Selection Committee

The selection committee process is facilitated by Expedite Animal Health.

The members of the 2019 Selection Committee have a long and distinguished track record in the animal health industry. They bring a mixture of entrepreneurial and established company experience and understand the financial aspects of developing and acquiring technologies.

Andrea Sellers

SellersA_bioPartner, STINSON LLP
Kansas City, MO

Andrea is a registered patent attorney with an emphasis in the chemical, biosciences, and animal health fields. She has significant experience in patent prosecution, infringement counseling, and licensing regarding biochemical, chemical, and mechanical inventions.  Andrea has developed particular experience in negotiating and drafting intellectual property agreements, including complex technology development and license agreements covering a wide range of technologies.  She also has extensive experience counseling clients of all sizes and stages on strategies for intellectual property protection tailored to the specific client's needs.


Brett Morris, CFA®

Brett Morris

Principal - Manager, Investments,  Technology Acceleration Partners
Kansas City, MO

Brett is a Principal for TechAccel, LLC, a venture development and technology organization that invests across the agriculture, animal health, and food science industries. Brett leads venture investing for the firm and manages corporate and asset-related transactions.

Prior to TechAccel, Brett worked in corporate development for a commodity trading and handling company focused in agriculture, feed, and energy. He helped source, evaluate, and execute mergers and acquisitions, equity investments, joint ventures, and organic growth initiatives. Further, he led efforts to assess the AgTech venture capital industry and evaluated startups in several areas including imagery, sensors, logistics, and artificial intelligence. Prior to this, Brett worked for a small strategic advisory firm and a local bank.

Brett serves as a selection committee member for InvestMidwest and the Animal Health Investment Forum and volunteers as a coach for the Ag Innovation Showcase. He also serves as a guest lecturer for the Blue Valley CAPS program.

Brett graduated from the University of Kansas and is a CFA® charterholder. He is a member of the CFA Institute and the Kansas City CFA Society.

Chris Ragland

Photo_Ragland_2.9.13 copyKCCEO, Animalytix, LLC
Salisbury, MD

Animalytix® LLC and its Canadian affiliate, Animalytix Ltd. provide an array of market insight and electronic publishing services to manufacturers, distributors, veterinarians and retailers in the United States and Canada.  Animalytix maintains a comprehensive database of more than $50 billion in sales history for vaccines, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, human labeled pharmaceuticals and supplies consumed in the US veterinary and OTC markets. Additionally, Animalytix maintains a comprehensive library of product labeling and safety information which it makes available through the Compendium of Veterinary Products and its COMPAS Safe Data Services.  The company recently expanded its insight services to include practice level reporting through its Vetalytix veterinary services division, offering the industry’s first platform designed to deliver internal profit center-level reporting for the practice owner.


Crissa Cook

CACProfilePic (3)Partner, Hovey Williams LLP
Overland Park, MO

Crissa is a Patent Attorney and Partner at Hovey Williams LLP. She represents large, medium, and small clients across the U.S., as well as several internationally-based corporations and institutions. Her practice focuses primarily on patent preparation, prosecution, enforcement, and licensing in the animal health, life science, chemical, pharmaceutical, medical, mechanical, and food science arts. She also helps companies, institutions, and universities manage and evaluate their IP portfolios and those of their competitors, including the preparation of non-infringement and invalidity opinions, as well as various agreements (e.g., non-compete, non-disclosure, material transfer, etc.). She also handles due diligence, trademark, and trade secret matters. Crissa is also an Adjunct Professor at The University of Kansas School of Law.

Donald Schwartz

Untitled1Principal, Elders Rede LLC | Animal Health Industry Advisors
Duluth, GA

Since retiring from Boehringer Ingelheim in 2017, Don has joined the boards of several biotech companies and has founded Elders Rede, LLC which advises AH industry clients on a wide variety of subjects including product development, business development and regulatory strategy.

Previously, Don worked for Merck & Co., Inc. as a manager of global marketing communications and as an executive director of Merial’s US Business Operations with responsibilities for business development, market research, regulatory, customer care, veterinary technical solutions, public affairs and business analytical functions.  Don has extensive experience in marketing, A&P, product management, finance, manufacturing, media management, packaging development, trademark development and distribution among other business skills.  Don was instrumental in the launch of several landmark products including IVOMEC, HEARTGARD and FRONTLINE PLUS and led the development of the OraVet line of oral care products.

Don has been the head of a successful advertising and communications agency specializing in pharmaceutical and technical products.  He has several books to his credit, including Genus Bos: Cattle Breeds of the World, the standard reference on the subject.

