Our Team

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Mazi (Maziar) Ghorbani

Executive Chairman & Founder

Mr. Mazi Ghorbani has been a serial entrepreneur and inventor, founding and leading several successful companies including being the founder and president of Advance International, Inc. and co-inventor of the Seavior System, Advance Protein Powder, and Super Omega 3 oil manufacturing.

He is also the owner of a food ingredient products company, Red Gold Saffron. He is the co-founder of Pledge to Humanity, a non-profit organization dedicated to humanitarian relief around the world. He has pioneered innovative companies in various fields, such as AVA (Advanced Vehicle Armory) inventing numerous unique manufacturing methods and devices for executive protection vehicle manufacturing and Diamond Seal & Keytronics Vehicle Security Systems. His main passion is his efforts in fighting global starvation and malnutrition among children around the world.

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Eric Enciso

Chief Executive Officer

Eric Enciso Brings over 25 years of successful, multi-industry Lean Management and international manufacturing, supply chain, and operations experience in the foodservice, food distribution, and e-commerce sectors.

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Gabriela Barba Ghorbani

 Global Outreach Officer

In 2009, Mrs. Gaby Ghorbani launched Pledge to Humanity in an effort to organize efforts within her local area and in many different countries to reach out to people of all ages and provide aid for their needs She also has had the privilege of creating a philanthropy class in a local middle school. Through the philanthropy class and working with other private and public schools, she has the opportunity to instill a passion in children to creatively and practically assist people around the world who are less fortunate.

Gaby also serves on the Advisory Board of Americans for Philanthropy. Gaby is deeply involved in creating the Stop Hunger campaign co-launched by Advance International, Inc and Pledge to Humanity.

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Leighton J. Smith

Interim Finance Officer & Investor Relations

Mr. Leighton J. Smith brings multi-industry experience in the Manufacturing, Banking, Telco and Tech sectors from over two decades of professional experience in Europe, Asia, Latin America and most recently in the Bay Area. Mr. Smith has been instrumental at many large multi-national corporations as well as a number of start-ups in setting up or streamlining back-office policies and procedures as well as the integration of cross-cultural teams in order to optimize performance, efficiency and profitability.

Leveraging know-how from mentoring a number of Bay Area Start-ups, Leighton Smith has already worked with Advance International Inc. as interim CFO, preparing all relevant financial models and investor communications required to close our recent Series A round and ​finalizing debt finance​ disbursement​.​ ​He is preparing the foundation for the professionalization of back office procedures​, as well as acting as advis​o​r to the CEO on all financial and strategic matters.

Mr. Smith has been a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants since 2009 and holds the Chartered Global Management Accounting designation. He is also primary author of a software Patent (US 20160110591).

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Fred Jewett, MS, CFS

Director Operations and Food Technology

Mr. Fred Jewett has over 30 years of experience as a Food Scientist that includes quality management, food safety & microbiology, sanitation, and research & development of both food products and of manufacturing processes.

While Mr. Jewett has worked with products as diverse as mayonnaise, micro greens, mozzarella, and marshmallows; his expertise has been developed in food safety/microbiology, food-protein functionality, quality program development, HACCP, the Global Food Safety Initiative, Food Label Nutritional/Regulatory/Organic Compliance, and in all aspects of dairy product manufacture & QC.

Rafael Santillan

Rafael Santillan

Chief Process Plant Engineer

Mr. Rafael Santillan is a Chemical Engineer by profession with over 25 years experience in Food Manufacturing Management across multiple industries including dairy, confectionary, bakery, meat and poultry as well as nutritional & protein products. Rafael is highly experienced in food process engineering, equipment maintenance, food product formulations and is adept with current food safety and regulatory requirements.

Board of Advisors

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Larry Scott

As the Pac-12 Commissioner, Larry Scott is an innovative leader with a vision for transformative change and firm belief that sport can be a force for positive change. Larry orchestrated a rebranding of the Pac-12 Conference, added Colorado and Utah, created a Football Championship Game, transformed the basketball tournaments, and secured an agreement for equal revenue sharing.

He has also delivered a landmark media rights agreement with ESPN and Fox Sports, and created Pac-12 Networks, the first-ever integrated media company owned by a college conference.

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Ernesto M. Hernandez, Ph.D.

