Gary Nielsen – Chairman
Mr. Nielsen is a Certified Public Accountant and
a member of the American Institute of CPA’s and Arizona Society of CPA’s. Gary
is the President of National Health Benefits Corporation. He was a manager in
the Phoenix office of KPMG and has served in an executive capacity as Senior VP
of Finance or CFO for three NYSE companies, one AMEX Company, a NASDAQ Company
and one Pre-IPO. These Companies include Environmental Support Solutions, Inc.,
Granite Golf Corporation, Giant Industries, Inc., American Continental
Corporation, Del Webb Corporation, and Best Western International. With Del
Webb, he directed the reengineering of all computer information systems for six
hotel casinos and three resort facilities. While with Giant Industries, he
played a key role in the structuring of a successful NYSE IPO, directed a
successful $100 million public financing and positioned the company for a large
acquisition. Gary is a graduate of Arizona State University with a degree in
Mr. Nielsen has extensive experience in taxation, accounting, cash management,
capital formation, finance, administration, human resources, market development,
risk management, strategic planning, internal controls, information systems, SEC
reporting and investor relations.
Keith Meeks, President & CEO
Mr. Meeks has been a driving force behind GFT from its inception in 2001. Under his guidance, GFT has assembled a solid senior management team, board of directors and advisory team, expanded the corporate presence in the U.S. and established GFT offices and customers in South America and Asia. Mr. Meeks’ leadership has led the company to its current position where it is now globally commercializing its proprietary technology and iPura
Food Safety Program.
In addition to assembling an experienced management team, he has articulated the company’s vision to industry and to the financial community and has been a motivating force for company employees. As President & CEO, Mr. Meeks carries the company’s vision and message and he is responsible for the development and execution of GFT’s strategic plans.
Keith started his career in the financial services industry in 1980 with New York Life Insurance Company before founding a financial services company. Earning the use of the Certified Financial Planner designation from the College of Financial Planners, Keith was the winner of numerous industry awards, including the designation of Life Membership in the International Million Dollar Round Table Association (MDRT). In the financial planning industry, Keith honed his professional skills and has applied those skills to assist GFT in its strategic development and execution of its plans.
In 2008, Keith Meeks was awarded the Certificate in International Food Laws from Michigan State University, the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, and the Institute for Food Laws & Regulations. The course work included International Food Law and Regulation, Codex Alimentarius, Food Regulation in the European Union and Food Regulation in Asia.
Because of his knowledge, experience, leadership and motivation, Mr. Meeks is well suited to lead Global Food Technologies as its President & CEO.
Marshall Sparks, MBA, CPA Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Sparks is a financial executive with extensive experience in the development of technology-based businesses. He has founded and capitalized numerous companies, taking them from the development to the commercial stage involving operations, financial reporting, and capital formation. He has facilitated and conducted 5 IPO’s, 5 venture capital transactions, 15 M&A transactions and 6 strategic partnering arrangements. The companies taken public were Internet Ventures, Inc., a regional internet service provider, STAAR Surgical, Inc. an innovator in intraocular lenses, Vision Sciences, Inc., an integrated developer of lens casting systems, Luther Medical Products, Inc. a developer of intravenous catheter systems and VLI Corporation, a developer of contraceptives. He received his CPA from the State of California and earned his BS and MBA from the University of California – Berkeley.
As CFO, Marshall directs the overall financial plans and accounting practices of the organization; oversees treasury, accounting, budget, tax and audit activities of GFT and oversees financial and accounting system controls and standards while ensuring timely financial and statistical reports for management and/or Board use.
Shigeaki Tetsuka, V.P. of Operations, Asia
Mr. Tetsuka manages GFT operations in Japan and China. While splitting his time between Tokyo and Beijing he develops business with food processor in China and consumers in Japan.
Mr. Tetsuka has received degrees from universities in Japan, Canada, Taiwan and the United States, which includes an M.S. in Business Management at University of California in Los Angeles. Mr. Tetsuka speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, Japanese and English.
Mr. Tetsuka has over twenty years experience in international business and law. From 2002 to 2005, he was the Senior Partner in Shanghai Guo Yao & Partners Law Firm in Shanghai, in charge of Japanese and Taiwanese corporate clients division. He also served as the Senior Advisor to the Advisory Committee of City Government of Yangzhou, China for its City Redevelopment Project.
Mr. Tetsuka is also President and founder of The Nature Co., Ltd., in Tokyo, Japan, specializing in investment in and management of environmental and medical technologies projects. One of his projects is a joint venture with Hotai (Taiwan Toyota) Motors Corporation for a waste recycle project in Taiwan.
Prior to these achievements, Mr. Tetsuka was President and founder of U.S. Research, Inc., in Los Angeles, California, a venture capital consulting firm specialized in medical and bio-technologies projects. His clients included major Japanese companies such as Kikkoman, Shiseido Cosmetics, Daiichi Pharmaceuticals and others.
Stan Bien, Director of Operation, Asia
Anchoring GFT’s Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Office, Mr. Bien brings a wealth of experience to the company. Mr. Bien has spent twenty-five years in business and held senior executive positions with Brown Ferris Industries, Western Waste Industries, Pacific Sun (Asia) Limited and Asia United Ltd.
As Vice President of International Sales and Marketing for numerous firms, Mr. Bien has extensive experience in International Trade, Agricultural Equipment, Agriculture and Farm Technology Support, Personnel Management/ Human Resources, Finance and Government Contract Negotiation.
