Dennis R. Knocke, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors
Mr. Knocke attended Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. He has successfully founded and operated several start-up healthcare companies that were acquired by national and international business entities listed on the New York and London stock exchanges. Mr. Knocke was previously President of Bexar Credentials Verification, Inc., a start-up software technology company whose principals included the Bexar County Medical Society, the Texas Medical Liability Trust, and Florida Physicians Insurance Company.
Joseph B. Nester, Chief Financial Officer, Vice President-Operations and Sec.-Treasurer
Mr. Nester graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BBA in General Business. He has over 23 years' experience in the financial service industry as well as four years' experience with a start-up pharmaceutical company, where he was initially the Secretary Treasurer and after four months was named the President. During this time, he led Anvirzel™ in a successful Phase I clinical study, implemented a Compassionate Use Investigational New Drug (CUIND) program, and had direct involvement with the FDA, among other regulatory agencies.
Joel E. Curtis, Chief Agricultural Officer
Mr. Curtis has a farming history with his family in South Texas. He served in the US Military and received his Honorable Discharge in 1971. Continuing his education, Mr. Curtis received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Entomology, with minors in Horticulture and Chemistry in 1973 from Texas A&M University. His career began with a brief stint with the Texas Agriculture Extension Service and he joined Gold Kist, Inc. in1976. With Gold Kist he was responsible for seed production and procurement for the Southwestern USA, Central, and South America. His responsibilities included production contracting, seed research, alternative energy research, and development of the Sol-Air Crop Dryer. He joined Terminix Inc. in 1985 as National Account Sales Manager. After leaving Terminx, he relocated his family back home to Texas and re-established the family farm. As owner and operator of Seco Valley Orchard, he grew pecans, figs, and established the first commercially grown Nerium oleander research orchard in the USA.
John F. O'Donnell, Director
Mr. O'Donnell obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Economics) and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Windsor. He has practiced law in the City of Toronto since 1973 and is counsel to Stikeman Keeley Spiegel Pasternack LLP. His practice is primarily in the field of corporate and securities law and, as such, he is and has been counsel to several publicly traded companies. Mr. O'Donnell is currently also a director as well as Chairman of the Board of RX Exploration Inc.
John Christopher Counsel Wansbrough, Director
Mr. Wansbrough holds a B.A., from the University of Toronto, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst. His career began with the prestigious Canadian investment banking firm of Wood Gundy & Company, Limited. After 7 years with Wood Gundy he joined National Trust Company Limited, were he served as President of National Trust Company from 1977 to 1986, Vice Chairman from 1986 to 1991 and Lead Director through 1995. Mr. Wansbrough has also served as Chairman of the Board of OMERS Realty Corporation from 1989 to 1997, Chairman of the R.S. McLaughlin Foundation from 1994 to 2007, and currently serves as Chairman of Rogers Telecommunications Limited from 1997 to the present. His service as a director to many additional business and community affiliations are too numerous to list.
Peter A. Leininger, M.D, Director
Dr. Leininger received his medical degree from Indiana University. Upon graduation, he joined the U.S. Army as an intern and graduated as a Urologist from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He served as Staff Urologist at Ft. Carson, Colorado, after which he entered private practice. In 1978, he joined his brother James R. Leininger, M. D. at Kinetic Concepts, Inc. (KCI), a new medical products company in San Antonio, Texas. KCI became internationally recognized for innovation in medical specialty beds and related products, eventually becoming an over-whelming success leading up to an IPO and sale of the company in 1998. Dr. Leininger's involvement included management of product research and development, medical research, product acquisition, engineering and manufacturing. He has been granted numerous patents and his medical papers have been published in respected medical journals. Dr. Leininger has served KCI in the capacity as General Manager, National Sales Manager, Medical Director, Board Member and Executive Vice-President from 1978 to 1998. In recent years, he has been active in various entrepreneurial endeavors and affiliated with various business and community organizations. He currently serves as Chairman and President of The Arbor Group, President of Peak Finance, LP and various other business and real estate partnerships.
Gustavo Ulloa, Jr., Director
Mr. Ulloa is General Manager and Director for Laboratorios Francelia, a pharmaceutical laboratory and manufacturing facility located in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The GMP clean room of Nerium is located inside this facility. He is also Country Sales Manager and Director for Distribuidora Francelia, an import and distribution firm focusing on pharmaceuticals, disposables, hospital equipment, and related items. Mr. Ulloa attended the University of Miami where he studied Industrial Engineering. In his various capacities, he interacts with governmental agencies and private entities throughout Central America. Mr. Ulloa is a member of various pharmaceutical trade and producers organizations. He is presently involved in free trade negotiations related to pharmaceuticals between various Central American countries.
Michael J. Burke, Director
Mr. Burke's education includes a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from State University of New York and a Master's degree in Chemistry from Union College in Schenectady, New York. He began his career at Sterling Drug in 1969 and served in various management roles worldwide. In 1985 he returned to corporate as VP of MFG. with responsibility for Sterling's 60+ manufacturing facilities. As part of a corporate development plan in 1992 he was named General Manager of Sterling Drug's regional office in Hong Kong with responsibilities for sales, marketing and an entry strategy into China. After the sale of Sterling Drug in 1995, Mr. Burke moved to Kinetic Concepts, Inc., first as head of Manufacturing and Quality and then as head of Research and Development. During this time, he participated in the sale of the company to private investors and later took part in taking it public again. After retiring from KCI in 2007, Mr. Burke opened Burke and Company, a private metal fabrication company located in San Antonio, Texas.
J. Peter Nettelfield, Honorary/Founding Director (2007-2012)
Mr. Nettelfield attended the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg and prior to graduation joined the prestigious Canadian investment banking firm of Wood Gundy & Company, Limited. During his time there he assisted in the initial development of the Canadian money market. After 10 years with Wood Gundy, Mr. Nettelfield's interest changed from fixed income securities to equities. He then joined Burns Bros. & Denton, noted for its excellent research department. Mr. Nettelfield serviced major institutions and commercial accounts. While at Burns Bros., at the invitation of Sir John Templeton, he became a director of the Templeton Growth Fund. Upon leaving the investment business, he moved to Texas where he became the president of the Texas subsidiary of a Canadian real estate development firm. In this capacity, he oversaw commercial development in Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio. In recent years, he has been active in various entrepreneurial endeavors. While Mr. Nettelfield has been a resident of Texas for over 30 years, he is proud of his Canadian heritage and has retained his Canadian citizenship.