President and CEO
With an extensive career that spans investment banking and the food industry, David Clark joined Aseptia in 2014 as the company’s President and CEO.
Prior to Aseptia, Clark devoted nearly 10 years to the food industry with an ownership role in Pierre Foods. During that time, the company grew and expanded through various acquisitions, revenue increases and mergers, including restaurant groups.
Professionally, Clark began his career in banking, carving a successful and extensive career within the field. He served in multiple lending, marketing, administrative and executive positions at BB&T throughout the Carolinas prior to his role as President of BB&T of South Carolina. At Bank of Granite, he was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer before moving into the food industry and other entrepreneurial pursuits.
Additionally, he founded the Sumlin Group, a boutique investment firm formed in 2004 that takes ownership positions in various companies throughout multiple industries. The firm’s objective is to add and optimize value to those companies. Since its inception, Sumlin Group has successfully acquired and/or sold businesses in industries such as automotive, dining and manufacturing.
Clark earned his Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Dr. Josip Simunovic
Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer
Dr. Josip Simunovic is a Research Associate Professor with the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences at North Carolina State University. His work, alongside an accomplished N.C. State team, led to Aseptia’s patented aseptic technology that enables the production of food products that maintain freshness, flavors and nutrients without using preservatives.
As a result of his career’s work, Simunovic has gained national and international recognition as one of the leading researchers on the advanced thermal processing of foods. His research with continuous flow microwave heating technology led to the first commercial implementation of a continuous flow microwave sterilization process to produce shelf-stable low-acid foods.
Simunovic has more than 25 years of experience in research, development and implementation of novel methods, devices and processes for advanced thermal processing and aseptic packaging of foods and biomaterials. He works with Aseptia and its subsidiary, Wright Foods, to implement these developments to innovative processing solutions for production of nutritionally superior foods.
Acting as lead inventor and co-inventor, Simunovic has contributed to approximately 60 issued or pending U.S. and international patents. Some of Simunovic’s other accolades include the 2008 Food Engineering Award from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers as well as – with his N.C. State team – the 2009 Food Technology Industrial Achievement Award from the Institute of Food Technologists, the 2010 USDA/ARS Technology Transfer Award and the 2012 Marvin Tung Award from the Institute for Thermal Processing Specialists. N.C. State also named Simunovic the 2012 Innovator of the Year and honored him with the 2014 Chancellor’s Innovation Fund Award.
Simunovic received his Bachelor of Science in food technology from Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, located in Osijek, Croatia, Simunovic’s hometown. He earned his Master of Science in food science and human nutrition from the University of Florida and his Ph.D. in food science from N.C. State.
Executive Vice President and Chief Intellectual Property Officer
John Hudson joined Aseptia’s executive management team during the first quarter of 2016, continuing his accomplished 18-year career focused on intellectual property (IP).
Hudson began his professional career at Peterson Consulting, serving as Manager of Intellectual Property Services. He then continued his IP work with InteCap, Inc. in the role of Director before moving to Intellectual Property Asset Corporation (IPAC) as Managing Director. His extensive experience spans advisory services in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
Prior to Aseptia, Hudson worked with Deloitte for eight years as a member and co-leader of Deloitte’s National Intellectual Property Advisory practice. During this tenure, Hudson provided a variety of IP services to clients such as IP asset valuations; the development and implementation of strategic and enforcement licensing programs; royalty audits; IP management program assessments; IP dispute and IP litigation dispute resolution services; and the purchase and sale of IP portfolios. His IP work extended across various clients – from universities and governmental agencies to private equity firms and Fortune 500 companies.
Professionally, Hudson holds membership in several IP-related organizations, including Licensing Executive Society (LES), Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), Intellectual Property Owners Association, the International Trademark Association and Athena Alliance where he has served as Advisory Board Member. Additionally, he is a Certified Patent Valuation Analyst and currently maintains an active 10-year U.S. federal government security clearance.
He is the recipient of numerous accolades, including multiple recognitions for Intellectual Asset Magazine’s 300 among the World’s Leading Intellectual Property Strategists. He also frequently speaks on topics such as IP valuation, IP value extraction strategies, innovation strategies and intellectual asset/property management programs.
Hudson graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in economics.
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
North Carolina native Mac McAulay joined the Aseptia team in fall 2014 as the company’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.
He began his career in investment banking at Bank of America before working at Medley Capital, where he served as a Principal and was a founding team member. At Medley – a $3 billion direct mezzanine lender – he played a vital role in all aspects of lending in the small and middle markets, including sourcing, negotiating terms, performing and managing due diligence and documentation, executing, monitoring and restructuring.
McAulay graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts in economics and a minor in business administration from UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.
Manager of Research and Development
Samir Masri joined the Aseptia team in June of 2016 as Manager of Research and Development, bringing with him over 13 years of experience dedicated to innovating new products and renovating existing products to optimize costs and drive manufacturing efficiency.
Masri began his career in the food production industry at Vita Specialty Foods as a Quality Assurance/R&D Manager before transitioning to Heinz North America as an Associate Food Technologist. Over his eight year tenure at Heinz, Masri rose within the organization to a level of Senior Food Technologist and was instrumental in a number of new product launches under the Lea & Perrins®, Heinz 57® and T.G.I. Friday’s® Brands. He was also a key leader in the company’s process improvement and value engineering efforts, helping drive line efficiencies up by 10% and delivering millions in savings to the company’s bottom line.
Most recently before joining Aseptia, Masri was the Project Manager for R&D and Quality for Golding Farms Foods in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Masri coordinated an organic system program implementation, which added two new product lines, opened up new markets and increased sales volume by 15%.
Some of Masri’s accolades include being HACCP certified by the N.C. State University/International HACCP Alliance and becoming a SQF Practitioner through the Safe Quality Food Institute. Along with his team at Vita Specialty Foods, his Vita Vidalia Onion Ranch Dressing was named ‘Best New Salad Dressing’ by Kosherfest.
Masri graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Technology along with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry.
Dr. Ken Swartzel
Co-Founder and Science Advisor
Decades after Dr. Ken Swartzel’s early thermal preservation process research helped lay the foundation for Aseptia’s evolvement, he returned to the technology company as its new science advisor. Swartzel, a William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor Emeritus from North Carolina State University, moved into the role in early August 2016.
Swartzel foregoes retirement for the Aseptia role, as he acted as a co-founder for Aseptia’s technologies and remains on many of the original patents laying the foundation for the growing company.
Swartzel joined N.C. State in 1975 as a research technician. While in academia, Swartzel published more than 120 scientific papers and acted as principal or co-principal on numerous projects, garnering outside monetary support surpassing $26 million. Among his research goals were new, thermal-preservation processes that yield high-quality, nutritious, safe and economical foods – goals central to Aseptia and research that began in Swartzel’s N.C. State lab.
For his advanced research and findings, Swartzel has received countless international accolades in his four decades of academic dedication. Among his most prized achievements are the North Carolina Order of the Long Leaf Pine, as awarded to him by Governor Bev Perdue in 2012, and being named Tar Heel of the Week by Raleigh’s The News & Observer. Swartzel also received the Institute of Food Technologists’ (IFT) Nicholas Appert Award for preeminence in, and contributions to, the field of food science and technology, among several other prestigious IFT awards. In the spring of 2016, Swartzel was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), one of the loftiest distinctions accorded to any engineer.
Swartzel received both his bachelor’s and master’s degree from N.C. State as well as his Ph.D. from the department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering.