Board of Directors

Our Board

Botanic Innovations’ Board of Directors is comprised of seasoned scientists, business leaders, and medical professionals.  Our team and board work in close collaboration to ensure that our work is rooted in sound science and guided by our purpose: Nourishing healthy lives every day from seed to soul.

Chair

Tim Larson

CEO Emeritus & Director

Dick Blackader

Director

John R. MacDonald, Ph.D., DABT

Director

Todd Mirzai, MD

Founder, Chief Technology Officer & Director

Mark J. Mueller

Director

Charles Muscoplat, PhD.

Director

Kim Noonan

Director

Gregory R. (Greg) Palen

Chair

Tim Larson

As Chair of Botanic Innovations, Tim brings significant experience and proven performance leading teams, strategy, and business growth across a diverse portfolio of brands and industries. His expertise in reimagining customer experiences by innovating and aligning technology, product, manufacturing, and people, has resulted in multiple industry transformations throughout his career. Tim is currently Chief Growth Officer, of Skyline Champion, where he leads the company’s customer experience strategy and omni-channel platform. He previously served as Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President, Global Customer Excellence for Polaris Industries, where he envisioned and developed the end-to-end customer experience vision, and led execution of strategies for product, marketing, service, and the dealer network, supporting the company’s growth to over $5 billion in annual sales. Prior, Tim was President and Chief Executive Officer of Jostens, Inc., where he evolved and grew a legacy business through multiple innovations, including building the company’s e-commerce business from inception.

CEO Emeritus & Director

Dick Blackader

Dick Blackader joined the Botanic Innovations team as Chief Operating Officer in October, 2010. Transitioned his role to CEO and director in the spring of 2016 and now serves as a director since 2018. Dick’s long and successful track record in operations management includes roles with 3M, Imation and Accenture. He has extensive operational experience in field service, resource cost management, logistics, operations management and sales support. Dick has proven abilities and extensive experience in management of P&L’s, change management, CRM, and business development. He is a graduate of the University of Redlands where he earned a BS in Business Administration and Management.

Director

John R. MacDonald, Ph.D., DABT

Dr. MacDonald has over 30 years of experience in all aspects of pharmaceutical drug development and licensing. He led the preclinical and clinical R&D efforts at MGI Pharma, a Twin Cities based oncology-focused company, from 1996 until retiring as Senior VP R&D at the end of 2005. Dr. MacDonald served as a member of the MGI corporate management team that built the company through product and company acquisitions leading to the acquisition of MGI by Eisai, Inc. Prior to joining MGI, Dr. MacDonald worked in the Parke-Davis Research Division of Warner-Lambert participating in the early development of numerous well-known therapeutics. After retiring from MGI he has acted as the CEO of PepTx, Inc. a company based on University of Minnesota technology and as a consultant to pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions as the founder of Ridge Road Consulting. He is currently active in development of breast cancer therapy and diagnostics as acting Senior VP of R&D for Celcuity, Inc. and as a board member for Martell Diagnostic Laboratories, Inc. Dr. MacDonald earned a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Arizona, a B.S. in Zoology from the University of Michigan, and held postdoc and research faculty positions in the Department of Pathology, University of California San Francisco, School of Medicine.

Director

Todd Mirzai, MD

Todd Mirzai, MD is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon licensed in Hawaii and California.  He maintains a part-time clinical practice with offices on the Hawaiian Islands of Maui and Oahu under the name Mirzai Plastic Surgery and Medical Aesthetics. He is Co-founder, CEO and Director of XYZen, Inc. an early stage Visual Feedback Technology company.  Dr. Mirzai previously served as Partner at Strathspey Crown Holdings and has been a director, seed-stage investor and advisor to numerous early and growth stage companies.

Founder, Chief Technology Officer & Director

Mark J. Mueller

Mark Mueller, a life-long student of botany, is the founder of the Company and serves in his current capacity as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Board Member.

With a Master’s of Science Degree in Water Resource Management from the University of Wisconsin, Mark gained extensive experience in rural business innovation and technology programs, working for the University of Minnesota-Duluth Center for Economic Development, the Northwest Regional Planning Commission (NWRPC) and the Wisconsin Business Innovation Corporation (WBIC). As executive director of NWRPC and most recently as a consultant to that organization, he has been involved in strategic direction, development of a regional network of business enterprise centers and the formulation of equity financing fund.

Mueller used his entrepreneurial spirit to found Botanic Innovations, LLC. He transitioned the company to developing plant oils and seed powders with a focus on nutritional, personal care, and specialty markets.

Today, its bulk ingredient products are made with the firm’s proprietary NatureFRESH Cold Press technology and protected by three approved patents – where Mueller is a co-author – for claims on use of cold pressed botanical seed oils.

Director

Charles Muscoplat, PhD.

Dr. Muscoplat recently retired as Professor of Food Science and Nutrition and an adjunct professor of Medicine and Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Minnesota. He served as Chair of Committee for Pharmaceutical Development (CPD); a newly formed University pilot project to assist faculty wishing to commercialize pharmaceutical inventions. He was Vice President of Agricultural Policy and Dean Emeritus, College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences, University of Minnesota. Dr. Muscoplat has more than twenty years in the pharmaceutical industry with MGI Pharma, Inc. and has successfully developed new drugs in oncology and rheumatology from preclinical to Phase III trials and FDA approval. Dr. Muscoplat consults in the pharmaceutical industry.

Director

Kim Noonan

Kim Noonan brings over 25 years of experience leading people, marketing, product, brand, communications, market intelligence, and strategy across a broad range of B2C and B2B companies and industries. With a passion for designing and delivering thoughtful customer experiences that engage, inspire, and delight, and a customer-centered mindset, her focus is on empowering customers to achieve their purpose and goals. Kim is currently Vice President, Marketing & Brand, with The Opus Group, where she leads marketing, brand, communications, and client insights. As a member of Opus’ Executive Leadership Team, she’s also responsible for multiple enterprise-wide efforts, including Opus’ Diversity Equity Inclusion Action Team, and currently serves on the Opus Foundation Board of Directors. Kim previously held senior leadership and management roles at Polaris Industries, Jostens, and MoneyGram International; and earned her B.S. in Business Management and M.B.A. both from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Director

Gregory R. (Greg) Palen

Greg Palen has enjoyed a long and successful career as executive, entrepreneur and investor in companies spanning various industries. Currently he is an advisor and investor at Spectro Alloys, Coldspring, Proov, Syght, Cureium Healthcare Holdings and Botanic Innovations.

He served as chairman of the board at Polaris and was a board member at Valspar, Fabcon, Opus Northwest, St John’s University.

He holds a BA from St. John’s University and an MBA at the University of Minnesota.

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