David’s service to his country, hard work, and academic success was only the beginning of his accomplishments.
Alcorn International Corporation: Vice President
In 1965, David accepted a position as Vice President of Alcorn International Corporation, an American engineering and construction company. Alcorn operated globally as a technical service contractor specializing in the engineering design and construction of petroleum refineries and petrochemical plants, and had offices and manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Europe.
Becco, Inc.: President & CEO
During this period, he also simultaneously served as President of Becco, Inc., the construction arm of Alcorn, which performed construction and maintenance activities for refinery and petrochemical plant customers. He relocated to the company’s New York headquarters, holding several positions before becoming President and Chief Executive Officer just five years later, at the age of 30.
Fluor Corporation: Head of European Operations
After negotiating the sale of Becco to LTV, Inc. of Dallas, David accepted a position as the Head of European Operations with Fluor Corporation of Irvine, California, an engineering construction company. Fluor operated globally as a technical service contractor, specializing in the engineering design and construction of petroleum refineries and petrochemical plants for the petrochemical industry. He was also in charge of a project to acquire or merge Flour’s expanding global business. This resulted in a merger of Fluor with the Daniel Corporation of Greenville, North Carolina, and the new company became known as the Flour-Daniel Corporation. After the merger, David continued to provide consulting services to Fluor.
Granada Corporation: Chairman & CEO
In 1972 when the farm and ranch industries were suffering financially, David founded Granada Corporation, as a vertically integrated technical-service contractor, to specialize in the application of biotechnology and genetic engineering for the agriculture industry. Initially Granada worked with cattle to maximize efficiencies of production, improve producer economics and ultimately improve the quality of the resulting food.
By 1985, Granada led the world in biotechnology services for agriculture with over $1 billion in revenues and over 4,000 employees. David’s vision for Granada was based on his beliefs that agriculture needed to adapt to new technologies and that biotechnology provided the key to improve production profits. David’s work significantly improved the quality of beef and dairy products we consume today.
While David was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Granada accomplished many significant milestones, some of which are as follows:
- Received the world’s first patent on cloning. This technology was the basis in 1997 for producing the cloned lamb, known as “Dolly, the Lamb,” a lamb cloned from the cell of an adult sheep. Unlike any other mammal that has ever lived, Dolly was a genetic copy of her mother and had no father.
- Pioneered transgenic research. This research involved the transformation of genetic coding materials during the embryonic stage to develop certain genetically controlled and economically valuable traits to develop.
- Produced the world’s first transgenic animal. This was accomplished using the human gene that produced the protein interferon, which subsequently improved disease resistance in human medicine.
- Developed two drugs for the improvement of reproductive efficiencies growth stimulation. These two drugs were Bovine Follicle Stimulating Hormone (BFSH) and Bovine Luteinizing Hormone (BLY) which caused super-ovulation in cattle and became an effective treatment for cystic ovaries in dairy cows. The drugs also synchronized the timing of ovulation in preparation to artificial insemination and identified three new hormones useful in regulating reproduction and treating reproductive disorders in livestock.
- Developed one of the world’s largest biotechnology-based bovine genetic engineering companies. Granada and its subsidiaries produced over 750 million pounds of beef annually, beginning with genetically improved embryos and extending through the food chain to improve quality food products. These food products were processed, packaged, distributed, and initially marketed through retail stores and restaurants under the brand name, “Granada Certified,” but later changed to “Certified Angus Beef.”
- Established a five-year $135 million technology transfer agreement. This agreement was made with the Milk Marketing Board of Great Britain, a government-owned entity which is England’s fourth-largest food company, to improve dairy products for Great Britain.
- Completed a successful initial public offering (IPO) of the stock of both Granada BioSciences, Inc. and Granada Foods Corporation. These two IPOs were done simultaneously in 1990, and sold on the American Stock Exchange.
