Management Team

Tom van Aken

Chief Executive Officer
I hold a Master’s Degree in Chemistry from the Utrecht University in the Netherlands and worked at DSM from 1996 till 2002. At DSM I did various commercial positions, primarily in DSM’s fine chemicals and life sciences business in the USA and the Netherlands. In 2002, I joined Avantium as Vice-President of Business Development and became Chief Executive Officer of Avantium in 2005. At Avantium I have led the company through the transition to become a focused chemical and cleantech company by divesting its pharmaceutical business and by the development of the YXY technology.

Frank Roerink

Chief Financial Officer
Since 2007 I work as Chief Financial Officer for Avantium. I hold a Master’s Degree in Econometrics from the University of Amsterdam. Before joining Avantium, I worked for more than thirteen years at Unilever in numerous finance and accounting positions. From 2000 to 2003 I was Finance Director at Unilever Bestfoods in the US. After that, I worked in Unilever Treasury as Director of International Funding and in the period 2005-2006 I traveled the world as Director of Mergers & Acquisitions for Unilever N.V.

Gert-Jan Gruter

Chief Technology Officer
I became Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Avantium in January 2004. I initially was responsible for setting up the Chemicals Service Business when Avantium was established in 2000. I hold a PhD in Chemistry from the Vrije Universiteit (VU) in Amsterdam. I worked at DSM from 1994 to 2000, heading a R&D group on polyolefin catalysis and I chaired DSM’s corporate high-throughput technology activities. I was professor in Polymer Catalysis part-time at Eindhoven University of Technology from 1999 to 2006. Currently, I am a member of several boards such as the the Industrial Advisory Board of NIOK (VIRAN) and the Innovation Board of VNCI. I am (co-)inventor of more than 50 patents.

Carmen Portocarero

General Counsel

For over 17 years I practiced law in a multinational environment. With every new challenge offered in the business environment and being able to work in many places across the world I concluded that providing legal services from within the organization makes me tick as a lawyer. Experiencing on a daily basis the impact of what we all contribute to a company, being part of making it successful, being able to making the difference. I recently joined Avantium as corporate legal counsel, and bring my experience and expertise from the previous legal positions I held at AT&T, a large US telecommunication company.

With a lot of respect for Avantium’s innovative achievements in the chemical industry and its culture of being a winning team, I am very excited to be part of the current stage that we are at; defining the next generation of biobased plastics and chemicals.

Zanna McFerson

Chief Business Development Officer

I had several positions at Cargill over a 20-year period, in trading, sales, product development and global business management. My last position held at Cargill was Vice-President and Business Director of Truvia®, where I led the successful introduction of the natural sweetener Truvia® in the US, Latin America and Europe. I directed a global team with resources across research and development, supply chain, sales and marketing. After Cargill, I became Chief Business Officer at Amyris, an American biotechnology company, active in the development and commercialization of renewable products.

Steven Olivier

Managing Director Catalysis
I have previously worked at Albemarle and AkzoNobel in a range of general management and commercial roles. Here I led global businesses across different segments of the catalyst industry in Europe and Asia, and have been responsible for sales & marketing, strategy, technology commercialization, R&D and supply chains. I hold a Master’s degree in Chemistry from the Leiden University in the Netherlands.

Tom B. van Aken

Chief Executive Officer
I hold a Master’s Degree in Chemistry from the Utrecht University in the Netherlands and worked at DSM from 1996 till 2002. At DSM I did various commercial positions, primarily in DSM’s fine chemicals and life sciences business in the USA and the Netherlands. In 2002, I joined Avantium as Vice-President of Business Development and became Chief Executive Officer of Avantium in 2005. At Avantium I have led the company through the transition to become a focused chemical and cleantech company by divesting its pharmaceutical business and by the development of the YXY technology.

Frank C. H. Roerink

Chief Financial Officer
Since 2007 I work as Chief Financial Officer for Avantium. I hold a Master’s Degree in Econometrics from the University of Amsterdam. Before joining Avantium, I worked for more than thirteen years at Unilever in numerous finance and accounting positions. From 2000 to 2003 I was Finance Director at Unilever Bestfoods in the US. After that, I worked in Unilever Treasury as Director of International Funding and in the period 2005-2006 I traveled the world as Director of Mergers & Acquisitions for Unilever N.V.

