Leadership

    Leading the way

    Exelead is driven to provide excellent service and manage complex manufacturing processes. The leadership team at Exelead brings decades of experience in pharmaceutical manufacturing, overseeing each project to ensure the highest quality of production and service.

     

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    John Rigg 

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    John P Rigg
    CEO

     

    John is our Chief Executive Officer. Prior to joining Exelead in June 2014, John served as the Vice President of Manufacturing for Ventria Bioscience in Fort Collins, CO—a progressive bioscience company focused on developing and commercializing proteins expressed in rice. Earlier in his career, John spent 25 years at Eli Lilly and Company with a multitude of assignments across manufacturing sites in the US, Puerto Rico and the UK. John has extensive experience with the development, scale up, and commercialization of therapeutic proteins.

     

    Originally from Liverpool, England, John attended Liverpool University where he graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Applied Chemistry.

     

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    Brad Wynja

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    Brad Wynja
    CFO

     

    As Chief Financial Officer, Brad is responsible for leading the finance, business development, supply chain, project management, and IT organizations. He has 20 years of experience supporting the pharmaceutical industry, working with both CRO and CDMO organizations.

    Brad holds an MBA from Drake University, and he completed his undergraduate work in Accounting and Finance at the Central University of Iowa. He is also a member of the American Institute of CPA’s.

     

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    Nathan Parker

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    Nathan Parker
    Vice President, Quality Operations

     

    Nathan is well-equipped for his role as VP of Quality Operations. He has been in quality leadership for the last 12 years and has been supporting contract manufacturing operations for the last 10 years. Overall, he has 24 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry including roles of increasing responsibility in technical support, operations, and quality assurance.

     

    Nathan has supported chemical API, biological drug substance, drug product, medical device, combination product, and cell therapy product manufacturing for use in pre-clinical through commercial applications. He attended Rose-Hulman in Terre Haute, Indiana, and has a degree in Chemical Engineering.

     

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    Trent Cox

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    Trent Cox
    Vice President, Manufacturing Operations

     

    Trent is our Vice President of Manufacturing Operations, with responsibility for the Manufacturing and Facilities/Maintenance teams. Prior to joining Exelead, he spent 28 years with Baxter Healthcare and Cook Pharmaceutical Solutions with leadership roles in microbiology, validation, process design, technical transfer, manufacturing, and global strategy. His background in CMO manufacturing consists of process development/optimization, small scale clinical trial material, scale up, and commercial supply.
     
    Trent attended Indiana University in Bloomington, where he graduated with a BS degree in Biology. He also holds an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University.

     

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    Brent Burk

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    Brent Burks
    Director, Supply Chain and Materials Management

     

    As Director of Supply Chain and Materials Management, Brent is responsible for leading scheduling, procurement, planning and warehouse functions. He has over 10 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, all in the CDMO space, and over 20 years of experience leading global supply chains. Brent graduated with a BS degree from Indiana University.  

     

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    Craig Clark
    Director, Maintenance, Facilities and Capital Projects

     

    As Director of Maintenance, Facilities and Capital Projects, Craig is responsible for facility operations. After an internship at the company during college, he began working full time at the site in 2000 as a validation specialist.  He has served in various roles of increasing responsibility at the facility including validation, process engineering, project management, and technical services.

     

    Craig attended the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana, and has a BSc in Chemical Engineering.

     

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    Karla Aberle

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    Karla Aberle
    Director of Quality Control

     

    Karla is the Director of Quality Control at Exelead, and is responsible for managing three groups: both the Chemistry and Microbiology groups from the Quality Control laboratory and the Analytical Technical group in charge of method development and validation.

     

    Karla joined the company in 2007 as an analyst in the Microbiology laboratory. She was made manager of the Microbiology department in 2009, and then Sr. Manager of the Microbiology and Analytical Technical group in 2015. Since 2016, she has served as the Director of Quality Control, managing all three groups. Karla is NRCM (National Registry of Certified Microbiologists) certified. She holds a bachelor’s of science in Chemistry and a master’s of science in Microbiology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. 

