November 29/Hayward, Calif./Business Wire -- Aurora Algae announced the appointment of two new executives to help drive commercialization of its algae-based platform for sustainable nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, aquaculture and renewable-energy products. Connie Sandusky joins the company as senior vice president of sales, responsible for developing sales and marketing strategy, while Thomas Willardson will serve as chief financial officer, overseeing Aurora Algae's finance and accounting functions.

"With our demonstration facility in full operation, successfully producing tons of biomass per month, we now need to quickly scale our financial, operations and sales teams to meet the growing demand for algae-based products," said Greg Bafalis, CEO of Aurora Algae. "Tom and Connie are key strategic additions to our executive team as we prepare to break ground on our new commercial production facilities, and intensify our focus on high-value market segments for our algae-based products."

With a track record of growing successful companies and guiding them through private and public fundraising activities, Willardson will oversee Aurora Algae's finance and accounting operations as the company raises capital to scale its operations to meet market demand. Prior to Aurora Algae, Willardson held CFO positions at Energy Recovery Inc., Cost Plus, WebSideStory and Archimedes Technology Group Holdings. His fundraising experience includes successful initial public offerings with Energy Recovery, WebSideStory and Leap Wireless. Willardson earned a bachelor's degree in Finance from Brigham Young University and an MBA from the University of Southern California.

Sandusky joins Aurora Algae with 18 years of experience driving growth in B2B food ingredient businesses. She previously served as director of sales, Americas, at D.D. Williamson, a global leader in natural food colorings. Prior to that, Sandusky spent 10 years in sales and marketing leadership roles at Kalsec, a producer of natural colors, flavor extracts, antioxidants and nutritional ingredients for the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. As senior vice president of sales, Sandusky will lead sales and marketing to further develop cornerstone commercial relationships and sales commitments in the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, food and beverage, and consumer markets for the Aurora Algae A2 product line. Sandusky earned an MS and a PhD in Food Science from the University of Maryland.

Sandusky and Willardson will be based in the Company's Hayward, Calif. headquarters, reporting directly to CEO Greg Bafalis.

 From the November 30, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.