Gregory L. Bafalis
Chief Executive Officer
As CEO, Greg Bafalis brings the Company over 25 years of global experience in the energy sector, where he has successfully closed, financed, and operated over $3 billion worth of projects. Prior to joining Aurora Algae, Greg founded and served as CEO of Green Earth Fuels, where he successfully raised $168 million and grew the company from zero to $250 million in revenue in under three years. While at Green Earth Fuels, he directed the construction of a 90 million gallon per year biodiesel production facility and the development and implementation of an 8,000 acre palm oil plantation in Guatemala to supply the biodiesel production facility. Previously, Greg was Senior Managing Director – Americas and Europe Region for El Paso Corporation, responsible for 14 power plants and two pipelines in eleven countries. He lived in Brazil for seven years building and managing El Paso’s South and Central American business and, before that, served as Vice President of Business Development, European Region. Prior to El Paso, he served Mission Energy as the Executive Director for Brooklyn Navy Yard Cogen, successfully developing a 380 MW gas fired power generation facility in New York City. Before Mission Energy, Greg spent eight years developing waste-to-energy and waste wood fired power projects for Waste Management Co.
Chief Financial Officer
Bill Roeschlein joined Aurora Algae from Trident Microsystems, where he served as a CFO consultant, assisting in the integration of two large acquisitions across three continents. Prior to that, he was CFO of Power Integrations (NASDAQ: POWI), where he intensified investor relations activities and led the roadshow for its stock option buyback initiative, while driving profitability during an economic downturn. As CFO of Selectica, Inc. (NASDAQ: SLTC), Bill Roeschlein successfully transitioned the company’s business model from an enterprise sales model to a Software as a Service (SaaS) model. Bill began his career in the audit practice of Coopers & Lybrand, and has lived and worked in Japan as an expatriate finance director for Asyst Technologies. He is an active-status California CPA, and holds a B.A. with honors from UCLA and an MBA from Cornell University.
Dr. Bertrand Vick
Chief Scientific Officer
Bertrand (“Bert”) Vick is responsible for the Company’s scientific direction. Prior to co-founding Aurora Algae, Bert’s doctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley focused on gene expression in complex eukaryotes. He developed deep expertise in protein biochemistry and molecular biology while gaining broad experience in cell culture, molecular genetics, antibody production and cell-based assay development. Bert also earned the Management of Technology certificate from the Haas School of Business. Previous to his doctoral research, he studied one-carbon metabolism in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and developed a biological method for producing a valuable industrial chemical. Bert earned his B.S. in Molecular Biology from the University of Texas, Austin, where he graduated summa cum laude.
Dr. James Astwood
Senior Vice President, Innovation
Jim Astwood brings 20 years of research & development leadership to the organization, most recently with Martek Biosciences (now DSM Nutrition), where he served as Vice President of Scientific and Government Affairs. Prior to Martek, Jim was as VP of Global Nutrition and Regulatory Affairs at ConAgra foods where he built and led the organization and co-led the corporate Health & Wellness marketing program for 40 consumer brands. Jim began his industry career at Monsanto Company where he founded the Biotechnology Product Safety Center and led the safety assessment process for first generation agricultural biotech products. He has served in numerous industry leadership roles, including Trustee at the International Life Sciences Institute, and Executive Committee member of the International Food Information Council., Jim holds a PhD in Agricultural and Food Science and a BSc (Hon) in Genetics from the University of Manitoba, Canada.
Senior Vice President, Sales
Lee Covert joined the Company in October 2012, bringing more than 30 years of sales and business development expertise related to the nutrition and feed markets. Lee started his career in 1979 with Elanco Products, a subsidiary of Eli Lilly’s Ag Chemical Division. He went on to lead regional sales for BioKyowa, a subsidiary of Kyowa Hakko which supplied amino acids to the feed industry. In 1986, Lee joined Solae LLC, where he managed key accounts such as GNC, Worthington Foods and Slim Fast, helped to develop global product strategy and led unprecedented revenue growth within the company’s diet and sports nutrition consumer segment. Over an eight year period, Covert rose from area manager for the US and Canada region to director, then managing director before being named the company’s global director of business development in 2003. Lee then joined Elan Nutrition (now part of ConagraFoods), rising to VP of sales, supply chain and business development. Lee has a BS in Agriculture Economics and Dairy Husbandry from University of Missouri and a JD from St. Louis University.
Senior Vice President, Business Development
Paul Abitante leads Aurora Algae’s global development activities, bringing over 20 years of energy sector development experience, including the development, implementation, and management of energy infrastructure projects, structuring and negotiation of commercial transactions, and building and managing high-performance project teams. His background spans technical, operational, environmental, commercial, and legal/regulatory disciplines. Paul began his career as a Project Engineer with Energy Storage & Power Consultants, Inc. and Westinghouse Electric Corporation, where he specialized in thermal cycle and power plant design. He later joined El Paso Corporation as a Development Engineer in the Global Power Group, and progressed to Director of Business Development. While at El Paso, he was responsible for activities ranging from project siting and permitting, to contract negotiations and partnerships, and he successfully managed and closed several projects and large transactions. From El Paso, Paul joined NorthernStar Natural Gas, where he served as a Project Director, before moving to BP Alternative Energy to direct their business development activities related to BP’s 2000Mw cogeneration portfolio in North America.Paul has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Manhattan College.
Vice President, Corporate Affairs
Paul Brunato brings Aurora Algae over 15 years of experience driving corporate thought leadership and managing successful launch campaigns for innovative new products. As Director of Corporate Communications for 2Wire, Inc., he devised the strategy and directed the execution of market-defining, joint product and service launches including AT&T’s Homezone and Blockbuster’s MediaPoint entertainment delivery systems. Prior to that, he led media relations and corporate messaging strategy as Director of Public Relations for the legendary global industrial design firm, Frog Design, where he also planned and executed launch campaigns for select client products including Motorola’s “Offspring” line of wearable computing and communication products, and Disney’s first line of children’s consumer electronics products. Prior to Frog Design, Paul was Director of Corporate Communications & Investor Relations for U.S. Wireless Corporation, a publicly-traded developer of location-based information technology for mobile services. Paul earned a Bachelor of Arts with Great Distinction in Cultural Anthropology from San Jose State University, and completed post-graduate coursework in Corporate Finance at UC Berkeley.
Senior Vice President, Human Resources
Patti Lusk brings Aurora Algae over 20 years of global Human Resources leadership experience. Patti joined Aurora Algae from Energy Recovery Inc., where she served as Vice President of Human Resources. She began her career at Nordstrom, serving as a Human Resource Manager for over 10 years, then moved into the manufacturing sector as Human Resource Manager at Associated Chemist, and Senior Global HR Administrator for NACCO Materials Handling Group. She later joined MathStar, a high-tech start-up, and then the multi-state distribution company, Northwest Pump and Equipment, as Director of Human Resources. Patti earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications at Oregon State University and maintains certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) through the Human Resource Certification Institute.