     

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    Mandy Redmond

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    Mandy Redmond
    Director of Quality Assurance

     

    Mandy, who joined the company in 2011, is our Director of Quality Assurance. Prior to her time with us, she served as Senior Manager of Quality Assurance for Roche Diagnostics. Mandy has over 20 years of experience in the biopharma/medical device industry, spanning technical publications, research and development, regulatory affairs, customer complaint management and quality management.

     

    Mandy holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Technical Writing from Indiana University and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. She also holds Quality Auditor and Manager of Quality / Organizational Excellence certifications from the American Society for Quality. Mandy currently serves on the Industry Advisory Board for Indiana University/Purdue University Indianapolis.

     

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    Rahul Keswani

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    Rahul Keswani
    Director, Technical Services

     

    Dr. Rahul K. Keswani is the Director for Technical Services at Exelead, Inc and has been with the company since 2016. Rahul oversees the drug product development, process engineering and validation sub-groups that contribute toward the preclinical development/scale-up of novel parenteral nanomedicinal products and technical transfer of all existing clinical and commercial products to the cGMP manufacturing facility. Rahul also plays a key role during project initiation via technical evaluation of prospective client projects.
     
    Prior to Exelead, Rahul was a Sr. Research Fellow at the University of Michigan leading efforts on nanomedicinal biomimetic formulations and characterization of drug bioaccumulation. Earlier, he received his PhD in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign where he developed and characterized novel hybrid gene therapy vectors utilizing polymers, lipids and retroviruses. Dr. Keswani has authored 24 research articles, 3 patents/patent applications and has given 50+ conference/symposia talks and invited presentations resulting in multiple awards and honors. Originally from Bombay, India, he received his Bachelors in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.

     

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    Drew Andis

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    Drew Andis
    Associate Director, Business Development

     

    Drew is the Associate Director of Business Development at Exelead which involves oversight of both Business Development and Marketing functions. Drew joined the organization as a Project Manager in 2020 and was moved into his current role within the same year. He has five years of experience in both technical and project management roles within the parenteral pharmaceuticals industry.

     

    Drew holds a MS in Biotechnology from Northwestern University and a BSc in each Biological Engineering and Pharmaceutical Sciences from Purdue University. Additionally, Drew has been certified as a Project Management Professional.

     

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    Valarie Gossage

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    Valarie Gossage
    Senior Director, Human Operations

     

    Valarie, our Director of Human Resources, is an accomplished HR professional with over 23 years of experience in the manufacturing industry. Valarie is responsible for helping Exelead plan, staff, train, and retain a high-performing and motivated workforce. She oversees compensation, benefits, employee relations and leadership development.

     

    Prior to joining Exelead in October 2006, Valarie served as the Manager of Human Resources at PK USA, a Tier-one automotive supplier to industry giants including Nissan, Saturn, Toyota, Subaru, and Isuzu. During her time there, she was responsible for the HR operations and budgetary management of four North American plants, including a successful plant startup and a successful plant acquisition.

     

    Valarie holds a Masters in Science Management from Indiana Wesleyan, holds her Professional Human Resource (PHR) certification through the Human Resource Certification Institute, and is a Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) through the Society of Human Resource Management.

     

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    Sarah Petersen

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    Sarah Petersen
    Director of Project Management

     

    As the Director of Project Management, Sarah is responsible for delivery of commercial, clinical, and development programs and customer account management.

     

    Sarah has over 16 years experience in pharmaceutical manufacturing supporting both drug substance and drug product manufacturing. Sarah has held roles and managed programs and scientists within Quality Assurance, Sterility Assurance, Process Development, Process and Cleaning Validation, Technical Services, and Commercialization. Sarah has significant experience leading and managing multiple site and country programs including development and delivery of strategic quality programs and commercialization of new products and platforms.

     

    Sarah holds a B.S. in Microbiology from Michigan State University.


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