Board of Directors


Board of Directors


Joseph J. Romano

Executive Chairman

Mr. Romano has worked with Michael and Selim Zilkha in the energy industry since 1989. Mr. Romano was President and Chief Executive Officer of Zilkha Renewable Energy and Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Zilkha Energy Company.

He presently serves on the Board of Directors of Contango Oil and Gas (NYSE: MCF), President and CEO of Olympic Energy Partners, and director and Vice President of Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard. He served as Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer, and Controller of Texas International Company from 1986 to 1988 and as its Treasurer and Controller from 1982 to 1985.

Prior to 1982, Mr. Romano spent five years working in the Worldwide Energy Group of the First National Bank of Chicago.

He earned a BA in economics and political science from the University of Wisconsin in Eau Claire and an MBA from the University of Northern Illinois.


Kent E. Pryor, PhD, MBA

Chief Executive Officer and Director

Dr. Pryor joined the company full-time in 2010 to coordinate drug development operations including manufacturing, quality systems, regulatory affairs, and clinical research.

Previously, he served as Chief Operating Officer of SynthRx, Inc., Associate Director of Drug Development at Kémia, Inc., and Group Leader at Corvas International, Inc. Dr. Pryor has served on the Boards of Directors for multiple non-profit corporations and served on the Advisory Board of Assay Depot.

Dr. Pryor received his BA in chemistry magna cum laude from Rice University, a PhD in organic chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an MBA from the Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego.


Craig M. Van De Mark, JD

Vice President, Legal, and Director

Mr. Van De Mark is an experienced attorney with legal expertise in Corporate Finance, M&A, Insurance & Risk Management and IP. His contracting experience includes Licensing, Drug Manufacturing, Material Transfers and Clinical Trials.

Mr. Van De Mark served as General Counsel to Zilkha Biomass Energy from 2005 until June 2008, and also served as General Counsel to Zilkha Renewable Energy from 1998 to 2005 and Zilkha Energy Company from 1994 to 1996.

He also worked with Sterling Consulting Group providing strategy consulting to Fortune 500 energy companies for two years, and was previously in private legal practice for several years with a national law firm.

Mr. Van De Mark earned a BBA degree in finance from the University of Texas at Austin and a JD degree cum laude from the University of Houston,
where he served on the Houston Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif.

He is a licensed attorney in the State of Texas and he has an “AV” peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell.


Jay Hennock


Mr. Hennock has over 25 years in corporate advisory services with Citibank, Bank of America and Jacanda Capital.

He founded Access Systems, which was sold to International Gaming Technology Inc in 1999. He was a Director and CFO of Nuon Therapeutics Inc, and a co-founder and CEO of Bioatrix Pty Ltd. which was acquired by ZZ Biotech, LLC in 2015.

He earned a BEc from the University of Sydney.


Tadeusz Wellisz, MD


Dr. Wellisz is the Chairman of Ceremed, Inc. and co-founder and Chairman of Bioplate, Inc. At the time of founding Bioplate in 1993, he was Chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center.

Dr. Wellisz received a BA in biology from the University of Chicago and an MD from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He did surgical residency at the New York University School of Medicine and plastic surgery residency at the University of Southern California.

Hewmun Lau

Hewmun Lau, MBA

Board Observer

Hewmun Lau, MBA, is a Principal at Broadview Ventures.

Hewmun shares responsibility for the day-to-day investment activities at Broadview Ventures, including identification and screening of new opportunities, due diligence, negotiation of deal structure, and portfolio company board involvement.

Previously, Hewmun was at Merrimack Pharmaceuticals where she held several roles with increasing responsibility. She was most recently Director of Corporate Development where she led the company’s business development activities. Her prior positions within Merrimack include Associate Director of New Product Planning and Senior Manager of Commercial Analytics where she supported the launch of Merrimack’s first marketed drug. Before Merrimack, Hewmun was a Senior Consultant at Navigant Consulting’s Life Sciences Practice. Hewmun began her career in biomedical research including lab research positions at Millennium Pharmaceuticals and McLean Hospital.

Hewmun holds a B.S. from Brandeis University, an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management and a M.S. from the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology.