Governance Board

Tammie Wahaus is Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Board Chair. Ms. Wahaus has led the strategic planning, business development, manufacturing, regulatory and clinical trial activities of the company since 2014. Ms. Wahaus has more than twenty-five years of experience serving in key leadership roles in public and private companies. She joined TVAX Biomedical (an affiliate) in 2012 as Chief Financial Officer and was responsible for developing the animal health business strategy which was then spun off as ELIAS Animal Health. Previously, Ms. Wahaus was an audit partner and national office advisor with Ernst & Young LLP serving both Fortune 500 public companies and small to medium-sized private companies. She also served as Global Controller and Principal Accounting Officer for a public company, where she oversaw the global accounting and reporting operations across four continents including the integration of two international acquisitions totaling over $7 billion in assets and implemented Six Sigma Quality process management systems across the global finance operations. She has a BS in Business Administration from Kansas State University and serves as an advisory board member for the KSU College of Business.

Chuck Burton is Chief Operating Officer of Nations Holding Company and President of Foreclosure Management Company. He designed and implemented strategic business plans leading to substantial revenue and profit growth for the company. He has developed both the structure and the team required to guide the company through the turbulence and uncertainty of the real estate market. As COO of Nations Holding Company, Chuck has shaped a business environment where growth and development flourish for more than 20 businesses. He has served on Children’s Mercy Hospital Board of Volunteers and is a regular volunteer at Children’s Mercy Hospital and Johnson County Mental Health.

Tammy Ham is President of BioNOVUS Innovations LLC, a Kansas City-based firm committed to investing in individuals and organizations who are transforming healthcare, and Chief Executive Officer of CicloMed LLC, a developmental-stage pharmaceutical company focusing on unmet needs in human oncology. Prior to CicloMed, she served as Principal, Ambulatory Surgery Assistance, and President of Nueterra Healthcare International. Ms. Ham also currently serves on the Board of Directors for Smart Diagnostics Systems and Operation Breakthrough.

Larry Maddox has been in the private equity industry since 1972 beginning with MorAmerica Capital Corporation, a Federally licensed Small Business Investment Company. He is one of the founding general partners for three Allsop Venture Partners (“AVP”) private equity partnerships beginning in 1981. During his tenure, AVP invested $105 million in 78 companies which returned over $430 million. Since that time, Mr. Maddox has continued to invest in and serve on the board of directors for more than 30 companies. He received a BS in Industrial Engineering from Texas Tech University and a MS in Business Administration from the University of Iowa.

Mark Patterson, animal health industry consultant and president (retired) of Abaxis Veterinary Reference Laboratories, AVRL, has over 30 years’ experience in the laboratory business, both human and animal. He joined AVRL in February 2011 with the mission of building and commercializing the business into a full-service veterinary reference laboratory on a national scale. Previously, Mr. Patterson was president and co-founder of Heritage Labs, LLC, a CAP certified laboratory as well as an FDA registered medical device manufacturer; and was Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing and the Executive Vice President of Business Development, also serving on the Board of Directors of LabOne’s Canadian subsidiary. Mr. Patterson has a BA in Biology from Furman University in Greenville, SC.

Julia Stephanus is founder and president of Avviare, a consulting practice designed to assist start-ups and established players in the field of veterinary biopharmaceuticals. As a 30-year veteran of the veterinary pharmaceutical industry, she was chief commercial officer of Aratana, founder and CEO of Summit VetPharm (now CEVA), and head of global companion animal marketing for Pfizer (now Zoetis). Ms. Stephanus has been involved in the development and launch of 28 innovative veterinary products including multiple blockbusters in pain management and parasiticides. Ms. Stephanus has a BS in Telecommunications, Journalism, Business from Indiana University Bloomington.

Chuck Stephens is founder and president of Stephens & Associates Advertising. In business since 1980, the Agency provides branding and marketing communications for companies within the animal health industry (companion animal, livestock and equine), including: pet care, pet nutrition, animal welfare, agriculture, food ingredients (pet and human), as well as financial services. The Agency has extensive experience b2b, b2c and b2b2c in all distribution channels. U.S. & global brand experience includes Bayer Advantage®, Bayer K-9 Advantix®, Baytril®, Legend®, Droncit®, Novartis Sentinel®, Atopica®, Percortan®, Clomicalm®, Ethicon®, Heinz Pet Nutrition Brands (Nature’s Recipe®, Innovative Veterinary Diets®) Mars Pet Care Brands, Royal Canin®, Kemin FloraGLO® Brand Lutein, Vectra®, Feliway®, Golden Harvest®, Smart Pak Equine®, C.E.T® Home Dental Care, numerous others. Chuck was an original founding member of Banfield Pet Hospitals, a group of 700+ veterinary hospitals located within PETsMART locations throughout the U.S. He has been honored as “Marketer of the Year” by Business Marketing Association (BMA) and recognized as “Distinguished Alumnus” by Kansas State University. Chuck is a graduate of Kansas State University (BS, Agricultural Journalism).

Kip Wiggins, J.D., is a retired partner of Stinson Leonard Street, LLP. He was a past vice chair of the firm’s finance division and a past chair of its venture capital and private equity capital practice group. Since 1975, his practice emphasis was finance, mergers and acquisitions, venture capital, private equity, angel investments and emerging businesses. He is an active member of Mid-America Angels, having made nearly 20 investments in emerging businesses, and a member of the Investment Committee of Leawood VC Fund I LP. Kip is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia (BS, Finance and Banking) and the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law (JD).