Jeffrey A. Martin
Director, President and Chief Executive Officer
Jeff co-founded Yulex Corporation in 2000 to produce plant-based biomaterials made from guayule, a new industrial crop. Since then, he has led the company to become the first commercial enterprise to produce biobased natural rubber latex in North America. Prior to Yulex, Jeff was Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Safeskin Corporation, which became a market leader in latex medical devices. He was an integral part of the team that led its successful IPO and positioned Safeskin as “The Best Small Company in America” (Forbes Magazine, 1996). Jeff launched the sales operations of London Rubber Company’s (Regent Medical) U.S. startup, which subsequently became a global leader in the surgical glove market. He began his career in R&D and held positions as both a scientist and a sales executive with the Professional Healthcare Group of the Kimberly-Clark Corporation, and the Ethicon Division of Johnson & Johnson, Inc. in the Polymer Development Department. Jeff received a B.S. in Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he was recently inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni and where he serves as an advisory board member for the School of Materials Science and Engineering.
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Jim is responsible for commercializing Yulex's proprietary technologies and directing the corporation’s daily operations in process development, product development and bioprocessing. He has over two decades of extensive international business development with startup and early growth technology-based organizations. Jim previously worked for InfoGlyph USA, Inc., a Xerox spin-off company, as Chief Marketing and Business Officer. Prior to that, he served as Director of Business Strategy for IMCO/Quantum Technologies, Inc., overseeing the company’s alternative energy and biofuels initiatives. Jim also served in a variety of positions at Dana/Echlin Corporation, a global leader of transportation and industrial products. He received a B.S. in Engineering Science at University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Masters of Business in International Marketing from the University of Sydney.
Rodolfo Manzone, Ph.D.
Managing Director, International
Rodolfo is responsible for Yulex’s licensing and international expansion strategy and execution. Previously, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Abtech Industries, Inc., an elastomer-based technology company specializing in wastewater recovery and pollution prevention technologies. Prior to AbTech, Rodolfo spent several years with EniChem SpA, a global energy and petrochemical company. He relocated to the company's US headquarters, EniChem America, to manage the North American thermoset elastomers operations. He then joined Enichem Americas TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomers) as Director of Marketing and Business Development. Rodolfo received a PhD in Polymer Science from Genova State University and a degree in International Marketing from Bocconi University.
General Manager, Agriculture
Ben applies his over 30 years of experience in production agriculture and farmland development to manage Yulex’s agriculture programs. Previously, he served as President and CEO of Phyco BioSciences, Inc. to commercialize algae biomass for food, feed and biofertilizer applications. Ben also was President of Western Agri-Group, Inc., a diversified farming enterprise with operations in Arizona and Southern California. He is the Co-Owner and Managing Director of Gromax Agricultural Services, Inc., a drip/micro irrigation installation firm. Ben has contributed to significant agricultural consulting assignments in Saudi Arabia, Australia and Mexico. He holds a degree in Agricultural Business from the University of Arizona.
Victor M. Covone
Senior Director of Engineering
Victor oversees the development and optimization of Yulex’s proprietary processing and material technologies at. He is critical in optimizing the facility’s performance by reducing process steps, process time and labor needs. Previously, Victor was involved in senior engineering management at Alfa Laval, a world leader in separation, heat transfer and flow equipment. He received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Metropolitan University, Caracas, Venezuela.
Leif P. Christoffersen
Director, Business Development
Leif leads Yulex’s business development activities. Previously, he co-founded Teotl Energy Partners, a business development consulting firm focused on accelerating green technology adoption. Prior to Teotl, Leif managed bioprospecting collaborations at Diversa Corporation (now Verenium Corporation). At the beginning of his career, he worked with subsistence farmers in Costa Rica and Kenya to promote agroforestry practices. Leif has served as a climate change adviser to the Executive Director of UNEP at COP1 and COP2 of the Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC). Leif holds a B.A. in Economics from Hobart College and a MBA from the University of California, San Diego.