SAN DIEGO–BlueNalu, a leading innovative food company developing a variety of seafood products directly from fish cells, announced today the appointment of Mary K. Wagner, Ph.D. as its first independent board director. She brings an extensive and diverse range of senior leadership experiences in the food industry to BlueNalu and currently serves on the boards of both public and private food businesses.
Dr. Wagner has served as a senior executive at numerous globally recognized food companies throughout her career, overseeing food innovation, quality control/assurance, regulatory affairs, consumer research, and technology development and commercialization. Career experiences include Starbucks Coffee Company, where she served as senior vice president of global product innovation, food safety and quality; Mars Inc., where she served as chief science officer/general manager for Mars Botanical; E&J Gallo Winery, where she served as chief technology and quality officer; Yum! Brands, where she served as chief technology and quality officer of its subsidiary Taco Bell; and General Mills, where she served as vice president R&D, quality/regulatory operations of their former subsidiary, Gorton’s Seafood. Dr. Wagner has been widely recognized by her peers and is a past president of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), the largest and most respected organization in the food technology arena worldwide.
“The diversity and depth of Mary’s experiences in the food industry, and the breadth of her corporate governance experiences on the boards of both public and private food companies, make her an outstanding candidate for our board of directors, and we are excited that she will join us as our first independent board member,” said Lou Cooperhouse, co-founder, president & CEO of BlueNalu. “Her business acumen in various areas of the food sector will enable her to support our aggressive growth plans at BlueNalu and become an invaluable mentor and resource for our team. We are thrilled to have her guidance on the board as we pursue our mission to create delicious, healthy, and sustainable seafood.”
Currently, Dr. Wagner serves on the board of various public or private companies including Griffith Foods, a developer and manufacturer of customized food ingredients and solutions, and a strategic partner and investor of BlueNalu; Premium Brands Holdings; and Jones Dairy. She also serves as the chair for the food safety advisory board for Ecolab, a publicly traded company and global leader in water, hygiene, and infection control. Dr. Wagner has extensive training in corporate governance and is a governance fellow of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and is a member of Women Corporate Directors (WCD).
“I’ve spent my entire career on the forefront of product innovation, and I’m eager to apply my expertise at BlueNalu, where there is an extraordinary potential impact to help our environment and feed our planet in the decades ahead,” said Dr. Wagner. “BlueNalu has the right team, the right technology, at the right time that can transform seafood, and result in a global, trusted brand for sustainable, delicious, and healthy cell-cultured seafood. I’m thrilled to be a part of an organization that’s pioneering this exciting new food technology.”
BlueNalu now has four members on its board of directors, which also currently includes ten individuals that serve as board observers. In addition to newly appointed Mary Wagner, Ph.D., BlueNalu’s Board of Directors includes Lou Cooperhouse; Chris Kerr, chief investment officer at New Crop Capital and founding partner and CIO at Unovis Asset Management; and Chuck Laue, chairperson at Stray Dog Capital.
Chris Kerr commented: “Creating an impactful, scalable brand is more than bringing the first product to market. It starts with having the right team that can innovate and execute the required elements in pursuit of the company’s vision. We are excited by Mary’s significant experience leading and developing multinational companies and the strategic counsel that she will bring to BlueNalu as a result.”
Chuck Laue also commented: “Mary coming on board during this important stage in BlueNalu’s development will help to build the solid foundation and establish sound corporate governance needed for a truly scalable and equitable seafood supply chain solution. I’m pleased to work alongside Mary and the rest of the BlueNalu board in helping to realize the company’s mission.”
Dr. Wagner has a passion for youth STEM education, the environment and humanitarianism as illustrated by her leadership at organizations such as Washington STEM, Peace Trees Vietnam and Transforming Age. She was also previously appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and served as co-chair of the USDA National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics (NAREEE) board. Dr. Wagner is a graduate of Harvard’s Program for Management Development (PMD), and a participant in the Kellogg Family Governance program. She has a master’s degree in food technology and bachelor’s degree in bacteriology from Iowa State University, and a doctorate from the University of Minnesota in food science & nutrition.
To learn more about BlueNalu, please visit www.bluenalu.com.
BlueNalu’s mission is to develop great-tasting, healthy, safe and trusted cell-cultured seafood products that support the sustainability and diversity of our ocean. BlueNalu is aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for our planet. BlueNalu began its operations in 2018 and is based in San Diego, California.
This press release contains forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, statements related to the development and commercialization of BlueNalu’s products, the launching of BlueNalu’s products publicly, and the type and characteristics of products that BlueNalu will produce. These forward-looking statements are based on BlueNalu’s current expectations and inherently involve significant risks and uncertainties. BlueNalu undertakes no duty or obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information.