Board of Directors
Larry FirestoneChair of the Board Read Bio
Mr. Firestone brings over 40 years of enterprise, operations, and financial management experience in both public and private companies, including tenures as CEO, CFO and COO across multiple industry sectors. Mr. Firestone most recently served as Chief Financial Officer of Oakland Manager, a privately-held purveyor of cannabis with both retail and wholesale market penetration, and as Chairman of FirePower Technology, a privately held manufacturer of ATX power supplies for the IT and instrumentation markets. In the public company sector, Mr. Firestone has served as Chief Executive Officer of Eastside Distilling, Inc. (NASDAQ: EAST), Chief Executive Officer of Qualstar Corporation (NASDAQ: QBAK), Chief Financial Officer of Advanced Energy Industries (NASDAQ: AEIS), and Chief Financial Officer of Applied Films Corporation (NASDAQ: AFCO). He has served on numerous boards, including those of Eastside Distilling, Qualstar, CVD Equipment Corporation (NASDAQ: CVD), Amtech Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASYS) and HyperSpace Communications, Inc. (NYSE: HYPR). Mr. Firestone received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania.
Nora B. SullivanBoard Member Read Bio
Nora B. Sullivan has served as Chairperson of the Board since January 2020, and as a director since May 2015. Nora is currently President of Sullivan Capital Partners, LLC, a financial services company providing investment banking and consulting services to closely held businesses, focusing on deal structure, due diligence, strategic planning, and governance matters. Prior to founding Sullivan Capital Partners in 2004, Sullivan worked for Citigroup Private Bank from 2000 to 2004, providing wealth management and private equity services to high-net-worth individuals. From 1995 to 1999, she was Executive Vice President of Rand Capital Corporation (NASDAQ: RAND), a publicly traded closed-end investment management company providing capital and managerial expertise to small and mid-size businesses. Nora is a member of the Board of Directors of Evans Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE American: EVBN), Robinson Home Products, and Rosina Food Products. She is Vice Chair of the Investment Committee and member of the Board of Directors of the Patrick P Lee Foundation, Chairperson of the Technology Transfer Committee and member of the Investment Committee of the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, and a member of the SUNY Cortland College Foundation Board. She holds an MBA degree in Finance and International Business from Columbia University Graduate School of Business and a JD degree from the University of Buffalo School of Law.
James A. MishDirector Read Bio
James A. Mish was appointed Chief Executive Officer in June 2020. He has an outstanding track record of delivering profitable growth at both privately-held and publicly-traded science-driven companies with a focus on pharmaceutical and consumer products commercialization. Prior to joining 22nd Century, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Purisys, a synthetic cannabinoid API, ingredients and solutions provider to pharmaceutical and consumer products companies, and Noramco, a global leader in the production of controlled substances for the pharmaceutical industry. There, he led the private equity carve out of Noramco from Johnson & Johnson/Janssen Pharmaceuticals and spearheaded the subsequent creation and spinoff of Purisys from Noramco. James began his career at Pfizer in research and development before holding positions of increasing responsibility at several companies including as President of Ashland Specialty Ingredients - Consumer Specialties, a major division of Ashland Corporation, a premier, global specialty materials company serving customers in a wide range of consumer and industrial markets.
Dr. Michael KoganovDirector Read Bio
Dr. Michael Koganov was appointed as a member of our Board of Directors in September 2020, serving as the Chair of our Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee and as a member of our Finance Committee. Dr. Koganov is recognized as a leading expert in the development of natural products using plant biotechnology and has achieved considerable accomplishments in physico-chemistry, biochemistry, bioelectrochemistry, and biotechnology. He is credited with developing Electro-Membrane technology for the comprehensive processing of plants to produce protein concentrates and secondary metabolites. Dr. Koganov co-founded IBT LLC, which developed the proprietary and sustainable Zeta Fraction™ technology that selectively isolates efficacious components from living plants and marine sources to produce a wide range of biofunctional ingredients. After the award-winning technology was acquired by AkzoNobel and then Ashland Global Holdings Inc., Dr. Koganov directed the research, product development, and commercialization of patented multifunctional bioactive Zeta Fractions that are used as key, signature ingredients in numerous products of global companies in the OTC and personal care spaces; and various synergistic compositions of Zeta Fractions obtained from living plants from twelve major plant families. He is the President and Co-Founder of Intellebio LLC, a consulting and testing firm focused on the development of novel technologies, advanced test methods, and breakthrough products in the life science field. Dr. Koganov received his Master of Science degree in Biochemistry from the State University, Dnipropetrovsk, USSR; his Ph.D. in Bioelectrochemistry from Institute of Chemical Technology, Dnipropetrovsk, USSR; and Full Doctor of Sciences (Sc.D.) degree in biotechnology from the Higher Attestation Commission of the USSR’s Council of Ministers. He has written more than 70 publications, secured over 100 granted patents, and is the author of two books.