Gert-Jan Gruter

Chief Technology Officer
I became Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Avantium in January 2004. I initially was responsible for setting up the Chemicals Service Business when Avantium was established in 2000. I hold a PhD in Chemistry from the Vrije Universiteit (VU) in Amsterdam. I worked at DSM from 1994 to 2000, heading a R&D group on polyolefin catalysis and he chaired DSM’s corporate high-throughput technology activities. I was professor in Polymer Catalysis part-time at Eindhoven University of Technology from 1999 to 2006. Currently, I am a member of several boards such as the the Industrial Advisory Board of NIOK (VIRAN) and the Innovation Board of VNCI. I am (co-)inventor of more than 50 patents.

Carmen Portocarero

General Counsel

For over 17 years I practiced law in a multinational environment. With every new challenge offered in the business environment and being able to work in many places across the world I concluded that providing legal services from within the organization makes me tick as a lawyer. Experiencing on a daily basis the impact of what we all contribute to a company, being part of making it successful, being able to making the difference. I recently joined Avantium as corporate legal counsel, and bring my experience and expertise from the previous legal positions I held at AT&T, a large US telecommunication company.

With a lot of respect for Avantium’s innovative achievements in the chemical industry and its culture of being a winning team, I am very excited to be part of the current stage that we are at; defining the next generation of biobased plastics and chemicals.

Steven Olivier

Managing Director Catalysis
I have previously worked at Albemarle and AkzoNobel in a range of general management and commercial roles. Here I led global businesses across different segments of the catalyst industry in Europe and Asia, and have been responsible for sales & marketing, strategy, technology commercialization, R&D and supply chains. I hold a Master’s degree in Chemistry from the Leiden University in the Netherlands.

People at Avantium

Bing Wang

Bing Wang

Scientist

In Feb, 2008 I joined Avantium as a scientist of catalytic biomass conversion. I did my Ph D. study at SIOC, China. My background is organic and organometallic chemistry. Before I moved to Avantium, I already worked 12 years at DSM Research /SABIC Research and Development at fields of new catalyst developments for polyolefins. My biggest contribution is that I can realize many basic chemical reactions and create new and novel chemical reactions.
What I like about Avantium is our core of innovation, flexibility and ambition, allowing us to be successful in new process and new product developments.

Bart Berenbak

Bart Berenbak

VP Operations Renewable Chemistries and Site Manager

MSc. In Physics and a PhD in Chemistry. Spent nine years in the semi-conductor industry and two years in bio-pharmaceutics with Crucell before joining Avantium in December 2011. Providing application services in the semi-conductor bizz made me appreciate the delicate arts of Process and equipment engineering on the technical/commercial interface: Customer relation management, Quality management, manufacturing Supply Chain, but most of all people management. These skills served me well during 5 years at Avantium Catalysis business unit.

During this period, the Renewable Chemistries BU was started and I switched on Jan 1st 2017 to become the (first) VP Operations. Challenge is to manage growth, maintain Avantium’s unique, innovative and creative culture while delivering upon ambitious plans. Meaning right balance business processes, KPI’s, financial controls, and providing ‘great place to work’ with comradery, room for out-of-the-box innovation and personal growth.

Annemiek Hoos Cabout

Annemiek Hoos Cabout

Assistant Lab Manager

My background is 9 years of lab experience, including 6 years at Avantium. I started 1 May 2006 at Avantium at the Batch department. Making and testing of catalysts on a small scale. During these six years, I had also the opportunity to develop myself as an assistant lab manager, a member of the SCT, BHV and OR. My experience will give me the foundation for a new exciting challenge within Avantium.

What I like about my job is the opportunity to constantly developing myself. And my biggest challenge for the next years within Avantium is to be a successful in every challenge Avantium is giving me.

Ben McKay

Ben McKay

Vice President Innovation

As VP Innovation, I’m currently leading our effort to develop and commercialise a process for the production of second generation sugars from lignocellulosic biomass, the ZAMBEZI process: A best in class process, offering high purity 2G glucose for bio-based chemical production, at a cost competitive with 1G starch-based glucose.

