George S. Blankenbaker


Mr. Blankenbaker has been leading the development of high Reb-A Stevia farming in Vietnam, where he imported the Morita variety to trial in 2008 and in 2009 signed a contract to supply stevia leaf to PureCircle, the industry's leading refiner. Mr. Blankenbaker first became involved in commercial agriculture in 2002 when he began working with the Agri-Food Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) to provide strategically important food supplies to Singapore. Prior to that Mr. Blankenbaker co-wrote and co-presented a bid for the U.S. Navy Subsistence Prime Vendor (SPV) Contract valued at USD $197 million covering three zones of Japan, Singapore, and Diego Garcia.  The contract was awarded in 2002 and the Singapore and Diego Garcia portion is currently supported by the Rong-Yao group, a partner company based in Singapore. 

During the 1990s Mr. Blankenbaker traded commodities and was an independent consultant and analyst for Standard Chartered Bank and Reuters and was on the implementation team that established Globex in Singapore linking the Singapore International Monetary Exchange with the Chicago Board of Trade. Mr. Blankenbaker began his career in Singapore in 1990 as a commodities analyst and also established a food import/export company which established itself as the leading importer and distributor of two categories before being merged into current operations. In 1986 Mr. Blankenbaker accompanied the Chairman of the finance department of his University to Asia for six months to study the development of the Asian Financial markets. Mr. Blankenbaker was raised on a farm in Indiana.

Education: Bachelor of Science, Business Finance; In-depth: Asian Political Science, Indiana University, 1988

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Thomas Ong


Mr. Ong currently serves as a Director of the Singapore registered farm management firm Growers Synergy Pte Ltd, an agriculture consultancy and farm management company producing and trading crops for the domestic and export markets. He is also a member of the SPRING Start-up Enterprise Development Scheme (SPRING SEEDS) Investment Panel, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SPRING Singapore, a statutory board under the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry, that provides equity-based co-financing options for Singapore-based early-stage companies. Prior to focussing on the food supply sector, Mr. Ong was a director of A.D. Venture Limited, a Singapore-registered fund investment and management company with operating arms in Hong Kong and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Previously, Mr. Ong served 5 years with the Ministry of the Environment and subsequently joined the National Environment Agency (NEA) and worked with the Economic Development Board (EDB), International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore), Workforce Development Agency (WDA) and related industry groups to promote high value environmental services to the domestic and international markets.

Education: Bachelor of Business Administration, National University of Singapore, 1995 and Master of Science in Information Studies from Nanyang Technological University, 2000.

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Dr. Jerry Smartt


Dr. Smartt is a board-certified neurologist and established Smartt Neurology, PC in Indianapolis, Indiana in 2004 to provide private practice neurology services.  Since 2005, Dr. Smartt also provides contracted services through Smartt Services, LLC to Atterbury Job Corps Center in Edinburgh, Indiana to provide Wellness Center services.  Since 2010, Dr. Smartt also serves the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration as the physician contractor to perform medical chart review and evaluation of disability for the Indiana Disability Determination Bureau. Dr. Smartt also serves as Volunteer Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology for Indiana University School of Medicine and Attending Staff Physician of Neurology for Indianapolis VA Medical Center.  Dr. Smartt completed his Residency of Neurology from 2001 – 2004 at the Indiana University School of Medicine.  Dr. Smartt received his Bachelors of Art from DaPauw University in 1996 and his Doctor of Medicine from Indiana University School of Medicine in 2000.  Dr. Smartt’s familiarity with the medical applications of various plant extracts and compounds that the Company intends to commercialize will be of great value to our Board of Directors.

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Dr. Zhang Ji

Chief Technical Advisor

Founded Guangzhou Health China Technology Development Company Limited operating under the trade name Tech-New Bio-Technology (“TechNew”) as the result of collaboration beginning in 1996 with the Jilin Agricultural University and South China Agricultural University. Zhang Ji has led TechNew to a number of strategic achievements with successful and sustained economic growth in the development of specialized ecological fertilizers, microbiological preparations and management systems for the agriculture and aquaculture industry principally for markets within China. This has also led to his ongoing participation in numerous agricultural, environmental, ecological, scientific and community development projects, in collaboration with national and international government agencies, universities, research institutes and private sector organizations. His previous experience included a period as chairman of a noted computer technology firm and a position on the board of a regional foreign economic relations commission as well as government service efforts. He earned an MBA from the American Management University of Science and Technology (UMT), and Doctorate in Business Administration from the Victoria University of Switzerland / China, and was a visiting scholar at Harper Adams University (HAUC) in 2010.

