Vanessa WallaceNon-Executive Chairman
Vanessa is a director of Wesfarmers (appointed July 2010), SEEK Limited (appointed March 2017) and Palladium Holdings (appointed January 2021), former Chairman of AMP Capital Holdings Limited (resigned June 2018) and a former director of AMP Limited (resigned May 2018). She has also established her own advisory company MF Advisory that provides executive coaching and advisory services to executives in Asia and Australia.
Vanessa retired as a Senior Partner and Executive Chairman of Strategy& Japan in July 2015. Over her almost 30 year career as a strategy management consultant, she held a number of leadership and governance roles, including leader of Booz & Company’s financial services practice in Global Markets, member of Booz & Company’s global Board and director of Booz & Company entities in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Indonesia (with varied tenure through to February 2013). She was also actively involved in the firm’s customer, channels and markets activities which focused on areas such as customer experience, offer design and channels to market across a number of industries. Vanessa has hands on experience in mergers and acquisitions and post-merger integration.
Eric WangChief Executive Officer and Managing Director
Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director
Eric joined Ecofibre as the CFO and Director in December 2015. He was appointed CEO and Managing Director in December 2017.
Eric has over 25 years of leadership and executive management experience, both as an officer in the United States Army and as a financial services executive in Australia.
Prior to joining Ecofibre, Eric served as Captain and Apache pilot in the US Army for eight years in a range of roles, including Troop Commander, Operations Officer, Executive Officer and Personnel Officer in the United States and Europe.
After leaving the military, Eric moved to Australia to work for the global management consulting firm, Bain & Company, where he specialized in the financial services industry in Australia and Asia. More recently, he served as the Chief Operating Officer of Perpetual Limited and Director of the APO for AMP Limited.
Eric holds a Bachelor of Science from West Point and an MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth.
Bruce RobinsonNon-Executive Director
Professor Robinson has over 25 years leadership experience as a board director, academic physician and scientist across research, healthcare and medicine, and tertiary education. He has extensive experience covering academia, government, public and private health providers, research institutes and philanthropic organisations.
He is currently a director of Cochlear, an ASX listed global hearing implants business; MaynePharma, an ASX listed pharmaceutical manufacturer; and QBiotics, a drug development company.
Since 2015 Prof. Robinson has also chaired the Australian Government’s National Health and Medical Research Council, and the Medical Benefits Schedule Review Task Force.
His prior professional experience includes Dean of University of Sydney’s Sydney Medical School, Head of Medicine at Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital and Head of the Cancer Genetics Laboratory at the Kolling Institute for Medical Research.
In 2020, Prof. Robinson was one of only five people to be appointed Companion of the Order of Australia, the highest honour, for eminent achievement and merit of the highest degree in service to Australia or to humanity at large. He received his award for service to medical research, and to national healthcare, through policy development and reform, and to tertiary education.
Michele AndersonNon-Executive Director
Ms Anderson’s executive career spans 30 years as an operating business executive, independent director and founder working across the technology, wine and professional services sectors. Her leadership contributions and passion lie in developing and implementing growth strategy, scaling brands and businesses, and driving digital growth and transformation.
She began her career in Australia as a management consultant with Booz Allen and Hamilton and then spent most of her career to date working in the US, including running Shutterfly’s US$1B revenue consumer ecommerce business in Silicon Valley and Staples’ Print and Marketing Services business across 1,200 US stores. Michele also has considerable experience founding and scaling businesses in the highly regulated wine and alcoholic beverages industry.
Michele holds bachelor’s degrees in Commerce and Law from UNSW, an MBA from Wharton, and a Master of Wine. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and an independent director of one of the world’s leading wine businesses, Baron Philippe de Rothschild, SA.
Mark BaylissNon-Executive Director
Mr Bayliss is a director and senior executive with extensive experience in a variety of roles across listed and private companies, management buyouts, private equity and turnarounds in Australia, NZ, UK and US.
He has been the CEO of three listed companies and one private company and the Chairman of 3 companies and 2 not-for-profits.
His industry experience is broad including eCommerce, Technology, Credit Finance, Retail, FMCG, Media & Publishing, Advertising & Marketing Services and Manufacturing.
Jeff Bruner President, Hemp Black
President, Hemp Black
Jeff founded The Quantum Group, Inc. in 1985 later transitioned into Quantum Materials, LLC in 2017 and then founded TexInnovate, Inc. in 2017 which was later sold to Ecofibre.
At Quantum Materials Jeff was responsible for the development and innovation of a wide range of high-performance textile applications across a range of industries to include office furniture, automotive seating, truck tires, road construction fabrics, filtration, composite yarns & fabrics, medical implants, outdoor furniture and many other highly engineered yarns and fabrics.
Jeff is a leading textile engineer and inventor of solutions to meet industry needs for high specification applications.
Alex NancePresident, Ananda Health
President, Ananda Health
Alex joined Ananda Health in September of 2017 and is responsible for the overall management and delivery of the Ananda product range. He helped to develop the current facility and is also responsible for all aspects of quality control and planning.
Alex’s background is in toxicology and chemical production. Prior to joining Ananda he worked at Ethos Laboratories as Laboratory Production Manager and Dubois Chemicals as a chemist. Alex holds a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences from The Ohio State University.
Kieren Brown Managing Director, Ananda Food
Managing Director, Ananda Food
Kieren became the MD of Ananda Food in March 2018 with a remit to grow the newly established Australian food business.
Kieren is an experienced executive with over 23 years’ experience within the UK, Spanish and Australian food industries, specialising in the operational and technical disciplines in short shelf-life fresh produce.
Kieren’s last role was with Australia’s largest supplier of pre-packaged salads. As the GM of National Operations, he oversaw several hundred staff across four sites in four states, with turnover of over $230 million per annum. Prior to that, Kieren worked overseas for Heinz and has deep experience with some of the largest retailers – including Woolworths, Coles and Marks and Spencer.
Kieren holds a BSC (Hons) in Microbiology from University of Wales Aberystwyth.
Jonathan BrownCFO and Company Secretary, Ecofibre
CFO and Company Secretary, Ecofibre
Jonathan is a Chartered Accountant with 25 years’ commercial experience. Jonathan is responsible for Ecofibre’s financial strategy and corporate affairs.
Prior to joining Ecofibre in 2016 Jonathan worked for AMP, the London Stock Exchange and Ferrier Hodgson in a variety of roles including corporate strategy, M&A, senior finance roles and insolvency and reconstruction.
Jonathan has a Bachelors Degree in Accounting and a Graduate Diploma in Advanced Accounting. He also holds a Graduate Diploma in Finance and Investment from FINSIA.
Alex Capano Chief Science Officer, Ecofibre
Chief Science Officer, Ecofibre
Alex Capano, DNP, CRNP, FNP-BC, is the Chief Science Officer of Ecofibre Limited, the global leader in hemp technologies that provides innovation solutions to address emerging health and resource sustainability issues.
At Ecofibre, Dr. Capano champions the company’s $40 million commitment to research to advance the clinical evidence of hemp extract. Ecofibre was the first hemp company to receive IND authorization from the FDA for research. Partnering with leading healthcare and academic institutions, Dr. Capano is currently researching CBD’s effects on CIPN, sleep, anxiety, addiction, endometriosis, certain cancers, and cognitive decline.
Dr. Capano’s recent clinical trial concluded that CBD hemp extract could reduce opioid use and improve quality of life indicators in chronic pain patients. The full manuscript is published in Postgraduate Medicine.
Dr. Capano earned her DNP at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude and was awarded the Sandra Festa Ryan award for Outstanding Creativity and Innovation. She was the first doctoral candidate of any discipline who focused on cannabinoid science under the guidance of the Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp. Dr. Capano also holds a BSN and an MSN from the University of Pennsylvania, and a BS in neuroscience from the University of Miami.
Robin SheldonGeneral Counsel and Joint Company Secretary, Ecofibre
General Counsel and Joint Company Secretary, Ecofibre
Ms Sheldon has 29 years experience in corporate law. Prior to joining Ecofibre, Ms. Sheldon was employed by Thomas Jefferson University as Sr, VP of Jefferson Strategic Ventures, VP of its Innovation Pillar and Associate Counsel.
Prior to Jefferson, Robin was a partner at Fox Rothschild, LP, where she specialized in mergers & acquisitions, private equity and intellectual property issues, especially in the biotech area. She was the General Counsel of Half.com, Inc. (acquired by eBay, Inc.), Associate Counsel for Sanchez Computers, and Counsel for SEI Investments. Robin has been an adjunct professor at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, and frequent lecturer on the ethics of Intellectual Property. She has served on the board of directors, and has been secretary, of Global Links – a nonprofit dedicated to putting US medical surplus to productive use around the world-for over 25 years.
Neal MercadoChief Marketing Officer, Ecofibre
Chief Marketing Officer, Ecofibre
Neal Mercado, Chief Marketing Officer, joined the Ecofibre team in 2022. He is responsible for the development and implementation of our global marketing and innovation functions, in line with our strategic goals. Neal has over 25 years’ experience in in the global vitamin and dietary supplements industry, with an emphasis on strategic marketing, new product development and research. Prior to joining Ecofibre Limited, he was Chief Marketing Officer at a leading practitioner supplement brand in the US where he transformed and refined the Education, Marketing, and Product Development functions to deliver market leading growth.
He has successfully championed numerous research initiatives in the natural medicine/natural product industry and holds two innovation patents for novel formulations. With a proven track record for delivering market-leading innovation, he has also held a number of roles focused on portfolio management and global product development for multinational corporations. Neal has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Michigan State University, is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds a Certificate of Western Herbal Therapies from Nature Care College.
Alastair BorChief Technology Officer, Ecofibre
Chief Technology Officer, Ecofibre
Alastair joined Ecofibre in July 2018 to drive scale, automation and technical capability across Ecofibre.
Alastair is an experienced executive, with a long track record of delivering innovation in both large private and public sector organisations. Alastair oversees both operational and information technology across Ecofibre.
Alastair has an MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth and previously worked at Booz, Allen & Hamilton, Perpetual Ltd and Transport for NSW in various senior executive technology and delivery roles.