Lipid & Protein Expert Advisor

Dr. Hernandez is currently Food Science and Nutrition lecturer at Sam Houston State University, Principal Consultant with Advanced Lipid Consultants and former Head of the Fats and Oils Program/ Food Science Faculty at Texas A&M University. He has a wide expertise on new technologies in edible oils and protein processing with an emphasis on nutrition and recovery of nutraceutical bioactives. He is coauthor of 2 books on advanced lipid products and technologies and has published widely in different areas of food processing and engineering. He also holds patents on new purification techniques for edible oils and enzymatic modification of lipids. Key products he has developed currently in the market include: foods and beverages fortified with omega 3 lipids, new antioxidant and oil nutritional blends, and physically refined vegetable oils.

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Dr. Adib Nassar

Technical Advisory Board Member

Mr. Adib Nassar, BSc, MBA is a seasoned executive with a broad-based background in private and non-profit organizations with more than 31 years’ experience in new business development, project management, product development, technology assessment, resource allocation, technical sales, building organizations and facility operation.

Throughout his career, Adib has held technical and business senior leadership positions in the development and manufacturing and supply of consumable, personal care and household products and ingredients for the of US and International retail and multilevel markets.

Adib’s efforts focused on the Foods, Beverages, Nutritional supplements, Functional foods, Pharmaceuticals, and Flavor and Fragrance industries.

Adib combines extensive experience in project and multimillion dollars budget management, task force establishment, contract bidding, technology brokerage, as a meeting facilitator, product regulatory matters, business organizational and projects troubleshooting and management, human resources, sales, marketing, customer satisfaction and operational excellence.

Adib’s academic background includes B.Sc. degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Advance education in Food Processing and a Master degree in Business Administration.

Adib manages in English, French, and Arabic and has working knowledge of the Spanish language.

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Dr. Masoud Moshrefi

Technical Advisory Board Member

With over 25 years of scientific work, Dr. Masoud Moshrefiz is a savvy R&D and Operation executive with indelible reputation for delivering innovative nutritional and food products. Most recently, he was the Vice president of regulatory affairs and R&D of an international food company, Cucina & Amore. He served as the chief Science Officer at US Health Science Products and as the Vice President of Operation and Technical Services at InterHealth Nutraceutical, now lonza. Dr. Moshrefi is an expert in the areas of process development, pilot plant studies, product specifications, review NFT and regulatory affairs, and spearhead R&D and sales/marketing meetings. He is known for his ability to create strategic alliances with organization leaders to effectively align with and support key business initiatives. He is known for building and leading high performance teams by hiring, developing, and motivating skilled business professionals. Dr. Moshrefi Earned his Ph.D. in Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry from University of California, Davis, and Master of Science degree in Food Science from California State University, Fresno, and his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Tehran University.

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Andreas Kamlot, M.D

Andreas Kamlot, M.D. is a passionate and accomplished heart surgeon and serves as a board member of the Californian Society of Thoracic Surgery. He is the chairman of the Heart Institute in the East Bay Area of San Francisco. Dr. Kamlot has been published extensively and carries three patents about protection and preservation of the human cells and body. Dr. Kamlot is also a busy philanthropist and started the first Heart Surgery Program in Haiti after the earthquake in 2010. He is also an active athlete and was a Vice World Champion martial artist.

Dr. Kamlot advises and collaborates with Advance International in the areas of development and delivery systems for RUTFs (Ready to Eat Therapeutic Foods). RUFTs are highly absorbable and essential food sources for quick recovery from illnesses and operations. Its application with the incorporation of Advance Protein Powder (APP) will be ground breaking in hospitals and in hunger relief food packages to be distributed through Advance International in cooperation with Pledge to Humanity and its network of established, on-the-ground non-profit organizations. Further, it has great potential in various sport, fitness, and health applications.

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Bob Falkenberg

Mr. Falkenberg has an investment banking background, working over 25 years in structured finance. His experience spans over $10 billion in transactions for the major US airlines, railroads and oil & gas companies.

Currently Mr. Falkenberg serves in CFO and board advisory roles for several organizations in both the profit and non-profit arenas. Many years ago, he earned a B.S. In Business Administration from the University of Colorado and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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Alex Woo, Ph.D.

After earning a PhD in Food Science from University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr. Woo held various R&D leadership positions in companies including Pepsi, Starbucks, Cargill and Wrigley in the past 30+ years. He led technical teams to achieve business results.