Agromania de Panama S.A.: Chairman & CEO
In 1992, after selling his interests in the two companies that he founded, Granada BioSciences Inc. and Granada Foods Corporation, David began to apply the same technologies to the mariculture industry, specifically in the area of shrimp mariculture. He established a company called Agromarina de Panama S.A. in the Republic of Panama as the center of mariculture operations due to the favorable business and climatic conditions there.
The company quickly grew to become the largest vertically integrated shrimp mariculture production operation in the Western Hemisphere, providing genetically improved live shrimp larvae to shrimp farms located not only in Panama, but also in other countries such as Ecuador and Colombia. In addition, the company annually exported approximately 10 million pounds of finished frozen shrimp to markets in Asia, Europe, South America and the United States. The company accomplished many significant milestones, some of which are as follows:
- Applied discoveries in molecular genetics to demonstrate that there was significant potential for using engineered biological systems to produce essential nutrients and improved animals which were capable of maximizing efficiencies of production, while improving the quality of the resulting food product.
- Utilized some of the same molecular biological procedures and techniques that had been applied to bovine in the agriculture industry to successfully freeze the semen of male shrimp for distribution to other shrimp producers.
- Established joint research projects with cryobiologists from the Agromarina genetic research center to assist and provide technology for scientists at the agriculture research department of the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station (“TAES”), an agency of Texas A&M University. They achieved a key goal: to positively impact the economics of Texas shrimp hatcheries by decreasing production costs for Texas shrimp farmers through genetic improvements in production stocks achieved by cross-breeding and line selection.
American National Petroleum Company: Chairman & CEO
Utilizing his educational background in geological engineering, David founded and developed American National Petroleum Company in 1978. After two years of operations, the company completed an initial public offering (IPO) of its stock that sold on the NASDAQ Exchange.
As Chairman and CEO, he directed the planning and financial management of the overall operations of the pubic company and its five wholly owned subsidiaries, including exploration and development activities in 11 states and the Louisiana and Texas offshore waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and the company’s pipeline operation. Seminal achievements of the company under his leadership were as follows:
- Negotiated the acquisition of four companies, including Coquina Oil Corporation, Hawthorne Oil and Gas Company, and Pecos Pipeline to reach critical mass size for maximum efficiency.
- Assembled a nucleus of technical expertise whose specialty niche was successfully selecting “bright spot” prospects from seismic data in the Louisiana and Texas offshore waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
- Developed and operated over 600 oil and gas wells in Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Utah, and New Mexico.
- Maximized shareholder value through the merger of the company with a New York Stock Exchange Company in 1993.
North American Energy, Inc.: Chairman & CEO
In 1994, David founded North American Energy Inc., serving as its Chairman and CEO. In this capacity, he managed the operations of the company, and he continues to do so with oversight of its oil and gas exploration and production in the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast Areas. Some of the milestones are as follows:
- Established a long-term strategic alliance with an industry partner for joint exploration and production of gas wells in South Texas in the Permian Basin of Texas.
- Evaluated the geological attributes of a South Texas field containing significant natural gas reserves and developed the financing plan to meet the capital requirements, as well as negotiating the mineral lease rights for commercial exploration and development.
- Financed, identified and evaluated energy-related prospects in Central and South America for use of natural gas in various-generation applications.
- Developed a co-generation plan for a commercial manufacturing group in Paraguay, utilizing waste products of a sugar mill and timber operation to generate energy, thus reducing operating costs by over 30% per year and significantly increasing profits, while meeting environmental pollution standards.
DuPont Pharmaceuticals Company—Europe: President
In 1996, David began as an advisor to the Chief Operating Officer of DuPont Pharmaceuticals Company, a multibillion, multinational, research-driven pharmaceutical company.
