AgraCast was founded in February 2013, following the purchase of select assets of Agradis by Monsanto. Agradis was previously founded in 2011 by Synthetic Genomics Inc. (SGI) and Plenus SA de CV to capitalize on the tremendous agricultural and genomic strenghts of both companies. Agradis and later AgraCast licensed technologies from Synthetic Genomics Inc and Plenus SA de CV. SGI’S CEO J. Craig Venter, Ph.D. and Plenus CEO Alfonso Romo, co-chairs of the AgraCast Board of Directors, bring with them extensive experience in developing and commercializing cutting edge technologies. They also share common vision that new agricultural products developed sustainably and efficiently are one of the most pressing needs for society today. This was one of the driving forces for the formation of Agradis and now.
About Synthetic Genomics Inc.
SGI, a privately held company founded in 2005, is dedicated to developing and commercializing genomic-driven solutions to address global energy and environment challenges. Advances in synthetic genomics present limitless applications in a variety of product areas, including: energy, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. The company’s main research and business programs are currently focused on the following major bioenergy areas: designing advanced biofuels with superior properties compared to ethanol and biodiesel; harnessing photosynthetic organisms to produce value added products directly from sunlight and carbon dioxide; developing new biological solutions to increase production and/or recovery rates of subsurface hydrocarbons and developing high-yielding, more disease resistant and economic feedstocks. Please visit Synthetic Genomics Inc.
About Plenus, S.A. de C.V.
Plenus is a Mexico based investing and management private company. Its management team has been together for over two decades successfully creating significant value in several industries and investing in companies globally. Plenus participates in the agribusiness, education, financial services, and new business development industries. This experience includes founding Seminis in 1994 and building it to the world leader and major consolidator in the fruit and vegetable seed business. Nearly ten years ago, Plenus embarked on a strategic initiative to participate in the international biofuel industry by creating genetically improved biofuel feedstock crops that do not compete with food or feed, neither the lands nor the crop itself. Today, Plenus has holdings in several agricultural companies.
The AgraCast management team includes highly accomplished individuals with expertise and experience in genomics, plant breeding, biochemistry, agriculture and technology commercialization.
Jorge Fenyvesi Chief Executive Officer
Jorge Fenyvesi holds a degree in Agricultural Engineering from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, with an MS degree in Parasitology and an MBA degree from Babson College. He has thirty eight years of experience in managerial and directive jobs with the Dow Chemical Company, DNA Plant Technology and the Savia Group. With Dow he served in several international assignments: in Miami as head of the Commercial and R&D functions for LatinAmerica responsible for the AgChemical business, in Argentina as head of the R&D Group, and his last assignment as the Director General of the Dow Elanco Company in Sao Paulo Brazil. He was also Director General of Dow Mexico Ag division and member of the Global Research and Development Team of Dow Elanco. He was President of DNA Plant Technology based in Berkeley, Ca., a leading biotech company developing state of the art molecular biology technologies and products for the Ag biotech sector. More recently he has been the Director General of AGROMOD, a worldwide leader in the production and commercialization of Maradol Papayas in Mexico, USA, and Canada. AGROMOD is also a global leader in tissue culture technolgies for banana, coffee and other crops that are sold in Europe, USA and Latin America. Jorge has been a member of the Mexican PMA Council, President of the Mexican AgChemicals Association and member of the Board of AgroBio Mexico.
Joseph Mahler Chief Financial Officer & Vice President Operations
Joseph Mahler joins SGI from FuelCell Energy Inc, a publicly-traded developer and manufacturer of ultra-clean stationary fuel cell power plants, where he had been employed since 1998. Mahler played a leading role at the company as Senior Vice-President, CFO, Corporate Treasurer and Secretary. In these roles he raised more than $500 million from seven public offerings. He was also instrumental in helping shape the company’s business strategy as they grew from 120 employees to more than 400 and expanded operations to serve global markets in Europe and Asia. Prior to his employment with FuelCell Energy, Mahler was the VP and CFO for Earthgro Inc. where he worked closely with the CEO and management to significantly increase sales and profitability. Earlier in his career, he was a partner with the accounting firm Ernst & Young and other predecessor firms and was employed from 1974 to 1992. Mahler received a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Boston College in 1974, and his certification as a public accountant in 1978.
Julian Barrera has a broad experience in plant breeding and agronomic improvement of crop plants including the improvement of vegetables at Seminis and leading the agronomy program at Centro Internacional de Investigacion y Capacitacion Agropecuaria (CIICA). Julian has a BS in Plant Breeding from Escuela Nacional de Agricultura, Chapingo, Mexico and an MS in Genetics from Colegio de PostGraduados, Chapingo, Mexico.