Their appointment to the Board raises the total number of Board members to ten, eight of whom are outside independent Board members.
Dr. Sohn brings significant industry experience in pharmaceutical and health related sectors based on her leadership and achievements in business development and new product development for 28 years at Glaxo Smith Kline. Most recently, Dr. Sohn was Senior Vice President of worldwide business development and strategic alliance for GSK's $8 billion consumer healthcare division. Early in her career, Dr. Sohn established the U.S. vaccine business unit for SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals and she subsequently led the commercialization of Paxil, which became one of GSK's top five pharmaceutical products. Currently Dr. Sohn serves as president of Sohn Health Strategies, LLC, providing business development and new product marketing consultation to biotechnology, specialty pharmaceutical and healthcare companies. Dr. Sohn received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from University of California in San Francisco.
Ms. Pankopf brings 20 years of investment experience in researching and valuing equity and debt corporate securities and managing capital market transactions for domestic and international public and private companies. She has held Vice President and Senior Equity Analyst positions at Goldman Sachs & Co and Merrill Lynch & Co. Further, Ms. Pankopf's experience includes hedge fund portfolio management generating significant returns based on fundamental business, financial, accounting and valuation analyses. In recent years as managing partner of Pareto Advisors, Ms. Pankopf has provided capital investment and financial advisory services for clients in the U.S. and internationally. Ms. Pankopf holds a Master of Science from the London School of Economics.
Gary Steele, Chairman and CEO of Landec Corporation, commented, "We greatly value the breadth of experience and expertise Cathy and Tonia bring to Landec's Board. Cathy's expertise will help us as we grow our biomedical materials business and focus our activities on health-related markets. Tonia's Wall Street valuation analysis and institutional investor knowledge bring added financial depth and perspectives to the Board and management team."
Dr. Sohn said, "Landec's two core businesses, biomedical injectable materials in ophthalmic and orthopedic products and specialty packaged, value-added vegetable products, are two businesses which enhance people's health, underpinned by Landec's patented technologies and unique capabilities. Health and convenience will be the two key drivers of consumer demand for U.S. fresh vegetables over the next five years and Landec is uniquely positioned to address both. Improving health has been my professional focus for many years and I am honored to join the Landec Board to work to advance Landec's business strategy."
Ms. Pankopf commented, "At this time of focus and growth for Landec, I am pleased to contribute my investment experience and provide institutional investor perspectives for the benefit of Landec's shareholders. I look forward to working with the Board and management as Landec continues to efficiently allocate its resources for the expansion of its products and customers."
Frederick Frank, Chairman of Landec's Nominating Committee, concluded, "We look forward to Cathy's and Tonia's new insights and contributions to the Board. The addition of Cathy and Tonia to the Board complements and deepens the relevant industry, financial, economic and executive experience of Landec's Board of Directors."