Alex specializes in developing “better foods” with expertise in “taste and smell neuroscience and technologies”. In his capacity of Chief Innovation and Licensing Officer, Alex is accountable for driving technology discovery, product development, food and beverage applications, and shaping IP licensing strategies.

Chip Meyers

Chip Meyers, MBA

Chip Meyers spent 38 years at UPS, retiring as Vice President Corporate Public Affairs. Chip joined the Washington, DC UPS team in 2004 handling policy for UPS Supply Chain Solutions Healthcare Logistics, Aerospace & Defense, UPS Veterans, UPS Business Development, The UPS Store, and the UPS Congressional Awareness Program.

Chip’s passion for helping others grew at UPS under the belief that in building up others, you build yourself. His support for philanthropic causes, especially for our veterans, as well as youth education and nutrition, is well documented. As an advisor, and investor his commitment and a network of contacts within federal government, agencies, and like-minded stakeholders will assist in promoting APP - A Perfect Protein.

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Tom French

Tom French is a supply chain logistics and distribution expert with over 35 years of experience in multiple industries from star-up’s to billion dollar companies. In the process, Tom had numerous successful exits including an acquisition of his first start up by Raychem. Tom experienced the transformation in logistical management from old manual systems to the impressive progression of supply chain management technology so Tom wanted to bring this technology to his clients. In 2007, he started his existing company Supply Chain Coach Inc. The mission of Supply Chain Coach Inc. is to teach corporations how to better manage their supply chain using innovative cloud technology and hence maximize corporate value.

Tom was instrumental in orchestrating and executing the distribution plan for CytoSport/Muscle-Milk that was recently acquired by Hormel Foods.

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Steve Wizniewski

Steve Wizniewski is a former All-Pro offensive guard with the Oakland Raiders. Over his 13 year professional career Steve has won many athletic and humanitarian honors including being named to the NFL Pro Bowl eight times, NFL Offensive Lineman of the Year, and team captain. Steve also coached football collegiately at Stanford University and at the Oakland Raiders. While in college, Steve was twice named to the All-America football team and was a team captain for Penn State’s legendary coach Joe Paterno. He was a starter on the 1986 National Championship and graduated with a B.S. in Marketing.

Since the early 1990’s Steve has been an active private equity investor and has prior success and knowledge in the sports nutrition sector. As well as business, Steve has a genuine passion for humanitarian outreach and community involvement. He has traveled extensively and donated countless hours of his time speaking, teaching and serving the needs of others. Steve is married and has three grown children.

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Julie Rauch, MBA, NC

Julie Rauch, MBA, NC is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and President of the National Association of Nutrition Professionals. She is owner of Eclectic Wellness, LLC, a private practice, in Emeryville, CA, specializing in nutritional evaluation and support for individuals who have seen other health professionals and still have persistent and unexplained health issues.

Julie is a Nutritional Kinesiologist and an expert in Zyto Biocommunication Testing.

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Philip Oettinger

Philip Oettinger is a partner in the life sciences practice at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where he focuses primarily on medical device, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, diagnostic, and digital health companies. His practice involves assisting private and public companies with corporate governance, initial public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, public company reporting, and private equity and debt financings. He routinely works with incubators on structuring matters and balancing their rights with those of the companies they are forming.

From 1995 until 2000, Philip was with the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C., where he inspected stock exchanges, worked on corporate finance matters, led enforcement investigations, and served as special counsel to Commissioner Laura S. Unger.

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Martin Korman

Martin Korman is a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where he leads the firm’s mergers and acquisitions and private equity practices. Representing public and private companies in purchase and sale transactions on both a friendly and contested basis, Marty is recognized as one of the nation’s most prominent mergers and acquisitions attorneys, particularly in technology sectors.

Marty also has broad experience working with private equity sponsors in connection with the full range of private equity transactions, including going-private transactions and majority and minority investments.

A frequent guest lecturer on the subject of mergers and acquisitions, Marty has presented at a number of law schools throughout the country, including Columbia University Law School, Stanford Law School, and Yale Law School. Marty currently serves as a member of the Yale Law School Fund Board. At the Castilleja School in Palo Alto, CA, he served on the Board for 7 years, chairing its Trustees and Governance Committee and sitting on the Executive Committee.