Anthony JohnsonDirector Read Bio
Anthony Johnson was appointed as a member of our Board of Directors in August 2021, serving on our Scientific Advisory and Compensation Committees. Anthony is co-founder, President, and CEO of Kodikaz Therapeutic Solutions, a next-generation non-viral gene therapy company. He is also a founding partner of Buffalo Biosciences, a life science strategic business management firm that supports the evaluation and commercialization of bioscience technologies from concept to market. Previously he was president and CEO of Empire Genomics, where he transformed a concept formed at a university lab into a preeminent oncology molecular diagnostic testing enterprise. He also served as the business leader of the stem cell and regenerative medicine franchise for Thermo Fisher (Invitrogen Corporation). Anthony has leveraged his business experience and numerous board positions to mentor technology startups and entrepreneurs, spur state and local job creation, and introduce STEM curriculum into early childhood education. He is an Aspen Institute Health Innovation Fellow and member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, and he currently serves on the board of the WNED/PBS broadcasting service of Western New York. Johnson is a founding board member of the Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative, which works to create positive change in the lives of low-income youth of color. Additionally, he serves as Michigan Street African-American Heritage Corridor Commissioner and was an Opportunities Council member for University of Buffalo. He holds an MBA from Manchester Business School, Manchester, UK, with an emphasis in international strategy, and a BA in biology from Fisk University, Nashville, TN.
Richard M. SandersDirector Read Bio
Richard M. Sanders has served as a director since December 2013. Since August 2009, he has served as a General Partner of Phase One Ventures, LLC, a venture capital firm which focuses on nanotechnology and biotechnology start-up opportunities in New Mexico and surrounding states. From January 2002 until June 2009, Richard served as President and CEO of Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company (SFNTC), a division of Reynolds American, Inc., which manufactures and markets the Natural American Spirit cigarette brand. During his 7-year tenure as head of SFNTC, Sanders tripled Natural American Spirit’s market share and SFNTC’s operating earnings and directed the successful expansion of Natural American Spirit into international markets in Western Europe and Asia. Prior to directing SFNTC’s spectacular growth, he worked for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company where he began his career as a marketing assistant in 1977. From 1987 to 2002 he served in a wide spectrum of executive positions including, among others, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Vice President of Strategic Development. A native of Minneapolis, Richard earned a BS degree in political science from Hamline University in St. Paul and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
Lucille S. SalhanyDirector Read Bio
Lucille S. Salhany was appointed as a member of our Board of Directors in September 2021, serving on the Corporate Governance and Nominating and Finance committees. Lucille is currently President and CEO of her own consulting company, JHMedia. She was also one of the founding partners of Echo Bridge Entertainment and CEO & President of LifeFX Networks, Inc. Prior to this, she served as Chairperson of the Twentieth Television division of Fox, and was appointed the first woman in history to head a major television network when she accepted the Chairmanship of Fox Broadcasting. After chairing Fox, Salhany accepted the post of Chief Executive Officer and President of United Paramount Network (UPN), launching and growing UPN to become the fifth major broadcast network. She also served on the Board of Directors for Echo Bridge Entertainment, Compaq / Hewlett-Packard, Fox, Inc., Avid Technologies, and American Media, Inc. Lucille was also a trustee of Emerson College and Lasell College, where she received Honorary Doctorates.
Andy ArnoDirector Read Bio
Mr. Arno previously served, until February 2023, as Vice Chairman of The Special Equities Group, a division of Dawson James Securities, Inc., plus other senior roles at investment banking firms. Prior, Mr. Arno served as Vice Chairman and Chief Marketing Officer of Unterberg Capital, LLC, an investment advisory firm that he co-founded, and as Vice Chairman and Head of Equity Capital Markets of Merriman Capital LLC, where he also served on the board of the parent company, Merriman Holdings, Inc. Mr. Arno was responsible for Capital Markets for C.E. Unterberg, Towbin, a Vice President at Lehman Brothers and in the Individual Investors Services Division of L.F. Rothschild Unterberg, Towbin in portfolio management for high-net-worth individuals. Mr. Arno is currently the Chairman of the Board of Oncocyte Corporation and also serves on the boards of directors of Smith Micro Software, Inc., Independa Inc., and Comhear Inc. Mr. Arno previously served as a director of Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. from August 2014 until it was acquired by Lineage Cell Therapeutics, Inc. in March 2019. Mr. Arno received a BS degree from George Washington University.