Selection Committee

The selection committee process is facilitated by Expedite Animal Health.

The members of the 2022 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.

Brett Morris, CFA®

Brett Photo

Managing Director, Cavallo Venture
Kansas City, MO

Brett is a Managing Director at Cavallo Ventures, the venture capital arm of Wilbur-Ellis. Brett has spent nearly a decade in venture capital, company building, and corporate development and strategy across the agriculture and animal nutrition/health industries. Prior to Cavallo, he helped lead venture investing and the incubation of new startups for TechAccel. Brett graduated from the University of Kansas and is a CFA® charterholder.  

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. Don is currently deputy managing director of Canopy Animal Health.

Edward Robb, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Nutrition)

ED Robb Web

CEO, BioPharmaPotentials (BPP)
Kansas City, MO

Dr. Edward Robb is CEO of BioPharmaPotentials LLC (BPP) a Kansas City animal health-based consultancy that enables its global partners to  achieve their extreme potential. Services include development/ technology evaluations including regulatory GAP reviews, due diligence and assessments of new and repurposed chemical and biologic entities. BPP executes/conducts critical Proof of Concept and Proof of Value studies to define your products potential opportunity runways. In addition, BPP executes host/target animal pivotal (cGCP) and non-pivotal clinical efficacy and safety studies (cGLP) under laboratory or clinical settings. Scope includes pharmacokinetic and food safety studies. BPP develops regulatory and development strategies for small molecules (FDA-CVM), biologicals (USDA CVB), medical devises and nutraceuticals. Alliances with Klifovet AG, in Germany can extend these reviews to include European assessments and execution. The practice also engages on behalf of its clients various public and private funding sources. BPP aligns and represents our clients with Contract Research, Development and Manufacturing organization (CRO, CDMO, CMO) in the development of manufacturing and quality programs (cGMP) including  analytical/formulation development. BPP will provide 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/Veterinary/Strategy 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 a legacy of leading organizations that achieved game changing registrations and successful commercialization that spans across species lines, therapeutic areas, technology platforms and geographies.

Emily Aston, DVM, PhD

Emily Aston HeadshotScience Advancement Manager, TechAccel
St. Louis, MO

Dr. Aston is a Science Advancement Manager at TechAccel, a venture and technology development organization focused on the advancement of science in agriculture and animal health. She seeks and develops new investment opportunities in animal health and coordinates multi-stage science advancement projects involving multiple research partners.

Dr. Aston is a veterinarian with expertise in virology, immunology, vaccines, and poultry management. She obtained her veterinary degree from Cornell University and her Ph.D. from the University of Georgia, and she was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Davis.

At UC Davis, Dr. Aston was elected a Leaders for the Future Fellow and participated in the University of California Entrepreneurship Academy. Dr. Aston also worked closely with the UC Davis commercialization office to coordinate an entrepreneurship symposium to provide startup resources and networking opportunities with the technology transfer office, UC Davis-based founders, and accelerators.

Kerryann Kocher

Kerryann Kocher _ headshot

Cheif Executive Officer, Vytelle

Kerryann Kocher was appointed as Vytelle's Chief Executive Officer in 2020.  As leader of the precision livestock company, Kerryann has be key in the design and execution of Vytelle’s value proposition to improve the sustainability of the global beef and dairy industries through accelerated genetic progress. 

Prior to her current appointment, Kerryann founded and led Rock Road Consulting, a boutique business consulting practice dedicated to animal agriculture and focused on helping clients translate their technology into meaningful value for farmers, ranchers and producers. At Rock Road, Kerryann served a range of clients from multi-national animal health companies to venture capital firms and start-ups.

Kerryann started her career at Elanco Animal Health, where she held several roles spanning sales, marketing, and business unit leadership. Kerryann then joined Bayer Animal Health as the head of the U.S. food animal business, managing sales, technical, and marketing operations across all major protein species (beef, swine, poultry, dairy).

Kerryann grew up in Iowa on a progressive grain and livestock farm, still in operation today. She is a graduate of Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture education. She and her husband, Matt, have three children, five show pigs and reside in rural Kansas…on a rock road.

Jim Kroman

JK Photo copy

Senior Consultant, Brakke Consulting
Charleston, SC 

Jim is a career Animal Health professional with expertise in sales, marketing, business development, and project management. He served in executive leadership positions for 25 years in several global companies that achieved robust market positions during his tenure.

Jim served as Executive Director, Business Development & Licensing and Project Management of Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. from October 1996 to January 2017. In this role he led the BD team at BIV, Inc. in the United States as well as served in leadership roles in several high profile global and local US projects. His portfolio included Licensing, Acquisitions, Divestitures, Intercompany Alliances, Litigation Management, and Dispute Resolution. He was a member of the Executive

Management Committee (EMC) of BIV, Inc. throughout his tenure at the company. The EMC had the ultimate responsibility for the overall management of the business including budgeting of sales, profits, and capital, and the approval and execution of annual and long-term business plans.

