Board of Directors


John B. Elstrott, PhD – Chairman and Cofounder

Dr. Elstrott was a Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship and the founding Director of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship at Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business. He is an active entrepreneur in the pharmaceutical, natural foods and venture capital industries. Dr. Elstrott was a Director of Whole Foods Market since 1995 and served as its Chairman until 2017. Additionally, he serves as a Director for a number of other public, private and non-profit organizations. Earlier in his career, Dr. Elstrott was Chief Financial Officer for Celestial Seasonings. He received BS and MS degrees from Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge and a PhD in economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Ross Barrett – Director

Mr. Barrett is the Managing General Partner of BVM Capital, which manages the venture funds Louisiana Ventures, LP and Themelios Ventures, LP. He is also co-founder at Lagniappe Labs, a private company analysis data aggregate and co-founder of the Prime Unicorn Index. Mr. Barrett is a co-founder and strategic adviser to VC Experts, Inc., and has been an adviser to, or investor in, over 20 early stage companies. Previously, Mr. Barrett worked in public service, serving as a legislative aide to U.S. Senator J. Bennett Johnston, as a Commissioner of the Louisiana Airport Authority and as a member of Governor Jindal’s Small Business and Entrepreneurship transition team. He is currently a member of the Advisory Board of Hope for New York, an umbrella organization of more than 30 charities. Mr. Barrett received a BA degree from Southern Methodist University, an LLM degree in Taxation from the New York University School of Law and a JD degree from Louisiana State University School of Law.

Paul D. Cordes, Jr., JD, LLM – Director

Mr. Cordes is a Managing Member of Guarisco & Cordes, LLC, a tax and business law specialty firm in New Orleans, which he co-founded. Mr. Cordes is a board-certified tax attorney and is a member of the Tax Sections of the Louisiana and American Bar Associations and the Corporate and Business Law Section of the Louisiana Bar Association. He obtained a BBA degree from the University of Notre Dame and a JD degree from Loyola School of Law (New Orleans). He was a member of the Loyola Law Review and continued his education by earning a Master of Laws in Taxation degree from New York University School of Law.

Donald R. Marvin, MB.A. – Director

Independent Director Donald Marvin has been a biotechnology entrepreneur and leader in the commercialization of new life sciences diagnostic and research technologies and products for more than 30 years. He is currently President and CEO of Inocucor Technologies, an agbiotech company that develops sustainable biological products for agriculture targeting the phyto-microbiome. Previously, he was President and CEO of Cairn Associates, a biotechnology, life science and consumer products strategy development and financial advisory firm.  Earlier in his career, Mr. Marvin was President and CEO of IdentiGEN, a leading provider of DNA-based solutions to the agriculture and food industries. He was a co-founder of Nasdaq-traded Orchid BioSciences, a pioneer in human DNA identity testing, where he served as its Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Corporate Development. Previously, Mr. Marvin was President and CEO of Diatron Corporation, a clinical diagnostics company. His expertise includes earlier positions at PepsiCo, Abbott Laboratories and Bayer AG, and the clinical diagnostics subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim. He received a BS degree from Ohio State University and an MBA from Iona College.

Jeremy J. Hunnewell, CPA, MBA – Director

Jeremy Hunnewell is the CFO and Business Strategist of Zehnder Communications, a full-service marketing and communications firm, where he counsels clients on growth strategy, strategic finance and organizational planning. Previously, he was a Managing Director at EMH Strategy is a boutique strategy consulting firm. Earlier in his career, Mr. Hunnewell held positions of increasing responsibility in audit and finance positions at Honeywell and Credit Suisse. Mr. Hunnewell earned an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a BBA degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Dale R. Pfost, PhD – Director and Cofounder

Dr. Pfost, currently a General Partner at Advent Life Sciences, has over 25 years of leadership experience in the biotechnology industry. He has served as Chief Executive of six biotechnology companies, most recently as founding CEO of MicroBiome Therapeutics. Previously, Dr. Pfost was CEO of cancer drug company Receptor BioLogix, founding CEO and chairman of ophthalmic innovator Acuity Pharmaceuticals, CEO and Chairman of Nasdaq-listed DNA testing pioneer Orchid BioSciences, and President and CEO of Oxford GlycoSciences, a leader in proteomics and glycobiology. He began his career as founding President of Infinitek, the company that developed the Biomek laboratory robotic system acquired by SmithKline Beckman. Dr. Pfost is Executive Chairman of Vestagen Protective Technologies, a manufacturer of innovative protective garments for healthcare workers and patients. Dr. Pfost received a BS degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a PhD in physics from Brown University.