Chief Executive Officer & Director
Joseph Mannello is the CEO of MYOS RENS Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MYOS), in Cedar Knolls, NJ, a research-based company focused on addressing musculoskeletal health through the development and commercialization of advanced nutrition products for both humans and pets. Previously, from March 2013 to May 2015, Mr. Mannello was the Executive Managing Director at Brean Capital LLC, an independent investment bank and asset management firm, also serving as member of the firm’s operating committee. From March 2008 to March 2012, Mr. Mannello was Head of corporate credit for Gleacher & Company, Inc. (OTC:GLCH), a publicly-traded investment bank. Prior to that, he was Head of the Fixed Income Division of BNY Capital Markets, Inc., a subsidiary of The Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (NYSE:BK). In March of 1998 Joe and his partners sold their firm Mendham Capital Group to BNY.
Ren Ren has more than 28 years of experiences in China’s food and agricultural business. Since 2001, he formed and operated Beijing Seasons Investment Group Co, Ltd and RENS Agriculture Science and Technology Co, Ltd. Mr. Ren is also chairman of China’s Nutrition and Health Guidance Committee, Editor in Chief of The Capital Food Safety Weekly, chairman of Beijing Seasons Investment Group Co., Ltd, chairman of Anhui Woyang Huadu Properties Co., Ltd., chairman of Xingguo Hongtianxia Camellia Oil Co., Ltd, and chairman of Nanjing Xingfeng Ecological Agriculture Co., Ltd. From 1993 to 2001, he formed and operated multiple companies in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, mainly engaged in agricultural products operation and management. From 1987 to 1992, he was a department director at Sheyang Food Bureau, responsible for grain purchasing and management. We believe Mr. Ren’s extensive knowledge and experience with respect to health and nutrition products and his extensive food product industry background qualifies him to serve on our Board of Directors.
Dr. Robert J. Hariri
Chairman of the Board
Dr. Robert J. Hariri joined us as a Director in July 2011 and was elected Chairman of the Board in April 2012. Dr. Hariri has served as the chairman and chief scientific officer of Celgene Cellular Therapeutics, a division of Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG), since 2014. From 2002 to 2014, he served in various positions at Celgene Cellular Therapeutics, including chief executive officer and president. Prior to joining Celgene Cellular Therapeutics, Dr. Hariri was founder, chairman and chief scientific officer at Anthrogenesis Corporation/LIFEBANK, Inc., a privately held biomedical technology and service corporation involved in the area of human stem cell therapeutics, which was acquired by Celgene Corporation in 2002. Dr. Hariri also serves as president of Human Longevity Cellular Therapeutics, Inc., a privately-held genomics and cell therapy-based diagnostic and therapeutic company focused on extending the healthy, high performance human life span, which he co-founded in 2013. He has also served as co-founder, vice chairman and chief scientific officer of Neurodynamics, a privately held medical device and technology corporation. Dr. Hariri is an adjunct associate professor of pathology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and has also held key academic positions at Weill Medical College of Cornell University and the Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Science, including serving as the director of the Center for Trauma Research. Dr. Hariri is also a director of Cryoport, Inc. (NASDAQ: CYRX), Bionik Laboratories Corp. (OTCQX: BNKL), Provista Diagnostics and Rocket Racing, Inc. Dr. Hariri is a member of the scientific advisory board for the Archon X Prize for Genomics, which is awarded by the X Prize Foundation. Dr. Hariri also serves as a trustee of the J. Craig Venter Institute, a trustee of the Liberty Science Center and a commissioner of the New Jersey Commission for Cancer Research. Dr. Hariri received the Thomas Alva Edison Award in 2007 and 2011, The Fred J. Epstein Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 and numerous other honors for his contributions to biomedicine and aviation. He has served as a member of the board of visitors at Columbia University School of Engineering & Applied Sciences and the Science & Technology Council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Hariri received his undergraduate training at Columbia College and Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and was awarded his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell University Medical College. Dr. Hariri received his surgical training at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center and directed the Aitken Neurosurgery Laboratory and the Center for Trauma Research. We believe Dr. Hariri’s training as a scientist, his knowledge and experience with respect to the biomedical and pharmaceutical industries and his extensive research and experience qualifies him to serve on our Board of Directors.
Dr. Louis Aronne
Dr. Louis Aronne joined us as a Director and a member of our Scientific Advisory Board in July 2011. Dr. Aronne is the Weill Professor of Metabolic Research and Director of the Comprehensive Weight Control Center which he founded in 1986 at Weill-Cornell Medical College. He is an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Aronne is former president of the Obesity Society and a fellow of the American College of Physicians. He has been an investigator on more than 40 trials, authored more than 60 papers and book chapters on obesity and edited the National Institutes of Health Practical Guide to the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults. Dr. Aronne has won several awards for teaching, including the Leo M. Davidoff Society Prize from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1983 and Eliot Hochstein Teaching Award from Cornell University in 1990. Dr. Aronne graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Trinity College with a BS in biochemistry and from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. We believe Dr. Aronne’s skills as a physician and his knowledge and experience with respect to obesity and related metabolic diseases qualifies him to serve on our Board of Directors.
