Kirchner Group adds Experienced Research and Development Executive
Kirchner Group, a values-based boutique advisory, operational support, and asset management firm, today announced Dr. Maria Velissariou has joined the firm. Dr. Velissariou will work with companies and investors in an advisory and operational capacity to enhance innovation, growth, and development.
Dr. Maria Velissariou to assist clients with science-based innovation
Jacksonville Fl, – 18 January 2023 – Kirchner Group, a values-based boutique advisory, operational support, and asset management firm, today announced Dr. Maria Velissariou has joined the firm. Dr. Velissariou will work with companies and investors in an advisory and operational capacity to enhance innovation, growth, and development. She will also contribute her expertise to the firm’s long history of supporting early-stage companies with enterprise development and commercialization of intellectual property.
Prior to joining Kirchner Group Maria was the Global Corporate R&D Vice President and Chief Science Officer for Mars, Incorporated, where she was responsible for the enterprise-wide approach to Quality, Food Safety and Scientific Regulatory Affairs, and delivery of Mars’ R&D strategy in partnership with the business segments. She also led the R&D digitalization strategy by equipping the function with new digital capabilities to unlock deeper insights and agility to drive innovation and “future-proof” the business.
“The addition of Maria is a further illustration of our focus on diversified talent which has been assembled to provide our partners and clients with customized solutions throughout the company lifecycle,” stated W.B. (Bud) Kirchner, Founder and CEO of Kirchner Group. “Dr. Velissariou also shares our corporate values and will be a great addition to our culture of creating value and promoting values.”
“I am excited to join the Kirchner Group and partner with such a diverse team to enhance value and drive impact for clients” added Maria. “The firm’s values and unique business model align with my motivation to create business value combined with human, societal and environmental outcomes.”
Maria has excelled at several other senior leadership positions in her global career including Chief Science and Technology Officer at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), and VP Global Nutrition R&D and VP Quaker Foods North America R&D at PepsiCo. Throughout her career, Maria has been strategically focused on translating science and technology opportunities into scalable innovation solutions. She served on the board of directors of the Chicago Council for Science and Technology (C2ST), has been a member of the Advisory Council at the Women Business Collaborative (WBC) and is a founding member of the 2Blades Sustainability Council. She is a long-term advocate for increasing diversity in STEM in addition to mentoring entrepreneurs across the globe.
Maria earned a Ph.D. and Masters in Biochemical Engineering from the University of Birmingham (UK), and a B.Eng. in Chemical Engineering from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece). She also studied Economics of Mutuality at Oxford University, and Executive, High-Performance and Digital Leadership at Cornell University.