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Board of Director

Jason Aytes, Executive Vice President

Jason comes to Proviera with extensive Sales, M&A and capital raising expertise. Throughout his career, he has been actively involved in the high-level institutional sales, origination and execution of debt capital markets transactions, and the origination of investment banking and management consulting engagements. Most recently he advised on the asset purchase of a start-up renewable energy company, then joined the owners as one of the first employee’s. Through his sales efforts and leadership, Jason helped it grow into Kansas City’s fastest growing company with revenue growth of over 1000%. Prior to this endeavor, Jason served as a Partner in a boutique investment bank and as a Vice President for a non-bank lender that specialized in acquisition loans to captive insurance agencies. He was instrumental in growing this company from start-up to an industry leader with more than $150 million in agency loans. Early in Jason’s career he spent several years as an associate in the Mergers and Acquisitions group for a publicly traded insurance brokerage, where he structured and negotiated transactions and closed more than 60 acquisitions.

Jason holds a degree in Finance and Banking from the University of Missouri where he was a four year member and varsity lettermen of Missouri’s Intercollegiate wrestling team and he remains an avid sports enthusiast to this day. Jason also enjoys reading, networking, keeping fit and traveling with his wife Kayleigh.

Mark Schmidtlein, CEO of American Walnut Company LLC

American Walnut Company is a 100-year-old company that is the world’s largest provider of American walnut gunstocks for hunting and sporting shotguns and rifles. Prior to his ownership of this company, Mark spent over 25 years in the banking business employed by UMB Bank of Kansas City and The PrivateBank and Trust Company (Chicago, Illinois)

Mark has an MBA from Rockhurst University and earned a BS in Agriculture from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

He considers himself a lifelong resident of Kansas City, where he has been involved in numerous civic and charitable organizations throughout his career. He currently serves of the Chairman of the Board for the Community Blood Center of Greater Kansas City, Board and Finance Committee Member of the YMCA of Greater Kansas City, board member of Brush Creek Community Partners and currently serves as Co-Chair of the Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph’s annual Celebration of Hope dinner. He is also a board member of Probiotic Holdings LLC and 9 Point Energy.

Mark Schmitz, V.P. of Research & Engineering for Labconco Corporation

Mark Schmitz presently serves as V.P. of Research & Engineering for the Labconco Corporation, a 90-year-old, KC-based manufacturer of laboratory equipment serving the worldwide needs in academic, clinical, industrial, pharmaceutical research, as well as criminal forensics. For the past 20 years, he and Labconco have grown through a relentless appetite for new product development. He is integrally involved in growth strategies, product positioning, researching new products, key account sales and all compliance issues. His leadership places a strong customer focus across all things technical: Design, Customs, Sales Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Service and Quality.

Thad Simons, Managing Director at The Yield Lab

Thad Simons is the founding Managing Director of The Yield Lab, an agricultural technology seed capital fund/accelerator based in St. Louis, Mo. He is also Board President of the International Food and Agribusiness Association (IFAMA). He is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Novus International, Inc. and continues in the role of Senior Executive Advisor to the Board of Directors.

Ed Stevens, President at Pulse NeedleFree Systems

Ed Stevens serves as President for Pulse NeedleFree Systems, a medical technology company focused on development of needle-free pharmaceutical injection systems for the animal health and human health industries, based in the Kansas-City area. As a graduate of University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, he previously worked at area law firm Shook, Hardy, & Bacon, as well as Quest Diagnostics.

Matt Wood, Founder and CEO

Matt Wood is the Founder and CEO of Probiotic Holdings. Since 1996, Matt has been a pioneer in developing probiotic technologies. His work with probiotics has resulted in global engagements in microbiology, agriculture, water treatment and human health. He led the launch and funding of Probiotic Holdings/SCD Probiotics in 2004 to develop and commercialize consortia fermentation technologies for multiple industries and has been the lead executive in building out SCD’s global network of manufacturers and distributors. In 2012, he led the launch and funding of Proviera Biotech to develop and commercialize sustainable products for the leather tannery industry. Matt earned a bachelor’s degree in soil and atmospheric sciences from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a master’s degree in bioproduction from the University of Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan.