Emergence client, Noblegen, adds former General Mills executive as advisor

November 20, 2017

Peterborough, Ontario-based Emergence client, Noblegen Inc. has announced the appointment of industry veteran, Jim Kirkwood, as an advisor. Kirkwood will support the commercialization of Noblegen’s ingredients, as well as the venture’s new product innovation.

noblegenIn welcoming Kirkwood, Noblegen CEO, Adam Noble told us, “Jim brings 38 years of experience to the Noblegen team, and we’re already seeing the benefits of his wealth of knowledge and expertise.”

Kirkwood’s cross-functional professional background in food, agriculture and pet food includes assignments in innovation, R&D, marketing, general management, operations, central research and quality.


Jim Kirkwood

Kirkwood recently retired from General Mills Inc. as Chief Science and Technology Development Officer and Vice President, General Mills’ Global Center for Technology Creation (GTECH). In this role, he led a team of research scientists and engineers to identify and develop new disruptive technologies to change the industry. He was responsible for leading the General Mills central technology organization, which included developing technology in crop biosciences, grain, macro ingredients, advanced packaging and process technologies, as well as technologies related to taste and texture.

Click here to watch Jim Kirkwood (then Chief Science & Technology Development Officer at General Mills, and VP of its “GTECH” organization) in conversation with Lux Research’s VP of Consulting, Kevin Pang, Ph.D.

Kirkwood founded the GTECH organization in 2006 after spending the previous 10 years leading R&D and innovation efforts in several key business units; these roles included Director roles in Pillsbury’s Refrigerated/ Frozen Baked Goods Division, and VP of R&D for Snacks and Small Planet (organic) Foods Innovation.

During his five-year tenure as Vice President of the General Mills One Global Meals Platform, Kirkwood led support for the six divisions offering meals and side dish products. His team’s responsibilities included the stewardship of product quality as well as the development of new products, new differential technologies, product/package improvements and productivity for many the brands in the Meals Global platform such as: Green Giant, Old El Paso, Totino’s, Progresso, Hamburger Helper, Wanchai Ferry and Betty Crocker Potatoes.

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Adam Noble, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder & Dr. Andressa Lacerda, Chief Commercial Officer, Executive Vice President and Co-Founder

Noblegen Chief Development Officer and co-Founder Andressa Lacerda told us that she is excited to have Kirkwood  as an advisor to the company: “It is really invigorating to have Jim join our team; we are incredibly fortunate to be working with someone who has successfully transformed innovative products into recognized household brands.”

Jim is joining Noblegen’s advisory board members Dave Paterson and Antonio Lacerda.

Paterson formerly held various executive positions in his 30 year tenure at Johnson & Johnson. As a CPA, CMA, with expertise in marketing and business strategy, Paterson is passionate about process analysis and improved competitive positioning.

Lacerda is currently the Senior Vice-President, Chemicals and Performance Products for BASF South America. With decades of management and marketing experience, Lacerda has been a critical advisor of growth strategy and evaluating future opportunities.

About Noblegen

Noblegen is an advanced ingredients startup that produces unique proteins and oils for the healthy living industry. Their proprietary technology creates high quality ingredients from one of nature’s oldest microorganisms. Noblegen’s ingredients are sustainable, non-GMO, cost-effective, and easily customized. The company’s minimally processed ingredients offer clean-label marketing opportunities for clients. With a purpose to make a positive impact on people and the planet through science, Noblegen is “redefining the future of food”. See: Noblegen Inc.

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