Meet The Ecovia Renewables Team

Jeremy Minty, PhD, Co-Founder, President & CEO

Dr. Jeremy Minty is a biotechnology entrepreneur dedicated to addressing the global problems of fossil fuel dependency and climate change. Jeremy co-founded Ecovia Renewables with the mission to develop and commercialize cost-effective routes for producing high-performing biobased ingredients and materials. He earned his undergraduate and doctorate degrees in Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan under the direction of Dr. Xiaoxia “Nina” Lin.

Drew Hertig, MBA, Co-Founder, Chief Business Officer

Mr. Andrew Hertig’s multi-disciplinary approach combines marketing and communication skills with industry experience as a former bench biologist. Mr. Hertig initially worked in metabolic engineering for Metabolix, Inc., where he demonstrated the highest yield of poly-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB)—a sustainable biopolymer— in any plant system at the time. Prior to joining Ecovia Renewables as CBO, Mr. Hertig led business development at Therapeutic Systems Research Laboratories, where he helped raise $4.2 million in non-dilutive grant funding for small and large molecule therapeutics. Mr. Hertig holds an MBA from Boston University, graduating with Honors. He also holds a BS in Biology from Penn State University and is a Certified Licensing Professional (#2623).

Samuel Kohley, Innovation Manager

Mr. Samuel Kohley's research experience includes developing new methods in antibody production as a part of the Michigan Synthetic Biology team. Previously, Sam promoted the American Chemical Society on Michigan’s campus and was a member of the nationally ranked Michigan Waterski Team. Since joining Ecovia Renewables in November of 2015, Sam has been promoted twice. His now oversees applications development of Ecovia biopolymers. Sam is a 2015 graduate of the University of Michigan with a B.S. in Biochemistry.

Ian Graves, Research & Development Engineer

Mr. Ian Graves is currently a Research & Development Engineer at Ecovia Renewables. His recent experience includes working in Dr. Nina Lin's lab on projects to improve growth conditions of a fungal co-cultures with the goal of increasing productivity and yield. While at the University of Michigan, Ian was also Project Lead for an engineering and sustainability club on campus called BLUElab. Ian holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan.

Harry Poppick, MS, Research & Development Engineer

Mr. Harry Poppick is a bioengineer with the ambition of creating sustainable chemical processes. He has a rich background developing efficient processes at other companies in the biotechnology industry. At Algae Systems, Inc. Harry worked as an engineer improving a carbon-negative process to produce microbial biofuel using municipal wastewater as a primary feedstock. Before joining the Ecovia Renewables team, Harry served as lead engineer at Fermentec, Inc., a startup working to optimize industrial-scale beer production using microfluidic technology. Harry graduated from Northwestern University with B.S. and M.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering with a specialization in biotechnology.

Constance Bahr, Research Associate

Ms. Constance Bahr joined Ecovia’s team in June of 2018 to help with microbiology processes and analysis. Constance has done research at the University of Queensland, Australia working on innovative clinical diagnostics pertaining the human gut microbiome, specifically handling anaerobic bacteria. She has also done research at the University of Michigan working on progressing knowledge and applications of polysaccharide utilization loci through binding affinity assays and protein crystallography, she also worked on a drug discovery project for the human gut microbiome using high throughput methods with anaerobic bacteria. Constance holds a B.S. in Biomolecular Science from the University of Michigan.

Chao Peng, PhD, Research Scientist — polymer Chemistry

Dr. Chao Peng is currently a Research Scientist intern at Ecovia Renewables, focusing on the development of scalable chemistries and processing methods for the Ecovia Biopolymers products. Chao has a strong research background in polymer chemistry. Before joining Ecovia Renewables, Chao was a research assistant at the University of Akron and his research focused on the development of functionalized polyurethanes for antimicrobial applications. Chao graduated from the University of Akron with a Ph.D. degree in Polymer Science.

Destiny Haist, Research Technician

Mrs. Destiny Haist is currently a Research Technician at Ecovia Renewables. Her experience includes studying plant gravitropism in Arabisopsis thaliana as a Research Assistant and working as a Laboratory Technician at Indiana University East (IUE). Destiny graduated summa cum Laude with a B.S. in Human Life Science and a Minor in Chemistry. She was a member of the Honors Program and Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society at IUE.

Pranav Ubhe, MS, Bioprocess Engineer

Bio to come!

Rika Regentin, MS, Fermentation Specialist

Bio to come!

Jason Stansell, MS, Controller

Mr. Jason Stansell is an outsourced Controller/CFO that specializes in working with startups and small businesses. Mr. Stansell initially worked in public accounting for over 5 years, auditing both public and privately held companies throughout the Midwest. After leaving public accounting, Mr. Stansell worked for a local development firm that specialized in project development for stadiums, arenas, and other destination centers. Jason oversaw the budget for nearly $500M in ongoing projects including Lambeau Field, The Edgewater Hotel, and the PPL Center in PA. Prior to his current role, Jason worked with manufacturing firms in need of turnaround accounting services and cash management. Jason holds a Masters in Public Accountancy and is a Certified Public Accountant in Wisconsin.

Meet Our Past Interns

Archan Vyas, Bioprocess Engineer Intern

Mr. Archan Vyas worked as a Bioprocess Engineer Intern at Ecovia Renewables, joining the summer of 2019. He is an incoming senior at the University of Michigan -- Ann Arbor (UM), pursuing a BSE in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Computer Science. Mr. Vyas’ research at UM involves studying colloidal active matter and structural color through the Solomon Group. He is a member of AIChE chapter at UM and expects to graduate in 2020.

Lucy White, Product Innovation Intern

Ms. Lucy White worked as a Product Innovation Intern at Ecovia Renewables, joining in the summer of 2019. She is a Chemical Engineering student at the University of Michigan with a specialization in life sciences. Her research experience includes working with the University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens to develop a composting system to kill invasive plant species. She is expected to graduate with an undergraduate degree in 2021.