Hyward, Calif., Nov 06, 2012 – Aurora Algae today announced the appointment of Lee Covert as senior vice president of sales. Covert, who brings more than 30 years of sales and business development expertise related to the nutrition and feed markets, will be responsible for building out the Company’s global sales operations and will be based at its Hayward, Calif. headquarters.
For more than three decades, Mr. Covert has been managing and executing marketing, sales and business development campaigns in the feed, supplements and food ingredient sectors. Covert has helped companies such as ConAgra, Elan Nutrition and The Solae Company develop and implement business strategies and build profitable sales capabilities on a domestic and global scale. He will play a key role in helping Aurora Algae further develop cornerstone commercial relationships and secure sales commitments as the Company moves towards the commercialization of its algae-based platform for sustainable nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, aquaculture and renewable energy products.
“As we prepare for commercialization of our A2 product lines over the next 12 months, Lee is the ideal fit for this critical role at Aurora Algae,” said Greg Bafalis, CEO of Aurora Algae. “His extensive experience within the food ingredient industry will help expand our network of partners and customers as we scale up the production capacity of our sustainable algae-based product platform.”
Aurora Algae has developed cost-effective and resource-efficient methods for growing, harvesting, extracting and producing high-quality, algae-derived products. The Company recently announced that its pilot production facility, consisting of six one-acre ponds in Karratha, Western Australia, is consistently producing 12 to 15 metric tons of algal biomass per month, and groundbreaking on a full-scale commercial facility in nearby Maitland is planned for 2014. That facility will initially consist of 250 acres of algae ponds, capable of producing up to 600 metric tons of biomass per month, and scalable to 5,000 acres.
“This is a unique opportunity to help commercialize a revolutionary agricultural platform,” said Covert. “Using arid land, salt water and diverted greenhouse gas emissions, Aurora is producing high-value, oil-rich crops to fuel the next wave of natural supplements and feed sources for a wide range of industries. I am excited to be part of a company that is helping mitigate problems like shortages of agricultural land and fresh water, while providing a sustainable source of feed, fuel and pharmaceuticals.”
Lee Covert started his career in 1979 with Elanco Products, a subsidiary of Eli Lilly’s Ag Chemical Division. He went on to lead regional sales for BioKyowa, a subsidiary of Kyowa Hakko which supplied amino acids to the feed industry. In 1986, Covert joined Solae LLC, where he managed key accounts such as GNC, Worthington Foods and Slim Fast, helped to develop global product strategy and led unprecedented revenue growth within the company’s diet and sports nutrition consumer segment. Over an eight year period, Covert rose from area manager for the US and Canada region to director, then to managing director before being named the company’s global director of business development in 2003. Covert then joined Elan Nutrition, rising to VP of sales, supply chain and business development. Elan was sold to ConAgra Foods in 2010.
Covert will be based in the Company’s Hayward, Calif. headquarters and report to CEO Greg Bafalis.
Source: Aurora Algae