Mr. Bien oversees GFT’s Vietnam Operations and is responsible for its day-to-day operational activities, as well as sales and marketing. Mr. Bien works in close association with the Vietnamese Association of Seafood Exporting Producers and GFT’s legal team in HCMC, Vietnam.
Cesar Montano, Director of Engineering
Cesar Montano is a highly skilled mechanical engineer and manager with over 25 years experience in both large corporations and small entrepreneurial companies spanning the defense, aerospace, medical device, and sensor industries. He is an expert in engineering processes, product design and analysis, system integration, testing, and packaging. Mr. Montano possesses a thorough understanding of quality control issues, manufacturing operations, product commercialization, business development and strategy. He has extensive experience at building products and organizations from the ground up.
Mr. Montano is also the co-inventor of multiple mechanical and electro-mechanical patents, and the co-author of "Analysis and Test of Ceramic Substrates for Packaging of Leadless Chip Carriers," published by The Institute of Environmental Sciences. Among his many accomplishments, he designed and supervised the build of the first spaceborne GPS receiver for Magnavox Co. He received his B.S. and Masters Degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Brigham Young Universtity in Provo, Utah.
Aaron Ormond, Director of Science
Mr. Ormond has an extensive educational foundation pulling from disciplines in biology and microbiology and joined GFT as part of the laboratory team. He attended Utah State University, University of Arizona’s exchange university in Guadalajara, Mexico, and Idaho State University. During that period he enjoyed the opportunity to work in many aspects of research including characterization of archaea in environmental samples collected from Yellowstone National Park using FISH (fluorescene in-situ hybridization), identification of surface antigens in Blastomyces dermatititis, and participated in a joint effort with University of Texas Houston in a lactoferrin treatment blind study for alleviating symptoms associated with travelers diarrhea. He joined GFT in 2003 as the lab manager where he had the opportunity to design, orchestrate, and implement the microbial testing regiment, environmental monitoring programs, cleanroom sanitation programs, proprietary formulations, food safety programs, joint venture with Idaho State University’s data teams, and more.
Mr. Ormond has presented at the China International Food Safety Summit, Vietfish Conference, World Ag Expo, Aqua Sur (Puerto Montt, Chile), GOAL conference of Global Aquaculture Alliance, the United States Interagency Working Group on Import Safety, numerous other governmental entities and other venues. In addition Mr. Ormond is a member in good standing of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) , the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT).
Robert Clark, Director of Marketing
Mr. Clark received his degree in Administrative Science from The Ohio State University with a major in marketing. He has been involved in the food service industry for over thirty years. Mr. Clark built and managed the West Coast sales and distribution facilities in Menlo Park California for American Beef Packers, at the time, the second largest meat company in the world. Mr. Clark was the sales manager for Monfort of Colorado, the largest feeder of cattle and lamb in the world. Mr. Clark has played a major role in the sales, processing and distribution of meats, seafood and poultry on the west coast for over 20 years.
Mr. Clark was a founding partner in Cavalli, Jacobi and Clark, a successful marketing firm and advertising agency in Palo Alto, California. The last 10 years he has been a consultant for the food service industry. Clients included: Hyatt, Starwood and Park Plaza Hotels, Hotel Conchas Chinas, California Cafes, Continental Markets, Pillsbury, to name a few. During his career, Mr. Clark also found the time to own and operate Palo Alto Meat Co. He was also the owner of six successful restaurants and is still very active inside the restaurant industry.
David Leibowitz, Director of Sales
Shortly after graduating from college as a football All-American, Mr. Leibowitz received early business experience in Tokyo. Mr. Leibowitz speaks fluent Japanese and has over 15 years experience in international food processing, food import, food export, food service distribution, and logistics.
In 1994, Mr. Leibowitz established M&S Import and Export including retail and wholesale operations in Japan. Mr. Leibowitz has long standing business relationships with major importers, distributors and retail chains in the USA and Japan.
Mr. Leibowitz has successfully negotiated with governmental agencies throughout Southeast Asia for fishing rights and has overseen procurement from thousands of Asian vessels. He was instrumental in revolutionizing the way Ahi tuna is processed and marketed worldwide. Mr. Leibowitz was in charge of all tuna exports into the U.S. for Pesca Rich, and a consortium of Japanese companies with gross annual sales of over 3 billion dollars.
Mr. Leibowitz’ reputation within the industry, his understanding of international markets, experience with food importing and exporting, and entrepreneurial talent make him a valuable addition to the GFT team.
Jason Simas – Director of Communications
Mr. Simas is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley. He combines his background in communications, information technology, new media and traditional mass media, public relations, advertising and marketing to assist GFT in making iPura
a household name.
Mr. Simas spent seven years with Hollywood’s William Morris Agency, coordinating the Literary and Talent departments for Television. Agents at WMA represent actors, writers, producers and directors, negotiating contracts and managing the careers of the most famous personalities in America.. At WMA Mr. Simas coordinated the vast flow of information within the television department and the industry, helping to design a new database system with the IT department.
A published author and independent filmmaker, Mr. Simas has worked with GFT since 2005 and has contributed in the creation of the iPura’s
name and its identity as a brand, as well as communications to the various audiences in the distribution chain. His exhaustive research and internal briefs written for GFT business strategy and development qualify him as an expert in the field of international food safety and regulations.