Leadership Team

Douglas Ry Wagner, Ph. D.

PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL AGRIBUSINESS

Ry Wagner is an experienced leader in the successful development of global startup and growth phase companies. Earlier in his 20-year career in agtech he was Global Leader of New Ventures and Technology at Dow AgroSciences, where he developed global strategic investments in research institutions and growth-stage companies. He was a tenured associate professor in the Department of Biology and a Member of the Institute of Molecular Biology at the University of Oregon. He holds a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of Washington and a B.S. in Genetics & Botany and Plant Pathology from Michigan State University.

Carmela Pérez Calleja

GLOBAL MARKETING MANAGER

Carmela Pérez Calleja leads marketing and communications activities for the company. She also participates in product and new formulations discovery. Ms. Calleja began her career in AlgaEnergy’s R&D and business development department. She holds a M.Sc. in Chemistry and a B.Sc. in Chemistry with a specialization in organic chemistry and sustainable development from Oviedo University in Spain.

Bhavna Patel

INTERNATIONAL FINANCE AND BUSINESS MANAGER

Bhavna Patel manages finance and accounting operations for the company’s international business operations. She holds a B.A. degree in accounting from the University of Bedfordshire in Luton, England and has worked in the agtech sector for the past decade.

Mark Zettler

ADVISOR AND INTERNATIONAL AGRIBUSINESS PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT TEAM LEADER

Mark Zettler brings to AlgaEnergy over 30 years of R&D and technology integration experience in the crop protection and post-harvest food preservation industries. He has served on leadership teams with Dow AgroSciences and AgroFresh Solutions, where he developed and executed cross-functional R&D, regulatory and innovation programs required to register, launch and maintain new products and line extensions globally. He holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Case Western Reserve University and a B.A. in chemistry from Wittenberg University.

Fabricio Benatti

REGIONAL LEADER, LATIN AMERICA SOUTH AND EAST AFRICA

Fabricio Benatti brings 25 years of agricultural experience to AlgaEnergy. He has led the development of seeds, fertilizer and biologicals businesses in both Africa and Latin America for such industry leaders as Bayer Vegetable Seeds, Ouro Fino Group and BASF. He holds an MBA in international business from Fundação Getúlio Vargas, a B.S. degree in financial mathematics from Octávio Bastos University and a B.S. degree in Agronomy Engineering from Manoel Carlos Gonçalves University.

Geovainer (Geo) Zúñiga

REGIONAL LEADER, MEXICO AND LATIN AMERICA NORTH

Geo Zúñiga has been working in international agriculture for more than 18 years. He previously worked in marketing and new product development for BASF and Monsanto. Mr. Zúñiga holds an MBA from the Universidad Estatal a Distancia (UNED) and is an agricultural engineering graduate of the University of Costa Rica.

Bill Schwoerer

REGIONAL LEADER, UNITED STATES AND CANADA

Bill Schwoerer has an exceptional track record of building successful relationships for several agriculture companies including Concentric Ag Corporation, Valent USA, Harris Moran Seed Company, Seminis Vegetable Seeds, Inc., Abbot Laboratories and A. Duda and Sons. He holds an MBA from Palm Beach Atlantic University and a B.S. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Georgia.

Miguel Rodríguez-Villa Förster

REGIONAL LEADER, EUROPE

Miguel Rodríguez-Villa Förster has been coordinating AlgaEnergy’s implementation strategy for Europe from his base in Italy since 2017. He has more than 10 years of experience in business development, equity investments and e-commerce for companies including, Fidentiis Equities (Bestinver), AFA Press and Zalando. He is fluent in German, Spanish, English and Italian. Mr. Rodríguez-Villa Förster holds a law degree from Autónoma University of Madrid.

Giuseppe Castellani

COUNTRY LEADER, ITALY

Giuseppe Castellani has 30 years of experience in the Italian agricultural sector. Before joining AlgaEnergy, he held management positions with other agriculture multinationals in Italy. He was previously General Manager for Italy of Nufarm, the Australian crop-protection multinational, and General Manager of Sharda Italia, the Indian global plant protection company. He holds a Bachelor in Agricultural Sciences degree from the University of Bologna.

Bachar Blal

REGIONAL LEADER, FRANCE AND NORTH AFRICA

Bachar Blal has 25 years of experience in the biological input business in Europe and Africa as well as other regions. He was most recently Vice President of R&D at Acadian Plant Health. Prior to that, he was General Manager of Valorhyze in Morocco, a subsidiary of the Swiss firm Éléphant Vert. He began his career in biological inputs for agriculture with his own company, Biorize, one of the first companies to develop and commercialize mycorrhizae-based bio-fertilizers. He holds a Ph.D. in agronomy and soil microbiology from the University of Burgundy, an engineering degree in forest management from ENGREF Montpellier, a master’s degree in ecology from the University of Montpellier, and an agronomy degree from ENSA Abidjan and University of Montpellier.

Murat Karagöz

REGIONAL LEADER, TURKEY, MIDDLE EAST AND BALKANS

Murat Karagöz is a highly accomplished, results-driven sales leader whose leadership experiences in agribusiness include management and sales positions with Timac Agro Avrasya and Total Petroleum in Istanbul, Turkey. Mr. Karagoz earned an MBA from Galatasaray University and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Yildiz Technical University.

Merve Kaya

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

Merve Kaya develops AlgaEnergy’s commercial activities, including international product development, as well as supporting the development of AlgaEnergy opportunities in Turkey, the Middle East and the Balkans. She holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from INRAE French National Research Institute for Agriculture and has completed post-doctoral entrepreneurship training from the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT). She also holds an MBA in Food & Agribusiness Management from Audencia Business School in France, a Master of Science degree in Plant Nutrition from Leibniz Universität in Germany and a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Engineering- Turkey from Royal Holloway, University of London.

Debabrata Sarkar

REGIONAL LEADER, INDIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA

Debabrata Sarkar has more than 24 years of experience in the international agricultural sector throughout the Asia-Pacific region. He has executive experience in the agrochemical, seeds, biotechnology and biological industries with leading global companies, including Monsanto, Chemtura, Syngenta and a U.S.-based biologicals company. He holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcuta (IIM Calcuta) and a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya.

Lokesh Singh

COUNTRY LEADER, INDIA

Lokesh Singh has over 15 years of technical and commercial experience in executive roles with agricultural companies, including Monsanto and a U.S.-based biological company. He has also worked as Research Fellow at CCS Haryana Agricultural University in India. Mr. Singh earned his Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Genetics at CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, in India.

Matthew Carabott

REGIONAL LEADER, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

Matthew has spent more than 15 years in horticulture and agriculture across Asia Pacific. He was previously head of agronomy for EuroChem where he managed technical, regulatory and new product/market development for fertilizers and biological products for the Asia Pacific region. Mathew holds an honour’s degree in biological science majoring in botany and biochemistry from La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia.

Hideki Ando

REGIONAL LEADER, JAPAN

Hideki Ando has extensive experience in agribusiness in Japan. He previously was sales director of BASF Agro Ltd., the Japanese subsidiary of BASF, where he was responsible for large sales organizatons and P&L for business units, including crop protection and specialty products. Earlier in his career, he held senior roles at Japan Tobacco, including deputy general manager of its Agribusiness Division and vice president of JT Biotech USA in San Diego, California. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy/Entomology from Kyoto Prefectural University.