Further, I’m embedded in our Renewable Chemistries “incubator” group, which is working on an exciting portfolio of other new bio-based chemical processes.

What I most like about working for Avantium, is that it’s never boring! If like me, you’re hungry to learn new things, a continuous stream of challenging R&D projects makes for a stimulating and rewarding working environment.

Ed de Jong

Ed de Jong

VP Development

My background is in Biomass pretreatment and conversion. I joined Avantium in October 1st 2007. As biomass specialist I bring insights into the team on the possibilities and pitfalls of the different feedstocks and to make sure we develop the best strategy possible in this area. Before I have worked for Wagenignen UR since 1997, focusing on developing non-food applications from a range of biomasses including carbohydrates, cellulose and lignin. I have a wide experience with public-private partnerships and subsidies. On behalf of Avantium I am part of the management team of CatchBio. I am still involved in the IEA Bioenergy Task 42 on Biorefineries.

To work with a very enthousiastic and competent team to bring together an exciting set of YXY products from the lab into the market place

Martin Lok

Martin Lok

Principal Scientist

I have almost 40 years expertise in industrial catalysis ranging from hydrogenation, oxidation and acid-base catalysis to GTL, and from fundamental research to upscaling and production, while working in the Netherlands (Unilever), Germany (Unilever) and the UK (ICI, Johnson Matthey). In ICI (Katalco, Synetix) I was Research Manager of the group Polymers, Chemicals & Edible oils, responsible for the R&D of all chemical catalysts. Thereafter, upon the acquisition of ICI Synetix by Johnson Matthey, I led the Discovery Group focusing on the newest developments which job I combined with that of Research Fellow which allowed me to operate in a wide range of catalysis fields. In 2008 I joined Avantium as Principal Scientist. It is great to see how the type of studies I was involved in in the past can now be performed at least an order of magnitude faster.

My challenge is to ensure that not only research is done faster but also that the right experiments are being performed.

Erik-Jan Ras

Erik-Jan Ras

Scientist

Organic chemist by background, over the years cross-trained in catalysis, modeling, data analysis and statistical experimental design. Strong believer in the integration of data mining and modeling methods in research projects.

The most interesting challenge of working in a contract R&D environment is the fast pace, both scientific and commercial.

Martijn Zieverink

Martijn Zieverink

Team leader Volta

I studied chemical engineering and catalysis. After working 3 years as a scientist in a large food company I joined Avantium. As a Team Leader my main task is to manage complex research projects. Also, I work closely with our Business Development team to bring in new business.

I particularly like the dynamic environment, allowing me to grow both as a person and professionally. One day I am helping a customer solve his catalytic challenge, next day I am involved in developing a new product offering!

Supervisory Board Members

Mr. J.M. Van der Eijk

Mr. J.M. Van der Eijk

Chairman of the supervisory board

Mr. J.M. van der Eijk (vice-chairman) joined the Supervisory Board of the Company in January 2010.

Mr. Van der Eijk started his career as a research scientist for Shell in 1980 and worked for Shell for 29 years in various positions, including Business Strategist, Technology Manager and Chief Technology Officer. His current important positions outside the Group include: member of the supervisory board of the Joint Venture, member of the Board of Arundo Inc., member of the supervisory board of the University of Utrecht and member of the supervisory board of Havenbedrijf Moerdijk N.V.

Mr. van der Eijk holds a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Utrecht.

Mr. D.J. Lucquin

Mr. D.J. Lucquin

Member of the supervisory board, Chairman of the Remuneration committee, Chairman of the Nomination committee

Mr. D.J. Lucquin joined the Supervisory Board of the Company in May 2011. Mr. Lucquin’s appointment in the Supervisory Board has been renewed for a period of four years, provided that this period shall end immediately after the annual General Meeting in 2018 in order to ensure a smooth transition following the Conversion. Mr. Lucquin worked at the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique from 1986 – 1989. In 1989, he joined, Crédit Lyonnais. Mr. Lucquin joined Sofinnova Partners in 1991 and became a Managing Partner in 1998 and Chairman in 2007 until January 2017.