He earned an undergraduate degree in biology from Union College in Schenectady, New York, did graduate work in biology at NYU and has an MS in management from CUNY.  Under duress, he will also admit he went to law school.

Edward Robb, DVM

ED Robb Web

CEO, BioPharmaPotentials (BPP)
Kansas City, MO

Dr. Edward Robb is CEO of BioPharmaPotentials (BPP) an animal health based consultancy that enables its global partners in achieving their extreme potential including technology evaluation, due diligence and assessments of new and repurposed chemical and biologic entities. Services include the execution/conduct of critical Proof of Concept and Proof of Value studies to define value and to provide various opportunity runways.  In addition BPP executes clinical efficacy and safety studies in laboratory, target animal and in the clinical setting. BPP develops regulatory and development strategies for small molecules (pharmaceuticals), biologicals (vaccines), medical devises and nutraceuticals. The practice engages on behalf of its clients various public and private funding sources and in the development of manufacturing and quality programs (analytical/formulation development) in concert with the project management to support the technology/product plan. Dr. Robb serves on the Boards of various start-up organizations predominantly in the role as Chief Scientific Officer.

Dr. Robb has a BS in Animal Science, DVM from Cornell University and a Masters in Epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania; he is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Clinical Nutrition.  Dr. Robb has five years of clinical practice and has held various senior leadership positions in Research and Development, Product Development and Business Development at Upjohn, Pharmacia, Pfizer, Embrex, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, CEVA and Parnell (see Linkedin profile). Dr. Robb’s strong track record for delivering value thru innovation and legacy of leading organizations that achieved game changing registrations and successful commercialization’s spans across specie lines, therapeutic areas, technology platforms and geographies.

John Mannhaupt

john-manhauptConsultant, Brakke Consulting
Greensboro, North Carolina

John has big company experience in financial planning, product management, marketing outside the US and sales management.  At Brakke Consulting, John now focuses his time on opportunity analysis, transactions, business valuations, and recruiting assignments.  His financial background makes him the go-to person for evaluations of businesses and technologies that are either looking for a new owner or seeking to enter the market.  He provides a quantitative slant on major strategic decisions.  John also specializes in recruiting assignments for positions that are particularly difficult to fill.

Previous to joining Brakke Consulting, Mr. Mannhaupt held several sales, product management, and marketing positions with Sandoz Corporation, a major pharmaceutical, chemical, and agricultural products firm that is now part of Novartis.  John also held corporate financial positions with Occidental Petroleum and General Foods, which is now KraftHeinz.

He holds an MBA from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie-Mellon University and a B.S. in Mathematics from Iona College.

Keith Baird

Keith Baird_046President, Biomedical Devices of Kansas
Tonganoxie, KS

Keith has over 35 years of proven experience in sales and business development, with specialty in industrial engineering, manufacturing and operations, and product design, development, and implementation.

As a creative problem-solver, Keith is highly skilled in ideating product and process improvements, identifying barriers to implementation, and translating “big ideas” into executable product solutions.

In his career history, Keith most recently partnered with Fralock (Valendia, CA) to build and develop business relationships in the aerospace and defense sector. Previously, Keith used his technical skills and knowledge to guide clients through product and business development processes with Pivot International, a rapid growth company in Lenexa, Kansas.

Aggregate within his extensive career is 16 years of sales focus on semiconductor equipment manufacturers and design/development services across all industries, including five years in medical device development. With a focus on providing excellent service to clients, Keith used his skills and knowledge to assist clients with competitive analysis, product design, product cost structure, and manufacturing methodologies.

Keith joined Biomedical Devices of Kansas in May 2018 as Vice President of Sales, leading their efforts as a business accelerator, focused on emerging medical device and pharmaceutical companies for both human and animal health.

Laura Treml, VMD, PhD

Laura TremlVP Drug Development, Aratana Therapeutics, Inc.
Overland Park, KS

Dr. Treml is Vice President, Drug Development at Aratana Therapeutics where she leads the preclinical and clinical development teams for all products.  Prior to joining Aratana, Dr. Treml led the Companion Animal Efficacy group at Bayer Animal Health, where she conducted clinical studies demonstrating the safety and efficacy of pharmaceuticals used in dogs, cats, and other pets. Over the past eight years, she and her teams have been responsible for approval of four new animal drugs and four label extensions. Prior to coming to industry, Dr. Treml served as Medical Director of a multi-doctor corporate practice and practiced clinical medicine for over ten years.

