Dr. Tom Adams
Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Tom Adams co-founded Pairwise and serves as Chief Executive Officer. Tom has over 25 years of leadership experience heading up biotechnology for global companies, serving most recently as Vice President of Global Biotechnology at Monsanto where he lead the team developing a broad range of innovative products. Formerly a faculty member at Texas A&M University, Tom holds a PhD in microbiology and plant science from Michigan State University and a BS in botany and plant pathology from Oregon State University. Tom is a long-time distance runner and often competes in local events.
Dr. Haven Baker
Co-Founder, Chief Business Officer
Dr. Haven Baker co-founded Pairwise and serves as Chief Business Officer. Haven is the former Senior Vice President / General Manager of Simplot Plant Sciences, where he led the team that launched the innovative, non-browning Innate® potato. He holds a PhD in chemistry from Northeastern University, an MBA from Harvard University, and a BS in biomedical engineering from Yale University. A lover of the outdoors, Haven enjoys hunting, fishing, and hiking in his native Pacific Northwest.
Chief Financial Officer
Lynsey Wenger is Chief Financial Officer and oversees financial strategy, planning, and management. Lynsey most recently served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer at Calysta, a biotechnology company developing alternative protein ingredients using a novel fermentation technology platform. She also spent 16 years with Goldman Sachs, including spending the greater part of a decade specializing in global natural resources investment banking. Lynsey holds an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from Duke University. Historically a distance runner, years of wear-and-tear on her knees have led her to refocus her athletic pursuits towards triathlons.
Chief Development Officer
Ian Miller serves as Chief Development Officer. Ian joined Pairwise in 2018 as Vice President, Business Operations. Ian brings diverse technical, legal, and operational leadership experience in the life sciences field to Pairwise, serving most recently as Chief Business Officer and General Counsel at Epic Sciences. Ian holds a JD, with honors, from Duke University School of Law and a BS in biochemistry and cellular biology from the University of California, San Diego. An avid fan of Duke sports, Ian also enjoys brewing his own craft beer.
Dr. Ryan Rapp
Chief Technology Officer
Dr. Ryan Rapp is Chief Technology Officer. He joined Pairwise in 2018 as Head of Product Discovery from leading DNA sequencing company Illumina, where he was the head of their Agrigenomics business and was responsible for launching new genotyping products across many species. Previously, he lead corn and soybean marker discovery at Monsanto as well as the proof of concept work for drought biotechnology. Ryan holds a PhD in Genetics from Iowa State University and a BS in Plant Science from Cornell University. A native of Massachusetts, Ryan is an ardent equestrian and botanist, two pursuits that he regularly enjoys on his 20 acre farm in nearby Hillsborough, NC.
Wendy Webb Williams, JD, MBA
General Counsel and VP, Operations
Wendy Webb Williams joined Pairwise in 2022. As General Counsel and VP, Operations, Wendy fosters business success through pragmatic and progressive legal partnership, leadership, counsel and support. Prior to Pairwise, Wendy served as Chief Legal Officer at Sara Lee Frozen Bakery and Mead Johnson Nutrition | Reckitt Benckiser, and General Counsel, IFCN - North America & Europe at US Foods, Inc.
Dr. Heather Hudson
Vice President, Commercial
Dr. Heather Hudson is Vice President, Commercial, of the Pairwise Vegetable Portfolio, joining the team in 2018. Previously, Heather was Head of R&D for the Refrigerated Business Unit for Kraft Heinz, and Vice President of Science and Technology at Bumble Bee Foods. Notable food innovations launched under Heather’s leadership include Just Crack an EggTM and the clean label re-launch of the Oscar Mayer® hotdog portfolio. Heather holds a PhD from North Carolina State University in Food, Bioprocessing, and Nutrition Science, an MBA from the University of Southern California, and a BS in Nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Outside of work, Heather is a food adventurer and culinary addict who is interested in all food experiences, refined and some less so.
Vice President, Commercial
Tom Spaulding is Vice President, Commercial for the Pairwise Berry Portfolio. Tom joined Pairwise in 2021 from Driscoll’s, where he spent a decade as their District Production Manager and, most recently, Director of their blackberry business. In his role, he is focused on integrating all parts of the company’s caneberry business — from breeding programs/edited varieties to nursery, grower business models, packer/shipper relationships, product specifications, and sales and marketing to the end consumer. Tom holds an MS in Organic Chemistry from the University of California, Santa Cruz, an MBA from San Jose State, and a BS from the University of Wisconsin.
Dr. Aaron Hummel
Vice President, Trait and Tool Delivery
Dr. Aaron Hummel is Vice President, Trait and Tool Delivery. Aaron joined Pairwise in 2018 as Head of Genome Editing Technologies from global plant breeding company KWS, where he built the genome editing program. He is a decorated veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Aaron holds a PhD in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from Iowa State University and a BS in Biology from Hillsdale College.
Head, Trait Development
Mike Mann heads up the Trait Development team for Pairwise, joining the team in 2018. He has experience in managing transformation, quality, and regulatory compliance labs for global vegetable seed portfolios, working most recently for Monsanto. Mike holds an MS in engineering management from the University of New Haven and a BS in plant science and plant tissue culture from Cornell University.
Head, Portfolio Management and Collaborations
Adam Helms is head of Portfolio Management and Collaborations. Adam joined Pairwise in 2020 from Inari Agriculture, a plant gene-editing start-up, where he led efforts to secure the company’s germplasm, expansion site in West Lafayette, Indiana, and established the foundation of a global supply chain network. Previously he was a member of the Global Seeds & Traits team at Bayer Crop Science after completing an accelerated leadership program at the company. He holds a BS in Agronomy, an MS in Soil Science—both from Texas A&M University—and an MBA from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas-Austin.
Head, Regulatory and Quality
Dan Jenkins has 20+ years’ experience working in the food and agriculture industry and serves as the Head of Regulatory and Quality for Pairwise. Prior to this Dan was the Managing Director and Chief of Staff of the Agricultural Section of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) trade association in Washington DC. Dan also led Monsanto’s Regulatory team in Washington DC overseeing all domestic chemistry and biotech crop approvals across FDA, EPA and USDA, and at the beginning of his career, worked in pesticide commercial sales, as well as R&D, for Dow AgroSciences. Dan currently sits on the American Chemistry Society’s editorial board for the Agricultural Science and Technology journal, and the advisory board to North Carolina State University’s Plant Sciences Initiative’s Center of Excellence for Regulatory Science in Agriculture. Dan earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, a Master of Science degree in Entomology and Applied Ecology from the University of Delaware and his Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School.
Megan M. Thomas
Head, Marketing and Communications
Megan Thomas has worked in brand leadership roles for companies such as Smithfield Foods and Fleet Labs, launching 28 products in her brand marketing career. She also served as Group Vice President at shopper marketing firm The MARS Agency, developing marketing programs for consumer healthcare clients GlaxoSmithKline and Abbott Nutrition. She holds an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and a BA from Northwestern University.
Lucy Wert joined Pairwise in 2019 and leads the HR function. Lucy has experience building HR teams at several Tech and Biotech startups where she focused on people programs supporting People Development and People Engagement, leading to a strong company culture. She graduated with a BA in Economics from Indiana University. Lucy considers herself a foodie and enjoys exploring the food scene in the Research Triangle Park area where Pairwise is headquartered.