Co-Founder & Co-CEO
John Bissell co-founded Origin Materials in November 2008 and has served as its Chief Executive Officer and a member of its board of directors since inception. Mr. Bissell has extensive experience in R&D, engineering, and business development in the chemical industry. In 2008, Mr. Bissell received the People, Prosperity, and the Planet Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and in 2014, he was on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in the Energy & Industry category. Mr. Bissell holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Davis.
Rich Riley has served as Co-Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the board of directors of Origin Materials since October 2020. Mr. Riley has been an investor and advisor to Origin since 2010. From April 2013 to January 2019, Mr. Riley was the Chief Executive Officer of Shazam Entertainment Ltd, a private company that develops mobile music recognition applications and was acquired by Apple, Inc. in 2018. Since February 2020, Mr. Riley has served as Chairman of the Board of JourneyPure LLC, a private addiction treatment and behavioral health services company. Mr. Riley has served as an industry advisor to KKR & Co. L.P., a leading global investment firm, since 2013. Mr. Riley is also a co-founder and member of the board of HomePoint Maintenance, Inc., a private home maintenance services company he helped found in May 2019. Mr. Riley was an executive at Yahoo! Inc. from January 1999 to September 2012, with roles that included Executive Vice President, Americas and Senior Vice President & Managing Director, EMEA Region. Mr. Riley joined Yahoo! when it acquired Log-Me-On.com, where he was the Co-Founder and Managing Member. Mr. Riley began his career as an investment banking analyst at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. Mr. Riley was a finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award, featured in Forbes 40 under 40 One’s to Watch and included three times in Billboard Magazine’s Power 100 list. Mr. Riley is a Trustee at St. Luke’s School and a member of the advisory board for the Entrepreneurship Department at the Wharton School. Mr. Riley received a B.S. in Economics with concentrations in Finance and Entrepreneurial Management from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Chief Financial Officer
Nate Whaley joined Origin Materials in September 2020 and serves as its Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Whaley has extensive expertise in scaling companies across a wide range of highly visible, capital-intensive industries including both operations and project-delivery. Prior to joining Origin, Mr. Whaley operated Whaley Group, a private provider of CFO, corporate financial and asset management advisory services. His representative engagements included serving as Senior Vice President of Finance and Strategy of Mammoth Resorts, a Starwood Capital Group portfolio company, Strategic Advisor to the World Surf League, the developer of the man-made wave system technology at the Kelly Slater Wave Company, and Chief Financial Officer and Strategic Advisor to Stikwood, a private wood wall planking manufacturer. Prior to founding Whaley Group, Mr. Whaley served as Chief Financial Officer and President – Development of Kirkwood Capital Partners, the holding company of the operating businesses, real estate development and sales, and gas and electric utility companies at Kirkwood Mountain Resort in Lake Tahoe, California. Mr. Whaley received a B.S. in Civil & Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Davis and an MBA from the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Davis.
Chief Commercial Officer
Stephen Galowitz has served as Chief Commercial Officer of Origin Materials since May 2014. As Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Galowitz oversees the development of strategic relationships for commercialization of sustainable products using Origin Materials’ technology. Mr. Galowitz formerly served as co-founder and Chief Development Officer at Broadrock Renewables, LLC, where he led electricity generating projects, including the second and third largest landfill gas-to-electricity generating projects in the world. One of the projects was awarded the “Project of the Year” award from both the US Environmental Protection Agency and the American Society of Civil Engineers. Mr. Galowitz received a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania, a B.S. in Finance from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Co-founder & CTO
Ryan Smith co-founded Origin Materials in 2008 and has served as Chief Technology Officer and a member of its board of directors since inception. Mr. Smith has deep expertise in intellectual property protection, chemical and materials technology strategy, business development, and new product development within the chemical industry. Mr. Smith received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Davis.
