BlueNalu, a leading innovative food company developing a variety of seafood products directly from fish cells, announced the appointment of Mary K. Wagner, Ph.D. as its first independent board director. She brings an extensive and diverse range of senior leadership experiences in the food industry to BlueNalu and currently serves on the boards of both public and private food businesses.
Dr. Wagner has served as a senior executive at numerous globally recognized food companies throughout her career, overseeing food innovation, quality control/assurance, regulatory affairs, consumer research, and technology development and commercialization. Career experiences include Starbucks Coffee Company, where she served as senior vice president of global product innovation, food safety and quality; Mars Inc., where she served as chief science officer/general manager for Mars Botanical; E&J Gallo Winery, where she served as chief technology and quality officer; Yum! Brands, where she served as chief technology and quality officer of its subsidiary Taco Bell; and General Mills, where she served as vice president R&D, quality/regulatory operations of their former subsidiary, Gorton’s Seafood. Dr. Wagner has been widely recognized by her peers and is a past president of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), the largest and most respected organization in the food technology arena worldwide.
Currently, Dr. Wagner serves on the board of various public or private companies including Griffith Foods, a developer and manufacturer of customized food ingredients and solutions, and a strategic partner and investor of BlueNalu; Premium Brands Holdings; and Jones Dairy. She also serves as the chair for the food safety advisory board for Ecolab, a publicly traded company and global leader in water, hygiene, and infection control. Dr. Wagner has extensive training in corporate governance and is a governance fellow of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and is a member of Women Corporate Directors (WCD).
BlueNalu now has four members on its board of directors, which also currently includes ten individuals that serve as board observers. In addition to newly appointed Mary Wagner, Ph.D., BlueNalu’s Board of Directors includes Lou Cooperhouse; Chris Kerr, chief investment officer at New Crop Capital and founding partner and CIO at Unovis Asset Management; and Chuck Laue, chairperson at Stray Dog Capital.
Dr. Wagner has a passion for youth STEM education, the environment and humanitarianism as illustrated by her leadership at organizations such as Washington STEM, Peace Trees Vietnam and Transforming Age. She was also previously appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and served as co-chair of the USDA National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics (NAREEE) board. Dr. Wagner is a graduate of Harvard’s Program for Management Development (PMD), and a participant in the Kellogg Family Governance program. She has a master’s degree in food technology and bachelor’s degree in bacteriology from Iowa State University, and a doctorate from the University of Minnesota in food science & nutrition.