SUMMERVILLE, S.C., Mar 13, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- ArborGen, a world leader in the development and commercialization of technologies that improve the productivity of trees for wood, fiber and energy, today announced that Andrew Baum has been named President and Chief Executive Officer and that he has accepted a seat on the ArborGen Board of Directors. Baum brings a strong track record of building and managing technology-driven businesses and has a comprehensive knowledge of both biotechnology and clean technology.
Also announced today was that John Pait has been recruited to the position of Vice President, Marketing, Sales and Product Development, bringing to ArborGen an impressive career in forest-sector management and sales and marketing. In addition ArborGen's Director of Varietal Manufacturing, Warren Banner, has been promoted to Vice President for Manufacturing, assuming responsibility for delivering ArborGen's traditional nursery crop in the United States as well as the scale-up of all ArborGen's new higher value softwood and hardwood products.
"Great futures depend upon great leadership and ArborGen's board of directors has been fortunate to recruit talents like Andrew Baum and John Pait," said ArborGen Chairman of the Board Ed Shonsey. "Andrew brings the right mix of technical knowhow, business acumen and biotechnology experience to help take the company to a new level for its shareholders and other stakeholders. John Pait has extensive experience in the marketing and development of high value forestry products, and will work with our current sales team to make sure these products offer maximum value to our customers. Their addition to the current team will help ensure that ArborGen realizes its potential as the world's leading provider of forestry genetics."
Baum began his career in 1981 with the agricultural biotechnology firm Calgene Inc. where he was responsible for ensuring the on-schedule launch of the world's first genetically engineered cotton and vegetable oil products. He later joined Sembiosys Genetics as CEO, which he led from its evolution as a university-based research initiative into a fully integrated, publicly traded biotechnology company focused on developing pharmaceutical proteins and nutritional oils using proprietary plant technologies. Baum has a B.S. in industrial engineering and operations research from the University of California, Berkeley.
Pait has a long history of leadership in the forestry sector, having previously served as director of forest productivity for Georgia Pacific, The Timber Company and Plum Creek Timber; manager of research and development for Jefferson Smurfit Corporation; and research station manager for Container Corporation of America. Pait has most recently been senior vice president for business development and vice president for U.S. markets for CellFor Corporation, a forest technology company. Pait has a B.S. in forest management and an M.S. in silviculture from the University of Georgia.
Prior to joining ArborGen in 2008, Banner was director of operations for Northwest Horticulture LLC in Mabton, Wash., and president and general manager of Ball FloraPlant in West Chicago, Ill., where he built the company from a start-up division to become an industry leading provider of vegetative ornamental plants. Banner holds a B.S. in botany from the University of Tennessee and an M.S. in plant physiology.
"The hiring of Andrew and John is a significant step in the development of ArborGen, and they along with Warren and the rest of management team will ensure that ArborGen is able to deliver its transformational products to the global forestry industry," said Shonsey. "With our technology, a dynamic new leadership team, a dedicated team of scientists and foresters, and an increasing demand for wood, fiber and energy throughout the world, ArborGen is perfectly positioned for the global 21st century bioeconomy.
The search for Baum and Pait was led by Kelly Kincannon of Kincannon & Reed in Waynesboro, Va., the only retained executive search firm focused exclusively on the interrelated realms of food, agribusiness, and life sciences.
ArborGen is revolutionizing productivity in commercial forestry. ArborGen is the largest global supplier of seedling products to the commercial forestry industry, as well as the leading developer of biotech seedlings. Through innovations in both conventional breeding and biotechnology, ArborGen is developing high-value products that significantly improve the productivity of a given acre of land. These products enable ArborGen's customers to grow trees that yield more wood per acre with greater consistency and quality in a shorter period of time. ArborGen's work is improving the sustainability of working forests while helping to meet the world's growing need for wood, fiber and energy. For more information, please visit www.arborgen.com .
Nancy M. Hood
Director of Public Affairs and Sustainability