Dr. Treml received her veterinary medical degree and her PhD in Immunology from the University of Pennsylvania, and her BS from the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

Lydia Kinkade

Bill-AndersonManaging Director, iiM
Kansas City, MO

iiM (Innovation in Motion) is an angel investment group that focuses on seed stage companies in the areas of animal health, human health and agriculture. Board members include world-renowned industry experts, serial entrepreneurs and company founders. As the founding managing director, Lydia evaluates investment opportunities, facilitates the due diligence process and manages the iiM portfolio. She has been with the company since its inception in 2013.

Prior to joining iiM, Lydia taught middle school math in urban Washington D.C. as a Teach for America corps member. She is a graduate of Kansas State University.

Rich Shuler

Rick-ShulerPresident & CEO, Shuler Consulting Services
Norcross, GA.

Shuler Consulting Services is focused on working with companies in the area of innovation, planning and execution. SCS has more than 30 years of experience in creating and building successful businesses and developing a strong market position for their products and services. Rich Shuler has worked with businesses, producer organizations, churches and universities to develop long range strategic plans and organizational structure. SCS also assists businesses in acquiring products and technologies that fit the company’s strategic focus.

Sam Al-Murrani, Ph.D., MBA

SAM-al-murraniManaging Director, Babylon BioConsulting LLC
Topeka, KS

Dr. Sam Al-Murrani, is Managing Director of Babylon BioConsulting LLC (BBC), a human and animal health full service consulting firm. BBC specializes in pre-revenue and early stage valuations of Animal Health and Biotech companies and provides clients with investor outreach, due diligence, business development and intangible asset management and valuation services.

Sam is recognized as an industry and technical expert with numerous editorials and articles in various industry and scientific peer reviewed journals. He serves as director on the boards of several human and animal health companies and is an advisory board member for the International Animal Health Journal. A summary of his professional experience can be found on his Linkedin page.

Dr. Al-Murrani has a B.Sc. in Animal Science from the University of Edinburgh and a Ph.D. in Immunology/Biochemistry from the Roslin Institute and the Department of Veterinary Pathology at the University of Edinburgh. He holds an M.B.A. in Finance from Baker University.

Tony Simpson

TS HeadshotPresident, AgTech Advisors, LLC
Kansas City, MO

Tony Simpson is the President and founder of AgTech Advisors, LLC, a consulting firm focused on supporting entrepreneurs and investors in the agtech and animal health sectors. Previously, Tony was a Managing Director for the Kansas Bioscience Authority (KBA) where he led the organization’s investment efforts in agtech, animal health and bioenergy. He led KBA’s investments in companies such as Aratana Therapeutics, Green Dot, SmartVet, and Advanced Animal Diagnostics. He was also responsible for KBA’s participation in the USDA Agricultural Technology Innovation Partnership and KBA’s support and funding for research associated with the National Bio and AgroDefense (NBAF) facility.

Before joining the KBA, Tony spent 11 years in the fuel ethanol industry. He was a General Manager with Broin Management (now POET Biorefining), where he led the business start-up of two major green-field ethanol plants in Albert Lea, Minnesota and Caro, Michigan. For both companies, Tony led the organization of the business structure, hiring of the management and operations team, and the initial start-up of the facility. He also led each company through subsequent equity drives, refinancings and expansion efforts, adding both capacity and new businesses to each company. Later, he led ED&F Man’s U.S. ethanol division, where he was responsible for both business development and operations management of facilities in Caldwell, Idaho and Kingston, Jamaica. Tony started his career as a grain merchandiser with ADM, and was later the General Manager of ADM Milling Company’s Minneapolis “A” mill, where he had responsibility over all commercial and operational functions of an 11,000 cwt/day flour mill and bakery ingredients facility. 

Tony serves as a Principal Advisor to the Larta Institute, where he mentors early-stage agtech, animal health and bioenergy companies on the development and execution of their commercialization strategies. He also serves on the board of directors of Green Dot Holdings and SmartVet. Tony chairs the Selection Committee for the Food and Ag Track of InvestMidwest and serves on the Selection Committees of the Animal Health Investment Forum and the Ag Innovation Showcase.

Tony holds an Economics Degree from Millikin University, an MBA from the Carlson School of Business at the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis, and completed the Private Equity and Venture Capital Executive Education Program at Harvard Business School.

Emily McVey

Emily McVey

Director, KC Animal Health Corridor
Emily manages workforce development and assists with the implementation of strategic priorities.




Selection Committee

Judging Panel


Conference Materials

Business Partnering

Venue/ Accommodations