Board of Directors

A.J. Kazimi is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cumberland Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CPI) and has served as the Chairman of Cumberland Emerging Technology’s (CET) Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer since inception. His career includes nearly 30 years in the biopharmaceutical industry. At Cumberland, he has overseen the development and FDA approval of the company’s Acetadote® and Caldolor® brands, while also leading the acquisition of the Company’s five other commercial products. He was responsible for Cumberland’s initial public offering and listing on the NASDAQ stock exchange. Prior to joining our company, he spent eleven years helping to build Therapeutic Antibodies Inc., an international biopharmaceutical company. As President and Chief Operating Officer, he made key contributions to that company’s growth from its start-up phase through its initial public offering and listing on the London stock exchange. Mr. Kazimi started his career at Brown-Forman Corporation, rising through a series of management positions and helping to launch several new products. Mr. Kazimi serves on the board of directors for the Nashville Health Care Council, an association of the largest concentration of healthcare companies in the U.S., as well as the Gettysburg Foundation which works with the National Park Service to preserve the historic military park. Mr. Kazimi is also an Advisory Board member for the University of Notre Dame’s new School of Global Affairs and a member of the Visiting Committee at Loyola University New Orleans’ College of Business. He previously served on the Board of Aegis Sciences Corporation, a federally certified forensic toxicology laboratory. He holds a B.S. from the University of Notre Dame and an M.B.A. from the Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management. The Board believes that Mr. Kazimi brings strategic insight, leadership and a history of successful execution to the Company along with a wealth of experience in both the biopharmaceutical industry and the development of emerging companies.

Kenneth J. Holroyd, M.D., MBA has academic and industry experience as a physician, scientist, and businessman. He is at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) as Vice President for Technology Transfer, focusing on facilitating VUMC’s technology transfer and enterprise development activities, and corporate research alliances. He also represents VUMC on the Board of Directors for Friends in Global Health, LLC, Acuitec, and Launch Tennessee. Dr. Holroyd completed clinical medical training in internal medicine, pulmonary medicine, and anesthesiology at Johns Hopkins and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. He has been involved in disease focused immunology, gene mapping, gene discovery, target validation, and therapeutics research and development in academia and industry. In addition, as former Chief Operating Officer of a public biopharmaceutical company, Dr. Holroyd led efforts in business development and licensing, clinical and preclinical research, regulatory affairs, quality assurance, corporate communications, investor relations and human resources over a seven-year period.

Samuel M. Lawrence is the Chief Executive Officer and a Co-Founder of CytoViva, Inc., based in Auburn, AL. Mr. Lawrence led the development of the core, patented illumination technology which is the foundation for CytoViva’s products and continues to lead product development and support sales efforts both domestically and internationally. Mr. Lawrence is also the CEO of Eagle Aquaculture, Inc., an aquatic animal drug development company also located in Auburn, AL. Prior to CytoViva, he was a Director at Boeing Commercial Airplanes in Seattle, WA where he led Supply Chain Transformation for the 737/757 Programs and was Factory Manager. Prior to Boeing he worked with Deloitte & Touche, LLC as a management consultant. Mr. Lawrence holds a B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering from Mississippi State University (MSU). He is co-inventor on two U.S. Patents for innovative insulation materials for commercial airplanes. He has a Masters of Management in Manufacturing from the Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management and completed the International Executive Programme at INSEAD (Fontainebleau, France/ Singapore). In 2011 he was named a Distinguished Engineering Fellow at MSU and in 2014 he was admitted to the Auburn University chapter of the National Academy of Inventors.

James P. Leyda, Ph.D. is the former Director of Corporate Development for CET. Prior to joining CET, Dr. Leyda was President & CEO of Emerging Concepts, Inc., a company focused on commercializing technology from the Cincinnati and Ohio Valley region. There he oversaw technology development operations and funding initiatives that resulted in several million dollars in grant awards, primarily through state and federal small business programs. He also spent many years in leadership positions at what became Hoechst Marion Roussel (now Aventis), with responsibilities ranging from commercial and new product development to strategic research alliances. Dr. Leyda sits on the advisory boards for several start-up companies and foundations.

John A. Smith, M.D., Ph.D., M.M.M., D.Sc. (hon) is a Professor of Pathology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Medicine. Prior to his 20 year career in senior management positions at UAB, he served as Associate Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School and Associate of Molecular Biology in addition to Associate Pathologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Smith has served as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Cumberland Emerging Technologies for 11 years. Dr. Smith brings 20 years of leadership experience in clinical laboratory science and 30 years of research management which includes extensive research experience in; biochemistry, immunology, and molecular biology, resulting in 218 original publications and 7 books.  He received; an MD from the University of Missouri (Columbia), a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Melbourne (Australia), a Master of Medical Management from Tulane University, and an honorary Doctor of Science from Purdue University for his contributions to protein science and molecular biology education.

Alan R. Bentley currently serves as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property at Vanderbilt University. He joined OTTED in June of 2011, and is responsible for directing all aspects of the office, focusing on faculty service and transactional efficiency. Before joining Vanderbilt, he served for five years as the Director of Commercialization for Cleveland Clinic Innovations’ health care center’s technology commercialization function. Prior to the Cleveland Clinic, he served as the Associate Director of the University of Virginia’s Patent Foundation. Mr. Bentley received his master’s degree in physics from the University of Virginia, and separate bachelor’s degrees in both electrical engineering and physics from Carnegie Mellon University. He is a registered patent agent and a certified licensing professional. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of University Technology Managers.

Van Tucker is president and CEO of Launch Tennessee, a public-private partnership with a vision to make Tennessee the most startup-friendly state in the nation. She started her career in the banking and finance industry, having served as senior vice president of both Bank of America’s entertainment industry group and Regions’ private banking sector. Following her time with Regions, she was involved in the founding of Avenue Bank, a startup community bank in Nashville, where she served as chief creative officer. Prior to joining LaunchTN, she was founder and CEO of the Nashville Fashion Alliance, an organization that raised international awareness of the $6 billion impact of the fashion industry on the local economy. She has also served as the founding leader of two private strategy consulting companies serving Fortune 100 companies.