Mako Masuno, PhD
VP of R & D
Mako Masuno has over 9 years of experience with Origin Materials and over 20 years of experience in the chemistry industry. Dr. Masuno has strong expertise in natural product biosynthesis and biomimetic synthesis, pathway development and optimization, and structure/property relationships which Dr. Masuno developed during his time as a professor in the chemistry department at Sacramento and Westmont colleges in California. Dr. Masuno was a significant contributor to the development of Origin Materials’ furanic platform process and scale-up to para-xylene production. Dr. Masuno currently has 14 publications, 4 pending patents, and 5 provisionally filed patent applications. Dr. Masuno is responsible for the overall research and development of Origin Materials’ technology. Dr. Masuno has a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from UC Davis, and a B.S. in Chemistry from Westmont College.
VP of Engineering
Roman Wolff has 30 years of experience in technology innovation and commercialization, engineering leadership, strategic business development, partnering with suppliers and engineering companies, and operational optimization in the refining, upstream and chemical industries. Mr. Wolff’s focus has been primarily in the development, optimization, scale-up and commercialization of process technologies and products. At Merichem, Mr. Wolff led the development, scale-up and commercialization of seven different technologies. At Enhanced Biofuels, Mr. Wolff led the development, scale-up and commercialization of a disruptive biofuels technology. Mr. Wolff has implemented Stage Gate project management infrastructure at Merichem, Enhanced Biofuels and TETRA Technologies. Mr. Wolff holds an MS in Chemical Engineering and is responsible for the overall development of Origin’s plants from design to fabrication.
Joshua Lee joined Origin Materials as its Corporate Counsel in February 2018 and has served as General Counsel since December 2020 and Secretary since February 2020. Prior to joining Origin Materials, Mr. Lee was an attorney at Miller Barondess, LLP from September 2016 to February 2018, and at Irell & Manella LLP from August 2009 to September 2016. Mr. Lee received a B.A. in Economics and German from the University of Southern California, an M.A. in Economics from the University of Southern California and a J.D. from Yale Law School.
Robin Gibson, PhD
Business Development Director
Robin Gibson has over 30 years of international commercial management experience in the global chemical and pharmaceutical industry, both in small to medium sized enterprises and large publicly listed companies, including Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, where Dr. Gibson served as Global New Business Development Manager, and Croda, where Dr. Gibson served as Sales and Marketing Director for Suncare & Biopolymer. Dr. Gibson was the CEO and founder of Limeco Ltd, whose business is the development, manufacture, sales and licensing of sustainable masonry cements. Dr. Gibson has strong sales & marketing experience and a proven track record for business development, particularly in international expansion and taking new technologies to the market. Dr. Gibson holds a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Birmingham. Dr. Gibson is responsible for the overall business & product development at Origin.
Jim Wells has 39 years of experience in the chemical industry. At The Dow Chemical Company, Mr. Wells was responsible for developing, designing, building, and starting up industrial chemical plants, leading project teams and developing unique technologies. In January 2018, Mr. Wells retired from Dow as Associate Director of Technology for the Dow AgroScience division. Mr. Wells served in the United States Army and in 1979 Mr. Wells graduated from Cornell University with a BS in Chemical Engineering.
Director of Strategic Planning and Analysis
Kyle Wakamiya served as Comptroller of Origin Materials from January, 2010 through July, 2018. As Director of Strategic Planning and Analysis, Mr. Wakamiya is responsible for operational analysis and long-term financial forecasting. Mr. Wakamiya formerly served as Lead Tax Senior at Deloitte from 2007 to 2009. Mr. Wakamiya received a B.A. in Economics and Accounting from the University of California, Irvine.
Director of Analytics
Chloe Grinberg joined Origin Materials in 2014. As Director of Analytics, Ms. Grinberg is responsible for analytical assessment of samples from our chemical process. Ms. Grinberg received a BS in Chemistry from the University of California, Davis.
Alex Ward, PhD
Director of Open Innovation
Alex Ward has over 10 years of experience in R&D, with a focus on business development for innovative technology companies in the personal care and automotive industries. Since joining Origin in 2017, Dr. Ward has established over half a dozen collaborative R&D projects with Canadian institutions and has secured more than $25M CAD in government contributions. Dr. Ward manages Origin's government contribution portfolio, manages industry/academic collaborations, and leads the company's government relations. Dr. Ward holds a Ph.D in Cell Biology from the University of Windsor.