Mr. Lucquin currently serves as a representative of or member of the Board of Directors of Noxxon Pharma AG, Green Biologics Ltd, Enobraq SAS, By Design Ltd and as Managing Partner of Sofinnova Partners. In the period 2002-2013 and 2005-2015 he served as a board representative of Sofinnova Partners SAS for Ablynx N.V. respectively Cerenis Therapeutics SA. In the period 2009 – 2013 he was a director of BioAmber Inc.

Mr. Lucquin is a graduate in engineering from École Polytechnique and École du Génie Rural des Eaux et
Forêts. He also has a degree in Innovation Management from the Unversité de Paris-Dauphine.

Ms. G.E.A. Reijnen

Ms. G.E.A. Reijnen

Member of the supervisory board, Member of the Audit committee, Member of the Remuneration committee, Member of the Nomination committee

Ms. G.E.A. Reijnen joined the Supervisory Board of the Company in April 2015.

Ms. Reijnen started her career with ABN AMRO Bank N.V. in 1992 in various positions within corporate and investment banking where she became Managing Director and Head of Corporate Wholesale Clients Netherlands in 2007. Ms. Reijnen worked at The Royal Bank of Scotland N.V. from 2007 – 2012 as member of the Management Team RBS Netherlands and Head of Corporate Clients. From 2012 – 2016 Ms. Reijnen worked for Alvarez & Marsal as a Managing Director in Restructuring and Financial Institutions & Advisory Services.
Ms. Reijnen currently works as an independent finance professional.

Ms. Reijnen holds a Master’s degree in Business Economics from the Erasmus University Rotterdam and is an alumna of Harvard Business School.

Mr. J.S. Wolfson

Mr. J.S. Wolfson

Member of the supervisory board, Member of the Remuneration committee, Member of the Nomination committee

Mr. J.S. Wolfson joined the Supervisory Board of the Company in January 2013.

Mr. Wolfson is the chairman of TerraVia Holdings Inc., formerly named Solazyme Inc., a company he co-founded in 2003. Prior to Solazyme, Mr. Wolfson was the Vice President of Finance and Business Development for 7thOnline. Prior to that, Mr. Wolfson was co-founder, president and chief operating officer of InvestorTree, a SaaS/Internet based financial services company. He was also an adjunct faculty member in the Economics department at Hunter College (CUNY).

His other current important positions outside the Group include: chairman and CEO of TerraVia Holdings Inc. NASDAQ.

Mr. Wolfson holds J.D. and M.B.A. degrees from the NYU School of Law and the NYU Stem School of Business. Additionally, he spent several years as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Economics at Hunter College of the City University of New York.

The Company’s registered address (Zekeringstraat 29, 1014 BV Amsterdam, the Netherlands), serves as the business address for all members of the Supervisory Board.

Mrs. M.G. Kleinsman

Mrs. M.G. Kleinsman

Member of the supervisory board, Chairman of the Audit committee

Mrs. M.G. Kleinsman joined the Supervisory Board of the Company in June 2017.

Margret Kleinsman, Chief Financial Officer of Holland Colours N.V., graduated from the Technical University Twente, the Netherlands, and completed a post doc at the VU University Amsterdam. She worked for Akzo Nobel until 2014, filling a variety of roles with increasing responsibilities in Chemicals, Fibers and Coatings at various locations, including two longer term assignments in the USA. In her last role at Akzo Nobel, as General Manager for Car Refinish Coatings for North and South America, she was based in Atlanta, Georgia, and was, among other things, responsible for the implementation of a new distribution model. Margret Kleinsman was appointed Chief Financial Officer of Holland Colours N.V. as of 2014.

In line with the Supervisory Board profile, Mrs. Kleinsman adds the following desired specific knowledge and experience:

■     Extensive finance and general management experience. Key finance strengths include IT, internal controls, tax, transfer pricing, business finance and M&A.

■     Mrs Kleinsman spent her entire career in chemicals and coatings, first with Akzo Nobel, and currently with Holland Colours.