFO. Prior to joining Calyxt, Bill was Vice President, Finance for the Brain Therapies business unit of Medtronic (NYSE: MDT). He has held executive positions at Young America Holdings, General Mills (NYSE:GIS), and KPMG LLP. Bill was recognized as a CFO of the Year by the Twin Cities Business Journal in 2016 and currently serves on the board of 1st Financial Bank USA.
Manoj Sahoo, Chief Commercial Officer, holds a MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the National Institute of Technology in India. Prior to Calyxt, Manoj held a variety of commercial, strategy, business development positions at Cargill. He was also responsible for leading Cargill’s equity investments in the industrial biotechnology space. Manoj currently serves on Industry Advisory Board of Larta Institute which assists the USDA, NIH and NSF with the commercialization assistance program.
Debra Frimerman, General Counsel, brings agriculture and food industry legal expertise to Calyxt. Previously, Debra was Associate General Counsel for Syngenta North America and acting general counsel for Syngenta Seeds, LLC. Through her seven years at Syngenta, Debra provided counsel for executive leadership teams and contributed to the closing of numerous global transactions; launching new products into new markets; and developing regulatory, compliance and corporate policies. Prior to her role at Syngenta, Debra practiced law at Stoel Rives LLP and Lindquist & Vennum PLLP.
Travis Frey, Chief Technology Officer, brings over 15 years of experience in the agricultural industry and technology innovation to Calyxt. Travis received his B.S. in Horticulture from Penn State University, M.S. in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics from the University of Wisconsin, Ph.D. in the Plant Biology and Biotechnology Program at the Univesity of Delaware and DuPont/Pioneer and an M.B.A from the University of Chicago – Booth School of Business. Prior to joining Calyxt, Travis held science and innovation leadership roles at WISErg Corporation and Monsanto.