Christopher Pechock joined us as a Director in February 2014. Mr. Pechock has been a partner at Matlin Patterson Global Advisers, a global alternative asset manager, since its inception in July 2002. From November 1998 to July 2002, Mr. Pechock served as a member of the Global Distressed Securities Group Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS). From January 1997 to October 1998, Mr. Pechock served as a Portfolio Manager and Research Analyst at Turnberry Capital Management, L.P. Prior to that, Mr. Pechock served as a Portfolio Manager at Eos Partners, L.P. (February 1996 to December 1996), a Vice President and high yield analyst at PaineWebber Inc. (May 1993 to January 1996) and an analyst in risk arbitrage at Wertheim Schroder & Co., Incorporated (August 1987 to April 1991). He serves on the board of directors of Gleacher & Company, Inc. (NASDAQ: GLCH), and Oceanus LLC, a private ship-owning company. Mr. Pechock received a BA in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business. We believe Mr. Pechock’s extensive financial background qualifies him to serve on our Board of Directors.
Mr. Mandel served as a director of the Company from December 2015 until March 2016. He is the founding partner of Criterion Capital Management, LLC and has over twenty-five years of experience in investments, corporate strategy and corporate governance. Mr. Mandel previously served as Co-Chairman of Ambac Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMBC) from May 2013 through December 2014 and as a director, chair of its Governance and Nominating Committee and member of its Audit and Strategy and Risk Policy Committees from May 2013 until May 2016. Additionally, he has previously served as a member of the board of directors and on the audit committees of Comsys IT Partners, Inc. (now a Manpower company), Broadpoint Gleacher Securities Group, Inc. (now Gleacher & Co., Inc.), and XLHealth Corp. (now a United Healthcare company). He previously served as the Chief Financial Officer of Circle.com (NASDAQ:CIRC) and served as Executive Vice President, Finance and Development of Snyder Communications, Inc. (NYSE:SNC) from 1999 to 2000. From 1991 to 1999, Mr. Mandel served as vice president in the Investment Research department at Goldman Sachs & Co. (NYSE:GS). Mr. Mandel holds an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, an A.B. in Computer Science from Harvard University, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Eric Zaltas is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Pivot Nutrition LLC, a startup company focused on researching, developing and distributing products for various brands targeting athletes. Mr. Zaltas was previously Vice President of R&D and Commercialization at Premier Nutrition Corporation, a division of Post Holdings, Inc. from 2014 to 2018 where he led the integration of the R&D teams, pipelines and innovation processes for both the Premier and PowerBar(s) teams.
Christopher C. Dewey
Mr. Dewey is an active investor with over thirty years of experience in finance. From January 2007 to April 2011, he served as Vice Chairman of the board of directors of National Holdings Corporation, a financial services organization operating through its subsidiary, National Securities. From December 2006 to December 2008, Mr. Dewey served as acting Chief Executive Officer and director of Z-KAT, Inc., a surgical navigation medical device company. He previously served as Executive Vice President of Jefferies & Company, Inc., the principal operating subsidiary of Jeffries Group, Inc., a securities and investment banking firm, from 1994 to December 2006. Mr. Dewey co-founded several companies, including Robotic Ventures LLC, Bonds Direct Securities LLC and Cannon Group Inc., a motion picture company that went public in 1972. Mr. Dewey has also served on the board of directors of various companies including Orthosensor, Inc., a medical device company, Mako Surgical Corp., a medical device company, and Auris Surgical Robotics, Inc., an ophthalmic robotics company. Mr. Dewey holds an M.B.A. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Andrew Ponte is a seasoned executive with over 25 years in the pet industry. He has experience with multiple ownership platforms such as private equity, entrepreneur, public, hedge fund, and Chapter 11 reorganization and has been involved in various acquisitions and integrations. Mr. Ponte was previously Senior Vice President of the sales and business unit at Central Garden and Pet from May of 2015 to February of 2019. Prior to that, Mr. Ponte spent 15 years as an executive at United Pet Group (now Spectrum Brands) where he served a variety of positions from 1999 through 2015 including Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Vice President of Sales and Trade Marketing, Vice President of Sales and Walmart Team Leader. Prior to that, he held various sales and marketing management positions, initially with Dogloo, Inc. and Doskocil, Inc (after the merger of the two companies). Prior to that, he spent 8 years with Koch Industries in various leadership positions in sales, marketing, accounting and finance. Mr. Ponte holds a BA in Accounting from Kansas State University. We believe Mr. Ponte’s extensive experience in the pet industry and management experience qualify him to serve on our Board of Directors.