Jim Blome 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 held executive positions at Valent (Sumitomo Chemical) and Agriliance LLC before joining Bayer.
Jim serves as the President of Agtrol International and the Independent Non-Executive Chairman of Concentric Ag Technologies, Inc. Jim 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
Dan 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. He continues to optimize the use of TALEN® for the targeted modification of plant genomes. 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 Genome Engineering. 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.
Bill Koschak – Chief Financial Officer
Bill Koschak brings over 25 years of corporate, finance and accounting leadership to Calyxt, having spent most of the last ten years as an operating or corporate CFO. Most recently, Mr. Koschak was Vice President, Finance for the Brain Therapies business unit of Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) and also served as Interim Vice President, General Manager, for one of the units of Brain Therapies for several months. Prior to Medtronic, Mr. Koschak also held executive positions at Young America Holdings, where he was CFO, General Mills (NYSE:GIS), and KPMG LLP. For the majority of his 10 years with General Mills, he was Vice President, Finance for the Convenience Stores & Foodservice segment. He was a partner at KPMG where he focused on complex financial matters and financial trading, investment banking and lending businesses. In his varied roles across industries, Mr. Koschak gained deep financial expertise and experience in corporate and operating finance roles, capital markets, M&A, and business strategy. He 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
Manoj Sahoo joined Calyxt as Chief Commercial Officer in March 2017. He 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. Manoj has more than two decades of experience working in a variety of roles covering commercial, strategy, business development and M&A for global corporations in ag, food, energy and materials fields. Prior to joining Calyxt, Manoj was Assistant Vice President for Food Ingredients and Bio-industrial Enterprise at Cargill. At Cargill, he was responsible for revenues over $1 billion, leading the commercial enterprise team to triple its earnings from bio-based products and managing relationships with large institutional customers. His prior roles at Cargill included Business Development Director for Starches and Sweeteners North America as well as serving as an investment team member with the Emerging Business Accelerator, a group structured along corporate venture capital groups, to invest in white space opportunities for Cargill; he also worked in the Corporate Strategy & Development Group. Over the years, Manoj has also served on the boards of both Calysta Inc. and Rivertop Renewables as a Cargill representative. He was responsible for leading Cargill’s equity investments in the industrial biotechnology space including co-investment in real assets with institutional financial investors to build a $600 million commercial-scale aquaculture nutrition plant. He also serves on Industry Advisory Board of Larta Institute which assists the USDA, NIH and NSF with the commercialization assistance program.
Glenn Bowers – Vice President of Breeding
Glenn Bowers is Vice President of Breeding with responsibilities for breeding, field trialing and seed production for all crops. Glenn has a M.S. and Ph.D. degree in Plant Pathology with a focus on breeding and genetics of resistance. He spent 17 years managing a soybean breeding program with Texas A&M University, followed by a year doing the same at Purdue University. He then spent 16 years with Syngenta, first managing a soybean breeding program and then as global head of soybean breeding. He has extensive experience in Argentina and Brazil, in addition to North America. Glenn is also a certified project manager (PMP). Glenn has extensive experience in delivering products, both global and stateside, through effective collaboration with marketing and supply chain. He is skilled in creating, developing, and managing diverse and globally dispersed teams and has deep knowledge of and experience in field trialing, disease phenotyping, and agronomy.
Michel Arbadji – Director of Business Development
Michel joined Calyxt in July 2015 as Director of Business Development, and manages the external supply chain operations. Michel received his Agriculture Engineering and Master in Economics and Agriculture Machinery from the Institut National Agronomique Paris Grignon in Paris, France. Prior to joining Calyxt, Michel headed the European and Middle East Operation for Signature Control Systems, where he built and managed the distribution network, EU marketing, and sales. During that period, he served as project manager for the new business development of the European golf irrigation division at John Deere, with over 440 accounts. Michel started his career at the Toro Company EMEA, where he held several positions in business development, sales, and marketing. Over his 27-year career, he has successfully built several pioneering businesses from the R&D stage to setting up large-scale distribution channels. He has participated in several global product launches.
Debra Frimerman – General Counsel
Effective February 11, 2019, Debra will be joining Calyxt as General Counsel. Before joining Calyxt, Ms. Frimerman was Associate General Counsel for Syngenta North America, as well as acting General Counsel for Syngenta Seeds, LLC. Through her seven years at Syngenta, she 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, Ms. Frimerman practiced law at Stoel Rives LLP and Lindquist & Vennum PLLP (now Ballard Spahr).