Robert J. Hicks – CEO/Owner
Mr. Hicks provides leadership to Persea Naturals LLC in the areas of strategic development, corporate development, operations, sales/marketing and finance.
Bob has over 20 years of experience in the area of new venture startup and corporate finance. Bob worked for AT&T Capital/Newcourt Capital/CIT Group for twenty years in various leadership positions, including Managing Director – European Head of Media and Communications. Bob co-led the formation of DB MidMarket Capital, a startup M&A finance business for Deutsche Bank. He served as Asset Manager for Allied Capital, with over $3.0bn in loan assets under management.
Stephen Parkhill – President, COO/Owner
Mr. Parkhill directs all operational aspects of the business, including the manufacture and production of the various food and food color products, strategic and joint venture development, and sales & marketing.
Steve is an innovative, transformational leader with 25+ years’ executive experience in strategic leadership, operations, and business development in the Canadian Food industry in roles such as VP Operations at Maple Leaf Foods, Schneider Foods, and Sofina Foods; and President and COO of J.S. McMillan Fisheries and Rogers’ Chocolates.
Gregory R. Ziegler – Co-Founder/Owner
Dr. Ziegler is currently Professor of Food Science at Penn State University. Greg provides leadership to Persea Naturals LLC in the areas of engineering and process design.
Dr. Ziegler is recognized as an advocate for the profession of food science and for his outstanding research contributions in food process engineering. Greg’s research focuses on foods as material composites, with properties governed by the physical and chemical interactions of their constituents. His work has resulted in over 100 peer-reviewed publications. Greg was selected as a 2015 Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists.
Dr. Joshua D. Lambert – Co-Founder/Owner
Dr. Lambert is currently Associate Professor of Food Science at Penn State University. Dr. Lambert provides leadership to Persea Naturals LLC in the areas of natural products chemistry and toxicology.
Dr. Lambert has a primary focus on the potential of dietary phytochemicals to prevent cancer, obesity and fatty liver disease, as well as, their bioavailability and potential hepatotoxicity.
Dr. Emmanuel Hatzakis – Co-Founder/Owner
Dr. Hatzakis is Assistant Professor at the The Ohio State University. Dr. Hatzakis provides leadership to Persea Naturals LLC in the areas of analytical chemistry and spectroscopy.
His research interests include applications of liquid and solid state NMR Spectroscopy in Food Science, Structure Determination and Metabolomics. He is developing analytical tools to determine the authenticity of foods and applies novel methodologies to develop agronomic and processing strategies to improve the nutritional value of foods. Additionally, he utilizes a multi-disciplinary research approach that combines spectroscopy, metabolomics, gene expression profiles and microbial analysis to investigate the interaction between nutrition, gut microbiota, and obesity.