Selection Committee

The selection committee process is facilitated by Expedite Animal Health.

The members of the 2020 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.

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.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.

Brett Morris, CFA®

Brett Photo

Principal - Technology Acceleration Partners
Kansas City, MO

Brett is a Principal for TechAccel, a venture development organization that invests across the agriculture and animal health industries. Brett leads venture investing, helps lead venture-building initiatives, and directs corporate and asset-related transactions for the firm.

Prior to TechAccel, Brett worked in corporate development and strategy in the agriculture, animal feed, and energy industries. He helped source, evaluate, and execute mergers and acquisitions, equity investments, and joint ventures, and led efforts to assess startups across the agriculture technology landscape. Prior to this, Brett worked for a small strategic advisory firm and a local bank.

Brett serves as a selection/screening committee member for InvestMidwest and ECJC’s Fountain Innovation Fund, and as a mentor for the Techstars Farm-to-Fork and Sprint/DFA Accelerator programs. He sits on the Emerging Leaders Council Board for the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kansas City and serves as an Advisory Board Member and guest lecturer for the Blue Valley CAPS program. Brett was also recently named to the Kansas City Business Journal’s 2019 class of Next Gen Leaders.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Edward Robb DC, MS, DACVN

ED Robb Web

CEO, BioPharmaPotentials (BPP)
Kansas City, MO

Dr. Edward Robb is CEO of BioPharmaPotentials LLC (BPP) an animal health consultancy that enables its global partners in achieving their extreme potential. Services include technology evaluation, due diligence and assessments of new and repurposed chemical and biologic entities. Outcomes 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 both go to market plans and 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 with a legacy of leading organizations that achieved game changing registrations and successful commercialization across species, therapeutic areas, technology platforms and geographies.

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.

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.

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.

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 Treml

Principal, Argos Biopharma Consulting LLC
Overland Park, KS

Dr. Treml currently serves as a principal with Argos Biopharma Consulting LLC, an animal health consultancy that focuses on uncovering and growing value for veterinary biopharmaceuticals for both start-ups and established companies. 

Previously, Dr. Treml served as Vice President, Drug Development at Aratana Therapeutics where she led 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 ten years, she and her teams have been responsible for approval of over ten new animal drugs and 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. 

Cary Christensen, DVM

Cary ChristensenSenior Consultant, Brakke Consulting, Inc.

Kansas City, MO

After receiving his doctorate in veterinary medicine from Iowa State University, Dr. Christensen worked for 16 years as a practicing veterinarian and partner in a mixed animal veterinary practice in Iowa. His transition to industrial veterinary medicine began in 1988, when he joined Diamond Scientific Company as a technical services veterinarian.  After its acquisition by Bayer Animal Health in 1989, he served in a number of key positions, including: marketing manager of livestock products, director of veterinary services, and senior director of strategic growth and veterinary services for Bayer.  In 2015 he retired after seven years as Bayer’s senior director of the farm animal and equine business unit.   His Bayer career of more than 25 years included serving 13 years as a member Bayer’s North American management team.  In mid-2015 Cary joined Brakke Consulting, Inc., and is continuing his career as a consultant to the animal health industry. 

Jack Scatizzi

ExecutJack Scatizziive Director, Missouri Technology Corporation
Jefferson City, MO

Jack has raised over $3M from early-stage investors for numerous ventures, held operational roles with multiple start-ups, and has been an active advisor to over 30 early-stage companies across diverse verticals within the St. Louis and San Diego ecosystems. His entrepreneurial experience includes being the Managing Director and one of the Founding Partners of Canopy San Diego- an early-stage accelerator program for technology and business infrastructure companies that supported  an emerging niche industry, and the Head Analyst for the San Diego network of the Tech Coast Angels- one of the nation’s largest and most active Angel Investing networks. While Jack was with TCA-SD, they invested approximately $23M in 37 companies over a three-year period.  After recently moving back to St. Louis Jack and was actively engaged with numerous local entrepreneurial support organizations- ITEN, Arch Grants, etc. Recently Jack was named the Executive Director for Missouri Technology Companies (MTC) a public-private partnership created by the Missouri General Assembly to promote entrepreneurship and foster the growth of new and emerging high-tech companies. Its mission is to provide leadership and make strategic investments that help entrepreneurs create and grow technology-based Missouri businesses.

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.

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