Functional Technologies Corp. has announced the appointment of Mr. James D. Pratt, an accomplished food industry executive, to the position of Chief Business Officer (CBO).
His responsibilities will include the cultivation of strategic partnerships and commercial relationships in new food sectors for Functional Technologies' pipeline of technologies, increasing the scope and breadth of industry applications and markets for the Company's products.
Possessing more than 24 years of executive experience in the food industry and capital markets, Mr. Pratt was most recently CEO of Sepp's Food Group, a multinational manufacturer and provider of frozen foods, including private label "health and well-being" frozen breakfast products.
Through his various executive roles at Sepp's, Mr. Pratt was instrumental in restructuring and turning the company profitable from a loss position within 24 months, successfully completing several acquisitions and divestitures, managing strategic capital market initiatives before taking the company private, and implementing operational improvements.
This enabled Mr. Pratt to drive Sepp's Food Group to become a leader in food manufacturing in North America, leading to the sale of the company to its largest competitor in June 2010.
Prior to joining Sepp's, Mr. Pratt was Vice-President of Corporate Finance at Midland Walwyn Capital Inc., (acquired by Merrill Lynch) where his responsibilities included the successful execution of mergers and acquisitions, valuations and equity financings.
Mr. Pratt also serves on the Board of Directors of professional associations in the food industry, including the BC Food Processors Association and the Food Processors of Canada, in which several major global food and food ingredient companies are also prominent members.
He was also past Chairman of the Functional Foods Alberta Center of Excellence, and previously served on the Board of Directors of the BC Functional Foods & Nutraceutical Network. Mr. Pratt received his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario.
"It is a very exciting time to be joining Functional Technologies. The Company is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the fast growing, and increasingly important, "better for you" mindset amongst food and beverage manufacturers," said Mr. Pratt. "I look forward to being part of the team that will help develop Functional Technologies into a world leader in its category."
"With his leadership, strategic and operational experience, Mr. Pratt is a welcome and valuable addition to our executive team," said Howard Louie, chairman and CEO of Functional Technologies.
Louie continued, "Mr. Pratt's continued presence and relationships within the global food industry and communities are also expected to provide advantageous insight as the Company pursues the commercialization of its technologies and partnerships with multinational companies in several food and beverage sectors."
Mr. Pratt has been granted an initial stock option for the purchase of 400,000 common shares at a price of $0.74 per share, exercisable for a period of five years.