Other previous animal health companies included CIBA Animal Health (October 1989 – October 1996). He joined at the time of the formation of the US CIBA-GEIGY AH business in late

1989. He served as Regional Sales Manager, Director of the Specialty Products Business Unit, Vice President of Sales and Services, and Head, Veterinary Marketing. During his time at CIBA sales to veterinarians in the US went from $0 to almost $400 million USD. CIBA became Novartis in 1996.

He also joined Beecham Laboratories (July 1974 – October 1989) as a Territory Manager for Nebraska and South Dakota. In 1977 he was re-located to a more lucrative territory in Houston, Texas, which became the company’s largest territory by the time he was promoted to District Sales Manager

in 1980, and then Regional Sales Manager in 1981. He managed various parts of the sales team for Beecham in both the vet and OTC channels until he left the company in 1989.

Jim earned a BA in Speech/Theatre Arts from Creighton University in Omaha, NE. He and his wife Deborah have been married for 49 years and have one daughter, Anne, who also lives in Charleston, SC.

Laura Treml, VMD, PhD

Laura Treml

Head of Veterinary Product Development USA, knoell Animal Health LLC
Garnet Valley, PA

Dr. Treml currently serves as Global Lead, Product Development at the Animal Health group at knoell, which provides regulatory and clinical trials expertise and services to support companies developing biologics and pharmaceuticals for veterinary use.

Prior to joining knoell, Dr. Treml served as Principal for Argos Biopharma Consulting, where she advised start-ups and established companies on biotherapeutic development.  Previous industry positions included Vice President, Drug Development for Aratana Therapeutics where she led the preclinical and clinical development teams for all products and Manager of the Companion Animal Efficacy group at Bayer Animal Health. Over the past ten years, Dr. Treml and her teams have been responsible for approval of over eleven new animal drugs and label extensions. Before 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 PhD in Immunology from the University of Pennsylvania, and her BS from the College of William and Mary in Virginia. 


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 structures. SCS also assists businesses in acquiring products and technologies that fit the company’s strategic focus.

CEO and President of Shuler Consulting Services, Rich is an Operating Director for the private equity firm Paine Schwartz Partners and serves as Chairman of the Board of Axiota, their Animal Health & Nutrition holding company as well as a Board Director of Sterilex, a food safety company. The companies he has been involved in establishing include Pro Vet, a veterinary distribution business; VetLife, a technology start-up that went on to become a pharmaceutical firm; Ivy Animal Health, a generics-focused family business that developed novel differentiated technologies; Ivy Natural Solutions, that developed non-antibiotic alternatives for performance, health, and food safety; and AgSpan Analytics, a big data specialist. He is also one of the founders and investors of AGL-Vetrax, an animal sensor company and cloud analytics solution. Rich also serves as Vice President of the Board of Casa Brasil/Little City Coffee Roasters and is an investor in the company.

Sam Al-Murrani, PhD, 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.S. 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.

Craig Wallace

Craig Wallace_Headshot_2017_webOwner, C.S. Wallace Animal Health Investments + Strategy
Prairie Village, Kansas

Craig S. Wallace is owner and founder of C.S. Wallace Investments + Strategy. The company evaluates, invests and advises early to mid-stage companies primarily in animal health. Since 2019, the investment portfolio has grown to 9 companies including human diagnostics, women’s healthcare, novel veterinary healthcare technologies and veterinary tele-wellness.  Mr. Wallace also works as an advisor to a range of clients from multi-national companies to venture capital firms and startup organizations.

Prior to founding his company, Mr. Wallace served as the President and CEO of Hannah The Pet Society, a unique full-service veterinary hospital concept, based in Portland, Oregon.

From 2011 to 2019, Mr. Wallace served as CEO of Ceva U.S. Holdings where he led U.S., Canada and Australia|New Zealand operations from the North American headquarters in Lenexa, Kansas. Wallace also served as the North America|Pacific Zone Director of global parent company Ceva Santé Animale based in Libourne, France.

Wallace served as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Trupanion, a NASDAQ traded, pet insurance company, based in Seattle.

He began his 30 plus year career in the industry at Fort Dodge Animal Health, progressing to Vice President of U.S. Sales and Marketing. 

As a senior leader of start-ups and fast growing veterinary pharmaceutical companies, Mr. Wallace has a keen interest in the potential impact of entrepreneurship in animal health. 

He has served on various private enterprise boards and in industry leadership positions including the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues (NCVEI), Kansas State University Advisory Board, Chairman of the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor Advisory Board, Panel Judge at the annual Kansas City Animal Health Investment Forum and Board Member for Kansas City-based humane society, Wayside Waifs.

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