In 1999, David was appointed President of DuPont Pharmaceuticals Company—Europe. As President, he was responsible for general and financial management of DuPont’s European, African and Internal Operations. Through its European subsidiaries, DuPont focused on discovering, developing and delivering pharmaceuticals to treat today’s unmet medical needs in the fight against cancer, cardiovascular disease, central nervous system disorders, HIV, and arthritis-related disorders. During the years that David was associated with the company, he was responsible for the following:
- Developed various strategic alternatives for the Bioscience, Agriculture, and Synthetic Fibers sectors, which generated over $25 billion in combined annual revenues.
- Established a core Bioscience business unit strategy by combining components of the Agriculture, Biotechnology, Chemical and Nutrition business units, as well as evaluating and recommending various acquisition prospects to accelerate and solidify the process, including the financing, staffing, and administering the integration process.
- Negotiated partnerships and business alliances in the Bioscience field with other companies to research and develop new therapeutic compounds in a broad range of areas, including neurology, infectious disease, HIV, cardiovascular therapy, and the advancing area of gene technology.
- Evaluated synergistic areas of the polyester market as a result of the $3.6 billion acquisition of Imperial Chemical and explored the financial evaluation considerations of realignment of DuPont’s polyester business with the Imperial Chemical global polyester business.
- Maximized the integrated development of the Bioscience infrastructure through acquisition and internal growth, aligning with DuPont’s primary business goal.
- Negotiated to acquire a $2 billion French facility near Paris, France with approximately 1,000 employees.
- Implemented an initiative to increase DuPont shareholder value by either implementing an initial public offering (IPO) of the DuPont Pharmaceuticals Company stock or selling the DuPont Pharmaceuticals Company. In October 2001, the sale of DuPont was made to Bristol-Myers Squibb for $7.8 billion.
Eller Corporation: Chairman & CEO
After retiring from DuPont in 2001, David combined many of his holdings into Eller Corporation, a broad-based company having operations in a variety of businesses, including energy, agriculture, real estate development, wireless high speed internet broadband services and management consulting services. He continues to serve as Eller Corporation’s Chairman and CEO.
International Tool & Supply Co.: Chairman & CEO
In 2001, he acquired International Tool & Supply Company, an international oil field supply business operating throughout Latin America with principal offices and manufacturing shops in the countries of Venezuela, Peru and Mexico. He continues to serve as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Cobalt Broadband Corporation: Chairman & CEO
In 2002, David founded Cobalt Broadband Corporation, a wireless high speed internet company providing broadband services to certain regions of Texas where services are not currently available from larger providers.
Virbac Corporation: President & CEO
During 2003, David served as a consultant in the roles of President and Chief Executive Officer of Virbac Corporation of Fort Worth, Texas. Virbac is a multi-million, multinational, research-driven pharmaceutical company, listed on the NASDAQ Exchange, and David’s function was to reorganize Virbac’s financial reporting. In this capacity, he restructured the company’s executive and financial staff, which significantly increased Virbac’s profits. He completed the contract as President and Chief Executive Officer of Virbac Corporation in 2004 and continued with the company in a consulting capacity.
During the same period, he continued to serve as Chairman and CEO of Eller Corporation and North American Energy, International Tool & Supply, North American AgriSystems, Inc. and Cobalt Broadband Corporation.
Celltex Therapeutics Corporation: Chariman & CEO
In 2011, former Texas Governor Rick Perry approached David about using his entrepreneurial background and experience in bioscience to be a part of Perry’s vision to make Texas the “stem cell capital of the United States.” With the goal of helping individuals regain their quality of life, David founded Celltex Therapeutics Corporation. Celltex focuses on offering individuals a safe and effective method of utilizing their own adult mesenchymal adipose-derived stem cells for therapy for various medical conditions. Using its proprietary technology, the company quickly established itself as a leader in providing services for the rapidly expanding field of regenerative medicine.
In 2013, Celltex expanded its laboratory and management staff to continue its role as the leader in the cryogenic storage and production of adipose adult mesenchymal stem cells.
David and the Celltex team continue to work diligently toward the goal of making access to the incredible promise of stem cell therapy available to everyone.