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Dr. Nguyen Van Dan

Technical Advisor – Vietnam R&D and Propagation Center

Dr. Dan is an expert horticultural researcher, engineer and scientist specializing in biotechnology driven genetic research and leading edge plant breeding technologies. He was previously the principal research engineer and project manager for the R&D Center - IC Food Co., Ltd and the University Industry Collaboration Foundation program at Chungnam National University in Korea. Beginning 1992 through 1997 he commenced his efforts with the genetics department, faculty of biology, Hanoi National University where he developed a thesis which led to intensive research into plant tissues and cell cultures for the Center for Experimental Biology at the National Center for Technological Progress (NACENTECH) from 1998 to 2005, eventually leading to advanced studies into molecular genetics & genomics at the Department of Horticulture, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Chungnam National University (2005-2007), which led to eventual doctoral studies and completion of his PhD in the field.

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Andrew Kaelin

Technical Advisor, Aquaculture

Mr. Kaelin brings over 30 years of international development consulting and commercial agribusiness experience with a specialization in fisheries, aquaculture, and food safety. He has started up, owned, operated and advised private commercial agribusiness ventures and cooperatives in Africa, Asia, the former Soviet Union, and Latin America. His commercial and consulting experience extends all along the supply chain from primary production to value added products for end consumers. Over the last 24 years, Mr. Kaelin has provided consulting services to the World Bank on hundreds of millions of dollars of investments in sustainable fisheries, aquaculture and coastal resources management in China, Mexico and currently in Indonesia. Mr. Kaelin is Managing Director of AIS Aqua Foods, Inc, a seafood production and marketing company. He is also responsible for the developing country program of the International Coalition of Fisheries Associations (ICFA) that currently has activities in the countries of Morocco, Indonesia, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Uganda, and has advised the Government of Mauritius. Mr. Kaelin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Zoology from the University of Miami, a Master’s degree in International Management from Thunderbird, and has completed graduate coursework in Development and Agriculture Economics at the University of Colorado. Mr. Kaelin is a member of the Global Aquaculture Alliance, The National Fisheries Institute and has been a regular speaker at the annual China Fisheries and Seafood Exposition and the annual Global Shrimp Outlook conference (GOAL), also the 2013 Global Seafood Marketing Conference.

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Prof. Xie Haihui

Research Advisor

Prof. Xie Haihui serves as Research Advisor with an extensive research background and interest in the chemistry of natural products. Prof. Xie has long been fascinated by the ability of plants and their natural extracts to benefit human health and is the first author or corresponding author of 19 science citation index papers, holds 3 patents and is currently a professor at South China Institute of Botany as well as a supervisor of postgraduates for master degrees and doctorate degrees and is a member of the Chinese Chemical Society and Japanese Pharmaceutical Society. His professional experience includes Research Assistant, Assistant Professor and Associate professor at the South China Institute of Botany, and visiting scholar and research assistant to Kyoto Pharmaceutical University. As an advisor to #TeamReal, Prof. Xie will utilize his experience to help develop medicinally beneficial products from natural plant extracts.

Prof. Xie’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Science from Jiangxi University, Nanchang, China, Masters of Science from South China Institute of Botany and a Ph. D from Kyoto Pharmaceutical University in Kyoto Japan.

Prof. Xie has received the Award of Science and Technology Progress of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in 2007 and 2008 and is an editorial member of “Ecology and Environmental Sciences” since 2009.

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Rodney L. Cook

Technical Advisor, Agriculture

Mr. Cook owns and operates Ag-View Consulting LLC, of Olympia, WA, where his experiences include working with the largest refiner of stevia in the world to direct and support the development of stevia breeding programs as well as to assist in trial agreements for expansion of the growing regions for global stevia initiatives. He has assisted both growers and marketers by developing training and education processes that offer alternative markets for a variety of crops; has provided expert testimony, crop and market analysis for the blueberry industry, provided third party verification and review of vision, strategy, operational and research initiatives for improvement and expansion of prune and raspberry development in Chile. He was previously CEO and President of the multinational partnership, Naturipe Foods, LLC, and prior to that as CEO and President of Producer Marketing Company (Overlake Foods Corp.), and as President of Chilean owned (US based) Hortifrut NA; as Managing Partner at Pan-American Berry Growers LLC, and in a variety of leadership positions at MBG Marketing, the largest blueberry grower’s cooperative in the world. He has received several industry awards and actively participates in a number of industry and community initiatives.

Education: M. Sc. with Honors in Horticulture and a B.S. with Honors in Resource Development at Michigan State University.

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Company Overview

Company Overview

Stevia Corp invests heavily in R&D and IP acquisition and manages its own propagation, nursery and plantations as well as provides services to contract growers and other industry growers…

Keys to Success

Company Overview

Stevia Corp delivers a full spectrum of agriculture solutions for stevia growers.